King Leopold Ranges Conservation Park

Lennard Gorge in the King Leopold Ranges Conservation Park. Photo: L-A Shibish

King Leopold Ranges Conservation Park, located off the Gibb River Road, 240 kms east of Derby, in Western Australia’s Kimberley region is known for its spectacular Bell Creek and Lennard gorges, swimming holes, hiking trails and the peaceful campsite at Silent Grove.

This Park is a haven for birds, including nationally threatened species (Gouldian Finch, Purple-crowned Fairy-wren, Red Goshawk) and home to rare plant and animal species (Northern Quoll, Golden bandicoots, Northern Brush-tailed Possum). The area supports high floral and faunal diversity because it has a number of different biogeographic regions and has not been disturbed.

The rare and extremely beautiful Gouldian Finch. Photo: L-A Shibish

The park covers nearly 400,000 hectares of sandstone mountains, palm groves and huge granite outcrops. It includes the formidable King Leopold Range, which reach almost 1,000 metres from sea level. The folded rock formations of Lennard gorges were millions of years in the making.

You can camp at Bell Creek and at Silent Grove or stay at Mt Hart Wilderness Lodge, which is within the conservation park and has camping facilities as well as catered accommodation.

Access is four-wheel drive only and open during the dry season – usually April to November (dates vary according to conditions). The park is closed during the wet season, when roads are impassable, but the waterfalls, which are swollen after the rains, can be viewed by aerial tours from Derby and Broome.

Bell Gorge. Photo: L-A Shibish