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Boowinda Gorge

Central Highlands

Carnarvon National Park


Distance (kms):

18.4 kms

Time (hrs):

Allow 6 hrs

Elevation gain (m):

145 m

Max. elevation (m):

549 m

Difficulty (Grade):

Hard (Grade 4)

Route type:





2WD Sufficient

Click to see full image.

Rock-hop up a spectacular narrow side gorge sculptured by thousands of years of wind and water.

This lightly trafficked walk branches off the Main Gorge Track in Carnarvon National Park.

Boowinda Gorge is located 9 kilometres along the main gorge track. While the gorge can be explored for a number of kilometres, the first kilometre is the most beautiful section.

As you rock-hop up this narrow, boulder-strewn gorge, you are enveloped by the smooth and sculptured sandstone walls and overhangs, shaped by thousands of years or wind and water.

The gorge snakes its way along in spectacular fashion, providing excitement for what lies around each corner.

As you make your way along the rocky path through the gorge, listen for the echoes of the rocks clicking together under foot.

While the colours and textures on the walls are breath-taking, don’t forget to look up at the curtains of moss and ferns higher up the walls. 

While there are no exits from the gorge, it is important to note your distance, and turn around at a point you feel comfortable.

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 side-track to Boownda Gorge is a rock-hop up a narrow, boulder-strewn gorge. The track is well-signed and easy to follow, however there is no sign advising where to turn around in Boowinda Gorge.

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 when 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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