A Gibb River Road Experience
Windjana Gorge National Park is another spectacular place to visit and is a must see Gorge when visiting the Kimberley region.
This is a very popular place to stay and visit because of its easy accessibility and location to the main highway and Derby. From here you can easily do a day trip to Tunnel Creek National Park only 36km away.
Windjana Gorge is 350m long, 100m wide and is surrounded by towering cliffs that reach 30 meters into the sky. It’s like the great wall from the Game of Thrones. The Gorge is part of the Napier Range and the mighty Lennard river carves its path through the centre.
The Gorge has an easy hike up the centre which is generally covered by vegetation and takes in the scenery of Windjana.
Windjana Gorge is famous for the hundreds of freshwater crocodiles that inhabit the waterways. There are quite a few drifting around and soaking up the sun on the sandbanks. Try to keep your distance as they still have teeth and they are definitely related to their saltwater cousins.
If you are lucky enough to be in Windjana at the right time of year, you get to see the crocodiles pluck bats from the air as they fly overhead at dusk
Getting to the Windjana National Park is quite simple from Derby and it is only about 100km away. Follow the Derby-Gibb River road for a while then turn off onto Leopold Downes Road. Continue until you come to the Windjana National Park turn off. You can’t miss it! Look for the towering cliffs.
The baby carrier seen in most of my photos was my favourite thing to take on our around Australia trip! I carried my baby, here she is about 10 months old, and I also carried my 2 and a half year old when he didn’t feel like walking any more. So versatile, cool and comfortable. Definitely highly recommend a side sling carrier. Click on the image above for more details!
If you are coming from the Fitzroy crossing end just turn onto Leopold Downes Road and follow until you reach the National Park area
From Derby, you can take a day trip to visit the Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek without having to even enter the famous Gibb River Road.
Still, never underestimate the roads. My brother-in-law popped 2
In general, this part of the road is in better condition than the rest of the Gibb River road. However you still get some sharp rocks, corrugations, and potholes. There is generally more traffic in this area due to it’s proximity to the main highway. You tend to get more day trippers visiting both parks.
When is the Best Time to Visit
The best times to visit Windjana Gorge are between May and September. Try to avoid the school holidays because the campsite can get extremely busy.
The Windjana Gorge becomes a wild river in the wet season so it is totally inaccessible due to heavy rain. Remember the Lennard River runs directly through the Gorge.
Always check at the information centers at Derby or Kununurra before entering these areas. Information can change in an
The Windjana Camping Area
The Windjana Gorge National Park camping ground is a popular place to stay. This is mainly due to it being close to so many attraction. It provides a great overnight stay for visiting Tunnel Creek and Windjana Gorge.
The campground is very spacious and flat with trees sparingly scattered around the park. There are great facilities such as showers, and drop toilets. The National Park Ranger visits the sites in the afternoon to collect camping fees which are per person per night:
- Adults – $13
- Concession – $10
- Child 6-15 – $3
It really does pay to get the annual parks pass if you are on a big trip like our family. It only costs $92 dollars a year and covers all your entries into the National Parks, except camping fees.
The real magic happens at this Windjana as the sun sets. The campground overlooks the Napier Range cliffs and makes for a spectacular afternoon.
Our Windjana Gorge Adventure
Windjana Gorge was by far the most kid-friendly gorge in the Kimberley region. A gentle sloping gravel walkway takes you from your campsite down to the entrance of the Gorge.
You enter through a small cave in the cliff, which the kids loved. The track then opens up, on one side is the sheer jagged cliff on the other is the river. It is like going to the beach in a way except the sand is a little bit dirty thanks to the river.
The walk then takes you onto the sandy river bank and there in front of you are these almost haunting cliffs that lead down to the waterholes. When we were here there was plenty of water and plenty of crocs.
Crocidiles are Safer than Salt Water T ypes
The crocodiles here are only the freshwater variety and mean no harm. Just keep your distance and try to keep the kids away for safety. These beautiful animals just lay there, seemingly docile, keeping to themselves.
We stayed here for ages and played with our kids in the sand, they got so dirty! After taking some great photos of the Gorge and the crocodiles we decided to head up the gorge and see where the track lead.
The trek takes you right up to the end of the Windjana Gorge following the Lennard River amongst the trees. It is a very pleasant walk. We didn’t quite make the full distance because the kids once again were tired. So we returned for a further play in the sand.
After more fun and admiration of this ancient gorge we decided to head back to the campsite. It was a magical evening walking back through the gorge. The light was sublime as the sun
I will definitely come back to this spot again in a few years, mark my words.
Dangers and Hazards
Windjana Gorge is a really safe place for families and
We have 4 kids and never felt unsafe in these areas once.
Always be Croc Wise!
Still be croc-wise when traveling through this entire region, you just never know where a big salty could be lurking. Always take note of warning signs and follow instructions.
Be wary of snakes and spiders. You know what Australia is like they can be anywhere – even under the toilet seat!
Be careful of slips and trips. You are a fair way from help, so breaking a limb could mean a very long and painful drive. Take your time climbing rocks and trekking through water and pay attention.
Always carry a first aid kit and try to travel with a companion out in these remote areas. It could save your life.
Windjana will always hold the fondest of memories for me. Words almost can’t describe the feeling you get traveling out here, and we have been all around the world. Nothing compares to the sheer beauty of these protected areas. You will feel at one with the land out here and think about your life in an
Grab your truck, van or 4 x 4 and get out there and explore.
We give Windjana Gorge an overall 9 Gstar rating, see how we rate a destination below in our table.[table id=8 /]
Click on the links to find out more about our favourite destinations on the Gibb River Road!
- The Gibb River Road
- Tunnel Creek
- Bell Gorge
- Galvans Gorge
- Ellenbrae Station
- Home Valley Station
- Manning Gorge
- El Questro Gorge
- Emma Gorge