Shothole Canyon, located on the eastern side of Cape Range National Park, is one of the most rugged areas of the National Park.
A gravel road meanders over dry creek beds and offers a scenic drive through the canyon, offering stunning views of three different colourful rock layers - Trealla, Tulki and Mandu limestone - which make up the sheer canyon walls. Look out for native wildlife that lives in the National Park, such as emus, echidnas, kangaroos, dingoes, lizards and wallabies. If visiting between August and October, you'll likely find an abundance of wildflowers as over 630 species burst into bloom throughout the National Park.
12km into the canyon you'll find a carpark, picnic tables and toilet facilities along with the start/end point of the Shothole Canyon Walk. The walk is a Class 4, 100m return walk up steps that takes you to a lookout with spectacular views down the canyon towards Exmouth Gulf. The steps are extremely steep and narrow and the gravel surface can be slippery underfoot; visitors are reminded to take due care.
The canyon's name is derived from the shot holes left by explosive charges fixed to set up miniature earthquakes, for seismographic studies during oil searches in the 1950s.
How to get here:
The turn off to Shothole Canyon Road is 15 minutes' drive (17km) south of Exmouth's township, on the Minilya-Exmouth Road. A 4WD is required to drive through the canyon.