Geigi-Gorge2.jpg (29678 bytes)Geikie Gorge National Park : in 1994 we undertook an extended trip to the Kimberly region in the north of Western Australia . A visit to Geikie Gorge National Park was one of many highlights of this trip.
Flood waters, of the Fitzroy River , have carved the Geikie Gorge to a depth of 30 metres through limestone. The gorge is at the junction of the Oscar and Geikie Ranges .
The Fitzroy River could be a called a Jekyl and Hyde watercourse. In the summer wet season the river becomes a raging torrent reaching a height of 16.5 metres, staining the walls of the gorge and covering much of the National Park with about seven metres of water.
In the dry season the river becomes a benign stream confined beneath the towering cliffs of the gorge.
The gorge is a reef formed in the Devonian period and was built by algae and now extinct lime-secreting organisms. The Devonian period was before reptiles and mammals strode the earth.
Geikie Gorge is about 14 kilometres long and is divided into two sections of equal length. Steep walls are 30 metres high and for about 10 metres are bleached, by the sun, above normal river level. Fossils are easily seen embedded in the limestone.
The river is home to Archer Fish, freshwater stingrays and freshwater crocodiles may be observed basking on the riverbanks.
Boat tours are available and are conducted by Park Rangers and members of the Bunaba tribe, the traditional Aboriginal owners. The Bunaba call the gorge Darngku.
The boat trip is a must when you visit the park. Drifting past stark, sculptured white cliffs is a unique experience. The experience is heightened by the information and Aboriginal history of the Kimberly region given by the guides.
Geikie Gorge National Park is open from 6.30 am to 6.30 pm during the dry season (April-November) for day visits. Entry is restricted during the wet season (December-March) when the Fitzroy River is in flood.
Geikie Gorge National Park is 20 kilometres from Fitzroy Crossing (the nearest town) and 280 kilometres from Derby . Access is by sealed road.
The gorge is named after Sir Archibald Geikie, a Director General of Geological Survey for Great Britain and Ireland . This European name was given in 1883.