Visiting Mornington Sanctuary is a major highlight of the Gibb River Road and well worth the 80km detour. Owned and managed by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC), Mornington is one of 23 properties across Australia that has been procured for conservation purposes, making AWC the largest private owner of conservation land in the country.
Some of the most impressive scenery can be found at Mornington with its landscape painted in primary colours; deep blues, vivid yellows and greens and rusty reds. One of the best vantage points in the sanctuary is from a lookout overseeing the dramatic escarpment of Fitzroy Bluff. While down on the savannah plains the striking boab trees and termite mounds stand proud and the perfectly still waters at Bluehole create the illusion of an endless sky.
The ancient gorges of Dimond and Sir John form part of the King Leopold Range that has been cut over millennia by the mighty Ftizroy River, the same force which carved out Geikie Gorge further downstream. These gorges also provide a variety of niche habitats for threatened fauna.
Mornington Sanctuary actively conserves nearly 6000 square kilometres of important habitat for 13 threatened fauna species, including the Northern Quoll, Gouldian Finch and Purple-crowned Fairy-wren, and 10 threatened flora species. It is also the research and operational base for AWC in the Kimberley region and offers wilderness camp facilities and educational tourism opportunities. Attending the outdoor information session run by the Environmental staff, after enjoying the best apple-macadamia crumble with a hot chocolate from their outback kitchen, is definitely recommended!
For more information on this sanctuary or the AWC visit here.