Not having enough of gorges and bush walks, we decided to come back via Cania Gorge and do a couple of days there. Cania is 225 km west of Bundaberg and while not as spectacular as Carnarvon, it is still a great park, with some good walks, shorter than Carnarvon and very accessible, although I am starting to see the merits of treking poles after a week of climbing up and down stairs on all of these paths, both at Carnarvon and Cania. I could walk up and down a slope all day, but stairs seem to put more of a strain on knees and hips. It’s also a drier environment at Cania, so you get a very different experience than Carnarvon but still very worthy. And if it is water you want, you do have the Cania lake/dam.
We stopped at a great caravan park, the Big4 at Cania Gorge, a great park, just down the road from the main entrance to the national park and not far from the large man made, Lake Cania, also a great spot for wildlife watching, kayaking and fishing . The caravan park was full of wildlife with signs warning about feeding, the park itself does do an organised bird feed once a day, that attracts rainbow lorikeets, king parrots, sulphur crested cockatoos and galahs. In addition currawongs, apostle birds and crested pigeons clean up any left overs. The park had pretty faced wallabies, in abundance and eastern grey kangaroos, with bettongs coming in at night, so if you want to see wildlife up close this is not a bad place to be.
The bird feeding has made the king parrots quite pushy, so it is wise to keep an eye on your kitchen, they will investigate if left unattended. They will perch on your shoulder if you are trying to eat a sandwich and try and pinch a bite. Feeding can throw the natural order out of wack, creating all sorts of problems for the animals themselves, not to mention it can lead to aggressive behaviour. The wallabies and roos did not expect a feed, but were quite unconcerned about the close proximity of humans, adding a nice relaxed vista of grazing wallabies and roos to the view. The park also had a creek running at the back, which provided another nice place to walk and bird watch. The other thing we liked was the fact that the staff staggered sites so that there was always a gap between anyone and a new arrival which meant that the park had a really spacious feel, no one on top of one another. It is a very family orientated sort of park, I have heard it does get extremely busy during school holidays. With the wildlife, a jumping playground and a water park, it really is a very family orientated park.
Our first walk was the dripping rock and overhang walk, just over 3 kilometers, it starts out with a creek crossing, a bridge this time, so a bit easier than rock hopping, fairly dense woodland rising into rainforest, lots of birds, my small, quick little friends, whip birds with the unmistakable call and some happy scrub turkeys. I saw one quite happily scavenging a dropped muesli bar. It is a pretty walk but a lot of stairs.
We also did the Dragon Cave and Bloodwood Cave walk the same day, as it just branches off from a central point and it is only an extra couple of kilometers. For the caves you start to move into drier eucalypt forest and as the name suggests there are some impressive Bloodwoods on the walk, with the characteristic bleeding sap. Silver elkhorns were the other flora feature of note. Interesting geographical features and a nice walk, with spectacular views.
The next day we did another cave walk, the Two-story cave walk, again meandering up a slope through dry eucalypt forest. We passed an impressive crevice before meandering past the cave, you really only see the lower part of the two story from the path, we did not climb any higher, in part because it is a sensitive environment with an insectivorous bat population that shouldn’t be disturbed, we did not see any bats from where we were. The other walk we did at Cania was quite different again, an open dry grassy hill to the site of the former Shamrock gold mine.