, a spectacular series of 4 waterfalls, is the main natural attraction of the Mitchell Plateau
region. It is accessed via the Mitchell Plateau
Road that heads in a westerly direction off Kalumburu
Road in the northern Kimberley
. The main walk to the head of the Mitchell Falls
is 5km one way, taking about 1½ hrs from the campground. The walk is not difficult, but quite long given that once you've made it there you have to turn around and come back. Along the walk, you can stop to swim in Little Mertens Falls (now renamed to Mertens Falls), Big Mertens Falls (now renamed to Mertens Gorge) and other rockpools.
The alternative is to walk one way, and take a helicopter flight the other (bookings are required and can be made at the campground). Although there are no permanent buildings or infrastructure
, the level of tourism is so high that during the 4 month peak season a heli-flight service operates from a temporary base, giving 4WDrivers the opportunity to get up above the trees and escarpment to view this incredible area from the sky. No trip to the Kimberley
should be done without getting up in the air, whether by plane or helicopter. The unique aspect of this particular heli-flight however, is that it is a "no-door chopper", giving unobstructed views and an exhilarating 'wild thrill’. Flights by plane are also available from Kununurra
and Drysdale River Station Homestead
How to Use this Trek Note
Click the "Map" tab below to see the route we've provided. Icons on the map are the POIs you'll need for navigation purposes. Be sure to check the list of Nearby Places
on each POI page.
If you'd like to save this information there are a couple of ways to go about it, depending on what you're actually after:-
- Ideal solution - download the ExplorOz Traveller App from Google Play or the App Store. The app enables you to carry the ExplorOz Places, Treks, & Maps data offline in your mobile device ready for your adventures. It is a complete mapping, navigation and tracking app. For more details, read our ExplorOz Traveller page.
- You can print a paper copy of the text using the print icon button shown above, near the social media buttons. For the best output it is advised to open each tab/section to load all images and artwork. You will still need to click open each Place page (listed in Where to Stay, What to See) to print off all available information.
- If you have a Hema Navigator or use Mapping Software such as OziExplorer, or TrackRanger AND you are an ExplorOz Member, then you can click the Download Trek button at the top of this page to obtain the raw data files (eg. GPX) for this Trek.
- If you're not a Member, or you'd like to batch download the entire Treks database you can obtain this by buying a product called EOTreks Route Files from our online shop.
River is a massive channel of water that flows through an ancient gorge from the Admiralty Gulf and there are a number of good waterfalls that can only be accessed on foot or by air.
The plateau is rugged with slopes, escarpments and eroded joints that have created narrow and deep gorges containing waterfalls and permanent pools. The most striking living feature on the rugged sandstone
and volcanic plateau is the Livistona Palm, evidence of a past rainforest period. From the air, you can see the varied terrain of the Mitchell Plateau
as it changes from dense valleys, 200 metre-high escarpments, narrow gorges, rivers and falls and slopes that run out to tidal mudflats along the coast.
From the ground, the sandstone
plateau and tropical climate makes vehicle access challenging and seasonal in a remote and rugged area with little facilities. It's important to note that firewood is not to be collected within the boundaries of the national park reserve. Signs indicate where firewood can be collected on the way in and there's plenty of it! Bring an axe.