t’s remote, it’s quiet and it’s a great place to get back to nature. Mount Moffatt is an isolated, yet easily accessible part of Queensland’s remote inland. What’s more, for Brisbane based camping enthusiasts, it’s only a days drive from town.
If you want to go somewhere for some remote camping, then Mount Moffatt in the Carnarvon National Park certainly lives up to that title. Whilst it is very close to the Carnarvon Gorge itself, getting there is quite a trip and you really do feel isolated. There are no lavish facilities, but there are toilets and some water available at most of the camp grounds. It is a beautiful place to visit and somewhere to spend at least three or four days exploring.
Throughout the park is a number of rock formations that are worth visiting. They are good examples of what erosion can do over millions of years and can be seen at Marlong Arch, The Looking Glass, Cathedral Rock, Lot’s Wife and The Chimneys. Each of these formations are easily accessible and you can get right up close to see them and even climb over them. At Marlong Arch there is also a small cave to explore. There is plenty of aboriginal history in the area and cave art can be found in various locations.
There is also some very mysterious European history in the area and the details are quite gruesome. Patrick and James Kenniff were expert horsemen and cattle thieves. In 1902 after many problems with the Police and local authorities, a confrontation occurred that resulted in two policemen being shot and then burned on a large rock within the park. The brothers hid out in the area until they were captured and put on trial. There is still mystery as to what really happened, but the murder site and the site of the incineration can still be visited today.
Four Wheel Driving within the park is plentiful and just visiting all of the various attractions around the park will get you on some great roads, but it is a place for real 4WD vehicles with high clearance, so leave your soft roaders at home. One of the roads takes you all the way to the head of the Carnarvon Creek where the Gorge starts and allows a breath taking view over the surrounding landscape.
Birds and animals are everywhere within the park and expect your bacon and egg breakfast to go missing if you leave it unattended at camp. The Kookaburra’s will quickly swoop down and steal anything left out for more than a few seconds. You will also find many Emu’s, Kangaroos, Lace Monitors and other varieties of birds around the park and often right in the camp ground.
There are four camping grounds within the Park. They are:
- Dargonelly Rock Hole Camping Ground
- Top Moffatt Camping Ground
- Rotary Shelter Shed Camping Area
- West Branch Camping Ground
I recommend the West Branch Camping Ground as it is the more open and centrally located. The camp ground itself is large enough for many campers without camping on top of each other. If you are after a nice remote and private camping experience, then this is the place to go. There are fire rings and plenty of flat ground and it is well suited to camper trailers, tents and even 4×4 caravans, but make sure you have a high clearance 4WD vehicle as the track in can often get very rough.
Most of the camping grounds have restrictions on group numbers and there are limited locations to set up camp so it is important to book a spot. If you just turn up, you’re not guaranteed a spot and it is a long trip back out if it’s full. However due to location and remoteness, I doubt that it is ever actually booked out. Pit toilets are provided and items like generators are banned, so you can be sure of a quiet night around the camp fire.
Take the Forfar-Injune road from Injune through Hutton Creek. Depending on road conditions, the trip into Mount Moffatt could be a slow one. The road can often get very corrugated and can take up to four hours to make the 160km trip from Injune. If it has been raining or there is rain expected, then it might very quickly become inaccessible, so be prepared. High clearance 4WD vehicles with low range are recommended.
Dargonelly Rock Hole Camping Ground (-25.02556 147.89906)
Top Moffatt Camping Ground (-25.06685 148.05255)
Rotary Shelter Shed Camping Area (-24.91393 148.02570)
West Branch Camping Ground (-24.97369 148.01165)
Marlong Arch (-24.98963 147.90624)
The Looking Glass (-25.101568 147.852905)
Cathedral Rock (-25.102467 147.862015)
Lot’s Wife (-24.968508 147.958099)
The Chimneys (-25.097496 147.86438)