Porcupine Gorge National Park

Our next stop was Porcupine Gorge. It is a National park so you have to book on line for a spot. It makes it easy if you have internet.

It is only 62 ks out of Hughenden, as we couldn’t book in until 11:00am, if booking in at a national park is the right way to say it, so we took our time getting there. Along the way there were places of interest. You need to set your trip monitor on the car, starting at the tourist information centre, as they are not sign posted. We didn’t. We missed almost everything and those we did notice, it was too late to slow down and stop. We gave up in the end. Don’t really understand the come and see this, oh but you have to find it first idea. Maybe it works best if you have children.

The park has several walking tracks most taking you down into the Gorge. One walk was called the “Pyramid track.” Sounded interesting.

We found our spot and set up camp. The view was magical every which way you looked. Then we set off to do the Pyramid walk. The trail lead to the edge of the cliff then disappeared over the edge.

It was a long way down with a steep decent. There wasn’t much to see at the bottom or I don’t think there was much to see. I think I was a little dizzy from the climb down.

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We turned right and started to walk to the pyramid, which we could see of in the distance. The track took us over rocks marked with time and beside water deep and clear.

We took a rest at the back of the pyramid. It was so worth the effort. It was as if we were in another world. Coming from Hughenden and the dinosaur trail, I could almost see a Muttaburrasaurus dancing his way along the valley.

The only thing spoiling the view was someone had scratched his name into the side of a rock. It is a bit sad that they felt they had to leave their mark on this lovely land by defacing the landscape.

We walked back to our starting point at the bottom of the cliff and decided it we should walk the other way or not. We decided to leave it for the next day. When you are on the road it is always good not to do everything in one day. We had booked in for two nights so didn’t want to do everything on the first day.

Interestingly the walk down to the gorge was long but it was even longer to get back to the top. I thought that was funny. Maybe it just felt longer. At the top of the gorge there was a sign saying 1.1ks down to the bottom and at the bottom there was a sign saying 1.2ks to the top.

When I finally struggled to the top, caught my breath and stopped the dizzy spell, I turned round to look back to the pyramid. Amazing.

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We had briefly met some people in Hughenden. We had stayed at the same campground and started to talk to them as we both filled up our vans with water. They ended up being our neighbours at the Porcupine Camp. We sat around their campfire on the first night. They were cooking a roast in a camp oven in the coals. They asked us if we would like to cook anything as well. I put a damper in our pot and set it in the fire. We sat around talking for while before I went back to the van to start dinner. It wasn’t long before Adrian came back with the damper Ray had brought our campfire pot over on the end of the shovel as it was so hot. Adrian said it was a little bit burnt. A little? It was black on the outside and not just a little bit. I am sure we have all been there where the burnt bit is about an inch thick all round. It was like that. What wasn’t black did taste nice though. Well I though so. Adrian isn’t too keen on damper. The way I make it, it is a little heavy. I am looking for a good recipe, something that will give a lighter damper. A lot of them say use beer but who is going to waste a good can of beer on bush bread. I guess I will need to keep practising with the one recipe I have.

The next day instead of heading down to the bottom again we decided to do the ring walk to the lookout. The walk took us along the top edge of the Gorge. It gave an impressive view of where we were yesterday and beyond. The Porcupine Creek has carved an impressive canyon though the rocks. It has only taken 280 million years.

We had our own campfire on the second night as our neighbours had left. I tried to pop some corn on the fire as I had seen someone do on Facebook. I wrapping the kernels in foil and making a pocket for them to pop into but it was too hot and the whole thing caught fire. Both Adrian and I were hopping around trying to put the flames out at the same time. Not the smartest of moves. We got them out in the end. I don’t think I will try that again in a hurry.

Cooking dinner was better. There was a grid off to one side to the fire and after I wrapped the veggies in foil we placed them on the grid. (This is where I should have put the popcorn.) Our steaks were a little over done but everything else was lovely.

I had been trying to grow some herbs as we have travelled around. (Other people make it look so easy.) I am not much of a gardener to start with but add in trying to grow something in a van makes it even harder. I had placed my pots outside for a bit of fresh air and sunshine. I normally bring them in at night but I forgot and the next morning as we were packing up to leave I noticed my little plants. Not much was left of them, some animal had made a nice meal of them. I didn’t want to give up but I knew it was a lost cause.

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