Kennedy Range National Park
AUSTRALIA,  WESTERN AUSTRALIA

KENNEDY RANGE NATIONAL PARK

Kennedy Range National Park is a highly underrated travel destination in Western Australia. Mostly because it’s rugged and isolated, but at the same time immensely beautiful. Just imagine spectacular cliffs raising 100 metres above the ground and a maze of steep-sided canyons. This was my first Australian outback experience and I’ll definitely remember it for a long time. I think that Kennedy Range National Park is one of the best places to visit in Western Australia. In this blog post, I’m going to prove you why. Let’s get started!

HOW FAR IS KENNEDY RANGE FROM PERTH?

Kennedy Range National Park is located in the northwestern section of Western Australia, in Gascoyne region, over 1000 km from Perth. It’s a remote wilderness area with no reception and Internet. Gascoyne Junction is the closest town, 60 km away from the national park. It’s your last chance to fill up with fuel and purchase some essentials. The road from Gascoyne Junction to Kennedy Range National Park is unsealed, and usually suitable for 2WD cars. A 4WD car is required to access the western section of the national park.

WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?

Australia’s winter is the best time to visit Kennedy Range National Park. Avoid travelling there in December, January and February due to extremely high temperatures, even 40°C during a day. Hiking in heat is far from being enjoyable, not to mention your safety. The road from Gascoyne Junction to Kennedy Range National Park may be inaccessible for 2WD cars after a heavy rainfall. In extreme cases, it may be closed for all vehicles. It’s recommend to check the current road conditions before driving to Gascoyne Junction.

WHERE TO SEEK INFORMATION?

There is no Visitor Centre in Kennedy Range National Park. There’s no ranger’s office either. As previously mentioned, this is a remote, isolated place, and you may not encounter other people here, even for a couple of days, especially in low season. If you want to stay connected, a satellite phone is the only option. National park maps should be available at a petrol station in Gascoyne Junction. If you seek information about road conditions and weather alerts, you can dial the national park contact number beforehand.

WHERE TO STAY OVERNIGHT?

I have some good news! There’s no entry fee to Kennedy Range National Park. Camping at Temple Gorge campground at the base of the eastern escarpment is also free of charge. However, facilities are limited to toilets and picnic tables only. There’s no access to water in the national park so make sure to always carry ample supplies of drinking water with yourself. Don’t forget about food and fuel too. No booking is expected to stay overnight at Temple Gorge campsite. Enjoy your night away from civilisation to the fullest!

Temple Gorge campground
Temple Gorge campground

IS IT SAFE?

Kennedy Range National Park is outback Australia, so let me briefly summarize some safety precautions you should keep in mind. Firstly, don’t go if you are not prepared. Be mindful that in case of emergency, the only person you can count on, is yourself. You may be lucky and come across a human right away, but this is not guaranteed. It may take days before someone comes in here. Secondly, tell someone you trust about your plans. It’s advisable to tell somebody where are you heading, what are you going to do and when are you planning to return. If you are not back as expected, this person should take some proper actions.

WHAT ARE THE BEST THINGS TO DO?

Kennedy Range National Park left me speechless. This place is harshly beautiful, intimidating and mysterious. On top of that, this was my first Australian outback experience and funnily enough, a solo one. Here’s why it was such a memorable adventure to me. Kennedy Range National Park has 6 walking tracks that give you the opportunity to explore its plateau, 3 of them go through eroded gorges. The trails are relatively short so 1 or 2-day visit in the national park should be enough. All roads here are unsealed.

Kennedy Range National Park map
Kennedy Range National Park – map
ESCARPMENT TRAIL

This is my favourite bit of Kennedy Range National Park. This walking track runs through a narrow gorge that ascends to the top of the escarpment for spectacular views. Standing there, on the edge of the cliff, I felt intimidated. Intimidated by the raw beauty and immensity of this place. There were exposed, rugged cliffs around me, and infinite red ground that contrasts with the blue sky. You can do the escarpment trail from Drapers Gorge, as well as from Temple Gorge. There is not much difference in difficulty. Don’t miss it!

