I want to start off by saying that the Kennedy Ranges are truly beautiful. I can’t believe most travellers miss this part of Australia! Maybe its because it is literally in the middle of nowhere? Nevertheless, this is somewhere which I highly recommend you visit.
The Kennedy Ranges, known as Mundatharrda to the local Inggarda Aboriginal language group, is a elevated sandstone plateau between 12 and 25 km wide and about 75 km long. The rocks that make up the ranges were originally deposited beneath the ocean and overtime were compressed to form sandstone. More than 130 million years ago, due to an uplift, the sandstone lifted and tilted towards the west. Wind and water have sculpted the ranges to what you see today.
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Where is it?
The Kennedy Ranges are located 62 km North of the Gascoyne Junction, which is 172 km east of Carnarvon. From Perth it will take you roughly 12 hrs by car. There is very little shops or fuel in this part of WA, so make sure you buy groceries and fuel up in Carnarvon.
The roads to the Kennedy Ranges are unsealed, however they are accessible via 2WD. After heavy rainfall the roads can be substantially damaged, so make sure to call the visitor centre before continuing on. The closest fuel stops are at the Gascoyne Junction and Mt Augustus Tourist Park. Expect to pay outback prices
There is only one form of accommodation in the Kennedy Ranges and that is camping. Temple Gorge is a bush campground and is very basic. It only has a single drop loo and a communal fire place. It will cost $11AUD per night to camp. Bookings cannot be made in advance, and spots are a first come first served basis.
Things to do
A 2km return hiking trail which should take you roughly 2 hours. The trail begins at the day use area and follows a dry creek bed. You will end your hike at a prominent rock face called the “Temple”.
A class 4, 2 km return hike. It will only take about a hour to complete and seems easy at the start! However, you will need to do a bit of rock scrambling on some loose stones and up some steep cliffs. I would recommend at least a small amount of fitness.
A very rocky, but easy hike. This class 3, 600m return hike will lead you to the hexagonal holes or honeycomb formations along a cliff face. It’s actually unique rock formation. The trail ends at a large natural amphitheatre featuring a seasonal waterfall and pool.
A 3.4 km return trail, which starts at the carpark or campgrounds. This hike is challenging in some sections as its steep and requires some walking near cliff edges. Once you’ve reached the top, you will be rewarded with beautiful views over the ranges. Its best to start this trail early in the morning to beat the heat or for sunrise. I would not recommend doing this trail in the dark unless you are a experienced hiker.
Escarpment Base Trail
This 5.8km return trail leads you around the base of the ranges. It is very difficult in some areas and a good level of fitness is required. Start this trail early in the morning to beat the heat. You can access Honeycomb Gorge on this hike.
Sunrise View Trail
A short 300 metre walk that leads to an elevated platform offering good views for sunrise.
There is a track on the western side of the Kennedy Range National Park via the Gascoyne River crossing comprising around 200 metres of soft sand. Only take on this track if you have some off road experience and a high clearance 4WD. The track is rough and not marked, so make sure you are experienced. Along the way you will see some amazing views of the Kennedy Ranges.
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