After experiencing 40 – 50km/h winds at Mesa Camp Ground in Cape Range National Park overnight, we had breakfast and took off, looking for somewhere to escape from the wind. A short drive south took us to Mandu Mandu Gorge, and we set up for the walk.
Most people who visit Exmouth do so for the Ningaloo Marine Park, but Cape Range National Park, and the actual range is absolutely spectacular, and you shouldn’t miss it.
Do you need a 4WD to get there?
No, not at all. It’s a short gravel drive from the main road, and is accessible to all types of vehicles. The bigger issue is usually parking, especially if its a busy time of year. You can usually find something along the edge of the road in though.
How long and hard is the walk?
The first part of the walk is fairly easy, and straight forward. You make a couple of short climbs, and then just tick along through the river bed for a significant time frame. It’s worth knowing that the river bed is very rocky, and you’ll almost never have a flat or solid surface to walk on. You are essentially walking on thousands of little boulders, and they will move around as you do so.
Some good quality boots are worth while, to prevent any rolled ankles and give you decent grip going up and down the range later on.
Eventually, you’ll get within the gorge to a sign that states 1.7km to the carpark, heading up. From here, the walk gets significantly harder. Our nearly 5 year old did it with no issues, and there were plenty of 60 + year olds doing it, but its certainly not a walk in the park.
The views at the top make up for the effort required, and it exceeded our expectations considerably.
Watch out for the rock wallabies
Take the time to stop every so often (so you don’t trip over a rock!) and look around. Not only is it a beautiful place to kick back and enjoy, but if you are careful you’ll see a heap of rock wallabies looking down at you!
We would have seen about 10 as we walked through, with a number of them moving and hanging out together. They are pretty incredible animals, that spend their lives in the rocks on what would seem like a pretty impossible place to live!
The number of times I thought one was going to fall was significant, but they are totally at home hopping around at speed (although I’m sure they do occasionally fall!).
Is Mandu Mandu Gorge walk worth it?
Absolutely. We really enjoyed the walk, and despite it requiring a fair chunk of effort, the views are spectacular and seeing the rock wallabies is pretty special. It’s one of the better Exmouth Attractions, and its completely free!
Have you walked the full Mandu Mandu Gorge Trail? What did you think of it?