Gregory National Park

Where:  Gregory National Park (off the Victoria Highway near Timber Creek), Northern Territory
Permits: None
Costs: $6.60 per adult per night for camping (standard NT National Parks fees)
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult (planning is important when you come here. Some of the tracks take up to 8hrs to complete and are remote. You need water, food and fuel and a well maintained vehicle).
Days required to do it justice: 2-3days

As you’ve probably spotted by now we’re suckers for a good four wheel drive track, so we were curious to travel to a designated National Park that actually encourages four wheel driving. Gregory National Park consists of a network of six four-wheel drive tracks which take anywhere from twenty minutes to two days to complete and follow the old stock routes used by the early settlers.

If you google Gregory National Park or haul out a tourist guide you will most likely see lots of photos of stunning red rock escarpment country running parallel to a snake-like river. I saw a lot of these photos prior to our trip and, being the obsessed photographer that I am, spent our three days at Gregory hunting for these rocky outcrops. I later discovered that most of them can actually be seen from the main Victoria Highway at the ‘other’ section of Gregory National Park which is easily accessible from the bitumen.

4WD-ing in Gregory National Park

4WD-ing in Gregory National Park

That doesn’t mean that there is nothing to see at Gregory National Park. We drove the 20km long Tuwakam Track in the record breaking time of two and half hours. It was a slow, bumpy ride through arid woodland scenery and over limestone rocks but it was a reasonably challenging and interesting drive. All the tracks at Gregory, although 4WD only and remote, are very well sign posted and maintained so don’t be afraid of wandering off into the bush never to be seen again. I couldn’t help thinking during this drive however that seeing it during the Wet season would be when it is most inspiring.


Tuwakam Track, Gregorys National Park

My eternal disappointment at National Parks is the designated camping areas which always seem to be in the most boring, uninspiring and dusty sections of the park and Gregory’s Bullita Homestead is one such camp. Its a place to sleep not to spend a lazy afternoon in the blazing sunshine. We were further disappointed to then take the 4km walk into Limestone Gorge (4WD access closed due to wet season erosion) to discover a quite unspectacular gorge near an even more unspectacular abandoned campsite.

An uninspiring campsite at Gregory's

An uninspiring campsite at Gregory’s

But, enough winging. One of the highlights at Gregory’s is the Bullita Homestead and original cattle yards which provide a fascinating insight into the lives of the early settlers who worked on this country. The homestead is accessible via the main gravel (slightly bumpy) road into the park so even if you don’t have the time for the four wheel drive tracks a day trip into the homestead section is well worth a look.

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