At the point where the Lyons and Gascoyne Rivers meet sits Gascoyne Junction, two hours' drive east of Carnarvon. First proposed as a town site in 1897, today it’s a centre for pastoral and mining activities.
Visit the Shire of Upper Gascoyne website at www.uppergascoyne.wa.gov.au or Gascoyne Junction Community Resource and Information Visitor Centre for more information about the Gascoyne-Murchison region of Western Australia’s Golden Outback, or visit the ‘Explore Parks WA’ website for information on Kennedy Range National Park and Mount Augustus National Park.
This geological giant or ‘inselberg’ (meaning island mountain) towering 715 metres above the surrounding landscape, is twice the height of Uluru and is visible from a distance of more than 160 kilometres. The majority rock type of sandstone is estimated to be 1.6 billion years old – which is about three times older than the sandstone of Uluru. Mount Augustus is known by the local Wadjari Aboriginal people as Burringurrah.
Loop Drive and Emu Hill Lookout
There is a 49 kilometre self-drive circuit around Mount Augustus National Park suitable for conventional two-wheel-drive vehicles. This circuit offers views of the changing faces of the rock and access to a number of key sites including rocky creek gorges, caves, Aboriginal rock art, picnic sites and various walking/hiking trails. Head out to Emu Hill Lookout at sunset for spectacular photo opportunities.
Mount Augustus Walk Trails
Aboriginal etchings can be found on short walks around the rock at Flintstone Rock, Mundee and Ooramboo. For the more fit and energetic there are a number of longer walk trails available including a return hike to the rock's summit. The Summit Trail is a 12km, six to eight hour return hike should only be attempted by fit and experienced bushwalkers and hikers.
There is no drinking water at Mount Augustus National Park, so always carry enough for your own needs (at minimum 3-4 litres per person, per day).
Kennedy Range National Park is known by the local Ingarrda Aboriginal language group as Mundatharrda. Scenic gorges and a vast plateau some 75km long and 25km wide are waiting to be explored.
Enjoy a real outback wilderness experience and camp beneath the grand sandstone cliffs of the Kennedy Range. Observe marine fossils in the sedimentary sandstone of the range – a reminder that about 250 million years ago, the Gascoyne region was a shallow ocean basin off the edge of the ancient Australian continent.
The cooler months from May to September are the best months to visit. After good winter rains you can usually expect a spectacular wildflower display in August and September.