We enter Carnarvon Gorge proper where Carnarvon Creek runs along the wide gorge floor between towering sandstone cliffs. Palm trees rise so tall that you could be forgiven for believing we are on the coast of some tropical island paradise instead of hundred of kilometres inland in Queensland’s Outback. The walking trail meanders through the waist-high grasses quite some distance from the rocky creek bed. I’m grateful for this because it means we are sheltered from the midday sun, which will radiate off the rounded river rocks.
It’s busy here today, as families make the most of the last days of the Easter school holidays. Most will pack their cars tomorrow to drive all day back to their homes in Queensland’s coastal towns and cities. It’s fantastic to see this gentle ebb and flow of families with young children enjoying the great outdoors. I think it means that the future of our wilderness will be in good hands once more.
We cross Carnarvon Creek and start to climb up towards Mossy Gorge. There are some steps and ladders to scale but it’s all easy walking. We cross the small creek that flows out of the gorge and we enter a rainforest where massive fig tree roots force their way into the ground around timeless boulders. I feel like it’s a symbol of how soft objects can overcome hard by being flexible: a lesson in life perhaps.
Mossy Gorge lives up to its name. The gorge walls are covered in beautiful bright green mosses. There are mosses with fine leaves and some with rounded leaves. A pool of water is filled by a low trickling waterfall. It’s clear and, in the small section that the sun hits, the water is an aqua blue like something you might see in a tourist brochure. We sit on the wooden benches and boardwalk to eat lunch before returning along the track we came on.
The Mossy Gorge walk is about 7km return.