Cania Gorge Queensland

http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/parks/cania-gorge/about.html

Cania Gorge preserves a valuable remnant of the Brigalow Belt natural region. More than 150 different types of plant community are found in this region, including brigalow forest, eucalypt woodland, cypress pine woodland, dry rainforest and grassland.

The park is home to more than 90 species of bird. Brush-tailed rock wallabies and common bent-wing bats are also seen.

Aboriginal people have lived in Cania Gorge for at least 19,000 years. Freehand art on the sandstone walls is a reminder of their special way of life.

There are 8 graded walking Tracks

1. Picnic area circuit—300 m return (allow about 20 mins) Class 2

This short walk can be started from either end of the picnic area. The track runs beside Three Moon Creek, allowing views of the sandstone cliffs and surrounding eucalypt woodland.

2. Dripping Rock and The Overhang—3.2 km return (allow about 2.5 hrs) Class 3

This pleasant walk starts at the southern end of the picnic area. After crossing the Three Moon Creek the track winds through eucalypt woodland and dry rainforest before leading to the base of Dripping Rock (2.2 km return). The track continues on to The Overhang, where water has eroded the base of the sandstone cliff.

3. Dragon Cave and Bloodwood Cave—2.6 km return (allow about 1 hour) Class 3

The Dripping Rock track travels for 400 m before taking a right turn over the bridge across Russell Gully. A moderately steep track leads to the cliff face, where a sidetrack branches north to Dragon Cave (1.8 km return). Here, the natural black mural of a ‘dragon’ can be seen highlighted against the white sandstone wall. The southern branch of the track leads to Bloodwood Cave, so called because the roots of a bloodwood tree can be seen at the left-hand side of the cave.

4. Two Storey Cave circuit—1.3 km return (allow about 45 mins) Class 3

This scenic walk starts opposite the picnic area. Starting to the left, the circuit meanders upwards around isolated sandstone monoliths. A 20 m sidetrack leads to King Orchid Crevice, a parting of the cliff that has created an ideal haven for epiphytes. The top section of Two Storey Cave is important habitat for insectivorous bats. Please do not disturb these animals.

5. Fern Tree Pool and Giant’s Chair circuit—5.6 km return (allow about 3 hrs) Class 3

The circuit begins from a carpark 900 m south of the picnic area and is best walked in an anti-clockwise direction. Crossing Doctors Gully several times, the track passes Fern Tree Pool (2.5 km) and continues at a moderate climb for another 2.2 km up a sandstone escarpment to the Giant’s Chair lookout. The circuit returns 900 m to the car park down a steep track and steps. Please carry water on this walk, as the creek water is unsuitable for drinking.

6. Big Foot walk—1 km return (allow about 20 mins) Class 3

This short trail begins at the same car park and runs parallel to the bitumen road. It features a large brown image of a four-toed foot on the white sandstone cliff.

7. Shamrock mine site—1.4 km return (allow about 45 mins) Class 3

This walk begins from the northern car park, about 1 km south of Lake Cania. The track meanders along a creek before passing into eucalypt woodland. At the former Shamrock gold mine site, there is a self-guided walk with information about life on the Cania Goldfields. The remains of the old battery, mine shafts, processing sheds and mullock heaps can be seen along the way. Gold fossicking is not permitted.

8. Castle Mountain—22 km return (allow 7–8 hrs) Class 4

From the picnic area follow the 800 m Bloodwood Cave track to the Castle Mountain track turn-off. There is a steep 200 m track to the Gorge Lookout with a lovely view down the gorge. From here a 10 km fire trail winds through open woodland to Castle Mountain lookout. The view from this lookout is a just reward after the long walk. Return via the same track.

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