Walking in Bandilngan (Windjana Gorge) National Park

The Time Walk

Length

2 km

LEVEL

Grade 3 - Easy walking on a signed, dirt track.

OPENING TIMES

Park open during the dry season only, usually May - November (dates vary according to conditions).

ACCESSIBLE

Sandy pathway, rough and uneven in areas, sturdy footwear recommended.

A glimpse into our prehistoric past

Slipping through the crevice that marks the entrance to Bandrilngan is like stepping into a whole new world. Inside the gorge, the timeless flow of the river has washed the colour from the balili (limestone), leaving it creamy and smooth.

The Devonian Period, in which this reef was formed, was also known as the Age of the Fishes. In this geological era between 420 and 360 million years ago, the planet was predominantly ocean. There was huge diversity of weird and wonderful fish, many of which were armour plated. The biological adaptions of these fishes formed a definitive stage in humanity’s evolution. All along the Time Walk, the fossilised remains of these marine creatures are preserved within the gorge walls. Take your time as you wander along to see how many of these ancient life forms you can discover for yourself.

When you tire of fossil hunting, you can rest up on the banks of the main gorge pool. This one water source supports a large population of freshwater crocodiles. Up to 70 of these reptiles have been counted here at any one time.

The gorge walk is an easy 2km return but give yourself the time to slow down and enjoy. Fishing and swimming is not permitted in Bandilngan, and please do not disturb the crocodiles. For cultural reasons, please refrain from climbing Jula Bandilngan Rarrgi, the large boulder sitting in the middle of this pool.

It is recommended that you walk during the cooler times of the day - before 11am and after 2pm

Carry adequate water - at least 1L of water per person for each hour walking

Hats, long sleeves, sunscreen and sturdy shoes are strongly recommended

WE REQUEST THAT YOU REMAIN ON THE PATHS AT ALL TIMES. THERE ARE CULTURAL REASONS AS TO WHY IT IS NOT ADVISABLE TO VENTURE OUTSIDE MARKED AREAS OR TO ATTEMPT TO CLIMB THE GORGE WALLS

LIMESTONE RISK AREA

This area contains hazardous terrain of sharp rocks and deep crevices.

Fatalities have occurred here.

For your safety:

  • Do not climb on the limestone rocks

  • Stay on the marked trail

Photos courtesy of Erin Davis, Penny Purdie, Matt McDonald & John Augusteyn