Carved out by the mighty waters of the Fitzroy River, and approximately 21km North East from Fitzroy Crossing
, Geikie Gorge is one of only two national parks in the Kimberley
accessible by sealed roads.
The Gorge is a long, 30m deep passage that has been eroded through the limestone at the junction of the Oscar and Geikie Ranges, formed during the Devonian period some 350 million years ago.
Geikie Gorge was given its European name in 1883. The name comes from Sir Archibald Geikie, the Director General of Geological Survey for Great Britain and Ireland. The traditional owners call the gorge Darngku. It's here that a blind Aboriginal elder drowned in the 'Dreaming', after leaving his tribe to go wandering. The old man sighed and sneezed before he sank to the bottom for the last time. It's said his sighs can still be heard when the gorge is quiet.
On the edge of the gorge, a forest of cadjeput, river gums, freshwater mangroves, native figs and pandanus contrasts with the surrounding biscuit-flat grasslands and limestone/boabs. Many tropical aquatic lifeforms live in the waters of the Fitzroy River
including striped archer fish and freshwater crocodiles. Colonies of fruit bats and a rich variety of bird life are typical here and near the waters of Windjana Gorge
. These include the great bower-birds, reed warblers and even the rare lilac-crowned wren, darters, white egrets, little pied cormorants and surprisingly, the white-breasted sea-eagle.
There is no denying that the gorge is best experienced by boat. Geike Gorge is a National Park and the Darlngunaya Aboriginal Corporation (DAC), representing the traditional owners of Geikie Gorge, are jointly operating half-day tours offering tourists walks and a boat tour. DEC also runs a one-and-a-half-hour tour up to three times a day (depending on the level of demand) and rangers give a comprehensive commentary on the geology, wildlife and history of the area.
During the wet season, the Fitzroy River
can rise over 20 metres and floods the national park with seven metres of water. The black stains seen midway up the towering cliffs show the "high tide" mark. In contrast, during the dry season, of April-November, the river is no more than a quiet stream, and may stop flowing. For more information on access contact the Geikie Gorge National Park
ranger on (08) 9191 5121. This is a day-use area only.