Gascoyne Junction

A small service centre for mining, pastoral stations, remote aboriginal communities and travellers passing through between Meekatharra and Carnarvon.

For many years, the police station, road board (1912) and hotel were the only buildings in the area, and in 1938, the Roads Board complained about the name, saying that "Gascoyne Junction" and "The Junction" were the names in common use, and asking the Lands Department to "expunge" the name of Killili. The name was changed and gazetted in 1939.

The local road board office, now a heritage-listed site, was used as a meeting place for local associations, and later as the first school in the area and, since the late 1990s, as a museum. The town's population has been stable since the 1950s.

Mount Augustus National Park

(320 km east of Carnarvon): Mount Augustus is an inselberg that stands 1106 m above sea level, or approximately 860 m above the surrounding plain. Mt. Augustus is more than twice the size of Uluru, but unlike Uluru, which is devoid of plant growth, Mt. Augustus has plant growth on it. Mt. Augustus is surrounded by other fascinating geological formations, Aboriginal rock art and engravings plus a wealth of animal and bird life. The journey to Mount Augustus is far from easy (4-wheel drive only) but the result of the effort is a rare opportunity to see one of the wonders of Australia.

Mt Augustus was a natural boundary between two Aboriginal tribal areas - the smaller area of the Ninanu tribe to the north and the much larger area of the Wadjari tribe to the south (Gough & Bloomer 1995). The Wadjari Aboriginal people refer to Mt Augustus as Burringurrah. They used the area in times of drought because of the natural springs along the base of Mt Augustus. There are three known stories in the Dreaming that relate to the formation of Mt Augustus. In Aboriginal mythology, mobs of people travelling across the country were often transmuted into the form of a range, while individuals became hills, peaks or other distinctive features of the landscape. The three stories about Mt Augustus (Burringurrah) generally relate to a male travelling across the country that was pursued by tribesman (either for breaking Aboriginal law or causing fear) and speared, then beaten by the womenfolk. His dead body lay on the plain, forming the shape of Mt Augustus.

Kennedy Range National Park

(50 km south): the spectacular sandstone battlements of the Kennedy Range were pushed up from an ancient sea bed millions of years ago. The park offers spectacular scenery of gorges and precipitous faces, with a vast plateau of ancient dunefields on top of the range. The area still retains a wilderness feeling, and camping beneath the stark sandstone cliffs is an experience not to be missed.

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Where is it?

168 km north-east of Carnarvon.

Aboriginal sites

There are three Aboriginal sites registered at Mt Augustus. The Aboriginal Rock Engravings at Boom Boom Spring, in the Waldburg Range, are heritage listed. There are four sites in the Waldburg Range. These have ceremonial significance, engravings, artefacts and scatter; Mt Phillip has five registered sites on the Thomas River, which include: a modified tree, artefact/scatter, man-made structures (former camp), a ceremonial site and a repository/cache. Medalia Pool on the Thomas River has sites of artefacts/scatter, a camp and is listed as a significant water source. Waldburg Range is located in the north-east sector of the Walburg pastoral property.

Origin of name

A small community developed using the local Aboriginal name of Killili, after a local Aboriginal word meaning "bullrush", in the late 19th century following the Surveyor General's request for a euphonious native name. Its name was changed to Gascoyne Junction in 1939 due to it being in common useage.

The town is named for its position at the junction of the Gascoyne and Lyons Rivers. The Gascoyne River was named in March 1839 by explorer Lieut. George Grey after a personal friend, Lieut. J Gascoyne RN.

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