Home / Places To Go / Queensland / Central Queensland / Carnarvon Gorge

Carnarvon Gorge

  • by

An ancient plateau

The Carnarvon Gorge runs through a plateau that was formed by sedimentary soft limestone some 200 to 300 million years ago. This was then covered with granite from later volcanic activity and uplifted.

The result can be seen in the soaring cliffs, gorges and caves.

The gorge is 600 kilometers west of Bundaberg, along paved roads.

Carnarvon Gorge, Boolinda Bluff (28860209885)
Will Brown, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In 1932 the 26,300 hectare area that included the gorge was named as the Carnarvon Gorge National Park, although the park has since been extended to cover more natural features in the area.  

The gorge can be seen via several walking tracks that take one from the entrance up through lower and upper gorge features.  To see all of the features of the gorge can take three days, however, walks can provide spectacular views during a single day stopover. 

The are camping facilities (booked in advance) within the gorge area, as well as, local accommodation outside.   


Carnarvon Gorge - Carnarvon National Park, Central Qld
Geoffb60, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Carnavon Creek

The gorge was formed by the progress of the Carnavon Creek over many thousands of years. The creek is itself is feed from several side gorges.

Even when rain has been poor the creek continues to run due to water seeping through the porous sandstone and coming out through springs and rock breaks. 

Aboriginal art Carnarvon Gorge
September 1985, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Historic aboriginal artworks

Carnarvon is adjacent to water in what is otherwise a fairly arid landscape and so used as a home by indigenous tribes.  Evidence of their occupation can be seen in the dozens of rock art works that have been placed on cave and cliff walls.   

Boowinda Gorge.
Bauple58, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Many smaller gorges and caves

Many side gorges and caves can be found along the walking tracks, including those that are adorned with indigenous art works.