A Travellerspoint blog

Garik Gunak Barlu National Park

Remote wilderness in the Cobourg Peninsula

sunny 31 °C

At the very top of the Northern Territory, in Aboriginal Arnhem Land, the Garik Gunak Barlu National Park is remote and rugged, fringed with magnificent white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. The park covers the whole of the Cobourg Peninsula, an area of 2,200 square kilometers with only 20-30 residents, most of them Aboriginal. It took us 5 hours to travel the 270km 4WD track from Kakadu National Park to the Black Point ranger station and we had to time the river crossing at the East-Alligator River as it is heavily influenced by the tides. The road was heavily corrugated in places which slowed us down and rattled our teeth but overall the drive was a stunning journey through wetlands, a lot of creek crossings, monsoon forests and savannah woodland.

On the way we visited the Injalak art center at Oenpelli, an Aboriginal settlement in Arnhem Land and for this we had to buy a separate permit. It was interesting to see the indigenous artists at work and listening to their dreamtime stories. We bought a nice canvas painting of a barramundi and long-neck turtle.

At Garik (local language) Gunak (land) Barlu (sea) we found a very nice, isolated campsite that was spacious and shady. At first we were concerned that the proximity of a number of swamps and billabongs will make outdoor living at night impossible but we were surprised to find very few mosquitoes, just nocturnal animals wandering through the bushes at night. One night we had a good sight of a few bandicoot, a small almost rat-like marsupial. During the day the birdlife is varied and we saw many Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, Red Winged Black Cockatoos, Sea Eagles, Oyster Catchers and many other species.

The coastal drive in Garik Gunak Barlu is beautiful, with isolated sandy beaches, red rocks and mangrove estuaries. The sea is rich in marine life but unfortunately the presence of Saltwater Crocodiles makes swimming dangerous and I had to choose spots with clear water to take a quick dip. I tried to do some fishing off the rocks but was unsuccessful, but I caught a mud crab in a hole on the rocks and released after taking a photograph of it. The wetlands drive was closed but I tried it up to the point where the billabong flooded the road. The billabong is beautiful with clear water and lots of birdlife.

We teamed up with a nice Australian couple, Mick and Chrisie from Melbourne, to do a half-day boat tour to the ruins of the Victoria Settlement and to try to do some fishing and mud crabbing. It was a lovely day out and we enjoyed the open water and fishing very much with Lorraine catching the biggest Golden Snapper, Mick caught a nice big Queen Fish and I caught a tasty Coral Trout and also a big Golden Snapper. We all caught many other fish but most were released and the tour operators kept some for themselves. The mud crabbing was less successful with only a small crab speared.

The ruins of the Victoria Settlement are a poignant reminder of the hardship of the British colonialists in the 19th century. With the fear of Dutch and French expansion in the southern East Indies, the British decided to establish a settlement along Australia’s far northern coastline. After failures of two other settlements, the Victoria Settlement was established in 1838 and developed into a considerable village with a church, hospital, cottages built in Cornish style and military buildings. However, long periods of isolation, many deaths due to malaria, scurvy and dysentery, as well as devastating cyclones caused the abandonment of the settlement 11 years later in 1849.

Smith Point at the top of the peninsula, with a beacon built by the settlers from the Victoria Settlement in 1845, is a nice spot to view the magnificent sunsets over the Timor Sea and we also enjoyed a nice sunset and sundowners with Mick and Chrissie before they departed.

The week in Garig Gunak Barlu was magnificent and very relaxing, certainly worthwhile travelling all the way to such a remote national park. We are now back in Kakadu National Park and although it is stunning the crowds and busy campsites are making us long to go back to Garig Gunak Barlu.

Here are some of the photos but many more are in the gallery.

