Drysdale River National Park

Drysdale River National Park is the largest and least accessible in the Kimberley with no public road leading to it and no airstrip within its boundaries. Permission must be obtained from the Kalumburu Aboriginal Corporation prior to entering the park.

This inaccessibility is the key to one of the park's main attractions - few introduced pests and an ecology that remains relatively undisturbed in comparison to much of the rest of Australia. The park is a paradise for birdwatchers. It is usually easy to spot freshwater crocodiles in the pools below Solea Falls. Fishing is excellent, at its best below the falls.

The park showcases the vast tracts of the untouched Kimberley wilderness, and features open woodland, gorges, cliffs and the pools, waterfalls and creeks of the Drysdale River. The park is home to two large waterfalls: Morgan Falls and Solea Falls with numerous smaller falls along the course of the river.

Banjo Falls

The area provides habitat for a large number of rare plants and animals. Almost 600 species of plants are known to exist within the park. About 30 of these plants are aquatic and swamp varieties that inhabit the permanent pools found along the Drysdale and Carson River. About 25 species of fern also inhabit the area, two of which are not found elsewhere. Species such as fan palms, kalumbaru gums and paperbarks are also found along the watercourses.

A variety of fauna also exist within the park including over 100 species of birds, sugar gliders, bats, wallabies, and salt water crocodiles.

The traditional owners of the area that the river flows through are the Ngarinjin, Miwa and Wilawila peoples.


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Where is it?

150 km west of Wyndham and 100 km south of Kalumburu.


Access

Access to the park is gained via a track from Carson River Station from the Kalumburu Road. Permission must be obtained from the Kalumburu Aboriginal Corporation prior to entering the park. There are no visitor facilities or marked walk trails in the park. Rangers do not patrol the park and no food, fuel or mechanical services exist within the park or at Carson River Station.

Information: Ph (08) 91 614300.


Drysdale River

At the heart of this amazing place is the Drysdale River, which rises in the Caroline Ranges, flows in a northerly direction and discharges into Napier Broome Bay near Kalumburu. The river contains several permanent pools some of which have several examples of Indigenous Australian art known as Bradshaw paintings that can be found along the cliff faces.

Bradshaw paintings

Notable waterfalls on the river are the Eagle Falls - which are regularly visited by Kimberley coastal cruise ships] Solea Falls north of the Johnston Creek fork and Bango Falls on the tributary Bango Creek.

There are 19 tributaries of the Drysdale including; Gibb River, Woodhouse River, Barton River, Tadarida Creek, Wax Creek, Curlew Creek, King David Creek, Ubach Creek and Damper Creek.

15% of the river's catchment area lies within Drysdale River National Park. The river was named after the Director of a Victorian Squatting Company T.A. Drysdale by explorer Charles Burrowes in 1886.

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