STRAPPED into my seat my stomach felt a little squeamish as we took off nose first for a 40-minute helicopter flight over Carnarvon Gorge.
As we lifted 600m into the air my nerves settled and I suddenly forgot where I was as I looked out at the magnificent view below me.
Carnarvon Gorge is one of the most spectacular features, about 500km south-west of the Capricorn Coast.
The relatively undiscovered national park is home to hundreds of species of birds, plants and ancient Aboriginal rock art. And the view from above is simply breathtaking.
Part of the gorge is off limits to visitors and the only way to see the untouched, unspoiled rainforest is from the air.
From above you will witness the Three Sisters rock formation, where the rainforest sees only sunlight for one day in August, and Lake Nuga Nuga, the largest natural water body within the central Queensland Sandstone Belt.
If you're looking for a romantic getaway or an adventurous weekend the Carnarvon National Park should be on your list of places to visit.
With 12 walks to explore through caves and canyons you won't be short of things to do.
The walks are easy enough to complete but you have the option to do them at your leisure or jump on a tour with guide Simon Ling.
Simon has been a guide for the past 13 years. He took us on a full day Lower Gorge Explorer Tour through the gorge's amazing array of rocks, caves and canyons.
Simon made stops along the way and explained the role various plants and animals played in the make-up of the diverse landscape.
The walks are easy enough to complete and with a majority of visitors being grey nomads it gives you an idea of how easy the gorge is to explore.
I enjoyed the guided tour but would have preferred to explore the area myself at my own pace.
But if you want to learn more about the area and get a history lesson along the way, then the guided tour is recommended.
The gorge really is something else. It's a world away from the hustle and bustle of city life and with no phone reception you are forced to relax.
It's hard to pick just one walk to feature because the gorge is full of natural wonders. But if you only have half a day to explore then you must see Wards Canyon which is part of a 3.5km walk.
Carnarvon Gorge Wilderness Lodge is 40km off the Carnarvon Hwy and offers 25 five-star safari-style cabin accommodation.
The lodge is secluded and all cabins contain an ensuite, fridge, air-conditioning and can sleep up to five people.
There is a restaurant that caters for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Each cabin offers the perfect opportunity to view local wildlife at play right on your door step.
Phone 4984 4503.
Takaraka Bush Resort
LOCATED 6km from the Carnarvon Gorge Wilderness Lodge is the Takaraka Bush Resort.
Takaraka is designed for the camper and has powered and unpowered sites.
There are also the Taka Safari Tents and ensuite cabins perfect for couples.
Takaraka also offers a communal cooking area with state-of-the-art cooking facilities.
Phone 4984 4535.
For more info: www.queensland.com/southerngreatbarrierreef.
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