Difference between revisions of "Gregory National Park"
Latest revision as of 10:42, 29 January 2012
Gregory National Park is the Northern Territory's second largest National Park, encompassing spectacular ranges, escarpments, gorges and eucalypt woodlands. A drive through the eastern section of the park along the Victoria Highway will reveal some of these landscapes while the easily accessed walks near the Victoria River Roadhouse provide close up experiences of the dramatic sandstone escarpment. These are the 3 kilometre return Escarpment Walk and rocky 1.7 kilometre Nawulbinbin (Joe Creek) Loop Walk. Also near the Roadhouse is boat access to the Victoria River. Distinctive Boab Trees occur throughout the park but are particularly striking in the limestone landscapes that can only be reached by four-wheel drive vehicles. The western section of the Park extends from the sub tropical zone in the north to the semi-arid zone in the south.
Gregory National Park, where you can follow the Escarpment Lookout Walk for stunning views or the Joe Creek Walk past rock art and palms. Cruise down the Victoria River at sunset, spotting saltwater crocodiles and boab trees. See thousands of crocs up close at the Coolibah Crocodile Farm and climb to Kuwang Lookout for a view of Stokes Range. In the southern part of the park, you can walk to Limestone Gorge and four wheel drive the rugged 90 kilometre Bullita Stock Route. Camp at the historic Bullita Homestead or stay overnight at Timber Creek.
At nearly one million hectares, Gregory National Park is the second largest in the Northern Territory. It was named in honour of Augustus Gregory, a pioneer, who in 1854 led an eighteen-person expedition, which spent six months exploring the Victoria River district before heading east to Brisbane. Land excised from cattle stations in 1990 created the park and evidence of early European pioneering efforts are still in existence. It is also home to Aboriginal sacred sites, which are reserved for the Wardaman, Ngariman, Ngaliwurri tribes, to name but a few. At the core of Gregory National Park is the former Bullita Outstation. (Land from nearby Victoria River Downs, Humbert River, Delamere, Auvergne, and Innesvale were also excised to create the national park.) Bullita was an outstation for the Durack family; they were firmly linked with cattle and the opening up of interior Australia in the 1880s. The old homestead still stands and the name of one of the Duracks is carved into a nearby boab tree. Cattle were taken from Bullita and Humbert River stations along the road that runs through Gregory N.P. today. This road connected to the Auvergne Stock Route farther to the north. Evidence of cattle-working facilities used by these large stations is still visible. The Spring Creek Cattle Yards were typical of yards used during cattle drives when up to 500 head might be moved. The Drovers Rest camp near Bullita was the site of a regular drovers’ camp. Many drovers were needed to move the large herds between stations and cattle markets. At this site, the words ‘Oriental Hotel’ are carved into a huge boab. Along the Humbert track, which runs between Bullita and Humbert River Station connecting to Victoria River Downs, packhorses were used to carry goods. This track was originally a supply trail for Humbert River Station from Victoria River Downs. Today, its only traffic was seven pushbike riders and one support vehicle. The terrain is extremely rugged and better suited to travel by packhorse! However, it is amazing to experience travel over these roads as it was done by men, horses, and cattle in the glory days of early cattle ranching on the Australian frontier.
Judbarra / Gregory National Park covers an area of around 13,000 square km in the transition zone between tropical and semi-arid regions of the Northern Territory. The Park features spectacular range and gorge scenery and significant traces of Aboriginal culture, European exploration and pastoral history.
Flora and fauna
Gregory National Park is home to flora and fauna species of the arid inland and tropical north, making it an ecologically important region. The diverse habitats of the Gregory area support 15 threatened species including three plants (two ferns and a grass), five birds (Gouldian Finch, Australian Bustard, Northern Shrike-tit, Partridge Pigeon, Purplecrowned Fairy-wren), and two reptiles (Merten’s Water Monitor and Yellow-spotted Monitor). Three species of threatened fish are reported from the stretch of the Victoria River within the Site, and two invertebrates, both land snails, are known only from limestone habitats within the Site.
The Park may be reached via the Victoria Highway from either Katherine, Kununurra or the unsealed Buntine Highway. Judbarra / Gregory National Park can also be reached via the unsealed Buchanan Highway as well.
Camping Fees A standard fee applies at Sullivans Creek, Big Horse Creek and Bullita campgrounds. Envelopes are provided at the fee deposit box near the entrance of the campgrounds. Campgrounds along the 4WD tracks are free.
Please refer to NT Parks Factsheet for information on access and Map: 
A drive through the eastern section of the park along the Victoria Highway will reveal some of these landscapes, while the easily accessed, Escarpment Walk and Nawulbinbin (Joe Creek) Loop Walk near the Victoria River Roadhouse, provide close up experiences of the dramatic sandstone escarpment.
Distinctive Boab Trees occur throughout the park but are particularly striking in the limestone landscapes that can only be reached by four-wheel drive vehicles. The western section of the park extends from the sub tropical zone in the north to the semi-arid zone in the south.
Bullita Homestead is the furthest south that two-wheel drive vehicles can venture (high clearance recommended) and includes a historic homestead and stockyards where you can find out more about the park's nature, culture and history. Gregory's Tree is another historic site that is two-wheel drive accessible. A network of remote four-wheel drive tracks for those who are well-equipped and well prepared is open usually during May to November.
The Park abounds with walking tracks, fishing spots, 4WD tracks and camping areas. Refer to the ‘Judbarra / Gregory National Park 4WD Tracks’information sheet for more information about the 4WD tracks. 
A number of camping areas have been established throughout the Park, incorporating barbecue areas, picnic tables and pit toilets. A nominal camping fee applies.Caravans accessible only off the Victoria Highway. Not recommended to be taken into interior of Gregory National Park due to the rough terrain.
Safety and Comfort
• Carry and drink plenty of water • Wear a shady hat, sunscreen and insect repellent • Wear suitable clothing and footwear • Carry a first aid kit • Avoid strenuous activity during the heat of the day • Ensure your vehicle is well maintained and equipped. • If using a 4WD track, notify a reliable person of your intended route and expected return time. A satellite phone or emergency beacon is also recommended. • Do not swim - Estuarine Crocodiles may inhabit waterways, observe warning signs