Victoria River

Known variously as Victoria River, Victoria River Crossing and Victoria River Inn, this is an isolated settlement on the highway between Darwin (NT) and Kununurra and Wyndham (WA) that serves as a gateway to the north west corner of the Northern Territory.

Location: 194 km west of Katherine; 282 km east of the NT and WA border, 294 km east of Kununurra on the Victoria Highway.

Things To See and Do

The Vic is a mecca for fishing and produces some of the Territory’s best and biggest Barramundi. They can be caught all year round but the best time is on a neap tide, between the months of March to late May-coinciding with the end of the monsoon season.It is VERY important to remember that Estuarine Crocodiles inhabit this area, so please observe all safety signs.

Escarpment Lookout Walk

Located just west of the Victoria River Crossing, this short walk is steep in sections and provides panoramic views of the soaring red rocky escarpments of the Victoria River Valley.

Joe Creek Walk

A 90 minute walk of moderate grade, it ascends to the base of the escarpment and to a breathtaking view. Aboriginal rock art can be viewed at a site along the walk, and a barbecue, picnic tables and toilet are provided. Day use only.

Gregory National Park

Covers an area of about 13,000km sq and features spectacular gorge scenery, rare wildlife species, and significant traces of Aboriginal culture, European exploration and pastoral history. It is divided into 2 sections – the Victoria river sector in the east and the Gregory sector in the west. The Victoria river sector is near the Victoria river crossing and winds through 250 meter high tablelands, creating dramatic red cliffs. The large Gregory sector lies just outside Timber Creek.

In the Gregory sector, Limestone Gorge provides a superb photographic opportunities. Also of interest is the old cattle property outstation, Bullita Homestead, with its traditional timber stockyards. Facilities at both Bullita and Limestone gorge camping areas include BBQ’s, picnic tables and pit toilets.

Keep River National Park

Entry to this park is 3km east of the Northern Territory and Western Australian border. There are some excellent bushwalking tracks that explore the rugged terrain of sandstone formations that are similar in structure to the Bungle Bungles, including the Keep River Gorge and some Aboriginal art sites.

Short-eared rock wallabies, white-quilled rock pigeons and sandstone shrike thrush are some of the interesting animals that inhabit this area. Two camping areas are provided within the park. Drinking water is available at Jarnem campground and 2kms from the Ranger Station. No Pets Allowed.

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Gregory’s tree

Gregory’s tree is located 15km northwest of the townsite of Timber Creek. This large boab tree stands at the campsite of the early explorer Augustus Charles Gregory’s north Australian expedition which was undertaken between October 1855 and July 1856. Inscribed in the tree by Gregory are the expedition dates. The Tree also has special significance to the local Ngaringman Aboriginal people and is registered as a sacred site.

Other Places of Interest

Yambarran Range; Top Springs roadhouse; Victoria Downs Homestead (38 km south-east of Victoria River Downs Homestead, 1883-90); Wimmera Home (Old Hospital Victoria River Downs, built for Australian Inland Mission, 1922-23); Victoria River Depot (includes remnants of landing and store, graves, Timber Creek Aerodrome); Gordon Creek Police Station Museum (1888).

Brief history

Victoria Downs, once Australia's largest pastoral property and the largest cattle station in the world, was established by Australia's Cattle King, Sidney Kidman. In the 1920s, after a malaria epidemic, John Flynn built a hospital on the station which was operated by the Australian Inland Mission until it closed down in 1942.

Origin of name: taken from the Victoria River which was first explored by Europeans in 1839 when John Clements Wickham arrived at its mouth in the HMS Beagle. He named the river after Queen Victoria.

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