Kennedy Range 250 million years ago was a shallow ocean basin off the edge of the Australian continent. It filled with sediment which compressed to form layers of sandstone and shale. Movements in the earth’s crust brought these above sea level and today marine fossils can be found in the range’s sandstone strata.
Mount Augustus is an asymmetrical anticline, consisting of sand and gravel folded in an arch-like structure, deposited by an ancient river system that drained the region 1,600 million years ago.
When exploring these national parks, you will need to carry sufficient drinking water (at least 4 litres per person, per day) and avoid walking in the hottest part of the day.
Mount Augustus National Park
At about twice the size of Ayers Rock, it is the biggest rock in the world. Known by the local Wajjari Aboriginal people as Burringurrah, it rises spectacularly over the surrounding plain, and at 750 metres, is visible for more than 160 kilometres.
Interesting rock formations, caves and Aboriginal engravings are found on many parts of the rock that have been untouched for thousands of years. Emu Hill Lookout is a good location from which to take wonderful sunset photographs of the mount.
There are many things to see and do around Mount Augustus. Burringurrah Drive is a 49 kilometre circuit providing views of the changing faces of the rock, and giving you access to all feature sites. The drive is suitable for conventional two wheel drive vehicles.
Kennedy Range National Park
Kennedy Range National Park offers spectacular scenery of gorges and precipitous faces, with a vast plateau of ancient dunefields on top of the range. Lying roughly 150kms east of Carnarvon, the area retains a wilderness feeling, with camping beneath the stark sandstone cliffs.
The Aboriginal Inggarda name for the range is Mundoo Thuda. Artefacts found in the park provide evidence of the long history Aboriginal people have with the area.
Best time to visit is August through September, when wildflowers are in full bloom, changing the landscape into a mass of colour. The developed visitor sites lie on the eastern side of the range and can be accessed by the Ullawarra Road north of Gascoyne Junction.