Must know tips before you hike to Boolimba Bluff, Carnarvon Gorge, Queensland

Boolimba Bluff is in the Carnarvon Gorge section of Carnarvon National Park half way between Emerald and Roma.

The walk itself is a 6.4 km return to the steep slopes above Carnarvon Creek with views to distant ranges. Named the ‘Roof of Queensland’ these plateaus are the source of many of the state’s rivers.

You walk about 1 km along the main track, before you arrive at start of a 2.2. km side track – and warnings.

There are a lot of steps and rocky sections, and yes – the sign does not lie – it is STEEP! It is classified Grade 4 for “experienced bushwalkers” – with rough tracks, loose surfaces, cliff edges.

As we were warned, we did not attempt this walk first thing, but continued four kilometres further to the Art Gallery. Stopping in at each attraction on the way back, we clocked up at least 16 km before we even took the turnoff!

We were told, many people who climb up to the bluff first, arrive back to the main track , worn out! They decide to leave the main walk for another day. So glad we left it for last, even though it was a huffing, puffing challenge.

When we were there we met hikers returning from the remote Carnarvon Great Walk trail, an 87 km, week long, grade 5 trek – open March to October. It’s a grade 5 trek which means it is for very experienced bushwalkers. A high level of fitness and map reading skills are required, and signage is limited.

Before you come to the side track, the main gorge walking track crisscrosses the creek each time with stepping stones. This track is only Grade 3, suitable for most ages and fitness levels. They may have short steep sections and many steps. Caution needed on creek crossings (and be warned, there are plenty!), ladders and lookouts.

Start at the Visitor Centre, 5.9km by an unsealed road from the park entrance. Look out for the whiptail wallabies – we saw them at the picnic area.

Whiptail Wallabies at the Visitor Area Carnarvon Gorge QLD
Whiptail Wallabies at the Visitor Area Carnarvon Gorge QLD

Best time to visit: April – September

What to bring:

  • ankle supporting footwear
  • water (lots, you’ll need it)
  • lunch/snacks
  • coat/leggings if you leave early morning as we did (it was very chilly!)
  • togs in warmer months
  • first aid kit
  • sun protection
  • insect repellent
  • camera!
  • binoculars would be handy, too

You can camp at a national park campground, a caravan park or a farm stay! Find them in the Camps 11, CAMPS Pendium, Caravan Parks books or the Camps Australia Wide App.

Carnarvon Gorge map at entry
Carnarvon Gorge map at entry

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