Last year the West Kimberley Coast was given a National Heritage Listing. An area of incredible natural beauty, diverse flora and fauna and fascinating Aboriginal history, it also boasts numerous fossilised Dinosaur footprints. Palaeontologic studies show there are a series of separate locations along the 200-kilometre stretch of the Dampier Peninsula that have dinosaur footprints and track ways that vary in intensity and quality. Research suggests there is evidence of at least a dozen species of dinosaurs which lived 115 to 120 million years ago.
The Hon. Tony Burke MP, (Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities) said “Its unique wildlife, stunning coastlines, spectacular gorges and waterfalls, ancient and ongoing Aboriginal cultural traditions as well as its pastoral and pearling history make this one of the most remarkable places in our nation…The west Kimberley is one of the most magnificent parts of the continent and its placement on the National Heritage List will ensure it is protected for future generations.”
Additional areas in the Kimberley identified as having outstanding heritage values and inscribed on the National Heritage List include:
* The incredible natural beauty of the coast from the Buccaneer Archipelago to the King George River; the Mitchell Plateau; King George Falls; Geikie Gorge, Windjana Gorge and King Leopold Ranges;
* Rich biodiversity, including many plants, mammals, reptiles, frogs and invertebrates that are found only in this part of Australia;
* Remnants of a vast coral reef, similar in scale to the Great Barrier Reef, that existed nearly 400 million years ago;
* Dinosaur footprints on the west coast of the Dampier Peninsula which are remarkable remnant of past life in the region;
* Ongoing Aboriginal traditions associated with Wandjina and the Rainbow Serpent and spectacular rock;
* Evidence of early contact with Indonesia as well as early European exploration of the Australian continent.