Drapers Gorge Carpark – Drapers Gorge – Escarpment Trail – Temple Gorge Campground

Hiking trail: 3,4 km, 2 hours (return)
Trail class: 4
Trail access: 2WD (unsealed road)

Kennedy Range National Park Escarpment Trail
Kennedy Range National Park Escarpment Trail
Escarpment Trail
HONEYCOMB GORGE

This is another very special place in Kennedy Range National Park. This is a fairly short but interesting walking track that takes you to a spectacular rock face with a number of hexagonal holes. In fact, this is the reason this gorge is called “honeycomb”. Its name is associated with cavities that have been created by wind and water and eroded into the cliff face. You may be lucky and get a chance to spot a waterfall above the cliff which is seasonal. What a shame that I didn’t see it as I visited the place in Australia’s summer.

Honeycomb Gorge Carpark – Honeycomb Gorge – Honeycomb Gorge Carpark

Hiking trail: 600 m, 20 minutes (return)
Trail class: 3
Trail access: 2WD (unsealed road)

Honeycomb Gorge

DRAPERS GORGE

It was the first place I visited in Kennedy Range National Park. I was driving from Gascoyne Junction, and decided to go to Drapers Gorge right away. I pulled over, jumped out of the car and stood there for a couple of minutes, staring at majestic cliffs raising above the ground in the middle of nowhere. This walking track is a bit longer than the previous one. The route features a series of seasonal waterfalls and small rock pools. It’s a class 4 trail which means that you will have to scramble up escarpment slopes in some areas.

Drapers Gorge Carpark – Drapers Gorge – Drapers Gorge Carpark

Hiking trail: 2 km, 1 hour (return)
Trail class: 4
Trail access: 2WD (unsealed road)

Kennedy Range National Park Drapers Gorge
Kennedy Range National Park Drapers Gorge
Drapers Gorge
TEMPLE GORGE

This walking track starts at Temple Gorge campground. The first part of the trail in class 3, so it’s not hard. After a while, you will get to a fork in the creek under a rock face. Here you have to choose whether to go left or right. Frankly speaking, it’s very easy to miss this intersection. Turn left if you want to continue class 3 trail which is slightly shorter but still picturesque. Turn right if you want to take a bit longer and tougher path. Moving forward, this is a 4 class trail. It involves some scrambling up and around large boulders.

Temple Gorge Campground – Temple Gorge – Temple Gorge Campground

Hiking trail: 2 km, 1,5 hours (return)
Trail class: 3, 4
Trail access: 2WD (unsealed road)

Kennedy Range National Park Temple Gorge
Kennedy Range National Park Temple Gorge
Temple Gorge
SUNRISE VIEW

Not a surprise that early morning hours are the best to enjoy this walking track. Imagine the colours of sunrise, illuminating the prominent plateau of Kennedy Range National Park. Absolutely stunning. Keep your eyes peeled for kangaroos jumping around too! You can get here by car and take a short, 300 m walk to admire the view. You can also do a longer walk, and start from Honeycomb Gorge or even Temple Gorge. This trail has up to 6 km in total, both ways. Regardless which one you choose, don’t forget to set the alarm!

Sunrise View Carpark – Sunrise View – Sunrise View Carpark

Hiking trail: 300 m, 15 minutes (return)
Trail class: 3
Trail access: 2WD (unsealed road)

Kennedy Range National Park Sunrise View
Sunrise View
Sunrise View
OTHER PLACES
  • Escarpment Base Trail from Temple Gorge through Honeycomb Gorge to Sunrise View – 5,8 km, 3 hours (return), class 3, trail access for 2WD cars (unsealed road)

This is all you need to know about Kennedy Range National Park. Did I convince you that this place is worth a visit? Let me know by leaving a comment below!