Last week, we told you all about a holiday at Bullo River Station. Today we are telling you all about nearby Judbarra / Gregory National Park. It is Northern Territory’s 2nd largest National Park. Of course, Kakadu National Park is the largest National Park in all of Australia. Judbarra / Gregory National Park hold its own covering 1.3 million hectares. As you can see from the map, the protected lands of the park are split into two geographic sections. It holds a unique ecological position transitioning between the tropical zone and semi-arid zone.

Gregory National Park

Judbarra / Gregory National Park Photo Credit:

Gregory National Park

Judbarra / Gregory National Park Photo Credit:

Gregory National Park Entrance Sign

Gregory National Park Entrance Sign Photo Credit:

Bullo River Station to Gregory National Park

Map from Bullo River Station to Judbarra / Gregory National Park

Indigenous Influence

Gregory National Park - Joe Creek

Judbarra / Gregory National Park Joe Creeek Photo Credit:

It was originally named Gregory National Park after Victoria River pioneer Agustus Gregory but on 21 October 2011 the park took on a dual name until 2021 when the official name will be Judbarra National Park, the name from the traditional land owners. This is the traditional land of many different Indigenous Australian groups including Ngarinyman, Karrangpurru, Malngin, Wardaman, Ngaliwurru, Ningali, Bilinara,Gurindji, and Jaminjung; spanning the boundaries between two major Australian language families. Because of the rich Aboriginal history and culture here, touring the rock shelters and caves and there is a large variety of ancient rock art here including painting, stencilling, drawing, printing, and “pecking and pounding”.

Important Bird Area

Gouldian Finch

Gouldian Finch Photo Credit: Wikipedia

BirdLife International has identified the park as an Important Bird Area. The protected lands here are home to many protected, endangered, important species such as white-quilled rock pigeons, Gouldian finches, chestnut-backed buttonquails, partridge pigeons, and yellow-rumped mannikins. Bird watching is one of the top activities visitors like to do in Judbarra / Gregory National Park.

Boab Trees and Other Flora in Judbarra / Gregory National Park

Gregory National Park - Boab Tree

Judbarra / Gregory National Park Boab Trees Photo Credit:

Gregory National Park - Wildflowers

Wild Flowers in Judbarra / Gregory National Park Photo Credit:

Gregory National Park - Boab Trees

Judbarra / Gregory National Park Boab Trees Photo Credit:

Gregory National Park - Shade

Judbarra / Gregory National Park Photo Credit:

The unique Boab Trees can only be found here and in Western Australia’s Kimberley region. Some of these amazing trees are 1500 years old. That means these ancient trees are the most ancient living things in Australia. The boab grows edible nuts and also flowers and fruits in the wet season. Because of the two distinct climates in the park, you will notice a difference in the plants and flowers too between the tropical north side and the southern dry-arid side. There are monsoon rainforest and eucalyptus woodland with bright yellow Spinifex. In all, this diverse habitat includes three threatened plant species in addition to many endangered and threatened animals.

Driving Tracks in Judbarra / Gregory National park

Driving Tracks in Gregory National Park

Judbarra / Gregory National Park Map Photo Credit:

Gregory National Park - Victoria River

Judbarra / Gregory National Park Victoria River Photo Credit:

You will need a 4WD vehicle to see all the parts of the park. There are six special tracks for four-wheel drive vehicles including the 6 km Limestone Gorge track where you will find limestone formations and the unique boab trees that the Top End of Australia is known for. Another, longer track is the 197 km Broadarrow Track that takes you across a broad, flat plateau, rugged hilly country and alluvial plains. The full round trip for the Wickham and Broadarrow Tracks takes about 3 days. These tracks are for experienced drivers, they are filled with very challenging terrain and you must bring your emergency supplies, extra petrol, a spare tyre, and drinking water with you.

