The Shire of Upper Gascoyne boasts a number of renowned tourist attractions.
Extending into the neighbouring shires there are two World Heritage listed sites forming part of a wider tourism development in the Gascoyne Region.
Outback Pathways: Self-Drive trails traversing the red heart of Western Australia
The Gascoyne Murchison Outback Pathways feature three self-drive trails which traverse the red heart of Western Australia. Each trail is complemented by a series of roadside, interpretative signage, which opens your eyes to the wonders of this ancient landscape.
You may be driving by an area that was once home to a prehistoric seabed - fossils in the rocks bear tribute to this other age. Or perhaps you're driving alongside the wheel ruts of wool wagons that trundled these then remote areas at the turn of the 20th century. You may be at the site of a long abandoned gold rush township - crumbling buildings the only clue to the town's once bustling days. Or maybe you're at an area of special Aboriginal significance. Whatever the case, the Outback Pathways signage will reveal the region's natural, indigenous and historical secrets.
Two of the three pathways travel through Gasycoyne Junction and the greater Shire of Upper Gascoyne region.
The Wool Wagon Pathway epitomises the true Australian outback. It is a land of distinct horizons, glorious vistas, unlimited sunshine, wonderous dawns and sunsets and spectacular night skies. Here you will travel through some of Australia's legendary sheep and wool country. The Murchison area has been traditionally renowned for its quality wool, which was shipped to London and sold. Stations developed with the help of blade shearers, famous horsemen, drovers, fencers and well sinkers.
You can drive the Wool Wagon Pathway in either direction. Start at Geraldton or Yalgoo and head north from Pindar, a historic railhead for the region, into the Murchison and Gascoyne. Another option is to drive the Wool Wagon Pathway southward from Exmouth, travelling a remote outback road to Gascoyne Junction and into the Murchison.
Follow in the wheel ruts of transport pioneer Charles Kingsford Smith along the Kingsford Smith Mail Run. Smithy, as he was known, once trundled along this very route on his mail run from Carnarvon east to Meekatharra, via Gascoyne Junction.
You'll discover much about Kingsford Smith along the way - and some of his larrikin antics. You'll also learn much about early transport and communication.
The Kingsford Smith Mail Run also includes the geological wonder, Mount Augustus. This massive mount soars 715m above the surrounding plain and is rich in Aboriginal history. The Outback Pathways signage will reveal dreamtime stories about the mount and also tell you about early European history here.
The Kingsford Smith Mail Run visits the townships of Carnarvon, Gascoyne Junction and Meekatharra. You can access the Miners Pathways from the Kingsford Smith Mail Run at Meekatharra and the Wool Wagon Pathway at Gascoyne Junction.
What's in the area
The beautiful gorges and red rock landscape of Kennedy Range National Park. Perfect for a four wheel drive adventure, Kennedy Range National Park is the place to go camping under a star-filled night sky. Here, you're surrounded by pristine wilderness. Go bushwalking and explore gorges and sandstone cliffs, see native animals and birds, and look out over the vast plains of pastoral leases. The Temple Gorge camp site at Kennedy Range National Park is 56 kilometres north of Gascoyne Junction. Kennedy Range is a flora and fauna haven 90 kilometres in length with stunning cliffs, springs and canyons.
Rising up to 100 metres above the valley, the Kennedy Range plateau has dominated the surrounding plains for millions of years. With red sand dunes, spinifex, wattle and mallee trees scattered throughout the area, this is what the Aussie outback is all about.
Bushwalking trails run from the northern visitor site and camping area, and take you into gorges where you'll see honeycomb-like rock formations.
The best time to visit is late autumn and early spring.
Mt Augustus is the world's largest monocline and is visible from 100km away. It is 8km long, 3 km wide, 858 metres high and in total 1105 metres above sea level.
Mount Augustus is one of the most spectacular solitary peaks of the world. It rises above a stoney, red sandplain of arid scrubland and is visible from the air for more than 160kms. The granite formation is about 8km long, covers an area of 4,795 hectares and is estimated to be 1,750 million years old.
The area around Mount Augustus is the traditional lands of the Wajarri tribe. Burringurrah is the Wajarri name for Mount Augustus.
Mount Augustus National Park, Western Australia is located 460km east of Carnarvon and is known as Burringurrah by the local Wadjari Aboriginal people.
The Cattle Pool is well worth a visit. A permanent pool on the Lyons River, this area is a bird watcher's paradise. In the late afternoon a wild assortment of birds descends on the river, creating a symphony ranging from the chitter chatter of colourful bugerigars to the raucos cries of galahs and crows.
The pool is very significant to the local Aboriginal people for its spiritual value and the fact that it has always been a favourite camping spot.
Cobbled roads were used all around the Gascoyne Junction area and were built by men with pick and shovel during the Great Depression years of the 1930s.
Go for a walk along the road section and imagine hand-building this so the goods and stock carriers could moved through this generally impassable country expecially when wet.
Inggarda Yarning Spot & Picnic Area
Located on the Gascoyne River, the Inggarda Yarning Spot & Picnic Area is a great place to watch the local wildlife.
When the river flows many birds flock here, sometimes even pelicans and black swans.
The Gascoyne Region is one of the world’s renowned areas for its wildflowers. Wildflowers are seasonal and dependent on rainfall, with the recent rainfall in the region, the wildflower season has started early and is just magical!
Carnarvon is an ideal base for your wildflower adventure, perfectly situated as the gateway to the Gascoyne hinterland and Southern Ningaloo Reef.
The Gascoyne Junction Museum is housed in the original Roads Board Building - a tiny and quaint structure establised in 1912. Here you'll find a collection of historical artefacts including photographs, signs, telephones, lanterns and saws.
You can also appreciate more about the region's rich geology from a rock and stone display.
Edithana Pool when full covers four hectares and is located nearby to Bangemall and Pimbyana hills.
It is fed by the Lyons and Frederick rivers.
Gascoyne Junction Races
The annual Gascoyne Junction Races is a riotous affair that lures people from across the entire region. Every year more than 1,000 people descend on the tiny town with swags, sleeping bags and a burning desire for fun.
Toilet and shower facilites are available for visitors keen on being part of this true outback Australian experience.
Race Dates: first weekend October school holidays
The Landor Races are the Eastern Gascoyne Race Club's traditional bush race meeting. This meeting is held annually in the third term school holidays (October) at the racecourse near Landor Station.
The event has now been run annually, almost continuously since 1921 (except for several years during WW2) and has been run on the same principles since the early days, that it is a strickly amateur race meeting for local station horses and riders. There are no starting gates at Landor - all the races are "walk up starts".
Nowadays, the Landor weekend begins with a race day on Saturday - when the Ladies Bracelet is the feature event. Sunday is the traditional gymkhana day. The action starts in the morning with the kid's "lead in" events and finishes with the adults competition in the afternoon. This day includes the fun events, such as the "tug of war" and there are foot races for everyone. The race day on Monday features the Landor Cup. There are social activities most nights, with a public bar, two up, music and betting on course.