Windjana Gorge – #1 place to spot freshwater crocodiles

Windjana Gorge

Our next destination was Windjana Gorge – the best place to see freshwater crocodiles.

The road through Leopold Ranges was perhaps the most picturesque on the entire Gibb River Rd. These hills are just beautiful, plus thousands of baobabs thriving in the most amazing places and dried nearly to dust golden grasses of spinifex. 

Despite the dust, we really love this place as it is truly magical. We will definitely come back to Kimberley in the future.

Windjana Gorge
Windjana Gorge

Unfortunately, our adventure with Kimberley was coming to an end. Today we arrived at our last camp on Gibb River Road, Windjana Gorge. We were planning to stay here for a few days and see the gorge and freshwater crocodiles (if we are lucky).

Hema’s HX-2 Navigator

Explore Australia with Hema’s HX-2 Navigator, the ultimate GPS system for on and off-road navigation.

Hema HX-2 Navigator

We spent the night in a beautiful place, right next to the mountains that were a coral reef millions of years ago!

The only thing that bothered us a bit was the fact that one of the tires was pretty damaged on one side. We hoped to make it to Derby, and there, make a decision on what to do with it. We assumed the damage came from the Wunnamurra Gorge trail we took two days before.

Damaged Tire
Damaged Tire

Recommended 4WD equipment for Kimberley

Tunnel Creek

The next day we went to Tunnel Creek. It is a fantastic place where the river flows underneath the mountain and for millions of years, it had carved a tunnel through.

Now, thousands of tourists can walk through the tunnel in the dark (only by the light of flashlights) to the other side of the mountain.

Tunnel Creek
Tunnel Creek

For us, it was an amazing experience. Sometimes we walked waist-deep in the water in total darkness, so it was good to have a good torch. We walked 2 km both ways. 

On the way, we saw a coral reef turned to stone. Marius was looking for freshwater crocodiles, but unfortunately, he failed to track them down. We spotted only a monitor that was basking on the rocks at the entrance. On the way back, we walked somehow differently and made our way through the sunken rocks.

Tunnel Creek
Tunnel Creek

We had to walk deep in the water. In front of us, a woman plunged up to her chin in the water with a terrible scream. We were scared that Nell will be terrified, but she loved this experience. We planned to go to Windjana Gorge the next day in the morning, I hoped there won’t be a lot of people at 7 am, we’ll see.

Windjana Gorge – the haven for freshwater crocodiles

Windjana Gorge is a beautiful place! The morning was simply unreal. The sun was rising and only illuminating slightly the left side of the gorge, leaving the other part in a shade.

Windjana Gorge
Windjana Gorge

We walked along the half-dry riverbed and we could hear and see many birds. Lovely place. The rocks had amazing shapes as they were being washed constantly by the river current.

Windjana Gorge - freshwater crocodiles
Windjana Gorge – freshwater crocodiles

Later on, we spotted freshwater crocodiles on the edge of the river. They were pretty shy and actually look like miniatures. To our surprise, we could get closer to one of them and shoot a photo.

Windjana Gorge
Windjana Gorge

End of Gibb River Road, end of Kimberley

Windjana Gorge was our last stop on Gibb River Road.

We drove over 900 km of very challenging dirt roads, through the heart of the Kimberly region. It was rugged and dusty. But what was most important –  we saw amazing mountain ranges, dramatic gorges, and refreshing rock pools.

We also saw Aboriginal art and amazing waterfalls. We had a taste of adventure that we didn’t experience anywhere else.

End of Gibb River Road
End of Gibb River Road

Kimberley – we will be back for more!

Kimberley is one of a kind place that we always come back to. Even though we have visited so many places we still have missed some of them. Let me give you a few examples:

  • El Questro – we did not do private camping nor we drove all 4WD tracks
  • Surveyors Pool – we missed that completely; it is located next to Mitchell Falls
  • Leopold Ranges – we decided to leave it for next time; people say it is beautiful

We really loved Gibb River Road and we missed it the moment we left the track.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Is it possible to drive Carson River Track?

Carson River Track is a 400 km track that stretches from Home Valley (on Gibb River Road) and Kalumburu Aboriginal Community.

The track is very difficult and could be impassable. It features driving through a rocky, rugged terrain where special caution is always required. Please note you have to book a tour from the Aboriginal Community.

Is it guaranteed to spot freshwater crocodiles in Windjana Gorge?

It is almost a 100% chance you see freshwater crocodiles, but you have to go for a walk to Windjana Gorge. There are many sandy spots where crocodiles bask in the sun especially during the dry season when water gets cooler.

When you walk, try to be quiet and patiently walk along. These ancient creatures are very timid and when scared they go underwater.

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4WD Equipment Checklist

GPS Navigator or compass

Maxtrax – if you get bogged, you can use it for additional traction

Tire Deflator – deflate tires quickly when going on dirt or 4WD

Air Compressor – inflate tires quickly after going back on bitumen (we use MM)

Tire Repair Kit – to fix the tire by yourself when you don’t have access to the tire shop (we use Oztrail)

UHF Radio – for communication with your mates and in emergency

Full Recovery Kit (with Dampener Blanket) – must-have if you are going on real off-road

High Lift Jack – useful if you do serious 4WD tracks

Shovel – useful if you get bogged, also good for campfire cooking

Fuel funnel with water filter – additional protection when fueling up in dodgy places

Additional fuel canisters

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