Arnhem Land

Arnhem Land


Artist at Oenpelli

Artist at Oenpelli


Art centre at Oenpelli

Art centre at Oenpelli


Campsite at Garig Gunak Barlu

Campsite at Garig Gunak Barlu


Blowhole

Blowhole


Coastal Drive

Coastal Drive


Saltwater Crocodile

Saltwater Crocodile


Oyster Catchers

Oyster Catchers


Billabong

Billabong


Kangaroos or Walleroos

Kangaroos or Walleroos


Smith Point

Smith Point


large_Red_cliffs..h_Point.jpg
Sundowners at Smith Point

Sundowners at Smith Point


Fishing at Garig Gunak Barlu

Fishing at Garig Gunak Barlu


Golden Snapper

Golden Snapper


Coral trout

Coral trout


Mud Crab

Mud Crab


Married Quarters at Victoria Settlement

Married Quarters at Victoria Settlement

Posted by KobusM 23:57 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Darwin

The "big smoke" of the north

sunny 30 °C

It felt strange driving into a city for the first time in almost three months and immediately the traffic lights annoyed me and we were tempted to turn around and go back to the bush. But we had to do some civilized things in Darwin and decided to stay the full long weekend to explore Darwin and to catch up on e-mails, studies and prepare for the next remote bush trip. We stayed in Hidden Valley but it was not hidden from the noise of the highways and international airport closeby.

Darwin is a nice city, at least in winter that is. This time of year it is still around 30 degrees and sunny almost all of the time. It is therefore a magnet for the Grey Nomads from the east coast and south, escaping the relatively cold winter down there and the caravan parks are therefore packed; another reason to get out of here as soon as possible. Darwin also has an interesting history with the bombing by the Japanese in February 1942, the only invasion of Australia by a foreign country. We visited the WWII Oil Tunnels which were used to store oil during the second world war and there were some interesting old photos displayed inside the tunnels. East Point was also a nice tranquil place to visit with nice views of Fannie Bay and Darwin.

Our first priority in Darwin was to get a permit to enter Arnham Land (isolated Aboriginal land in north-eastern part of the Nothern Territory) and travel to the remote Garig Gunak Barlu National Park in the Cobourg Peninsula which is the most northern part of the Nothern Territory, about 570km north-east of Darwin. As this will be the most remote place we will visit, we had to ensure that all our equipment is working, that we have enough fuel and provisions for a week as there are no shops, fuel or repair stations up there. After some research and driving around we finally got the entry and camping permit and will be heading to Garig Gunak Barlu tomorrow to stay there for a week.

Parliament House in Darwin

Parliament House in Darwin


Government House in Darwin

Government House in Darwin


The Bombing of Darwin

The Bombing of Darwin


Views of Darwin through the mangroves at East Point

Views of Darwin through the mangroves at East Point


East Point, Darwin

East Point, Darwin

Posted by KobusM 17:51 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Litchfield National Park

Stunning falls and cool pools

sunny 31 °C

We could not access Litchfield National Park from the south as the 4WD access road was closed, so we had to drive east around the park to enter it from the Batchelor entrance, about a 100km detour. Litchfield features numerous stunning waterfalls and Florence Falls was our first stop. We chose to take the Quantum into the 4WD campsite at Florence Falls although it was marked as no entry for caravans. We arrived early and found only one campsite suitable for the Quantum and it was on a slight incline, but we managed to reasonably level it. The 15 minute walk to Florence Falls takes you past the Florence Creek and I had a quick dip while Lorraine kept watch for crocodiles.

We also visited the magnetic termite mounds that are aligned north-south to maximise their exposure to the sun.......clever little creatures!

The next day we left the Quantum at the campsite and drove the 10km 4WD track to The Lost City to admire the weird, weathered sandstone rock formations that are reminiscent of ancient ruins of a city, including a statue of a man. We then moved to Tjaynera Falls but first made a quick stop at Tolmer Falls which is only visible from a lookout point. The 11km 4WD track to Tjaynera Falls was also not for caravans but we managed to get there without problems and the campsite was more spacious and level and we stayed for two nights. The Tjaynera Falls is 1,7km from the campsite and the walking track is very pleasant, winding through palm and cycad forests and past tranquil creeks. The falls has a big pool which is great for swimming, albeit a littel chilly.

On the way to Darwin we also visited Wangi Falls, which is the main centre in Litchfield National Park. We will spend this weekend in Darwin, which is a long weekend in the Northern Territory.

