Windjana Gorge in the Kimberleys Western Australia

The Napier Range is a 300 million year old Devonian Reef in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

As you approach it is quite an impressive sight, and when you delve into the history of the Napier Range you learn that this towering band of rock once constituted the bottom of the ocean, and that it is formed almost entirely of ancient coral reefs.

Located within the Napier Range is the Windjana Gorge National Park. This gorge was formed by the weathering of rock by the Lennard River, which has formed an impressive gorge that is about 3.5 kilometres in length.

As with most of the gorges in the Kimberleys, a harsh area of land in the north of Western Australia that is bigger than Britain, the entrance to the gorge isn’t exactly easy. There is a well-marked path into the gorge, but the entrance itself can be a bit of a squeeze, particularly if one is as robust as I.

It is not at all daunting, nor dangerous, merely mildly challenging. However, once you enter the gorge you a greeted by the wonderful vision of a clear river which dissects a lovely sandy area that is braced by soaring rock walls which seem to reach the sky.

Windjana Gorge, I was to discover after visiting many more Kimberley gorges, is quite a soft gorge. By that, I mean it is easy to reach by means of a cosy walk, and has good access to a car park and camping ground.

The Kimberleys is a crocodile area and we were lucky enough to see a couple of fresh water crocodiles, who seemed to be far more nervous of us than we were of them. The `freshies’ as the locals call them, a smaller than the more dangerous Saltwater, or estuarine crocs, and are contented fish eaters, having no interest in humans.

Even though they are a benign variety of croc, it is still good to see them in the wild, especially as we were so close to them, before they disappeared beneath the water.

As we walked past the walls of the gorge it was easy to spot fossilised marine creatures; and the realisation that we were looking at life forms which perhaps pre-dated the dinosaurs gave me a greater appreciation of the immense age of the Kimberleys.

The Napier Range is not high by world standards, but this is yet more evidence of its great age. So although the Napier Range may not be as visually impressive as the Himalayas or Rockies, it has a lot more stories to tell, and a history that pre-dates even those great monoliths.The Napier Range is a 300 million year old Devonian Reef in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

As you approach it is quite an impressive sight, and when you delve into the history of the Napier Range you learn that this towering band of rock once constituted the bottom of the ocean, and that it is formed almost entirely of ancient coral reefs.

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