Cape Range National Park, WA, Australia
The jagged limestone peaks and gorges of rugged 510-sq-km Cape Range National Park offer relief from the otherwise flat, arid expanse of North West Cape, and are rich in wildlife, including the rare black-flanked rock wallaby, five types of bat and over 200 species of bird. Spectacular deep canyons cut dramatically into the range, before emptying out onto the wind-blown coastal dunes and turquoise waters of Ningaloo Reef.
Cape Range National Park is a national park in Western Australia, 1,105 kilometres (687 mi) north of Perth. The park occupies the western side of the North West Cape peninsula over an area of 47,655 hectares (117,760 acres). The nearest town is Exmouth. Directly off the coast is the Ningaloo Reef.
The area resulted from a gradual uplifting from the sea floor followed by fluctuating sea levels, wind and water erosion that have slowly eroded the range and plain leaving behind a range of rugged limestone, deep canyons and pristine beaches. The Cape is the only elevated plateau composed of limestone on the North West Coast. The range has plateaus to an elevation of 314 metres (1,030 ft) and forms the backbone of the peninsula which extends are far as North West Cape.
Yardie Creek, a spectacular gorge where the water is trapped by a sandbar, is located within the park.
Over 700 caves are located within the park and it is probable that many others remain undiscovered. Over 630 species of wildflower are found within the park, that generally bloom toward the end of winter, including the bird flower and the desert sturt pea.
The area was under pastoral lease beginning in 1876 when J Brockman acquired leases in the area covering North West Cape to run cattle. Brockman sold parts of the lease in 1888 to ornithologist Thomas Carter including Yardie Creek and Ningaloo Station. Carter was the first settler in the area and established a pastoral station in 1889The area was declared a national park in 1964, the off-shore area, Ningaloo Marine Park, was declared in 1987. An abundance of flora and fauna are found within the park. Flora species include mangroves, acacia, spinifex, grevillea, verticordia, eucalyptus and minilya lily. Fauna found within the park include rock wallabies, red kangaroos, emus, euros, 100 different species of bird and 80 species of reptile.