Fitzroy River

Quick Facts

Where is the Fitzroy River located in Australia?

The Fitzroy river is located in the west Kimberley region of Western Australia.

How long is the Fitzroy River?

It's long, about 733 km.

Why does the Fitzroy River overflow?

The Fitzroy River has a catchment area of 93,829 square km set out in a large fan shape. The low lying areas within this catchment are prone to heavy weather events which can produce severe flooding.

Danggu Geike Gorge reflection on the Fitzroy River
Danggu Geike Gorge Reflection on the Fitzroy River

Fitzroy River at a glance

Crocodile on the banks of the Fitzroy River
Crocodile on the Banks of the Fitzroy River.

We first encounter the Fitzroy River on the Adventure Wild tour when we stop for fuel at the Willare Roadhouse on our first day. We see the river as a series of tributaries that we drive across on our way into Willare Roadhouse.

The bridges across the Fitzroy are very high which clearly shows great volumes of water rush through. We often see large birds and freshwater crocodiles as we cross the rivers. Saltwater crocodiles are known to occupy the river but we see more of the freshwater variety.

During times when the river flows at capacity, the whole area around Willare becomes a flood land attracting birdlife and wildlife as they seek higher ground. Willare often becomes the place where travellers wait for the water to recede.

On our last two days of tour we reconnect with the Fitzroy River again as we come into Fitzroy Crossing and also during our river cruise up the Geike/Danggu Gorge on Day 12.

The river cruise on the Fitzroy River is extraordinarily beautiful. You'll see dramatic brilliant reds, greys and bleached limestone against the bright blue skies.

There are many river inhabitants, freshwater crocodiles, birdlife, wallabies and fish. One special inhabitant is the very rare freshwater sawfish.

The river has deep significance to the local traditional owners. Parts of the river have Aboriginal names that also refer to how the custodians are meant to care for their country.

It's common to see local people fishing around the river, and in the wet we see them making damper and Billy tea to enjoy while fishing. The river remains spiritually very important for the local people.

As we reconnect with the Fitzroy River over the last two days of our tour, it feels as though we have come full circle. Over that time there's been a chance to explore remote areas of the Kimberley and see some of the powerful rivers in this part of the world.  It seems like a fitting end to our journey together.

Early morning light on the Fitzroy River as it carves its way through the 30 m cliffs of the Danggu Geike and Oscar Ranges.
Early morning light on the Fitzroy River as it carves its way through the 30 m cliffs of the Danggu Geike and Oscar Ranges.