A fascinating outback town located in a low rainfall area on the northern fringes of the Great Sandy Desert. Halls Creek is not the town it used to be. This is true both literally and metaphorically as, in 1948, the town was physically removed from its original site to its present location. Thus, like so many towns in the Kimberley, there are two Halls Creeks.
Today Halls Creek is a small, predominantly Aboriginal settlement. It services the ever-increasing tourist trade with a hotel, motel, caravan park, two roadhouses and a number of tours to the Bungle Bungles and Wolfe Creek Crater.
Windjana Gorge National Park
The walls of Windjana Gorge rise abruptly from the wide alluvial floodplain of the Lennard River, reaching about 100 metres high in some places. The 3.5-kilometre long gorge cuts through the limestone of the Napier Range; part of an ancient barrier reef, which can also be seen at Geikie Gorge and Tunnel Creek National Parks. This gorge offers excellent long walks; it is also great location to observe freshwater crocodiles.
Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater
(15 km south): Known to the Djaru Aborigines as Kandimalal it was named Wolf Crater after Robert Tennant Stowe Wolfe, a digger and storekeeper who lived in Halls Creek in the late 1880s. There is some dispute as to the crater's status with some sources claiming that it is the second largest meteorite crater on earth (the other being in Arizona) while others claim it as the fourth largest. Regardless, Wolf Crater, with a diameter of 853 metres and a depth of 61 metres it is still very big and was probably as much as 200 m deep when it was originally formed.
Old Halls Creek
The remnants of the original town (14 km) are worth a look, but there is nothing more than some remnants of buildings, some street signs, the ruins of the old mud brick Post Office, a recently built well to celebrate the discovery of gold in the area, a graveyard, and a modern restaurant.
Many of the graves in the Old Hall's Creek cemetery are quite recent dating from the 1940s and 1950s; many are a grim reminder that the surrounding desert area is still unforgiving to those who make even the slightest mistakes.
(15 km): a strange limestone formation which rises from a creek up over a small hill, this natural formation of white quartz looks like a small version of the famous Great Wall of China. The stream below is surrounded by trees and in the 'green season' it is an ideal location for swimming.
Palm Springs is nestled amongst hills, just east of the Black Elvire River Crossing on the Duncan Rd. There is a reasonable sized pool, which is boarded by long grass and trees and a few palms. An old weir has been constructed, which cuts the pool into sections. In the back section where the spring is located, the water is clear and full of small fish, it is also a good place for a swim any time of the year. In June the water is tepid but warm enough to have an early morning dip.
In the years gone, the Palm Springs area was the local market garden for the old Halls Creek and even today, you can find reminders of this, with banana's growing wild across the road near an old deserted cattle station out camp. There are nice spots between the road and water hole to camp, however caution is advised with the possibility of crocs in the nearby Black Elvire River and snakes in the long grass around Palm Springs.
The gorge is located on the Black Elvire River where flood waters have cut through a range.¨› There is a towering rock wall on one side and sandy shaded banks. This is a popular swimming place. Fresh water crocodiles can be seen in this gorge. Sawpit is located 52 km from Halls Creek a few kilometres off the Duncan Highway.
This is a picnic, swimming and bush walking place set amongst cool shady trees and wide sandy creek banks. Swimming is best following rains when the water level is high. Caroline Pool is known as Wimirri in the Jaru language. Older residents fondly remember Caroline Pool as the place where families would go on the weekend to swim and play sport on the river sand. It was also an important water source in the days of the early gold rush. Caroline Pool is located15km from Halls Creek.
This is a permanent sandy pool on the Great Northern Highway east of Halls Creek. It is a popular swimming, camping and picnic place. The pool forms part of the Mary River which flows into the Margaret River. Please note:¨› freshwater crocodiles can be found here.
Moola Bulla, located just to the north of Halls Creek, has a central place in the hearts and minds of Aboriginal people in the central and east Kimberley. It was originally established in 1910 by the Aborigines Department. It was hoped the establishment of Moola Bulla might alleviate some of the conflict with pastoralists and reduce the incidence of cattle spearing. The idea was to congregate Aboriginal people in a place that was part institution and part cattle station.
When Moola Bulla was closed in 1955, people who had grown up there and regarded it as home were forcibly relocated, once again suffering loss and disconnection. Since that time the station has been run as a privately owned pastoral lease. This place still conjures mixed emotions. The Moola Bulla lookout, a few kilometres just to the north of Halls Creek, provides a commanding sunset view over the town.¨› Ask a local for directions.