Roma to Carnarvon Gorge

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Roma Cattle Yards

This blog is about travelling beyond Roma which I visited on my last gasgab tour. The plan is to reach Winton as soon as possible and see as many things as we can while in this area before driving back to NSW.

In Roma we saw tourists in t-shirts and shorts, cattlemen wearing blue striped shirts for 3 days of cattle sales and fluro maintenance crews from the gas fields. The main gas pipelines and other large infrastructure appear to be finished but tradesmen continue to work in the area. Along the roads signs point to drilling rigs and man camps but I saw no evidence of wells from the main roads. Large mining equipment continues to be trucked on the highways but there seems to be a lot fewer fluro utes on the roads than when I was last in the area. Although the airport carport seemed to be full of them.

A new trendy licenced bar and restaurant, the Royal on Ninety-Nine, was an unexpected good find in Roma’s main street.

From Roma we drove north to Injune, the last place to get a meal before our next destination the Carnarvon Gorge. Injune is a small town with an information centre, and a café. The landscape changes from rolling hills to rugged hills. The vegetation changes too.

The road into Carnarvon Gorge has recently been sealed just short of where the main walking track starts at the National Park’s Information Centre. We saw lots of cattle on this road – alongside the road were paddocks of leucaena for cattle feed. Everywhere we have been drought is evident. Three accommodation/ camping facilities are located off the road on the way to the main walking track.

I suggest anyone travelling here arrives before 4.30pm so they can attend a daily presentation – Welcome to Carnarvon Gorge – at the Discovery Centre, next to the Carnarvon Gorge Wilderness Lodge. An Australian Nature Guide with over 15 years experience in the area gives this presentation for a gold coin donation. You learn what you may see, and when, and they offer guided tours in the gorge during the day and night. We were told that the sandstone escarpments of the Carnarvon Gorge recharges the Great Artesian Basin, and I must investigate this more thoroughly.

With limited time we only did two quick walks on our first day – the nature trail and the balloon cave walk. One walk was over stepping stones in the river but the tracks were mostly well worn tracks. Kangaroos loiter everywhere and do not jump away when you come quite close. Because of my fear of snakes, having been bitten as a child, I’m not partial to bushwalking except in winter. However, I really wanted to see a platypus, but we failed to see any on these walks.