After the emotion of losing our dear friend, it was nice to have a peaceful camping spot at a near-permanent water hole in the Mount Moffat section of Carnarvon National Park. We spent two nights at the location called Dargonelly Rock Holes.

Dargonelly Rock Holes campsite, November 2010
We were the only people at this campsite, but there was plenty of room!

As far as locations of national park campsites go, it’s one of the best. There’s a string of swimming holes carved out of the rock only a short walk from the main campsite which is is mown regularly.

Dargonelly Rock Holes swimming holes, November 2010
The water was clean and inhabited by many little tadpoles, small fish and something else that nibbled at my toe.

Aisha and Brioni playing in water, November 2010
It didn't take long for the girls to start playing in the water. They alternated between this shallow, warm puddle and the deeper swimming holes.

Aisha in the water, November 2010
We love to swim in a natural setting.

Past visitors have been the discerning type, so there’s not a skerrick of rubbish left lying around, and one kind camper even left their luxury toilet-paper-roll in the pit toilet! Somehow, the remote campsite has water available from taps. We’re not quite sure how the water is provided… Is it tapped directly from the Great Artesian Basin?

All these elements: swimming hole, fresh water, flat, clean campgrounds combine to make this one of the best. It’s very remote, however. We had to drive almost 180 kilometres from town (mostly on dirt roads) to get here. So perhaps that adds to its charm. I also liked the way kangaroos were visible around the campgrounds. They were not particularly afraid of humans, but they didn’t let us get very close, either.

Grey kangaroo, November 2010
These big grey kangaroos were grazing just near our campsite.

One day we wandered up and down Marlong Creek to warm up after our swim. We examined each of the waterholes carefully and to discover if there were any other good spots close by. I was keen to see if I could find evidence of platypus. I’d really like to see a platypus in the wild!

On our walk, we found a lovely, sandy stretch of dry creek bed and returned with the girls’ digging toys so they could build castles in the sand while David made a fire and cooked dinner for us all. It was a lovely spot — the fire was fueled by driftwood that was already sitting there, and it provided enough hot coals to heat the fry pan easily.

David tending his fire, November 2010
David has been cooking a lot on this trip. He has been experimenting with cooking spuds, sweet potato and pumpkin in oil with spices. The girls love it.

Another day we drove around the northern section of the park, stopping to climb the rocky outcrops. We were not following any paths, we were just wandering down what turned out to be a dead-end track. We found a series of little caves, some of which had ancient Aboriginal stencil paintings in them.

Exploring a cave at Mount Moffat, November 2010
When we stopped to explore this cave, we had no idea that it was this big, or that we would find Indigenous art inside.

Aisha and David, November 2010
The original artists who created these hand stencils hundreds and perhaps thousands of years ago would have held up a child about Aisha's size to get the outline of their hand.

Before we climbed down one cliff, I started looking around, and we ended up climbing to its peak. We were so proud of Aisha, as this is the first mountain she has climbed on her own. Calista and Delaney also came along for the ride — literally — they were in slings. (Brioni was asleep in the truck after complaining of tummy trouble.)

Aisha on the mountain-top, November 2010
This was the first mountain that Aisha has climbed by herself. She was so proud of her accomplishment!

Aisha climbing down, November 2010
On our walk, Aisha had to navigate between boulders, trees and many fallen branches.

Flowers at Mount Moffat, November 2010
I really liked these pretty, unusual flowers that I have never seen anywhere else.

The park is home to many well-weathered sandstone outcrops. Wind and water has sculpted parts of the cliffs into magnificent features.

Marlong Arch, November 2010
Marlong Arch is one of the main attractions of the Mount Moffat section of the park.

We stopped at another popular walking track leading to the Kookaburra Caves, but after walking the track, we found the cave and rock art to be a disappointment. We had seen better art in other parts of the park after wandering off the beaten track.

Flannel flowers, November 2010
These flannel flowers only grow in the cracks of the basalt rock cliffs.

Bushwalking in Mount Moffat, November 2010
It was a rainy day when we went bushwalking as a family, but we didn't get too wet as we climbed the cliff behind David.

Burnt log at Mount Moffat, November 2010
We saw evidence of the bushfires that ravaged the park less than a year ago.

Our next stop is the other side of the Carnarvon National Park known as Carnarvon Gorge. We’ve been in the dry high-country, and next we’ll visit the wet, rainforest lowlands of the same national park. To get there, we have to drive about 300 kilometres around the park, through cattle properties and back onto the highway.