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“Escarpment, 4WDing and Fishing”

Judbarra / Gregory National Park
Attraction details
Katherine, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Escarpment, 4WDing and Fishing”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 4, 2012

The Escarpment Country of Gregory National Park actually starts at the Victoria River Road House. Make sure you stop there and walk back to the bridge to take a photo as the escarpment wraps around the might Victoria River. Great at sunset if you stop the night. Just 5 km down the road from the road house heading towards Timber Creek is the Escarpment walk, it is 3km return and the views are spectacular. Please note you are walking straight up a hill. There is a picnic bench half way. Not far down the road from there is another walk called the Joe Creek Picnic area walk. This walks is only 1.7km return and runs along the rim of the escarpment, there is also some very very very faint rock art and the water showers over the escarpment during the first 6 months of the year.
We thought we would do the loop by heading down the Buchanan Hwy to Jasper Gorge then across the Tuwakam Track to Bullita Homestead. Now that was a bad decision. Jasper Gorge we didn't find terribly exciting, it was basically the escarpment that you see from the road. It is a one faced gorge, so there isn't two walls and it wasn't sign posted. We came across Jasper Creek and then there was a little dirt road and some campers. The camping spot was a dust bowl and there was a waterhole infront of it which forms a river in the wet season, I definitely wouldn't swim in it. No facilities and it is not marked on the fact sheet as a camping area. Just down the road from here however is one of the biggest Boab Trees I have ever seen.
We then took the Tukakam Track. Thank goodness I had new All Terrain BF Goodridge Tyres on as we drove across 20km of slate rock. The journey was so slow it took us about 2 hours to drive it as the rocks just made you bobble and bounce around, so you had to go slow, that and you didn't want the rock to slice your tyres open. The Track was bloody terrible and I wouldn't recommend anyone taking it, it is definitely not a short cut. We then camped at Bullita Homestead Campground which is a couple of kms down the road from the actual Homestead. The setting was beautiful among the Boab Trees, there is a drop toilet and little fire places and even better, right on the East Baines River so you can have a fish as well. The next day we went up to have a look at the Bullita Homestead. It has been well kept with great interpretive signs about the history of the place and what the different buildings were used for. If you have read any books about the Duracks (Cattle Pioneers) the massive double Boab Tree on the Homestead grounds has the Durack name carved in it by them. The cattle yards are also in great condition. Heading back towards the Hwy we passed by Limestone Gorge. The campground has been closed for about 2 years, they had major damage a couple of years ago after a big wet season. You can still walk into Limestone Gorge however, the walk is a bit longer as you have to walk into the old campground first. We didn't actually do the walk as we were running out of time. We got back onto the Victoria Hwy and headed for Timber Creek. Timber Creek has two caravan parks if you need to plug into power for the night or you can head 10km down the road to Big Horse Creek Campground which is a National Park Campsite right on the Victoria River. Not far out of Timber Creek on the left hand side is a big lookout you can drive up and it looks out over the town and the river. If you continue in the direction of Kununurra you have Bradshaw Bridge where you can pull up and walk out over the bridge to view the Victoria River (you can't drive on the bridge as it is a military bridge). Down the road is Gregory's Tree which is a big Boab Tree 3km off the Hwy on the right hand side. Augustus Gregory carved the date on the tree, can't remember exactly but I think it say's 5th July, 1856. Worth a look. The trip was certainly very interesting and memorable and I am very glad we did it.

Visited August 2012
6 Thank KatnGaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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21 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Level Contributor
81 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Great drive!!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 13, 2012

We didn't actually go to the park itself but its an excellent drive from Katherine to Kununurra trough this area full of cliffs and rocks.

Visited March 2012
1 Thank B K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Fantastic isolated Outback!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2009

Went on a 7 day trip to the Gregory NP and the surrounding area in last week of September 09. Travelled down from Darwin and on through Katherine all in the same day. We live in Darwin so we have seen the sights in and around the Katherine area and prefered to push onto the GNP.

We arrived at the Bullita Homestead Camp ground at approx 1800 on the first day. Easy to drive to from the Highway but clearly during the wet high clearance 4 x 4 with snorkel would be appropriate. That said we saw locals driving down the road in cars!! We intended to stay at the Limestone Gorge but it was closed which seems to be the norm reading the previous post. Camp ground info is at the park entrance, and can also be gleaned from the Victoria River roadhouse if coming from the East. Campground good and clean with toilets and water (non drinkable). Only us and another couple using a very large campsite. Being among the Boab's with no ambient light was a unforgettable experience as the night comes alive (literally). Bullita Homestead not visited as we got off early the next day.

