Galvans Gorge – An Unexpected Delight!

Last time, we were wandering around Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary. Go here if you missed it.

Peace And Seclusion

Imagine you’ve left Mornington Widlife Sanctuary earlier in the day and you’re making for Mt Barnett, further to the east on the Gibb River Road. Then about 15km from Mt Barnett, you see a small sign indicating you’re passing Galvans Gorge carpark. It’s a hot day, so you think, “Might as well have a look. Might even be able to have a swim”.

Push bike riders on the Gibb River Road. Not my idea of fun!
Push bike riders on the Gibb River Road, on the way to Galvans Gorge. Not my idea of fun!

You set off along an easy walking track, following a beautiful creek upstream. After about 10 minutes of walking, you hear the sound of a waterfall.

Galvans Gorge slowly comes into view and what you see simply blows you away. This place is paradise!

Magnificent Galvans Gorge appears through the scrub.
Galvans Gorge slowly appearing through the scrub.

This delightful waterhole is stunning. The pool is deep and perfect for swimming – and deceptively large. A small waterfall cascades down over several rock ledges and tropical plants hang from rock ledges.

To complete this picture-perfect panorama, an enormous boab tree stands sentinel at the top of the waterfall. And the best part? When we were there, we were completely alone.

Giant boab tree keeps watch over Galvans Gorge.
Giant boab tree keeps watch over Galvans Gorge.

Beautiful palm twisted like a corkscrew at Galvans Gorge.
Beautiful palm twisted like a corkscrew at Galvans Gorge.
Swimming at Galvans Gorge.
Time for a refreshing swim!
Swimming in Galvans Gorge.
It really doesn’t get much better than this.
Swimming at Galvans Gorge.
Crystal clear water and seclusion.

Galvans Gorge is an awesome introduction to the famous gorges of the Kimberleys. It might lack the scale of other gorges, but this is more than compensated for by its beauty. A truly magnificent place.

Wandjina Art

Wandjinas are the supreme creator – the creator spirit – for the Mowanjum people of this area. A Wandjina is all-powerful and must be treated with the utmost respect. Wandjinas bring rain and ensure fertility. For thousands of years, certain people have been conferred the honour of refreshing the paintings regularly, to ensure the Wandjina spirits remain in a given location.

For detailed information on Wandjinas, the Creative Spirits website has an excellent explanation.

Wandjina art is scattered all through the Kimberley region – an indication of the significance of these spirits to the Mowanjum people.

An excellent example of Wandjina art is on display here. It’s under a rock ledge on the far side of the pool. This Wandjina spirit oversees the gorge, keeping a protective eye on it. So it follows that Galvans Gorge must be a culturally significant place for the Mowanjum people – hardly surprisingly, given its beauty and seclusion.

Ancient Wandjina Art at Galvans Gorge.
Ancient Wandjina Art at Galvans Gorge.

We’ll return one day to find out more about the Wandjinas.

If you’re looking for Kimberley tours, cruises or places to stay, TourRadar have a good selection for you to choose from.

Next time: Mt Barnett and Manning Gorge.

Plan your Gibb River Road Adventure

Download “Gibb River Road – A Traveller’s Guide” for info on what to see, road conditions, fuel and much more.

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Any errors or omissions are mine alone.

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