Bandilngan/Dimalurru (Windjana Gorge & Tunnel Creek)
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Bandilngan was gazetted as a national park in November 1971 because of the need to protect and preserve its natural attractions and to offer facilities to its many visitors.
The park covers over 2000 hectares including Lilimillura Police Station Ruins and is situated 145 kilometres east of Derby and 150 kilometres north west of FItzroy Crossing.
The main attraction of Bandilngan Gorge is the scenic gorge carved by the Lennard River, through the Napier Range, which exposes the ancient reef system, regarded by geologists as a classic feature of world geology.
The Lennard River runs through the gorge in wet weather, but during the dry season it forms pools surrounded by trees and shrubs.
The deep, moist soils of the riverbank support the tall broad-leaved leichardt tree, native figs and the paper-barked cadjeputs. These trees also provide shelter from the hot sun for many waterbirds, a colony of fruit bats and a large group of corellas. Freshwater crocodiles can often be seen in the pools.
The walls of Bandilngan Gorge rise abruptly from the wide alluvial floodplain of the Lennard River, reaching about 100 metres high in some places. The 3.5-kilometre long gorge cuts through the limestone of the Napier Range; part of an ancient barrier reef, which can also be seen at Geikie Gorge and Dimalurru Gorge.
There are three campgrounds. A campground for tour operators, those who require generators and a quiet campground. The Quiet Campground is for people without generators. The tour operators and generator campgrounds have showers, flushing toilets, drinking water and fireplaces. The Quiet Campground has showers, flushing toilets and drinking water. Bring your own firewood. Fees apply. (Contact Derby Visitor Centre for more information)
Please bring your own firewood. It is illegal to collect firewood from within the National Park boundary (NOTE This applies to all National Parks)
Things To Do
A short walk of about 500 metres takes you to Bandingan Rock. As you make your way you will be able to see a fossil nautoloid, a type of prehistoric crustacean embedded in the limestone wall.
Green-tree ants build their nests in the canopies of the River Figs and Archer Fish wait along the river bank for insects on which they prey.
In the pool around Bandingan Rock, there is a resident population of over 70 Freshwater Crocodiles. These animals do bite so swimming is not recommended, but if you choose to, do so at your own risk.
Continuing through the gorge you will pass a colony of Fruit Bats or Black Flying Foxes noisily roosting in the tres along the river banks. Passing the “classic face” you will eventually come to the end of the gorge opening onto the savannah plains, about 3.5 kilometres from the entrance.
The gorge is an ideal place for photography, birdwatching, walking or relaxing, particularly in the late afternoon when the gorge walls are reflected in the water. To return, you will need to retrace your steps.
The “Savannah Walk” takes you close to the southern side of the Napier Range and is also an alternative path from the Quiet Campground to the gorge.
Things You Need To Know
Where is it?
150 kilometres from Fitzroy Crossing and 145 kilometres from Derby.
Three hours from Fitzroy Crossing and two hours from Derby.
What to do
Camping, sightseeing, walking, photography, nature observation.
A 7 km return walk takes you along the full length of the gorge and back. It runs along the course of the Lennard River, which becomes a series of pools in the dry season. It allows you a close look at the gorges resident fruit bats, corellas and freshwater crocodiles.
Facilities: Camping (toilets and water).
May to September. May be inaccessible during the wet season.
Dimalurru National Park covers just 91 hectares. It is 112 kilometres from Fitzroy Crossing, 180 kilometres from Derby and 36 kilometres south-east of Bandilngan
What to do
Cave exploration, sightseeing, walking and photography
The 1.5 kilometre return walk requires wading through water which in places can be cold and deep. You will need a torch (head lamps are good) and shoes that can get wet. It is best to wear shoes on your feet, because the bottom can be quite sharp with rocks in places. The tunnel is up to 12 metres high and 15 metres wide in parts and contains permanent pools of freshwater. Near the centre of the tunnel, the roof has collapsed and is an excellent place to observe the colony of fruit bats which roost in the trees during the day.
Freshwater crocodiles do inhabit the tunnel.
Dimalurru is a day use area with facilities limited to toilets and an information shelter. There is NO CAMPING at Dimalurru and PETS ARE NOT ALLOWED. There are no rubbish bins so pleae take your rubbish with you
(Information supplied by Parks and Wildlife Services)