15 November 10
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
The park is home to many well-weathered sandstone outcrops. Wind and water has sculpted parts of the cliffs into magnificent features.
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.
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.