While visiting Carnarvon Gorge, we stayed at the Takaraka Bush Resort with the pod. We deliberately wanted to go after school holidays hoping it would not have been as busy. How wrong were we. We booked a week ahead but were too late to get a powered site for the three nights we wanted. We should have booked earlier so if you are reading this, the winter school holidays and for a few weeks after are the busy times. The place was packed with vans moving in and out each day. The site we did get was narrow and was surrounded by trees. This was good and bad as we were trying to recharge our battery via the solar panel but had a lot of shade. It did invite all the local wildlife close to the pod. A warning; the local wildlife will steal your food if given the chance. The kookaburras and pied currawongs are pretty cluey and will go for anything not carefully stored.
The facilities were great with hot showers each night and the camp kitchen was well used and clean. I did use the power in the kitchen to charge our laptops but there is limited access to the power points. We did use the large gas stoves one night to cook using our camp oven to produce a fantastic roast. The camp does not allow fires in the sites but there are common fire pits near the camp kitchens, a common complaint is that they are not well supplied with firewood or the kindling to start the fire. For those that do not want to cook, there is a roast dinner available several times a week for $25 per person. Again, there are limited places so you have to book early to get a seat.
Other services are provided. There is a “Happy Hour” where the staff serve from a bar from 4:00PM to 5:00PM each day. The park also does a presentation on Carnarvon gorge and the walks at the end of the happy hour. There is a shop with limited food range but does include alcohol for sale. We did appreciate the comfort foods, (ice cream), available after the ten kilometre walks we undertook on the first two days. For those interested in the stars, there is a guided astronomy tour a couple of nights a week costing $25 per person. We missed this as well due to the full moon. There is a platypus pool next to the park and is well attended by park guests. The platypus are easy to spook with crowds, so we visited the pool early in the morning with fewer park guests and were rewarded.
Overall the park is ok but expensive. There is very little accommodation competition in the gorge with only one other park that has very limited facilities i.e. no hot showers. Takaraka does have lodges as well for those that do not have a van or tent.