General hours today
10am - late
Show me

What to Pack for a Day Hike at Carnarvon Gorge

on 11 October 2021 in Travel & Lifestyle

One of the most magnificent natural wonders of central Queensland, Carnarvon Gorge is the star of the Carnarvon National Park. Featuring spectacular steep sandstones that curve and tower above Carnarvon Creek, the ease of access to the gorge makes it an amazing experience for all to explore.

From rock hopping across beautiful creeks whilst soaking in the abundance of native Australian flora around to admiring amazing rock formations, try to spot as much wildlife as you can. There’s also Aboriginal paintings and rock art to be appreciated.

If Carnarvon Gorge sounds like a great place to explore for you, don’t turn up underprepared. The walk to the gorge is a long day’s hike, meaning you will need to be well equipped for the 20 kilometre hike before you, and having just 500ml of water won’t be enough. Additional things such as sunscreen and a hat will be important to avoid overheating on hotter days.

Starting early for your big day’s hike is also important, especially since you don’t want to get caught out in the dark. The gorge is beautiful in the morning as the sun creeps into the gorge casting a soft light onto it. The sounds of birds rising from their rest will fill up the morning sounds as the brightness of the sandstones of lushness of the ferns will set the perfect scene.

You also will have to prepare for many creek crossings given that Carnarvon Creek merges into the gorge. If you’re hiking all the way to the Big Bend, you’ll have to cross around 18 creeks and you’ll also likely have to hop from rock to rock. Depending on the water levels, you may also need to take your shoes off for better stability unless you have water shoes.

For those who need a bit of support or are a little unsteady on their feet, hiking poles will come in handy. 

Here is a general checklist of what you should bring along for a day’s hike to Carnarvon Gorge.

What equipment you should bring:

  • A lightweight day pack with a capacity between 20 litres to 30 litres

  • A water bottle or reservoir based on your intended time out. It’s advised to bring at least 1 litre of water for every 2 hours you spend hiking to stay hydrated.

  • Trail snacks of ready to eat food such as energy bars, sandwiches and fruit will help keep you energised during your day hike.

  • A thermos flask filled with hot water can come in handy for a midday meal of instant noodles or a cup of coffee.

Essential items for your day hike

Essentials are items that will help prepare you for anything nature throws at you. It doesn’t matter how long or how remote your hike will be, as these essential items will remain crucial to your safety no matter the extent of your hike.

  • GPS and Map or Compass. Even if you’re familiar with the trail, it’s important to be able to identify your location in the event you get lost. Having a GPS and map or compass can help you get back on track or to let others know where to find you.

  • A head lamp is always a great backup source of light for when you get caught out in the dark even if you planned on having a day hike.

  • A comprehensive medical kit is crucial in attending to any injuries that might arise from the day hike. Make sure to pack it in an accessible spot too.

  • A multi tool with a knife will prove handy in many situations from fixing equipment failure to cutting food packaging.

  • A lighter, a box of matches, or flint is essential when going into the wilderness.

  • Sunscreen of at least 50+ SPF is strongly recommended to protect your skin from intense UV rays.

  • An emergency blanket or a bivy bag can be a lifesaver during an emergency situation.

  • Lots of food including trail mix, protein bars, energy gels for light and efficient snacking.

  • Plenty of water as per the recommended 1 litre every 2 hours.

  • Additional layers of clothing such as insulated puffy jackets, windbreakers, or a rain jacket depending on the climate and weather.

Your clothing checklist:

  • Hiking boots or shoes that are comfortable and provide support for long hikes.

  • Hiking socks.

  • Shorts for the hotter months to release excess body heat.

  • Breathable t-shirt that allows moisture wicking.

  • Long sleeve t-shirt to protect from the sun or insects.

  • Insulated jacket to keep your body warm during temperature drops.

  • Weatherproof jacket with insulation in the event you get caught out.

  • Weatherproof pants to keep dry when rain begins to fall.

  • A hat to keep your head cool and shaded from the sun.

  • Sunglasses with polarised ones serving a better purpose for your eye health.

Additional items

  • Trekking poles which work great for your lower back and knees when the terrain gets steep.

  • Sandals for moments to give your feet a break from the hiking boots or tricky creek crossings.

  • Spare socks for a fresh pair when yours get smelly, sweaty and wet.

  • Insect repellent especially during mosquito season.

  • Water purification tablets that allow you to drink water from any source.

  • Toilet paper or towel for the moments you simply can’t hold it in and nature comes calling.

  • Sanitary items which will help you prepare for anything.

  • Tea or coffee for a nice warm drink and a view, so long as you bring along a thermos flask of hot water too.

Exploring the best of the Central Highlands

Just under 3 hours from Carnarvon Gorge is where you’ll find the town of Emerald.

And as every hike leaves an insatiable appetite, there’s no better place to feast to your heart’s content than at the Maraboon Tavern.

Featuring all your classic pub food from schnitzels to premium grilled and smoked meats followed by a wide range of other dishes such as seafood, pasta and noodles, lamb shank, fajitas, beef vindaloo curry and more. Desserts are also irresistible and include crème brûlée, spanish churros and cheesecake of the day.

Make a booking by calling (07) 4982 0999 to avoid disappointment. 

Banner image credit: The Senior

The Bird > October 2021 > What to Pack for a Day Hike at Carnarvon Gorge