If you’re looking for somewhere a little different for your next Western Australian adventure, put the Shire of Upper Gascoyne on the top of your bucket list. Home to the magnificent Mount Augustus and Kennedy Range National Park, along with the 2023 WA Tiny Tourism Town & 2023 National Tidy Town Award Finalist Gascoyne Junction, epic road trips, incredible rugged landscapes and star-filled night skies await in the Upper Gascoyne. A 4WD adventurer’s paradise, discover the history of the traditional owners, explorers, and pastoralists while cruising along red dirt roads.
The Shire of Upper Gascoyne is home to two incredible formations that are sure to take your breath away. The Kennedy Range National Park is known by the local Yingarrda Aboriginal language group as Mundatharrda. Scenic gorges and a vast plateau around 75km long and 25km wide are waiting to be explored. Discover Honeycomb Gorge, marine fossils in the sandstone, spectacular wildflowers and Dawson’s Burrowing Bees in season, and so much more. This is a fantastic place to camp and sleep under an epic night sky after a day of exploring.
Burringurrah as Mount Augustus is known to the Wajarri people towers 715 metres above the surrounding landscape, is twice the height of Uluru, and is visible from a distance of more than 160 kilometres! The rock type of sandstone is estimated to be 1.6 billion years old – which is about 3 times older than Uluru. Aboriginal etchings can be found on short walks around the base, and there is a hike to the summit for some extremely rewarding views. This is a 12km summit trail that takes up to 8 hours and should only be attempted by fit and experienced bushwalkers and hikers.
There are more than 2,000km of unsealed roads that create epic road trips to be explored throughout the area to get a true taste of the upper Gascoyne region. The Wool Wagon Pathway and the Kingsford Smith Mail Run offer incredible opportunities to travel along the same routes as pioneers as they traversed the lands of the Australian outback. Get a glimpse of the state's cattle country, and wide open landscapes, meet country characters, and discover how treacherous the conditions of the remote area can be.
If you’re wanting a closer encounter with the ancient rock formations and landmarks, embark on the Kennedy Loop Track, an extreme 4WD track giving access to the remote Western side of the Kennedy Ranges, before crossing the top of the range. Be prepared as this takes 1.5 days to complete and is for experienced 4wders! The 49km Mount Augustus Scenic Loop is a 50km loop that showcases the changing faces of the world's biggest rock. This road trip is suitable for 2wd’s.
Sitting at the meeting point of the Gascoyne and Lyons rivers, Gascoyne Junction is a two-hour drive east of Carnarvon. The town is home to the Junction Pub & Tourist Park, the Upper Gascoyne Historical Museum, the Two Rivers Memorial Park and the Killili Bridge. Learn about life on the land for the early pastoralists and how technology has changed the way of life for Junction residents over time and gain an understanding of how the town has rebuilt after the devastation of the 2010 Gascoyne River flood that decimated the town. You can head out on a free walking tour departing from the Visitor Information Centre throughout the week from April to September.
You can experience the tranquillity of the Gascoyne River in the heart of town, the nearby Lyons River and also the Waterhole in Gascoyne Junction, the perfect spot for a swim, to spot some of the diverse birdlife or the watch the stars at night.
Check out this itinerary of how to spend 48 hours in Gascoyne Junction.
The Shire of Upper Gascoyne has everything you need for your next Western Australian outback adventure. Start planning your trip today and discover all there is to know about the Gascoyne region.