Located approximately 480km southwest of Katherine and at the gateway to the south of Judbarra/Gregory National Park, Kalkaringi is considered the birthplace of land rights for Aboriginal people in Australia.
The National Heritage Listed Wave Hill Walk-off Track follows the footsteps of the Gurindji people as they walked off Wave Hill Station and went on a nine-year strike to protest their treatment and the forced taking of their traditional lands. The Gurindji strike ended in 1975 when Prime Minister Gough Whitlam travelled to Daguragu, returning a portion of the land to the Gurindji people. The day of the Walk-off is commemorated annually with the ‘Freedom Day Festival’, a celebration of Aboriginal people’s rights, culture, art, music, sport and ceremony.
To further explore Gurindji culture, visit Karungkarni Art Centre and enjoy chatting with the artists and staff whilst browsing the extensive range of artwork. Ask about arranging a personalised guided tour to explore one of the beautiful gorges of the region where you can look for ancient rock art, or to walk with the Elders at Jinparrak (Old Wave Hill Station) and listen to first-hand stories of the harsh conditions of life on the stations before the Walk-off.
Locals may reveal secrets to the waterholes where you can have a go at catching barramundi in the upper reaches of the magnificent Victoria River. The newly redeveloped Kalkaringi Caravan Park is a great place to rest for the evening with the choice of self-contained cabins and powered and unpowered campsites. In the evening, you can head down to the Warnkurr Sports and Social Club and enjoy a refreshing drink, meal and yarn with the locals. The community store will stock all of your basics, and you can fill up on fuel before continuing on your trip.
The southern entrance to Judbarra/Gregory National Park includes some challenging four-wheel-drive trails, so ensure you have checked road conditions and have adequate supplies before taking on these trails. Head north along the Buntine Hwy to Top Springs for some less challenging tracks,and then follow the Buchannan Hwy to Jasper Gorge.