Giving up on Carnarvon Gorge?

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Jul 28th, 2006, 07:04 PM
  #1
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Giving up on Carnarvon Gorge?

Hi, everyone, still working on the itinerary for Oct 2007 (have to have it in place to get the FF miles this Oct.) With help from people here and working the Qantas site, it looks like getting to Carnarvon Gorge is quite difficult for the average out of country tourist, unless I have figured it wrong. If so, I would be happy to be set straight! The flights don't match up so it means staying overnight in Emerald or an extra day to and from in Brisbane. Trains--in the middle of the night to Emerald. Driving--too far in one day so have to overnight somewhere adding two days on to the itinerary, and a question whether or not rental agencies allow driving to CG because of the unsealed roads. The tour that Pat told me about--about $1800/per person for two days. Wowsers. And the itinerary still included overnights in Brisbane fore and aft. So, what am I not thinking of to make it happen? Or, are there plenty of places in Queensland (I was especially taken with the descriptions of the tableland in a recent post, or some other lovely place I don't know about) that would provide a great feeling of uniqueness and animal spotting with Aboriginal art sites, etc. like Carnarvon? It seems like the time/money would be better invested elsewhere, but I dont' want to give up on CG if I don't have to. Thanks for any thoughts on the subject you can offer.
Sally in Seattle, finally cooler after temps in the high 90s
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Jul 28th, 2006, 07:33 PM
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You could always fly from Brisbane to Emerald and rent a car there and either fly on to wherever you are going next or return to Brisbane. Return flights from Brisbane are about $280 Au.
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Jul 29th, 2006, 09:40 AM
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Thank you for responding, liz. I may have read the Qantas schedule wrong, but it looked to me like the fares were one way for $280. Also, flying from Sydney got us in too late to Emerald to drive and the flight out of Emerald that would get us to the next destination (Airlie Beach) left so early in the morning, that we'd have to spend the night in Emerald both ways. I understand that you have to allow extra time in Brisbane for transfer of luggage because the flights are on different branches of Qantas, so the later flight from Emerald wouldn't have enough time. If I am wrong, I would be happy to be corrected.
Sally
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Jul 29th, 2006, 03:05 PM
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I cannot remember the details of what you were doing but will have a look at the Qantas flights in and out of Emerald for you. However the fares for that time of year are $140 something each way so its $280 return. Bye the way the roads into Carnarvon are pretty much paved and I am sure that there is not a problem with rental cars.
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Jul 29th, 2006, 03:12 PM
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I am having trouble getting into the Qantas site anyway so cannot find out if there are Qantas link flights to the minor centres for you. If you have a short time then perhaps it is best to skip Carnarvon and concentrate on other centres. I cannot remember if you are going further north i.e. Cairns but the trips to the Lava tubes would be a nice alternative perhaps. Or if you are only going to Airlie Beach then a detour to Eungalla Gorge perhaps may fit the bill. It is very different from Carnarvon but it certainly has its attractions. The only way of finding out if there are link flights in and out of Emerald which suit you would be to contact Qantas and they can tell you if their services can fit you better.
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Jul 29th, 2006, 06:27 PM
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Sally, Liz's suggestion of Undara Lava Tubes is good, and that way you could take in the Atherton Tableland enroute. Its a 4 hour drive from Cairns to Undara, but of course you'd want to spend some time on Tableland which is really very diverse and has remarkable variety of wildlife.

From Undara you could drive another 1-2 hours west to Cobbold Gorge, in the heart of outback Gulf Savannah country, not the same as Carnarvon, but still spectacular. wwww.cobboldgorge.com.au

Just a thought.
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Jul 31st, 2006, 09:29 AM
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Dear Liz and Pat, thank you for your advice. I looked up Cobbold Gorge and it looks very interesting. Also, Eungella NP looks awesome! I knew that we'd have good alternatives if CG proved too difficult. Queensland abounds in awesome places. We are really looking forward to our trip. (and hope we can stay in Lilybanks while in Cairns!)
Sally
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Jul 31st, 2006, 03:47 PM
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Here's a tip Sally - Pat loves to have people from Fodors come and stay with her and you will get a lot from staying with Pat particularly if you follow her suggestions on who to take a tour with and where to go. She just knows all the is to know about the place and because she is not locked into any particular place or tour it is an unbiased suggestion. Do all your bookings with her for the best deals. Have a wonderful time.
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