Litchfield National Park termite mounds

Litchfield National Park termite mounds


Magnetic Termites

Magnetic Termites


Florence Falls Campsite

Florence Falls Campsite


Florence Falls

Florence Falls


Lost City

Lost City


Lost City in Litchfield NP

Lost City in Litchfield NP


Lost City

Lost City


Lost City statue

Lost City statue


Tjaynera Falls

Tjaynera Falls


Tranquil creek in Litchfield National Park

Tranquil creek in Litchfield National Park


Cycads

Cycads


Wangi Falls

Wangi Falls

Posted by KobusM 21:21 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Douglas-Daly Rivers

sunny 30 °C

After Nitmiluk NP we decided to take a detour and visit the Douglas and Daly rivers and our first stop was at the Douglas Hot Spring Park where we camped for one night. The hot springs flows from a fault in the earth’s crust into the Douglas River and makes it an excellent bathing spot. The water is 50 degrees Centigrade in places and full of minerals. Very good for a bad back and shoulders. The campsite was next to the river and the cockotoos entertained us.

We drove down to Daly River in my pursuit to catch a big Barramundi but it turned out to be a wild goose chase as the river was so eroded that access from the river shore was not possible. Most of the people there had boats and we only camped one night and continued on to Litchfield National Park.

Road Train on the Stuart Highway

Road Train on the Stuart Highway


Hot Springs relaxing

Hot Springs relaxing


Douglas Hot Springs

Douglas Hot Springs

Posted by KobusM 21:14 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Nitmiluk National Park

Katherine Gorge and Edith Falls

semi-overcast 31 °C

Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park is a beautiful, deep 12km long gorge (actually a series of 13 gorges) carved through ancient sandstone by the Katherine River. Lush rainforests inhabit giant cracks in the gorge walls which are 70m high in places. The river is inhabited by freshwater crocodiles but it is not impossible for a salty to reach the gorge. The park is owned by the Jawoyn people and the facilities are run by the NT government and very well maintained. We first camped for two nights in the national park caravan park at Katherine Gorge and for once it was quite pleasant and not too crowded with lots of wallabies arounfd the campsite. The first day we went on a pleasant breakfast boat cruise at dawn through the spectacular first two gorges, changing boats at the natural barrier between the two gorges. The second day we did a 3 hour hike to two lookout points with breathtaking views of the gorge and river.

The second part of the visit was camping two nights at Edith Falls, 60 km north of Katherine Gorge. Both the lower and upper falls have pleasant pools to swim in and the hike to the upper pools ahve nice access to lookouts over the falls.

Katherine Gorge

Katherine Gorge


Second Gorge Nitmiluk

Second Gorge Nitmiluk


Katherine Gorge 2nd gorge

Katherine Gorge 2nd gorge

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Curious Skippy at KAtherine Gorge campsite

Curious Skippy at KAtherine Gorge campsite


Edith Lower Falls

Edith Lower Falls


Edith Middle Falls

Edith Middle Falls


Edith Upper Falls

Edith Upper Falls


Edith Falls campsite

Edith Falls campsite


Edith River

Edith River

Posted by KobusM 01:38 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Keep River National Park

Small park with big views

semi-overcast 23 °C

We crossed the WA-NT border without having to bin our veggies and fruit. Only the entry into WA was manned by quarantine officials. We moved our clocks 90 minutes ahead and turned off to Keep River National Park, our first stop in the Northern Territory. We camped in Gurrandalng campsite and were pleased to find no other campers, although some arrived after us, but the sites are well spaced and private. The campsite is surrounded by ancient sandstone rock formations similar to Bungle Bungle. The one hour walk close to the campsite is very pleasant with a good view of the interesting rock formations, vegetation, cliffs and valleys. We also did the Jinumum walk that took us to an ancient shelter for the Miriwoong people in the wet season. The ground was littered with remains of mussel and clam shells (the sea was much closer thousands of years ago) and there were lots of rock art to explore.

We planned to do Gregory National Park after Keep River but all the 4WD tracks and access to the nice campsites were closed. The two campsites next to the Victoria highway was not nice at all and we decided to push through to Katherine, reaching the Big4 caravan park here after 7 hours of driving. The caravan park has good facilities but the sites again very close to each other and we don't like it.....the Kimberley bush camping has really spoiled us. We will stay the night, charge batteries and move on to Nitmiluk National Park tomorrow morning.

