Mornington Wilderness Camp

This area is home to table lands, dramatic sandstone escarpments, vast savanna woodlands, extensive floodplains, secluded rainforest pockets, wetlands, mighty rivers and stunning gorges. Managed by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy the focus is on conservation, research and protecting the biodiversity of the region, rather than tourism, though the facilities for visitors here are excellent. The unparalleled land-management of this non-profit has created one of the largest feral herbivore-free areas in Australia where rare and endangered native animals like the Northern Quoll or Gouldian Finch have found a stronghold in a country of dwindling habitat. All proceeds from the Wilderness Camp are dedicated to the conservation of endangered wildlife. One hundred meter after the turn-off from the Gibb River Road, on the access road, all visitors need to use the radio booth to give notification of arrival, check the current road conditions and check availability if no reservation has been made. The drive to Mornington is very scenic, offering beautiful views over the ranges and escarpments, and great opportunities to take photos of massive boab trees. But pay attention, as several closed gates can be found along the way.

After paying the entrance fee at reception, nature lovers can set out own their own on many self-guided tours or join various guided tours. Options seem to be endless, from relaxing and swimming at waterholes, walking educational trails, watching unique birds or paddling stunning gorges. Recommended are at least two nights stay to get a feel for the place, though best are 3 or 4.

Overnight guests can sleep in one of the eleven semi-permanent safari tents or at the nearby shady riverside camping area (50 people/25 vehicles) with excellent amenities, all of which can be booked ahead. Mornington offers a fully-licensed bush bar and excellent restaurant (full cooked breakfast $26 pp, continental breakfast $16 pp, lunch hamper $29 pp, 2-course set menu dinner $60/$28 pp adult/child -12y, only after reservation by  3 pm) that serves cakes and coffee all day long. Visitors can learn about the work of AWC at the free and highly recommended information nights held several times per week at the big screen under the starlit sky or at the information area, both next to the restaurant.

Mornington Wilderness Camp Sir John Gorge canoeing
When renting a canoe at Sir John Gorge you are sure to be the only one on the river for the whole day.