Left the next morning on the Humbert Track heading south. High clearance 4 x 4 essential as you go through deepish creek lines and up over large banks and high features. If your not experienced in 4 wheel driving conditions and your vehicle is not prepared I would warn against proceeding any further as the isolation could be a little daunting for some. There was little water around in the creek beds but as we know that can change in an instant. Plenty to see and do and if you wanted to spend longer you could easily drag it out to a week in the bush. We pushed onto the Wickham track and saw more of the same, but also had the delight of going through some of the most beautiful scenery, along the ridge lines and escarpments that the track sits on.

We intended to stay at the cool spot (at a prominent stream crossing) for the night but decided against it. It was clearly a cattle watering hole and so the horse flies were horrendous and liked all/any of the pink flesh on view. We settled for a swim and pushed onto Paperbark camp site which was a half hour on. This is wild camping at its best and next to a Billabong where animals come to drink at first and last light. We saw Kangaroo, Heron, Bush Turkey and all manner of bird life whilst staying here. The only facility is a fire pit but you don't need much anyway if your packed right. We really enjoyed the peace and tranquility here and it made the trip for us.

We then moved on out of the Park through the Mt Stanford Cattle station. You have a few gates to negotiate but they provide a fantastic opportunity to get out and sample the scenery. The track is hard core and relatively smooth after your trial in the Gregory.

You arrive at KXXXXXXXX (can't remember) which is an Aboriginal community next to the park but around 6km later you come to the community proper that has a Petrol/Diesel station to refuel at. We arrived in the middle of the "stocktake" to be told the pumps wre off. After a bit of coaxing we managed to squeeze out $50 worth of fuel to help us on our way.

We then "enjoyed" 8 hours along the Butine Highway to Halls Creek where we stayed at the HC Camp site next to the airport . This drive proved to be quite challeging as it requires constant attention to the corrugated road conditions that really shake you to the bone. The HCCS was a Great spot, friendly staff and cool pool to relax the night away.

Overall an excellent trip at the right time of year if you want to avoid contact with others in a fantastic setting.

8 Thank UKWandererDarwin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 186 helpful votes
“True Outback”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 3, 2006

Since this is first entry into Trip Advisor, I am going to try to give as much detail as possible.

We went on an Outback Trip in September 2006 for 2 weeks from Darwin to Broome.

I always try to make a positive out of a negative, and don't like to deter people from doing what their hearts desire...but this was the only day I would've changed out of our whole trip.

Gregory National Park is true Outback. There were beautiful boab trees...and a few wildflowers...but it was flat, dry and dusty for hours.

We were planning on camping at Limestone Gorge, but when we pulled into the park ...we found out it was closed for the day. We decided to venture onward to one of the secluded 4WD campsites.

This is one place where you definitely need a 4WD. The rocks were sharp, and the road was torn up. From the entrance, it took us almost 2 1/2 hours to get to the first campsite.

It was a long road, with not a lot of scenery. Although...on that note...we got some of our best pictures of the boab trees from this park.

Once we got to the secluded, numbered campsite along the creek...we set up camp. There are a lot of flies during certain times of the year...especially in the outback. I chose not to buy a mozzie net because I just couldn't bear the thought. This was one place where I would've paid $100 for a net. The flies were everywhere and in massive flocks. They crawled and stuck in your nose, mouth, ears...

We sat in our mozzie net to escape the mass...and near sunset, a second truck of campers arrived at our site. Because the site is so small, it was not ideal for more than one group...but it takes so long to drive anywhere that there was no place else for them to go.

Note #1...fire smoke keeps the flies away. and in fly infested areas...they are gone as soon as it gets dark and arrive the second the sun rises.

Knowing this...we enjoyed our flyfree night...in our nonsecluded camping spot...and got up at 5AM before the flies came out.

I'm sure Limestone Gorge is amazing...and we also heard Jasper Gorge is a great camping spot...but we honestly, would not recommend the same route we endured.

If we could do it over again...once we saw the closed signage for Limestone...we would've turned around and headed to Jasper...or taken a few pictures within the park 15-30 minutes in...and headed onward to Keep River NP.

7 Thank rosky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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