South & Western Australia outback trails, walking tracks
Favourite things, the best walk ever belongs to an neverending list. The catalogue of the best walk, great walks, fabulous walks is endless. Another three favourites are guaranteed. And the current list does favour the Northern Territory as it was my initial introduction to the outback. Keep checking though as Gawler National Park in South Australia is another upcoming favourite. And then there are outback walks in South Australia and Western Australia. The Kimberleys is another hot favourite.
Elliston Coastal Trail
I choose the Elliston Coastal Trail, Waterloo Bayl because it is a walk suitable for all fitness levels and age groups. A great family walk where dogs and wheelchairs have a place on the track. A good start for a wilderness walk.
Coastal views are spectacular and interpretive plaques draw the walker into the landscape and history of the area. The area is not built up, it’s got a sense of being untouched, of belonging to a landscape Australian in its sense of place and time.
The walk is breathtaking with the temptation to detour down the beach steps to take a dip in the ocean. Stories and narrative signs immerse you in the history of the area describing the people and events who occupied the area. You are walking on firm flat tracks that are wheelchair accessible. The sheer splendor of the Waterloo Bay weaves its magic with glimpses of surf beaches, visitors and locals angling at favourite spots and calm rock pools for swimming. The trail can be completed as a whole. Visitors have the choice to divide the trail into three sections, The Little Bay Trail, Clifftop Trail or Beach Loop. This gives visitors the opportunity for a coastal walk that meets their fitness levels. There is a walk suitable for everyone.
This trail is accessible to people of all abilities, including wheelchairs. Please note though there is an incline at the side path to Waterloo Bay Lookout. Dog allowed on leash on the track.
Flat walk on firm surface
Elliston Coastal Trail
Distance 13.6km long
Distance 6.5km long
Little Bay Trail
Distance 2.4km long
Distance 5.7km long
Caranbirini Conservation Reserve
Barrawullua is a great introduction to the unique geological formations of the Australian outback. And it is accessible, you do not require a four day hike to get there. Another walk to give you a sense of the outback.
Caranbirini Conservation Reserve is a great snapshot of the Northern Territory packaged up in a mere 1,200 hectares. Think mini Bungle Bungles, towering sandstone formations, weathered narrow rock passes, semi-permanent waterholes and open woodland.
Barrawulla Walk is a loop track. There are towering rock mini canyons and folded layered weathered sandstone commonly described as ‘lost city’ rock formations. The pinnacles are up to 25 metres. The layered colours are the result of sand layers, deposited and compacted then eroding slowly to expose the rock pipes. The terrain provides shelter for wildlife. There is the possibility of wallaby sightings especially in the early morning or at dusk.
Best time of year to visit is between May and October.
Unlike many other remote parks it is easy to get to because its short gravel access track leads straight off the bitumen of the Carpentaria Highway. The park is accessible to 2WD vehicles year round
While the track is relatively flat it is uneven in places with surface rocks.
No toilet facilities
No dogs allowed
Before you go walking, safe walking in the top end, Northern Territory
Bell Gorge Walk Trail, King Leopold Ranges
Bell Gorge has a waterfall in the middle of the extraordinary red, gold sandstone rock forms of the Aussie outback. In the wet season water, torrents spill over the edges providing a visual contrast against the stark landscape.
The Bell Gorge Walk is a dramaticl spectacular waterfall in the Kimberleys. Even in drought conditions there is water flow which is an indicator of the enormous volume of water descending the gorge. The 150 metre waterfall drop creates the height for the natural display of water power surging over the lip of the gorge. The water flow eventually joins the Isdell River.
The track is well signposted with descriptions of plant life and wildlife that lives in the area. Signs explain geological features, the folded rock formations millions of years in the making. There are plaques explaining the importance of the area for the traditional owners. Your trudging slog in the warmth of semi-desert environment is rewarded with stunning cascades of water surging and spilling into myriad sparkles, dividing into streams as it falls from the rock edges. The base of the falls has deep pools, with ledges and rock walls forming natural swimming pools. Accessing the base pool involves a descent down a uneven, steep track. There are walking track signs for visitors to explore upstream, as well to discover pools in the upper gorge. In the wet season water surges, gushs, relentless sheets of water, solid torrents roaring their way down into the pools below. The area is closed in the wet season.
4WD required for Gibb River Road
Access to the track is a 40 minute drive from Gibb River Road. Following wet season rains, great volumes of water cascade from the King Leopold Ranges and the track and campground are closed.
Facilities are available at the campground.
A relaxed riverside campground with toilets, showers and cooking facilities but no powered sites. Rangers are onsite from mid-April to mid-October. Bell Creek Gorge.Bell Gorge and Bells Falls, which are about 11km to the north-west of this campsite.
No dogs allowed
Wifi no service
Campgrounds must be booked prior to arrival.
The journey is worth it