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Rock Pools

Central Highlands

Carnarvon National Park


Distance (kms):

0.6 kms

Time (hrs):

Allow 30 mins

Elevation gain (m):

11 m

Max. elevation (m):

402 m

Difficulty (Grade):

Easy (Grade 3)

Route type:





2WD Sufficient

Click to see full image.

Spot wildlife, including the ever-elusive platypus, on this family-friendly walk to the only swimming spot in Carnarvon Gorge.

This heavily trafficked walk starts from the Rock Pool car park, 1.3kms prior to the visitor area on Carnarvon Gorge Road.

Immerse yourself in nature with this short stroll to a rock pool on Carnarvon Creek, with plenty of beautiful flora and fauna to be seen. 

After crossing the creek via large stepping-stones, a short walk brings you to the rock pool, punctuated by a massive boulder on the opposite bank. 

Find a quiet spot to sit on the banks and search for turtles and the ever-elusive platypus or grab your binoculars and spot many of the bird species found in the park.

As the only designated area where swimming is permitted, it is also the perfect place to take a dip and refresh. Be careful of submerged rocks and avoid diving or jumping.

There is also a second larger pool further downstream, requiring another creek crossing. This picturesque pool has a bank on one side and a sloping rock wall on the other.

If looking for wildlife, the walk is best done in the early morning or late afternoon.

Note that you should never build dams in the creek, as it prevents water flow and is harmful to the environment, including the animals that call it home.

There is a toilet near the start of the track, as well as some picnic tables prior to the first creek crossing.

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

Difficulty: The track is suitable for all fitness levels. The creek crossing has large stepping-stones which can be slippery. The water depth at the creek crossing is usually only ankle deep. Sturdy shoes with good grip (and hiking poles for people with balance issues) are highly recommended.

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

getting there

The trailhead is located at the Rock Pool car park, 1.3kms prior to the Visitor Centre, on Carnarvon Gorge Road. It is 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 relatively ample but can get busy during peak periods.

best time to go

The walk can be completed year-round. The area is prone to flooding after rain. Be sure to check the Queensland Parks website for updates regarding flooding and track closures.

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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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