Things to Do in Judbarra / Gregory National Park

Gregory National Park - Big Boab Tree

Judbarra / Gregory National Park Boab Tree Photo Credit:

Bullita Homestead - Boab

Bullita Homestead in Judbarra / Gregory National Park Photo Credit:

Gregory National Park

Judbarra / Gregory National Park Photo Credit:

There are some walking tracks throughout the park that allow you to see the scenery up close. The Calcite Flow Walk near Limestone Gorge allows you to get some very scenic views over the gorge the the limestone formations that this park is known for. Plan ahead and read the signs, this walk can be closed during the wet season. The Limestone Ridge Loop Walk winds around the outcropped ridge and you can catch the far off views of the East Baines River Valley. Jasper Gorge is another remote location that you can only reach with an all-terrain vehicle but the panoramic scenery is well worth the drive. The Bullita Homestead is an old cattle property outstation that still exists within the park. You can see the traditional timber stockyards.  Now, there are camping facilities at Bullita Homestead that includes picnic tables, pit toilets, and BBQs. Fishing is a popular activity near Limestone Gorge and there are boat ramps are located at Big Horse Creek and Victoria River Gorge.

Be Croc Wise

Saltwater Crocodile

Saltwater Crocodile Breaching Photo Credit: Wikipedia

When fishing or boating in the rivers, creeks or billabongs, beware of both Freshwater and Saltwater (Estuarine) Crocodiles. Be especially careful of the aggressive Saltwater Crocodiles and obey all signage regarding them. When signs say “no swimming” use the utmost caution as crocodiles can be present in both saltwater and freshwater and they can camouflage themselves and breach out of the water. That means don’t walk near the water banks and don’t hang out of your boat.

Hiring a Car for a Trip to the Bullo River Station

Gregory National Park - Car Hire Map

Judbarra / Gregory National Park Car Hire Map Photo Credit:

Getting to Judbarra / Gregory National Park will mean hiring a 4WD all-terrain vehicle to get to this remote location in the Northern Territory. Many areas of the park are only accessible with 4X4 vehicles. Enjoy the remote region and prepare for a road trip to get there. You can hire a 4WD vehicle  in Katherine, which is 163 km northeast of Judbarra / Gregory National Park. Or you can hire a car in Darwin and head southeast to Katherine and then onto Judbarra / Gregory National Park. There are two car rental options in Darwin. Either hire a vehicle at the Darwin Airport or rent a 4WD in Darwin City. Of course, this means a pretty long trek for about 478 km, but the remote and peaceful Northern Territory makes for great road tripping adventures! If you are coming from Western Australia, you can hire a vehicle in Kununurra near the Western Australia and Northern Territory border. From there it is a little over 200 km drive east. There are two car rental locations in Kununurra, one in the city and you can also hire a car at the Kununurra Airport. All of this remote and rugged terrain driving means taking precautions and being prepared. Always keep updated maps with you and plenty of emergency supplies, petrol, and drinking water. Let someone know where you will be and what your exact itinerary is. Consult with our friendly and knowledgeable representatives and they will help you find the right vehicle for your needs.

While travelling through Australia’s Top End, check out these other blog posts about this region:

Australia’s Largest National Park Kakadu National Park

Rivers of Kakadu National Park

National Parks and Reserves in the Northern Territory Near Darwin

Outdoor Destinations in Northern Territory near Katherine

Things to Do Near Darwin

Nitmiluk National Park Carved by Nature

The Savannah Way Road Trip takes you across the entire Top End of Australia and if making this monumental road trip, you might stop at the Bullo River Station along the way. Read all about the Savannah Way Road Trip:

The Savannah Way Part One: Daintree Rainforest to Karumba, Queensland

The Savannah Way Part Two: Normanton to Katherine

The Savannah Way Part Three: Katherine to Broome

The Gibb River Road Trip is the last leg of the Savannah Way across the Kimberley Region of Western Australia and begins in Kununurra, which is west of Bullo River Station. The Gibb River Road was originally a cattle transport road, now it is used by tourists that are seeking adventure in one of the most unspoilt undiscovered regions of the world. We covered the Gibb River Road Trip in two blog posts:

The Gibb River Road Part One

The Gibb River Road Part Two