The Mitchell River has carved spell-binding gorges and waterfalls into the blocky, layered sandstone of the Mitchell Plateau.
Waterfalls and plunge pools
The track to Mitchell Falls starts at Mertens Creek and the adjacent Mitchell Falls Campground. From here you can walk to Little Mertens Falls, Mertens Gorge and Mitchell Falls or take a scenic flight to these attractions from the campground. The other main attraction in the park, Surveyors Pool, lies further north.
Fan palm forests
The plateau is one of the most scenic and biologically important areas of the State. The fan palm is a conspicuous feature of the vegetation of some parts of the plateau, an elevated laterite-capped plain. This is one of few places in WA where palms are a dominant feature.
Patches of rainforest grow around the margins of the plateau. Open woodlands of grey box, white gum and other trees grow around the valleys and creeks, while pandanus and paperbarks fringe the watercourses. Up to 50 mammal species, 220 bird species and 86 kinds of reptiles and amphibians may occur in the area, including the saltwater crocodile.
When you are entering the Kimberley or Pilbara regions, you are entering crocodile country. Two species of crocodile occur in Western Australia: the estuarine (or saltwater) crocodile and the freshwater crocodile. The estuarine crocodile is the largest living reptile and is considered to be a dangerous predator. Freshwater crocodiles are smaller and not as aggressive. Be CROCWISE in Western Australia's north and download our Crocodile safety and myth-busting factsheet and Crocodile brochure. For more information on Be CROCWISE see www.nt.gov.au/becrocwise
The Wunambal people are the traditional owners and joint managers of the park.
Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Corporation has introduced a visitor charge to Mitchell River National Park this year. More information can be obtained by visiting their website.
The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions are currently reviewing national park entry and camping fees to Mitchell River National Park.
Bring your own
Visitors should be totally self-sufficient, as this remote area has few facilities. Limited food, fuel, new tyres and tyre repairs are only available at Drysdale Station, and not available on the Plateau.
The park is only accessible by road to four-wheel-drive vehicles and high clearance, single axle, towable units. The track to the park is maintained on an irregular basis and may have wash-outs and corrugations. Drive with extreme care.
Tracks north of the Mitchell Plateau airfield are rough while the tracks north of Surveyors Pool are very rough and may be impassable. The park is closed during the wet season, and access roads and tracks to the plateau are also usually closed.