Walk and wade through a tunnel beneath an ancient mountain range that was carved out by water over millions of years and was once home to an Aboriginal (Bunuba) freedom fighter. If it isn’t already, the impressive Tunnel Creek should be high on your Kimberley bucket list!
In the West Kimberley, about 2.5 hours (180 Km) east from Derby, Tunnel Creek is a 750m long tunnel beneath a mountain range, which is also WA’s oldest cave system.
Carved out by Tunnel Creek and home to stalactites, bats, and the occasional freshwater crocodile, the walk takes you from one side of the Napier Range to the other, alongside and through, pools of fresh water (the Napier Range is the limestone remains of an ancient reef system – about 350-375 million years old!).
Tunnel Creek is well known for being the hideout of Jandamarra, a Bunuba leader. Jandamarra became a police tracker, but went on the run after he shot a police officer to free members of his own family who had been captured. On the run for three years, he led a resistance against authorities and fought to defend his country. He became well known for his ability to disappear and hide but was eventually tracked down and shot at Tunnel Creek in 1897. If you want to learn more about Tunnel Creek and its cultural significance, Bunuba elders run guided tours during the dry season.
Inaccessible during the wet season, Tunnel Creek is usually open between April – November. There’s no camping at Tunnel Creek; however, there’s a nearby campground at Windjana Gorge National Park. If camping’s not your thing, be prepared for a long day trip, but together the two sites make for a great day out.
Photos by @daianafernandez, @alex.vp.photography, @celinevn_world, @dionaheard, @dannytaylorog & @alex.vp.photography
Words by @alex.vp.photography
Perth Western Australia Travel Photo
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