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Big Bend

Central Highlands

Carnarvon National Park


Distance (kms):

19.4 kms

Time (hrs):

Allow 8 hrs

Elevation gain (m):

147 m

Max. elevation (m):

536 m

Difficulty (Grade):

Hard (Grade 4)

Route type:





2WD Sufficient

Click to see full image.

A natural rock pool enveloped by a monolithic curved sandstone cliff, home to turtles and a school of catfish.

This lightly trafficked walk is the end point of the Main Gorge Track in Carnarvon National Park.

Enjoy the serenity of the natural rock pool in the upper reaches of Carnarvon Creek, with a dramatically beautiful backdrop of sheer sandstone cliffs. 

The location gets its name given it resides in a giant sweeping turn in the gorge, of which the creek runs through.

It is the perfect location for lunch when doing the full Main Gorge Track, with a small rocky beach beside the rockpool a perfect place to sit and dip your feet – but be aware swimming is not permitted here.

Look for catfish and turtles in the rockpool, as well as many birds – including Rainbow Lorikeets darting in and out of holes in the cliff.

Among the shade of the spotted gums is a picnic table and compost toilet (do not put rubbish or other items in these toilets, as it damages them and creates environmental risks).

A camping area is also located here, which can only be reached on foot, meaning you must hike in all gear and be fully self-sufficient. Open fires are prohibited here at all times. Bookings are essential and there is no mobile phone coverage.

If camping overnight, look for sugar gliders, possums and owls after dark.

Track: The main gorge track is a mostly flat, well-maintained graded path, with occasional steps and footbridges, and large stepping-stones at each of the creek crossings. The track is well-signed and easy to follow.

Difficulty: The length of the track earns this walk a hard rating, with the track mostly flat, and only the side-tracks involving short steep sections. The creek crossings typically have large stepping-stones, but these can be slippery and may present an issue for people with balance issues. The water depth at the creek crossings is usually only ankle deep, but the rocks under the water are often very slippery. Care is also needed if rock-hopping up Boowinda Gorge. Sturdy shoes with good grip and hiking poles are highly recommended.

Direction: This is an out-and-back track that returns the way it came. 

getting there

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. Given the nature of the terrain, the area is prone to flooding after rain. Be sure to check the Queensland Parks website for updates regarding flooding and track closures.

Click title on the map above to view larger map
in new window [on the Garmin website]

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.   

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