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4x4 Driving Track Series – Mount Augustus

4x4 Driving Track Series – Mount Augustus

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

While Uluru is a majestic Australian icon, it’s actually not the biggest rock in Australia. Mount Augustus which is located in Western Australia’s Mount Augustus National Park is roughly double the size of Uluru and holds the throne as the ‘largest rock in the world’. What’s even more interesting it that only one-third of the rock is visible from the ground! Rising 860 metres from the surrounding plains (or 1,106 metres from sea level), Mount Augustus covers almost 5,000 hectares and is 8km long and 5km wide.
 
The local Wadjari people namedthis goliath rock ‘Burringurrah’ after a Dreamtime figure where a young boy who breaks the law dies and turns into a rock. There are plenty of Aboriginal rock engravings around the site which offers a much clearer picture though!Being visible from up to 160km by plane, Mount Augustus is more than 900 million years old and is a magnificent site that is well worth the visit if you’re passing through Western Australia.
 
How to get there
Mount August is located in the middle of Western Australia so there are many access points from other towns. It’ll take you 2 days to get there from Perth, however the two most common ways of getting to Mount Augustus are from Carnarvon via Gascoyne Junction (430km south-west) or from Meekatharra (360km south-east). All roads that lead to the National park are gravel and well-maintained, however expect the odd pothole here and there. Before you leave, it’s best to check with Gascoyne Junction Shite to ensure the weather and road conditions are suitable.
 
What to expect
Mount August National park is essentially a 50km scenic circuit trail that encompasses the entire rock and all main attractions can be explored via this trail. Unlike Uluru, walking to the summit of Burringurrah is encouraged however the Summit Trail is a challenging (yet very rewarding) 12km walk. For those who prefer shorter walks, there are plenty of lookouts, gorges, water pools, and aboriginal rock art which are all clearly marked. If you plan to hike any of the trails, it’s highly recommended that you get a map from the National park so you don’t get lost!
 
The National park has a wide-range of flora and fauna and its best to visit the park in spring when the desert wildflowers bloom. You can expect to see emus, red kangaroos, monitor lizards, and wedge tailed eagles as you hike the trails. There are also two waterholes along the Lyons river which is home to plenty of water birds including kookaburras, kingfishers, corellas, in addition to massive baseball sized funnel web-spiders! If you’re interested in Aboriginal history and rock art, many ancient stories can be seen in the rock engravings around Mundee, Ooramboo, and Beedoboondu (which can all be accessed by the circuit trail).
 
Camping & Accommodation
The Mount Augustus Tourist Park is located on the northern fringe of the National park and offers a friendly caravan park and camping accommodation with hot showers, laundry, and the world’s biggest BBQ! In stark contrast to the National park, the Tourist park offers a small oasis with green grass and palm trees where you can cook up a bbq and have a beer as you watch the sun set over the largest rock in the world.
 
Pets are more than welcome however they must be behaved and kept on a leash. There are both powered and unpowered sites for caravans and camping, and the in-house shop offers fuel, basic grocery items, water, and snacks.
 
Summary
Mount Augustus National Park is magnificent tourist site that’s rich in history and offers stunning views over the region. Despite this, it’s not advised to visit the park in summer as temperatures average around 450C with limited rainfall. If you’re touring through Western Australia, Burringurrah is definitely worth the visit to witness outback Australia without the bells and whistles.
 
If you need to purchase and camping gear or equipment for your next trip, get in touch with TJM Australia by phoning 07 3865 9999.