Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Geikie Gorge National Park - Darngku  

Giekie Gorge National Park, Darngku    Geikie Gorge National Park, Darnku

Situated 20 km from the nearest town, Fitzroy Crossing and 280 km from Derby, Western Australia

From April to November the park is open between 6:30 am - 6:30 pm. December - March it is closed because of the flooding of the Fitzroy River.

The Fitzroy River cut its way through the fossilised Devonian barrier reef in the Kimberleys to form Geikie Gorge at the junction of the Oscar Range and Geikie Range. There is water in the gorge throughout the dry season, unlike many other rivers, most of which become dry riverbeds with scattered waterholes. During the Wet the Fitzroy becomes a raging torrent, the water level rising 16.5 m up the walls of the gorge. When the water level drops in the Dry the undercut cliffs display the caves and grottos that have been carved out by the river. At this time of year the river is a quiet stream flowing beneath the towering cliffs of a fossilised Devonian reef. 

In the Devonian, when it was a thriving reef made up of various sized reefs, ranging atolls of a few hectares to huge reefs of hundreds of square kilometres. It was built from different groups of organisms from the modern coral reefs. Whereas modern reefs are built by coral animals, in the Devonian reefs were formed by algae and long-extinct lime-secreting organisms. At its peak it was 200 m above the sea floor. The limestone ranges, the remnants of the original reef, rise from 50 to 100 m above the surrounding plain. 

Aboriginal beliefs about the origin of the area

The traditional owners, the Bunaba, call the gorge Darngku. In the Dreamtime a blind Aboriginal elder drowned after leaving his tribe to go walkabout. The old man sighed and sneezed before he sank to the bottom for the last time. They say his sighs can still be heard when the gorge is quiet.

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                                                                                           Author: M.H.Monroe  Email:     Sources & Further reading