Artist: Brian Carew-Hopkins

Holy Rosary Parish Community

Shadows at Winjana


Winjana Gorge on the Gibb River Road in the Kimberley of Western Australia painted during a visit to the Kimberley in around 2012. An expanse of sandy riverbank spans the foreground recedes into the middle distance disappearing into scattered trees, and dappled with shadows of foliage. On the left side of the canvas, the river can be seen between the lower branches and dark trunk of a large tree overhanging the river bank. On the right, a limestone cliff face rises and caves and recesses can be seen. Branches of trees span the walkway and sunlight illuminates pages of grass and sand.



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Original. Oil Paint on Stretched Canvas. Ready to hang. 34 cm high, 44 cm wide, 3 cm deep

More about Winjana Gorge

Meet the wildlife – The Lennard River runs through Windjana Gorge in wet weather, but forms pools surrounded by trees and shrubs during the dry season. The 3.5km long gorge cuts through Napier Range: part of the ancient Devonian limestone reef that can also be seen at Geikie Gorge and Tunnel Creek. Freshwater crocodiles bask in the pools, while fruit bats and corellas roost in the waterside trees.

Walk the gorge – Walks include the Gorge Walk, which begins at the camping area and winds through the gorge for 3.5km each way. The short Time Walk takes a look at marine life forms fossilised within the limestone of the gorge walls. The Savannah Walk along the south-eastern wall showcases the plants and animals of the woodlands.

Pitch a tent – The park has good camping facilities and the Windjana Gorge Campground is suitable for caravans but there are no powered sites.

Steeped in culture – Aboriginal leader Jandamarra used the gorge as a hideout and was shot at Pigeon’s Rock during a gun battle with Europeans in 1894. Windjana Gorge is a highly spiritual place to Bunuba people and the Wandjina are the powerful creation spirits that reside here. Hence the name Windjana, which was (mis)recorded by William Forrester, who took up a nearby pastoral lease in 1884 and built Lillimooloora Homestead. You can visit the ruins of this homestead.

Access – A  four-wheel-drive is recommended to access the park. The park is closed during the wet season as the roads are inaccessible.

Crocodile Safety – When you are entering the Kimberley or Pilbara regions, you are entering crocodile country. Two species of crocodile occur in Western Australia: the estuarine (or saltwater) crocodile and the freshwater crocodile. The estuarine crocodile is the largest living reptile and is considered to be a dangerous predator. Freshwater crocodiles are smaller and not as aggressive. Freshwater crocodiles inhabit Windjana Gorge. Saltwater crocodiles have not been known to occur in the area but this may change. Be CROCWISE in Western Australia’s north and download our Crocodile safety and myth-busting factsheet and Crocodile brochure. For more information on Be CROCWISE see

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