One of Australia's most remarkable outback landscapes, the massive Wolfe Creek Crater National Park lies on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert in the Kimberley.
Wolfe Creek Crater is the second largest crater in the world, measuring 880 metres across and to a depth about 60 metres.
Sightseeing, walking, photography and nature observation are the most popular activities. Viewing the crater rim is a must - it's a 200 metre return walk to the top of the crater rim, involving a steep rocky climb. Climbing down into the crater is not permitted because the steep terrain and loose rocks make it dangerous.
This is the second largest meteorite crater on Earth. The ridge of the crater stands about 35 metres above the surrounding flat sand plain. The outer edges slope at a gradual 15 degrees, but the much steeper inner walls fall away at about a 50 degree angle.
The crater is known as Janyil in Jaru and as Karntimarlarl in Walmajarri. Traditional Owners believe this circular crater was formed when a giant mythological snake raised its head from the ground back long ago at the time of creation. Aboriginal people understand many natural features, such as rivers and creeks, are the tracks left by giant ancestral snakes that once weaved their way across the desert. Scientists believe Wolfe Creek was formed by the impact of a meteorite as long as 300,000 years ago.
Geologists F Reeves and D Hart were the first non-Aboriginal people to come across this striking natural feature while conducting an aerial survey of the Canning Basin in 1947. In 1969 Wolfe Creek Crater was gazetted as a C class reserve. In 1976 protection of the area was upgraded to the status of Class A Reserve.
The Crater is located south of Halls Creek along the Tanami Road in flat and arid country. The Wolfe Creek Crater access road travels through Carranya Station and is unsealed corrugated road through Carranya Station. Scenic flights over the crater can be booked in Halls Creek with Northwest Regional Airlines.
Access: The turnoff to the Wolfe Creek Crater National Park is situated approximately 154 kilometres south of Halls Creek along the Tanami Road. From the turnoff, it is approximately 23 kilometres to the carpark. When travelling to Wolfe Creek be prepared for unsealed roads and always close access gates when travelling on the access road. It is always recommended to travel in a 4WD vehicle due to the corrugations. Contact Halls Creek Travel & Tourism for up to date road conditions before travelling.
Facilities: There is a DPAW campsite with basic toilets, however you need to be totally self-sufficient for all your supplies. Please note there is no water available.