The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) and joint management partners plan to safely re-open the Kimberley’s national parks and conservation areas to visitors, as the region continues its recovery from unprecedented flooding in January.
DBCA Regional Manager Kimberley Craig Olejnik said the majority of the Kimberley’s national parks will be open this tourism season.
“Traditional owners have been instrumental in recovery operations and getting parks ready to open in 2023,” Mr Olejnik said.
“East Kimberley parks including the popular Purnululu National Park World Heritage area will be open for business as usual to the public and commercial tour operators.
“In the West Kimberley, popular sites Dimalurru (Tunnel Creek), Dulundi (Silent Grove), Walarra Mindi (Mt Hart), and Lennard Gorge will open pending confirmation of safe access via Gibb River Road and other local access roads and completion of geotechnical and arborist assessments.
“However, significant flood damage to visitor infrastructure and post-flood visitor safety risks at Danggu Geikie Gorge National Park and Bandilngan (Windjana Gorge) National Park mean they will remain closed for the rest of 2023.”
Danggu Geikie Gorge National Park’s closure also means the Danggu Geikie Gorge boat tours won’t operate this season.
Danggu Geikie Gorge and Bandilngan (Windjana Gorge) national parks are jointly managed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and Bunuba Traditional Owners, who have requested time for Country to heal and for those who speak for Country to reconnect with flood-affected areas.
“Many areas of the Kimberley were not impacted by flooding, and I encourage travellers to visit and support those communities and tourism businesses in the coming months,” Mr Olejnik said.
“The majority of national parks will be open, but for your own safety and out of respect for traditional owners, please do not attempt to access closed parks.”
For the latest information about park closures and related works visit: https://alerts.dbca.wa.gov.au.
Learn more about the Kimberley’s national parks and conservation areas at: www.exploreparks.dbca.wa.gov.au.