Geikie Gorge Western Australia

GeikieGorgeA place worth visiting is the Kimberley region of Western Australia. It is a massive place, encompassing an area of 423,517 square kilometres (163,520.8 sq miles) which is equivalent to an area three times the size of England, and yet is has a small population of just 41,000 people and some of the most inhospitable land on Earth.

By “inhospitable” I mean it is a hard place to live in because of the extremes of climate, but it has so many places that are scenically attractive, stunningly so in many instances, and it is still totally unspoilt that the places you visit have seen little change in hundreds of millions, and sometimes thousands of millions, years making it a privilege to experience.

One of the more accessible parts of the Kimberleys is Geikie Gorge, which forms part of the mighty Fitzroy River. With a length of just 733 kilometres, the Fitzroy is not Australia’s longest river, but during the wet season, when in full flood, it is probably Australia’s biggest river in terms of volume, discharging its waters at a rate of 30,000 cubic metres per second.

You can get a true idea of the extent of this flow when you cruise Geikie Gorge during the dry season when the high water mark towers about 16 metres above your head.

The gorge is easily accessible from the nearest town, Fitzroy Crossing, 18 kilometres away by a good, sealed road. The area is preserved as Geikie Gorge National Park, and it has good picnic facilities and walk trails.

The gorge is the remnant of a Devonian Reef which was formed about 370 million years ago. It is not a coral reef, but one which was formed by algae which created a ridge over 100 metres high.

The West Australian Department of Environment and Conservation runs one hour-long cruises through the gorge, and it is a fantastic way to enjoy the gorge, particularly for the amount of wildlife that you can see both onshore and in the water.

For instance, it is quite common to see fresh water crocodiles either basking on the shore or swimming in the river. The amount of birdlife that you see there is fantastic, and it is also possible to see large lizards and snakes sunbaking on the rocks, and wallabies minding their business on the shoreline.

Because of its accessibility, Geikie Gorge is one of the most visited gorges in the Kimberleys. Even so, crowds are not a distraction as the Kimberleys are one of the least visited areas in Australia and even on a busy day you will not be overwhelmed by massed throngs of tourists.

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