Kennedy Range National Park, known as 'Mundatharrda' to the local Inggarda Aboriginal language group, is located approximately 185 kilometres or 3 hours' drive east of Carnarvon. Kennedy Range is a vast sandstone plateau ranging between 12km and 25km in width and around 75km long. Over millions of years, natural forces have etched out valleys and created remarkable cliff faces.
Guided day tours are a great way to explore Kennedy Range National Park, and scenic helicopter flights are a unique way to see the Park. For those who are self-driving, the roads in Kennedy Range National Park are unsealed. The unsealed road to the eastern escarpment is usually suitable for two-wheel drive vehicles, however this can vary depending on recent rains and road conditions so a four-wheel drive is recommended. Access to the western side of the park, via the Gascoyne River, is with high-clearance and high-capability four-wheel drive only.
For those who love hiking or camping, Kennedy Range National Park is not to be missed. The Park offers a wilderness-style experience and the chance to reconnect with nature while camping beneath the stars and stark sandstone cliffs of the Kennedy Range. The most popular site within the park is Honeycomb Gorge, a rock face formed by wind and water spray from a seasonal waterfall above the cliff-face. An intriguing feature which has created a mass of hexagonal holes leading to the "Honeycomb" name.
The best time to visit is during winter after good rains. At such times, the usually dusty red landscape bursts into bloom with a wide variety of delicate flowers and plants blanketing the National Park's ancient valleys.
Sightseeing, photography, picnicking, bush camping, hiking and a trek to the top of the ranges can easily fill your time at Kennedy Range National Park. There are six walk trails - Temple Gorge, Honeycomb Gorge, Drapers Gorge, the Escarpment Trail (leading to the top of the range), the Escarpment Base Trail, and Sunrise View. All trails are Class 3 (users require a moderate level of fitness. Trails may be slightly modified and include unstable surfaces) and/or Class 4 (trails are in relatively undisturbed environments and are often rough with few if any modifications. A moderate to high level of fitness is required. Users should be prepared and self reliant).
There is no entry fee for the National Park, however camping fees do apply at the bush campground Temple Gorge (with a bush toilet). Please note there is no drinking water available in the National Park and all visitors should carry ample supplies of drinking water and fuel. Temple Gorge Campground has a communal firepit, but to protect the wildlife habitat and ecology of the National Park, campers should collect wood before getting to the park. For more information on visiting Kennedy Range National Park contact the Visitors Centre.
Things to note when visiting Kennedy Range National Park:
- The best time to visit is in Winter after good rains or late Autumn/early Spring.
- The National Park is approximately 3 hours' drive east of Carnarvon
- Plan your walk for the most suitable season and/or daily weather conditions
- During hotter months (December to March), temperatures in the National Park often exceed 40' celcius.
- Walk in groups of three or more,
- Each person needs to carry and drink 3-4 litres of water per day of walking. Extra water may be required if walking in the hotter months. There is no drinking water in the park.
- Carefully review your daily drinking water needs. Carry cool water if possible
- Wear a broad brimmed hat, sunscreen and a loose long sleeved shirt for protection from the sun
- Take regular breaks when walking
- Wear sturdy footwear and follow the trail markers
- Walk during the cooler parts of the day - there will also be more wildlife about during this time
Click here for Kennedy Range National Park's brochure.