Take a gander at Geikie Gorge (Djarnku)

a-to-z-letters-gG is for GEIKIE GORGE

On today’s jaunt we’re heading across the Northern Territory-Western Australia border and further west through the Kimberley region to Geikie Gorge or Darngku, about 1500kms. One important thing to remember if you’re heading in this direction is that there are quarantine restrictions on honey, fruit and vegetables, so don’t stock up in Katherine or Darwin before you head off –wait until you get to Kununurra.

The gorge is part of an ancient reef formed in the Devonian period, 360 million years ago. I’m sure you realise I didn’t have this information at the top of my mind and you can learn more about it on this site. The Fitzroy River runs through the gorge and this is where you can take the opportunity for a relaxed boat tour run by the local Aboriginal guides. We did the late afternoon cruise on a camping trip through WA over ten years ago so my memory is hazier than it might otherwise be.

The reflected colours of Geike Gorge near sunset. © Pauleen Cass 2001
The reflected colours of GeikIe Gorge near sunset. © Pauleen Cass 2001
Geike Gorge rocks_smaller
The power of the flooded river on the rocks.

A lasting memory for us is that on our drive back into the town of Fitzroy Crossing where we were camping, we hit a wallaby which the tour guide kindly finished off for the wimpy urbanites. Its leg was broken and it wouldn’t have survived, rather died a painful death as the whistling kites (hawks) were already circling. At least this way it was able to be taken home to be bush tucker for the mob that night.

Ancient rocks compressed.
Ancient rocks compressed.

While in Fitzroy Crossing it’s also worth looking to see what Indigenous art they have for sale at the Mangkaja Arts Centre. The Kimberley is an area of spectacular natural beauty and vivid colours and their art reflects this. There are Indigenous galleries and arts centre scattered through the Northern Territory and I can highly recommend that you at least visit, even if the prices sometimes frighten you half to death. You might be surprised and find something you love in your price range. Certainly they’ve become valuable art investments in the recent decades.

 Why visit: to see some amazing geological formations, a chilled-out boat cruise and a look at fantastic art.

FYI: There are a couple of maps on my A to Z planning post which will help you to pinpoint where today’s tourist spots are situated.


 G’Day: The iconic Aussie greeting meaning “good day” but apparently remarkably difficult for non-Aussies to replicate.

Gander: take a look

 Galoot*: a silly person.

 Grouse: fabulous, fantastic

Galah: actually a pink and grey bird which tends to do silly things like somersaults on the power lines. When used in relation to a person it also means silly.

 Gurgler: drain eg “that’s money down the gurgler” or “all my hard work down the gurgler”

 Gunna: Aussies have a habit of shortening phrases and names, and just plain slurring their words. Gunna is the equivalent of “going to” or a person who’s also intending to do something but not delivering. He shoulda fixed the car this week but he’s a bit of a gunna.

 Glad rags: fancy clothes. “She must be going somewhere flash, she’s got her glad rags on.”

Garbo: garbage man. Once upon a time he’d jump off the truck, grab the bin, hoist it on his shoulder then run to the truck with it. These days it’s fairly a08utomated with “claws” on the trucks to pick up the wheelie-bins. In rural areas however (see tomorrow), the residents have to take their own rubbish to the tip.

Please visit again tomorrow for an outing a bit closer to Darwin, the rural area with the quaint name, Humpty Doo.

18 thoughts on “Take a gander at Geikie Gorge (Djarnku)

    1. That whole area is beautiful Sharon, not sure I’d place Kununurra itself above the others, but that’s just me. Too many places, too little time 🙂

  1. Wonderful pictures and another fun list of Aussie-isms! It’s remarkable to see the effect running water has over rock over long periods of time. Beautiful.

    1. Thanks for visiting Elise and thanks for the kind words. Yes it’s easy to forget just how powerful strong running water really is. Cheers Pauleen

  2. When we finally make our trip to Australia I’ll have to go over your blog again. These are the exact kinds of places that we want to see that we somehow thumb past in the guidebooks!

    1. With your travel track record I’m guessing you’ll be here sooner rather than later Charlie. I’m glad the posts are helpful to planning 🙂 Cheers Pauleen

    1. That’s one of the “problems” of the challenge -so many places being brought to our attention and to tempt us to travel:-) Thanks for visiting.

    1. There is a walking path near the gorge but then I’m lazy and it’s hot, and I’m lazy ….The rocks really are spectacular and the cruise also gives you local Aboriginal cultural info.

  3. I have still yet to visit Oz! My brother-in-law and his family live in Sydney, but we have three kids so a flight down under is expensive. One day I WILL go!!!

    1. I can quite imagine that a trip for three would break the bank….never mind one day will come and how great you’ll have family to visit.

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