Covid-19, Carnarvon Gorge, and Australian Nature Guides.
We thought 2019 was an unusual year with the closure of the Lodge due to bushfire damage, but 2020 and the novel corona virus has give us another lesson in impermanence.
Michelle and I have had no hesitation in closing our tour operations altogether. Once the magnitude of the global situation became apparent, there really was no other decision to be made in good conscience. Many of the visitors to Carnarvon Gorge are in age groups at higher risk from covid-19 and we do not want to be in any way facilitating its transmission.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife subsequently closed all their National Parks to camping. Sandstone Park closed its doors until further notice, and Takarakka Bush Resort will only take people with no fixed address. We hope these extraordinary measures have the desired effect and give our community the space and time needed to cope with the health needs of its residents as the situation unfolds.
Of course, Carnarvon Gorge remains oblivious to the human catastrophy unfolding at the global scale. Its natural systems are all functioning as they should be. The Rangers are still able to look after their Park, as society has charged them, and are busy catching up on all manner of tasks on their backlog of things to do. The Park may well be all the better for the time they now have to look after it in the absence of high levels of human traffic. We'll see once we've made it through the pandemic to the other side (we all hope).