Time out at Carnarvon Gorge
* 2 days of guided walking in the Carnarvon Gorge and Expedition Ranges
* An exclusive private tour of the host property including significant cultural sites.
* luxurious bell-tent camping at private property nestled amongst sandstone cliffs
* delicious meals prepared on site
* personalised writing instruction
* maximum 12 spaces.
A gorgeous 5-day wander around the magnificent forested landscape of central Queensland designed to give you time out. It is an opportunity to reset your priorities, clarify thoughts and set new pathways forwards as we emerge from the intensity of COVID-19.
This trip is gentle and fun, offering rest and renewal as well as the companionship of walking and writing buddies.
The research is in: walking is good for us – and writing is the medicine. Combined with cosy beds, great food and a campfire beneath big night skies to close the day, this holiday is a sublime opportunity restore your sense of wellbeing.
Join us for one night in the outback town of Roma and three nights on a private 72,000 acre property. Sleep under the stars in glamping style bell tents with comfortable posturepedic beds and fresh white linen. Feast on local cuisine and raise a toast each evening to the beauty of the world around us and the shared laughter of newfound friends.
Each day we’ll venture out on a hike, visiting the Expedition Ranges, Arcadia Valley and our final day includes a full day in Carnarvon Gorge. We will have a personal guide to lead the way, an ecologist to share knowledge about native flora, fauna and cultural sites.
This trip is a rare opportunity for immersion in Australia’s pristine natural ecosystem, as we discover cryptic creatures, awe-inspiring rock formations, ancient Aboriginal art, inland streams and gorges. Simultaneously, the writing component will lead you on a journey into your own interior.
Amidst it all, our hiking and writing adventure will deliver a series of thought-provoking workshops designed to inspire and motivate, facilitated by award-winning journalist and author, Stephanie Dale. The workshops will be held around the campfire, during lazy afternoons or before breakfast to ignite your writing spirit through the day. Stephanie will be on hand each day to answer your questions and offer writing guidance.
Our writing workshops are:
* Song of the Soul: cross the bridge between thinking about a great idea and doing it!
* Creative Journaling: writing as a tool for navigating challenging times and restoring wellbeing
* Every Body’s Story: discover how the stories you tell live in your body and impact your health.
Our form of sustainable ecotourism has been developed to ensure you see Outback Queensland the way nature intended.
Stephanie Dale is an award-winning author and journalist with a passion for pilgrimage. She is the founder of The Write Road, a writing for wellbeing initiative for new writers, as well as writers who are looking for guidance.
In 2017, Stephanie combined her passions for walking and writing and launched Walk & Write holiday adventures, starting with the final 115kms of the Camino in 2018.
Stephanie is no stranger to pilgrimage: she has walked the Camino in its entirety twice, in 2005 and 2019, and in 2007 walked 1500kms across Italy and through Balkans.
She is the author of several books, including the acclaimed travel memoir My Pilgrim’s Heart (which featured in the Huffington Post).
Her latest book, Write Your Way Home, will be released in 2020.
Stephanie is currently undertaking a PhD at QUT to better understand why writing is good for our wellbeing.
On arrival in Roma we’ll gather our small intimate group and introduce you to our workshop facilitator, Stephanie Dale.
We’ll start the retreat with connecting our mind and body in a calming yoga session. Feel the external stresses dissipate with the gentle flow of breath and movement.
This will be followed with a short introductory workshop.
Dinner tonight will be at Royal on 99, the modern take on the outback pub.
O/N Roma Central Motel (or similar)
After breakfast Today we meet our local eco-guide and prepare to head deeper into the outback to immerse ourselves in this incredible and unique natural environment.
Our guide will take us on a hike into the Lonesome section of the Expedition National park located at the junction of the Carnarvon and Expedition Ranges.
Lonesome is spectacular with its sandstone gorges and cliffs with the Dawson River running through the middle. The Lonesome Lookout offers fabulous views of Arcadia Valley and Dawson River Valley.
We’ll walk amongst the sandstone scenery and diverse vegetation on unformed tracks down to the Dawson River, which is home to platypus, turtles and a range of fish.
Bring your note books with you as we will find an inspirational spot to sit and have time for writing or note taking.
Mid afternoon we’ll drive to our private retreat at Wallaroo, a 72,000ac property. All we have to do now is unpack, relax and enjoy a few sundowners around the camp fire before dinner. This safe, relaxed atmosphere is the ideal time to discuss your writing ideas and thoughts.
We’ll start the day with another thought provoking workshop led by Stephanie.
When we are ready we have a day of adventure planned with our local expert and ecological guide.
We’ll be walking cross country on private land which is not available to the public.
Walk locations can be varied depending on the group’s interests, fitness levels and weather, but may include the Dawson River and its side gorges, White Horse Mountain, Cycad Gorge and Fern Gully.
All you need to carry is your water bottle, camera and all important notebook and pen.
Sundowners tonight will be served chilled with a cheese platter over-looking one of the most picturesque hidden spots on the entire property.
Today we will delve into a stunning landscape of towering cliffs, colourful gorges, endless views and sites steeped in historic and cultural connections.
We’ll travel to Carnarvon Gorge National Park from the retreat (about 45mins). We’ll walk the formed return track along Carnarvon Creek while exploring the main gorge and key attractions such as the Moss Garden, Amphitheatre, Wards Canyon and Art Gallery.
As this is a private group there is flexibility enabling us to choose a walk depending on fitness, interests and weather conditions. Which ever track we choose everybody is going to appreciate the absolute majesty of this incredible pocket of Queensland’s outback.
Time will be put aside for writing, it may be somewhere in the Carnarvon Gorge or back around the camp fire.
Our final night together we’ll enjoy dinner cooked in the camp oven over the open fire as we gaze mesmerised by the huge canopy of stars above and reminisce on our brief but invaluable time away from the madding crowd.
Rise early to discuss your final thoughts over breakfast. Then we’ll retrace our steps back to Roma by mid morning for our final farewells.
I came tired and I’m going home empowered.
The changes we’ve seen in each other’s faces has been a joy. A wonderful weekend of friendship and celebration.
I was lost in the clutter of my mind. This journey has been inspirational.
This experience was much more than I expected. A powerful and transitioning journey to self. I feel like a new person.
I have never experienced anything like this before. I have learned to trust my decisions.