Park size: 754ha
In 1846 the Gregory brothers (Augustus,
Francis and Henry) were exploring this
area when they happened on a seam of coal by the Irwin River. Coal was an important energy resource and the government had offered a reward of 1,036ha
of land to anyone finding a significant coal belt.
The diary of Augustus Gregory recalls the find :
"We therefore entered the bed of the river to examine it, and found two seams of coal--one five feet thick and the other about six feet thick--between
beds of sandstone and shale. Having pitched the tent and tethered the horses, we commenced to collect specimens of the various strata, and succeeded in
cutting out five or six hundredweight of coal with the tomahawk, and in a short time had the satisfaction of seeing the first fire of Western Australian
coal burning cheerfully in front of the camp, this being the first discovery of coal in the western part of the Continent."
Unfortunately the coal was poor quality and had a high ash content so no substantial mine ever developed even though a coal shaft was sunk in 1917.
The reserve is located 1 hours drive south east of Geraldton or 30Km from Mingenew the park can also
be accessed from Walkaway or Mullewa.
There are two campsites in the park, Miners and Breakaway that is now used as an overflow site. New toilets have been installed and the main campsite has been expanded.
There is plenty of room for caravans here. Access is via unsealed good gravel road although some sections are quite steep.
The area is beautiful in wildflower season and is an important habitat for native flora and fauna.
After good winter rains you can expect to see white, yellow and pink everlastings carpeting the valley.
There are also a number of bird species living in the area includign wedge tailed eagles, nankeen kestrels, black faced wood swallows and cuckoo shrikes, galahs,
bronzewings, red capped robins and ringnecks.
Mammal species that are often encountered are the western grey kangaroo and the echidna.
Best time to visit:
NPW Website for more information