Monitor lizards (Goannas) in the Kimberley Region?

by Kris
(Ghent, Belgium)

A huge monitor lizard

A huge monitor lizard

We're planning a new 2 month trip to Australia (we're Belgian), and the Kimberley Region is most probably one of the regions we'll want to visit. Being huge monitor lizard (goanna) lovers, we were wondering about reptilian wildlife in the Kimberley Region and more specific near the Gibb River Road.

I love your site!
Thank you very much.
Kris & Stéphanie

Re: Monitor lizards (Goannas) in the Kimberley Region?

Hi Kris and Stephanie! (sp?)

Well, we have lots and lots of reptilian wildlife, but what you will see depends very much on the time of the year.

There is a page about goannas/monitor lizards on my other website. Most of the photos on it were taken from my veranda.

There is also a reader question from a film team on that other site:
Filming Goannas Or Monitor Lizards
Everything I say in the answer there is true for the Kimberley as well.

The cane toads aren't here yet, so we still have lots of goannas. (They are disappearing across the Northern Territory since the poisonous cane toads invaded.)

You should see some sand goannas in your travels, they are always crossing the roads. (That's where I saw the big one in the top picture.)

And you should most definitely see some water monitors at the swimming holes. They are always hanging around, sunning themselves on rocks and logs.

Sun basking goanna

Sun basking goanna

Because it is so easy for them to escape into the water at there very last second, they usually let you get very close.

The one in the photo below was on the Mitchell Plateau, at one of the pools on the walk to the falls. He walked right over my feet. Didn't care at all.

Water Monitor

We also have many Frilled Neck Lizards and Blue Tongue Lizards. You're unlikely to see Blue-tongues because they are not usually out in the open, but you may get lucky and see the odd Frilly.

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Period to see Goanna's
by: Kris


I read your excellent site on goanna's (hadn't seen that one yet).

We were thinking of visiting the Kimberley Region somewhere in june, but on your goanna site you explain that they go into hibernation during that period.

Would it be better for us to visit during another period then ? Goanna's are actually one of the main readons for us to visit :)

Thank you.

Warmer is better
by: Birgit

Hi Kris,
I read through my goanna pages on my other site and couldn't find anything I said about hibernation... Are you sure you saw that on my site? I don't think they go into serious hibernation up here. It's too warm all year round.

Anyway, goannas and all other lizards are of course more active during the warmer time of the year. But sometimes colder weather can help, too, because they will be out in the sun, trying to get warm, whereas when it's really hot they may shelter from the heat in the shade or in their burrows...

And they're slower when it's cool :-).

The two photos above of the water monitors were taken in early June.

I think if you do have some time to spend here, and get off the beaten track a bit and do some camping and hang around the water holes and pools, you will definitely see some goannas.

Goanna's in the Kimberley Region
by: Anonymous

Excellent :)
I'm looking forward to it.

The hibernation part was in the Perentie (varanus giganteus) section, but of course v.giganteus doesn't live that far up north as far as I know :)

Thank you very much for your help!

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