Carnarvon National Park
Allow 4 hrs
Elevation gain (m):
Max. elevation (m):
Very hard (Grade 5)
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A challenging hike to arguably the most spectacular lookout in the entire park, with breathtaking views into the gorge and out to the distant ranges.
The hike can either be completed as one very challenging full-day hike from the Carnarvon Gorge visitor centre (28.2 kms), or as a multi-day hike whereby the hike from Big Bend to Battleship Spur alone is 9.8 kms return.
Note – even if done as a multi-day hike, this walk should only be completed by experienced hikers. The area is extremely remote, the track at times is faint and there are exposed sections with rock scrambling.
Exit the main track at the signpost for Boowinda Gorge and rock-hop up the gorge for approximately 1.5 kms, until you see a large boulder with arrows pointing to the right.
From here it is a rock scramble up a very steep, loose section for a few hundred metres to exit the gorge.
After this, the track varies between typical graded paths, steep and rocky step sections, and faint tracks through knee to waist-high grass where arrows on trees assist with navigation (these may be particularly difficult to locate in the dark if attempting a sunrise hike).
This challenging walk has prolonged, very steep sections, including many steps, a shaley rock scramble at about the half-way point to the spur, and a steel ladder to assist up a short cliff face. As such, the walk requires a high level of fitness and is not suitable for beginners.
At the spur, which sits about 500m above Carnarvon Creek on the top of the gorge, you will be rewarded with absolutely incredible views down to the gorge, where you can see it snake through the landscape. This represents the main gorge track – the path taken to first arrive at Boowinda Gorge.
Views extend beyond the gorge to the Kooramindangie Plain and the distant ranges, including Mount Ramsay, Clematis Ridge, Expedition Range, Thukadabiddi and the Mooleyamber section.
There are no safety fences at the spur, which is located on a sheer edge, so car is needed.
Given the distance and elevation gain, it is recommended to undertake this walk as part of a multi-day hike.
Track: The track begins with a well-maintained graded path on the main gorge track, before a rock-hop up Boowinda Gorge and then a prolonged steep climb to the spur via many rocky steps, a shaley rock scramble, faint paths through tall grass and a metal ladder. There is minimal signage on the track and at times navigation is aided by arrows on trees.
Difficulty: This track is for experienced hikers only, with high levels of fitness and good rock scrambling and navigation skills.
Direction: This is an out-and-back track that returns the way it came.
The trailhead is located near the Visitor Centre at the end of Carnarvon Gorge Road. The visitor centre is located 8.5 hours drive north-west of Brisbane, 7 hours drive west of Bundaberg and 3 hours north of Roma.
It is recommended to break up the drive to the park and consider the impact of fatigue on driving safety. Many of the roads leading to the park are rural roads prone to wildlife, especially at dawn and dusk.
Parking is ample at the Visitor Centre, however it can get busy during peak periods.
best time to go
The walk can be completed year-round, however many sections of this walk are exposed to the sun, and coupled with the elevation gain, it would significantly add to the already challenging difficulty if done during the warmer seasons.
The area at the beginning of the track is prone to flooding after rain. Be sure to check the Queensland Parks website for updates regarding flooding and track closures.
Remember, whenever venturing into the outdoors, practice the Leave No Trace principles and be considerate of others. This means: dispose of your waste properly, don't remove things or move things from their natural position and respect all wildlife. Also be sure to plan ahead and adequately prepare for any adventure.
I respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which all activities listed on this website are found, as well as Elders past, present and emerging. I strive to not promote sites where requests have been made for people not to explore due to the cultural significance of the site to Indigenous peoples, or note how to respectfully visit a site. If I have a promoted a site with cultural significance, please send me a message and let me know.