Windjana Gorge

2 h to 3 h

8.3 km
return

↑ 469 m
↓ -469 m

Hard track
Starting from the Windjana Gorge Day Use Area off Fairfield-Leopold Downs Road, Windjana Gorge National Park, this walk explores Windjana Gorge via the Gorge Trail. Windjana Gorge is a wide gorge carved out by the Lennard River, with a sandy beach along the river bed. The gorge cuts through the Napier Range, which is part of an ancient reef system. Sheer walls rise up to 100m on either side of the gorge, and ancient fossilized marine creatures can be seen embedded within the limestone of the gorge walls. Rated as one of the most beautiful of all the gorges in the Kimberley region, Windjana is rich in vegetation and wildlife. For the Bunuba people, this gorge is profoundly spiritual as the "Wandjina" (creation spirits) reside here. Outlaw indigenous leader "Jandamarra" used to hide here in the 1980s as well. The trail winds its way through the monsoonal strip of vegetation along the permanent pools of water. You can come across freshwater crocodiles in and around the pools, whilst corellas and fruit bats can be found in trees. Freshwater crocodiles are smaller and not as aggressive as saltwater crocodiles, but their teeth are still razor-sharp, so please remain at least 5 metres away from them. Windjana Gorge is a magnificent place that can take up most of your day, so keep in mind that you can camp in the National Park campsite outside the gorge. The track is well-signposted with markers that have a wallaby footprint symbol on them. It is also undulating and sandy in parts, but this is one of the easiest gorges to get into on Gibb River Road. Many elderly people can get into the gorge without too much difficulty. This walk can only be done in the dry season, as the Lennard River is a raging torrent during the wet season. Let us begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.
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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start (-17.4120049,124.9431603)
Mode Car
DirectionsFrom Great Northern Highway, 1
  • Turn on to Bina Road then drive for 62.6 km
  • Turn sharp right onto Gibb River Road and drive for another 55.8 km
  • Turn right onto Fairfield - Leopold Downs Road and drive for another 20.4 km
  • Turn left and drive for another 1.3 km
  • Turn left and drive for another 125 m
  • Turn slight left and drive for another 105 m
  • Keep left and drive for another 100 m
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the Windjana Gorge Day Use Area off Fairfield-Leopold Downs Road, Windjana Gorge National Park, head past the small wooden posts and follow the wide sandy trail, passing a picnic table (to your left). After about 100m you'll pass an informative shelter and a 'Walking at Windjana' informative sign. Continue ahead along the sandy trail, then cross over a small bridge. When you enter the gorge, you go through a gap in between two rocks, and come out in a sandy area with a fair bit of shade. Follow the Gorge Trail ahead to continue the Windjana Gorge hike.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start heading along Time Walk.
Windjana Gorge National Park (about 70 m back from the start).
There is a fee to use this campsite.
Windjana Gorge NP (about 30 m back from the start).
There is a toilet (about 10 m back from the start).
After 105 m pass the "Windjana Gorge National Park" (6 m on your left).
At the intersection of Time Walk & Savannah Walk continue straight, to head along Time Walk.
Then pass the sign (7 m on your left).
After another 120 m continue straight, to head along Time Walk.
After another 35 m cross the bridge (about 30 m long)
After another 100 m find the "Windjana Gorge western end" (on your left).
Windjana Gorge western end
Windjana Gorge western end

This is a spectacular gorge to visit for several hours, and you are also able to camp outside the gorge itself in the National Park campsite. The trail is well marked using posts with wallaby footprints on plates. The trail is undulating and sandy in parts, but this is one of the easiest gorges to get into on the Gibb River Road. Many elderly people are able to get into the gorge without too much difficulty. This walk can only be done in the dry season, as the Lennard River is a raging torrent during the wet season.
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This is a spectacular gorge to visit for several hours, and you are also able to camp outside the gorge itself in the National Park campsite. The trail is well marked using posts with wallaby footprints on plates. The trail is undulating and sandy in parts, but this is one of the easiest gorges to get into on the Gibb River Road. Many elderly people are able to get into the gorge without too much difficulty. This walk can only be done in the dry season, as the Lennard River is a raging torrent during the wet season.

After another 35 m continue straight, to head along Time Walk.
After another 430 m come to the "Sandy Beach Sunset point" (50 m on your left).
After another 15 m find the "Sandy Beach - Windjana Gorge" (60 m on your left).
Sandy Beach - Windjana Gorge
Sandy Beach - Windjana Gorge

A wide sandy beach with native fig trees growing down by the edge of the Leonard River. There are also towering rock faces on each side of the river, and plenty of freshwater crocodiles can often be seen in the water. It's a lovely and cool area, with the trees and ranges providing plenty of shade. The sand is nice and soft, and it is altogether a great place to relax.
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A wide sandy beach with native fig trees growing down by the edge of the Leonard River. There are also towering rock faces on each side of the river, and plenty of freshwater crocodiles can often be seen in the water. It's a lovely and cool area, with the trees and ranges providing plenty of shade. The sand is nice and soft, and it is altogether a great place to relax.

Continue another 3.3 km to find the end. Then turn around here and retrace the main route for 4.1 km to get back to the start.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Windjana Gorge


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 8.3 km
Time 2 h to 3 h
Quality of track Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Gradient Short steep hills (3/6)
Signage Clearly signposted (2/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
Experience Required Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather Foretasted & unexpected storms and severe weather may impact on navigation and safety (4/6)

Some facilities on route
Camp site: There is one -68 m back from the start.

Toilet: There is one -12 m back from the start.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Camp site
-68 mWindjana Gorge National Park
Toilet
-12 m[toilet]
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