Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Cania Gorge

Cania Gorge is a beautiful Queensland national park, located not far from Monto. It is filled with a variety of giant sandstone cliffs, large boulders, booming rainforest and great bush walking trails.
Just driving past gives you amazing views of some of the cliffs.Whilst several great paths exist through the national park, we decided to check out a few key locations through the park, to see everything you would want to spend about 2 or 3 days in the area, and there is a caravan park not far from the Gorge. The points of interest we visited in order were Dripping Rock, The Overhang, Gorge Lookout, Bloodwood Cave and Dragon Cave.

As we pulled into the picnic area we had a look at the possible paths as well as some information about the area. With our boots strapped up we headed off towards

 Dripping Rock The path was amazing, sounds of wildlife all around, an army of birds formed a natural choir as you walked through Cania Gorge. Rock steps are throughout the park, and really add to the beauty .

Not far up and you reach a board-walk  as you walk across on your left is dripping rock, a sandstone formation which hangs over. This has a constant slow trickle of water which runs below the board-walk and eventually flows down into Three Moon
Creek. On the right of the board-walk is the canopy of an amazing part of rainforest, across the other side of the gorge are more sandstone cliffs.As you continue to walk through Cania Gorge you see a variety of different rock formations, some gigantic boulders and some that have hollowed out to create a dry shelter.

We began walking after midday and sadly saw no frogs and minimal wildlife, however after passing Dripping Rock we did see a lot of cane toads clogging up the path. My heavy duty steel capped boots allowed for me to do my part for the local ecosystem, sadly Jeni's soft shoes didn't allow her to knock a notch off our 30 list, soon!

 The walk to the Overhang saw us constantly looking to the right to see interesting parts of the forest connecting with Three Moon Creek and looking to the left to see interesting rock formations, how the vegetation, cliffs and rocks have all intertwined to create this great scenery.

Down the final set of steps on this track and we reach the overhang, a giant overhanging rock which goes over Three Moon Creek. A great spot to relax, just up the end of the Overhang is a collection of boulders which turn the creek into a mini maze of little passages by the rocks. As we turned to head back to the beginning of the track, Jeni noticed a Lilly Pilly plant with some ripe fruit and pulled some down for me to try some bush tucker. Lilly Pilly fruit is like a cherry with an apple'ish texture and taste, quite interesting and my first attempt at bush tucker, still no witchetty grub though!

We walked back towards the picnic area and shot off along the track with Bloodwood Cave, Dragon Cave and Gorge Lookout. The caves were all offshoots of the path, so we decided to walk to the furthest point, Gorge Lookout, then see the caves on our trip back.
We found this path to be more of a bushtrack around the side of the gorge, rather than the previous forest between a row of parallel cliffs. The rock formations were still amazing around this side, at one point Jeni ran off to climb up some random thing as she does and I found this really unusual collection, of what I believed to be, caterpillars all bunched up together smacking there butts against the bark of this tree. Not sure what they are the larvae of, but sticking together in a huge bunch, throwing their butts around is either a great snack for a passing bird or some random defence mechanism, either way I didn't see them when we came back!

Up at the Gorge we got a great view at one of the iconic sandstone cliffs in the area. You'll see this shot, maybe without the trees and a little zoomed in to promote the area in books and what not.

Just around the side of the official Gorge Lookout is a nice little spot with more beautiful shots of the landscape.
A variety of plants rooted into different parts of the cliffs are located around here. I personally feel things look more awesome when you are right by the cliffs too.

Once we had enough of the epic scenic views we began to head back down towards the caves. The first cave on our trek back down was Bloodwood Cave, it is called such as in one of the corners of the cave roots of the Bloodwood tree protrude through the rock and into the cave.
The cave was really cool, from the outside it seems really small, but once you duck down and creep in, it opens up into a small cavern where you can escape the sun for a short while. Would be really interesting hiding in a place like this in a storm.

Next stop was Dragon Cave, so called as it appears to have a mural of a black dragon naturally etched into the sandstone. Again another cool little hidey hole hidden away in Cania Gorge. Some cool rocks inside are a great
opportunity for silly silhouette photos as you can see from this photo to the right of Jeni pointing at something or other in the distance!
Outside of Dragon Cave you will surprisingly find, even more amazing views to finish your day out.
Cania Gorge is a great place to visit and has a variety of different walks, suitable for all different physical fitness levels.

- Cameron

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