Australia: The Land Where Time Began
Mt Moffatt, Carnarvon National Park
What's special?Sculpted sandstone outcrops, spectacular gorges and high country in Queensland’s central highlands are protected in this remote section of Carnarvon National Park.
Mt Moffatt is the spiritual home of the Nuri and Bidjara people who have left behind a rich culture and rock art spanning the past 19,500 years. The sandy Maranoa River bed is believed to be the track made by the rainbow serpent when it crashed out of a spring in the ranges. Kenniff Cave is Australia’s finest Pleistocene archaeological site. Explorers Thomas Mitchell and Edmund Kennedy passed through the park in 1846–47. The notorious Kenniff Brothers are part of the park’s colourful pastoral past.
The park’s rich mosaic of open grassy woodlands and forests are home to more than 54 species of mammals, 160 species of birds, 63 reptiles and 17 frogs. Four of the park’s reptiles are found only on the Consuelo Tableland.
Forest red gums and poplar boxes grow around the creeks and small patches of softwood scrub (dry rainforest) thrive in sheltered gullies. Dense patches of white cypress grow in wide, sandy valleys and spectacular natural grasslands flourish on Marlong Plain, home to the vulnerable native thistle. Macrozamias grow in the grassy understorey of the tall open mahogany forest on the Consuelo Tableland.
Consuelo Tableland, known as the “Roof of Queensland”, is the watershed for some of Australia’s major river systems. From here, waters flow north to the Fitzroy and south to the Maranoa.
Exploring Mt MoffattGo for a scenic drive through the park. See fascinating rock sculptures such as Marlong Arch, Cathedral Rock, The Duchess, Lot’s Wife and The Chimneys. Drive to the head of Carnarvon Creek for magnificent views over the central highlands. See the intriguing mahogany forest. A round trip within the park can be well over 100km, so take plenty of fuel for exploration and allow at least a full day.
See stencil art at The Tombs and rock engravings and stencil art at Kookaburra Cave. (Kenniff Cave is closed for public safety.)
Relive the story of the infamous Kenniff brothers. Enjoy a picnic with an amazing view over the Carnarvons at the Top Shelter Shed.
Take your binoculars and go birdwatching. See raptors gliding overhead, colourful honeyeaters, lorikeets and parrots, or squatter pigeons searching for seeds on the ground. Go spotlighting at night. Look for sugar, feathertail, yellow-bellied and greater gliders or reptiles.
Stay overnight in one of four low-key camping areas. Get your camping permit at the information hut near the ranger station. Book in the school holidays as campsites are limited.
Conventional access is possible to Dargonelly Rock Hole and West Branch in dry weather. Toilets and tank water are provided. Take drinking water as the supply is limited. A small camping area at the Rotary Shelter Shed has a picnic shelter, drinking water, a toilet, barbecue and exceptional views to Mt Moffatt, Consuelo Tableland and Carnarvon Gorge. The Top Moffatt camping area has a toilet only. Both camping areas are accessible only by four-wheel-drive.
Spring and autumn are the best times to visit as winter mornings can be frosty and summer days quite hot. Be self-sufficient. Take plenty of food, fuel and water, vehicle spare parts and a fuel stove. The nearest supplies are at Injune.
WalkingMt Moffatt is a drive-oriented park with short walks to special attractions. Walk 840m to Kookaburra Cave or The Duchess. The Chimneys and Marlong Arch are 120m from the road. The walk to The Tombs is 800m via The Chimneys track. Only experienced walkers should attempt cross-country hikes. Seek ranger advice first.
Getting thereMt Moffatt is 220km from Mitchell or 160km from Injune. From Injune, travel via Womblebank or Westgrove Station. Womblebank can become impassable after rain. Conventional access is possible in dry weather but four-wheel-drive (4WD) high clearance vehicles are recommended. The park has 90km of 4WD roads and the nearest fuel is at Mitchell or Injune.
|Author: M.H.Monroe Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sources & Further reading|