Tanami Road


Communities CLOSED

Cost and Booking

Permits needed

Access to the Aboriginal Communities are currently restricted. No travel allowed.

Paruku (Lake Gregory) Indigenous Protected Area- IPA, was declared in September 2001. It covers around 430,000 hectares on the borders of the Great Sandy Desert and Tanami bio-regions, south of the township of Halls Creek.

Paruku's spectacular wetlands are an internationally renowned haven for hundreds of thousands of birds. The IPA covers a collection of aquatic habitats known as Lake Gregory, including Mulan Lake (the largest waterbody), Lera Waterhole, and Salt Pan and Djaluwon Creeks. Tjurabalan (Sturt Creek) primarily feeds this extensive lake system. Other creeks feeding into the system are Parnkupirti and Jalywarn.

Paruku is the Walmajarri name for Lake Gregory. Paruku/Lake Gregory is the only lake in the region with a reliable source of fresh water for large numbers of birds and other animals, supporting over 70 species of waterbirds and 175 aquatic species.

Surrounded by hundreds of kilometres of arid desert lands, these wetland oases are fed from a catchment in the south-east Kimberley region. More than 100,000 birds visit the wetlands regularly, with up to 60,000 estimated at Mulan Lake at any one time.

In August 2001 the High Court of Australia formally recognised the Traditional Owners of this area held native title over the land. The handover ceremony was conducted on the shores of Paruku, symbolising the significance of this place to local Aboriginal people.

Traditional owners believe the system was formed when a star fell from the sky into the lake and then transformed itself into a man becoming the very first Traditional Owner of this place.

Permits for camping at Lake Gregory are available at Bililuna, Balgo and Mulan stores.

Paruku Lake Gregory Mulan Tanami Road