The Sandstone Wilderness is one of outstanding natural beauty, featuring unique sandstone gorges, water sculptured formations and significant Aboriginal art sites. The area encompasses 25 separate mountain ranges radiating from the Great Dividing Range and includes over 100 State Forests and National Parks. The Sandstone Wilderness covers an area is larger than Tasmania and includes more National Parks (a total of 25 National Parks). Aside from the natural wonders, there are a number of country towns that are worth a visit.
Like an oasis in the dessert
The astonishingly lush Carnarvon Gorge National Park stands out in stark contrast to the surrounding dry brigalow plains. Hidden in the rugged ranges of Capricorn’s Central Highlands, Carnarvon Gorge is a wonderland of rainforest, creeks, cliffs, moss gardens, sublime Aboriginal rock art and abundant plant and bird life. Towering cliffs, vibrantly coloured gorges, Carnarvon Creek meandering through the length of the soft sandstone escarpment, endemic fan palms, ancient cycads and unbelievably rich biodiversity: Carnarvon Gorge is a walker’s paradise.
Ancient Aboriginal Art
Learn about the area’s significance to the Aboriginal people by taking the 500 metre self-guided walk to Baloon Cave or a half-day walk to the impressive Art Gallery. Discover ancient Aboriginal stencilling, engraving and freehand paintings dating back tens of thousands of years, concealed within the soaring sandstone escarpments. To the traditional custodians, the gorge continues to be “a place of learning” – let the land teach you a new appreciation of Aboriginal culture and history.
The gorge is a place that you can explore over an extended period of time or at short intervals. We recommend you allow at least 4-6 days to walk the 27 kilometres of graded tracks and to explore the side gorges and Aboriginal art sites.
See for yourself!
Rolleston is the nearest town to the world renowned Carnarvon Gorge and Carnarvon National Park and can be reached by travelling along the Great Inland Way. A journey through Arcadia Valley, once home to the indigenous 'Karinal' tribe, takes you to the unusual Lake Nuga Nuga, believed by the tribe to be the home of the mythological male and female Rainbow Serpents (Mundagarri) living under the two peaks dominating the lake's northern shoreline.
Boasting a diverse pastoral history, the township of Rolleston is also famous for the notorious Patrick and James Kenniff - Queensland's last legendary bushrangers.The boundary rider's hut from Purbook has been resited and restored at Beazley Park as a memorial to the area's pioneers. Rolleston is also the closest town to Lake Nuga Nuga and sits above a natural gas field.
Things to know before you go
Fuel - Injune and Rolleston are the last stops for fuel before heading towards Carnarvon Gorge.
Road Conditions - Carnarvon Gorge Access Road is a beautiful 40km scenic drive through vast winding cattle property. The last 11 kilometres of this road is unsealed and fully accessible to all vehicles and caravans.
Accommodation - Cabin and Caravan accommodation is available near the Gorge and open all year round. Camping in the Carnarvon Gorge day-use area is only permitted during the Easter, winter and spring Queensland School Holidays. Big Bend camping area, reached by a 9.7 kilometre walk, is open all year. Remote camping in other areas of the park is also available. Permits required.