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Due to the isolation and extreme ruggedness of the Kimberley, many of its National and Conservation parks were declared only recently, or are still classified as a "proposed" National Park. Domestic pets, fishing and shooting are banned in all parks. All flora, fauna and some insects are protected and cannot be removed or interfered with in any way. Please use gas cookers when possible and buy your firewood in towns to minimize the impact on the
Why dogs are Not Allowed in National Parks...
National Parks are conservation reserves which are set aside and managed for the purpose of preserving for all time, and for all generations, areas such as the Kimberley, having superior qualities including
- Scenic beauty and grandeur
- Unusual landscapes
- Representative elements of native plants and animals; and
- Places of scientific importance.
The National Parks Authority in association with national park services in Australia, have implemented the policy of not allowing dogs (even when on a leash or enclosed in a vehicle) into national parks.
This policy was developed by the Council of Nature Conservation Ministers on the advice of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources- a division of UNESCO, for the purpose both of protecting indigenous fauna and the rights of other park users.
Windjana Gorge National Park
An entry fee per vehicle now applies. The floodwaters of the Lennard River have carved a 3.5km long gorge through the limestone of the Napier Range. For most of the year only pools of water are found in the gorge since the river only flows following the wet season rains. Geologists regard the gorge as one of the classic features of world geology for
nowhere else are the various deposits of an ancient reef complex so well exposed as they are at Windjana. Camping: Camp sites available mid-April to mid-November. Portable generators can be used in the designated area from 7am to 9pm. A fee is charged for camping and includes the use of all facilities. The Department of Parks & Wildlife (DPaw ) Park Passes do not cover camping fees.
Gorge Walk: From the camping area this trail winds through the gorge for 3.5km each way.
Time Walk: This short trail takes a look at marine life forms fossilized within the limestone of the gorge walls.
Lillimooloora Homestead: Visit the ruins of the homestead constructed from local limestone in 1884 for the King Sound Pastoral Company.
Tunnel Creek National Park
Tunnel Creek takes its name from the 750 metre long tunnel carved through the limestone of the Napier Range by flowing water. During the dry season it is possible to walk through the 750 metre long tunnel. It is necessary to wade through the creek, which can be cold and deep. Shoes and a torch are recommended. Tunnel Creek can be dangerous in the wet season. Be aware that rain falling in the catchment’s many kilometres away can cause sudden flooding of the creek.
King Leopold Range Conservation Park
The rugged King Leopold Range extends along the south-western edge of the Kimberley Plateau. Folded and faulted rock formations are evidence of an episode of mountain building that occurred 560 million years ago when the rocks now forming the Kimberley Plateau were pushed to the south west over underlying granite. With Bell Gorge and Lennard Gorge among the most magnificent gorges in the Kimberley and the spectacular King Leopold Range is home to rare plant and animal species, the 392,104 hectare Mt Hart pastoral lease has been purchased by the Department of Parks & Wildlife ( DPaw) to protect the values of the area in a new conservation park. A vehicle entry fee now applies for visitors to Bell Gorge.
Silent Grove Camping Area
Campsites with toilets and showers are available from approximately Mid-April to Mid-October. A fee is charged for camping and includes the use of all facilities. Department of Parks & Wildlife (DPaw) Park Passes do not cover camping fees.
Bell Gorge Walk
A 2km return walk leads from the car park at Bell Gorge to a section of the creek just above the falls where there are spectacular views of the gorge and waterfall. The track is steep and rocky in sections.
There are no facilities at Lennard Gorge (rough road access). The walking track is very steep and rocky down to the gorge. Camping is not permitted.
Drysdale River National Park
Drysdale River National Park is remote, isolated and extremely rugged. Visitors should be experienced bushwalkers aware of the potential hazards that can be encountered. Situated about 100km south of Kalumburu the park covers 448,264 hectares. It includes open woodlands, rugged cliffs and gorges, creeks and rivers with major waterfalls at Morgan Falls and Solea Falls. The park is NOT manned and there are NO visitor facilities, NO authorized vehicle tracks and NO marked walk trails within the park. NO access via Theeda and Carson River Stations.
Visitors must contact the Kalumburu Aboriginal Corporation on phone (08) 9161 4300 and/or fax (08) 9161 4387 to obtain and pay for a permit. No food, fuel or mechanical services are available at Carson River Station. These are available from Kalumburu or Drysdale River Station. The "wilderness" value of the park offers superb opportunities for bushwalking and nature observation. For more information contact DPaw in Kununurra on phone (08) 9168 4200.