Manning Gorge is one of the most beautiful and best swimming spots in the Kimberley.
Located on Manning Creek in the grounds of the 283,280ha Mt Barnett Station, water remains at the base of the waterfalls and in several pools along the creek year round, ideal for a refreshing dip.
The waterfalls are seasonal and fed by the rains during wet season, so they may be dry the mid to late dry season.
When exploring, you may also come across some examples of Bradshaw and Wandjina rock art.
Visiting the gorge involves an adventurous walk of approximately 3 kilometres to the top of the gorge, following the informal trail markers made up of rock cairns, red discs and arrows. The trail begins at the campground, where visitors must first cross Manning Creek to re-join the trail path on the other side. Visitors may swim the 100 metres across, or use the rope guide with floats to ferry belongings.
The trail follows a route overland rather than along the creek with views over the ranges and savannah woodlands along the way. The terrain is uneven, with some rock scrambling and an incline towards the end. The trail is mostly unshaded, so it is important to bring drinking water and to wear a hat.
How to get to Manning Gorge
Manning Gorge is located in Mt Barnett Station on the Gibb River Road in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. Vehicle access is dependent on weather, with Manning Gorge most accessible during the months of May through to October.
Manning Gorge is 306km from Derby (to the west) and 398km from Kununurra (to the east).
Drive: From Mt Barnett Roadhouse, the access road to Manning Gorge is approximately 7km
Extended Group Touring: A number of extended coach tours to the Kimberley include Manning Gorge as part of their itineraries.
Entrance Fees: Entrance fees are payable at the Mt Barnett Roadhouse. In the dry season, the roadhouse is open daily for fuel, food and supplies, and you can also pay camping fees for the basic campsite at the trailhead there.
Stay: The camping area at Manning Gorge offers basic facilities. No bookings are taken for the campsite. Travellers can pay their fees at the roadhouse during opening hours or to the campsite caretakers after hours. The fees are $25.00 per adult for the first night and $15.00 for any additional nights. Children under 14 are free of charge.