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Bandilngan (Windjana Gorge) National Park

Bandilngan (Windjana Gorge) National Park

OPENING TIMES

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

ACCESSIBLE

All tracks in [Bandilngan](lflp/words/46) (Windjana Gorge) National Park are classified Grade 3. Easy walking on signed, dirt tracks.

Bandilngan (Windjana Gorge) is one of the most magnificent gorges in the Kimberley. Long before you arrive, the Napier Range – in which the gorge is located – materialises out of the black soil plains. Towering over 100m high, the ranges are an imposing site to behold. These balili (limestone) cliffs are part of the Devonian Reef System – a 360-million-year-old barrier reef that formed in a shallow ocean that once buffeted the Kimberley coastline. Bandilngan is considered a classic feature of world geology, as it provides a cross-sectional study of the 20-million-year formation of the reef and its surrounding ecosystems.

Jula Bandilngan Rarrgi (Paul Bell)

Bandilngan holds great importance to us. The name of the gorge is that of the large boulder that dominates the main pool – Jula Bandilngan Rarrgi. This area is spiritually significant, and we ask that you do not attempt to climb the rock. Bandilngan was also a crucial stronghold during the Bunuba resistance to the colonisation of our lands in the late 1800s. A decisive moment in this resistance was a siege led by Bunuba warrior Jandamarra, that he successfully led from high in the gorge walls. As you look up today, you can perhaps locate those caves and crevices that once protected our ancestors who fought to defend our country.

Freshwater croc (Erin Davis)

Bandilngan has been shaped from the flow of the Lennard River over tens of thousands of years. During Bulurru (monsoon) the river swells through the gorge, lapping at the balili walls before subsiding into a small series of pools as we shift into Girinybali (the season after the rains). Many waterbirds can be found along the 3.5km length of the gorge, although they are often overpowered by the cry of the large populations of corellas and fruit bats who call Bandilngan home. The main pool that you will encounter as you enter the gorge is considered to be the premier location for spotting freshwater crocodiles in the Kimberley. Whilst freshies do not typically attack people, for their safety and survivance, and of course for yours, we ask that you do not fish nor swim here in Bandilngan.

Bunuba Rangers freshwater croc survey (Lachy Clark)

Bandilngan and its surrounds were gazetted within the National Parks system in 1971. Covering 2000 hectares, the aim of the Park is to preserve the natural surrounds whilst providing information and services to our visitors. Since 2017 Bandilngan has operated under a Joint Management Agreement between the Bunuba people and Parks & Wildlife Services W.A. Together we warmly invite you to come and discover the beauty of Bandilngan, hike our trails and relax within our expansive campgrounds.

Bandilngan is located 150km from Fitzroy Crossing and 145km from Derby. Access is via the unsealed Fairfield-Leopold Downs Road and 4wd is recommended. Generally inaccessible during the wet season, it is advisable to check current road conditions before travelling. The narrow entrance into Bandilngan unfortunately does not allow for wheelchair access into the gorge.

Visitor fees apply.

Bandilngan Windjana Gorge and Dimalurru Tunnel Creek Park Visitor Guide

Download guide

Experiences on country

Title image: Bandilngan John Augusteyn, Paul Bell, Erin Davis & Lachy Clark.