Tunnel Creek

Leaving our limping caravan at Windjana Gorge, we headed down to Tunnel Creek for a day trip.   Like at Windjana Gorge, a river has carved its way through the ancient limestone reef, but this time mostly underground.     Apart from the interesting natural spectacle this provides, it was also the site of the hideout of Jandamarra – an aboriginal freedom fighter who lead a series of non-violent and violent resistance actions against European settlement.

tunnel creek walk

tunnel creek midway
About halfway through the tunnel, the roof has caved in allowing the light to shine down.    There is about 300 to 400m of tunnel either side of this midpoint, so you definitely need torches to find your way through the dark middle bits. In places you must walk through cold water up past your knees in the pitch dark. You just have to feel your way through slowly with the creek bed being rocky in places. We knew there were at least 3 crocs in these pools somewhere, but we didnt step on them in the dark thankfully.
tunnel creek further
Limestone cave formation near the far entrance (or exit) to tunnel creek.
tunnel creek looking back
A large stalactite near the exit.
tunnel creek catfish
These catfish inhabit most of the pools in tunnel creek.   Some of the pools like this one that are fed from a side spring are crystal clear and relatively warm (they felt like they were somewhere in the mid to high twenties).   However further from the spring they became cold and murky. There were also at least 3 crocs in the tunnel but we did not see any or more importantly feel any under our feet walking knee deep in the cold pool!

Jandamarra and the Bunuba resistance.


Jandamarra is probably the most famous of the Aboriginal Freedom fighters. He is important because many people have said that Aboriginal people never fought for their land. He is a good example that this was simply not true. From 1885, for 10yrs he led the Bunuba people in preventing colonisation by white people occupying their hill country. This ended with his death.

jandamarra onejandamarra bunuba resistanceJandamarra's last stand



2 thoughts on “Tunnel Creek

  1. Thanks for sharing this Maddy and Steve. I’m still loving following your travels. The Jandamarra story is emotional and revealing. He was an incredible warrior for his people. I loved wading through Tunnel Creek and swimming in the pool on the other side. I have just relived that experience through your blog n pics 😁x


    1. HI Chris, There is a lot of history here and it is nice that there is much more about Jandamarra to read this time. Not much here 16 yrs ago. Just tried to watch the 2011 movie/documentary about him on SBS called Jandamarra’s War but the internet in Derby is too slow. Will have to wait until Broome. M


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