This is the first cool day since we started our trip (23C) and ironically it is the most northern place we have reached so far, but according to the waether forecast it should be back to 31C in a couple of days.....nice for the start of winter!!!

Gurrandalng campsite

Gurrandalng campsite


Spectacular views in Keep River National Park

Spectacular views in Keep River National Park


Nice walks in Keep River NP

Nice walks in Keep River NP


Rock formations in Keep River NP

Rock formations in Keep River NP


Gurrandalng walk

Gurrandalng walk


Hole Rock near Gurrandalng campsite

Hole Rock near Gurrandalng campsite


Interesting rock painting

Interesting rock painting


Rock paintings with real snake skin

Rock paintings with real snake skin


Snake rock painting

Snake rock painting


Boab

Boab

Posted by KobusM 01:17 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Kununurra

Cattle and cowboy country

sunny 27 °C

We didn't like the stay in the overcrowded caravan park in Kununarra but we had to do shopping, washing, servicing and studies. However, we stayed one day longer to attend the annual Rodeo earlier this evening. It was organised by the Kununurra Bushman's Rodeo Association and was a fun filled event with very skilled horse and bull riders competing. We have never been to a rodeo and it was nice to experience this part of Australian Outback cowboy culture.

Earlier in the day we did a short hike in the Mirima National Park (Hidden Valley) just outside Kununurra. The interesting rock formations are similar to the Bungle Bungle Range and the hike takes you to a lookout point overlooking Kununurra and the Ord River Valley.

We also visited the Hoochery Distillery outside Kununurra. They are the oldest legal still in WA and the only one that makes rum. We did some tasting and bought some rum and liqueur.

We will leave WA tomorrow and cross the border into Northern Territory. With this we will conclude a 53 day stay in the Kimberley and although we did not plan to stay so long we do not regret the delay we have had with the awning replacement and waiting for roads to open. The Kimberley reminds me a lot of Far Northern Transvaal in South Africa with its boabab trees and vast bush areas and we enjoyed the magnificent scenery, the remoteness and the solitude (in most places). I suspect that we will miss the Kimberley once we get to the crowdy east coast. We should be back in Southern WA in early May next year.

Bull riding at Kununurra Rodeo

Bull riding at Kununurra Rodeo


Kununurra Rodeo

Kununurra Rodeo


Broncho riding at Kununurra Rodeo

Broncho riding at Kununurra Rodeo


Hold on !!!!!

Hold on !!!!!


Hidden Valley

Hidden Valley


Mirima National Park rock formations

Mirima National Park rock formations


Mirima National Park

Mirima National Park


Hoochery Distillery

Hoochery Distillery

Posted by KobusM 06:46 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Kimberley alcohol restictions

We lived in Perth where there are no restrictions and you can buy any type of alcohol on any day but when we moved to Sweden we thought the Systembolaget restrictions of not being able to buy alcohol after 3pm on a Saturday or not at all on a Sunday was strange. But the Kimberley has even more strange restrictions. As blogged before, Halls Creek and Fitzroy Crossing don't sell any alcohol stronger than 2% light beer at any time and in the Northern Kimberley there are no bottle shops at all. In Derby it is less restrictive with the bottle shops opening at noon until 8pm but you can buy anything you want. Wyndham and Kununarra have very strange restictions. You can only buy two bottles of wine per person and one carton of beer per person, but the wine can only be bought from 2pm whilst the beer can be bought from noon. What difference the two hours make to those people that need to be protected against alcohol abuse is not clear to us.

These restrictions makes stocking up for the next 10 days, when we will be in the bush again, very difficult. We will therefore be buying our wine and beer in installments over three days before we leave Kununurra on Sunday.

Update after visiting the Northern Territory: NT has a much more pragmatic and practical approach to the control of alcohol abuse and does not restrict the amount of alcohol you can buy but you have to produce your ID (Australian drivers licence) which gets scanned and recorded. They have a list of registered alcohol abusers and they cannot buy alcohol.

Update after visiting northern Queensland: Queensland's alcohol restrictions are a mix of WA and NT. In certain areas, mainly aboriginal communities, you can't buy more than 30 beers or 1 bottle of wine per day and you have to produce your ID to be recorded.

Posted by KobusM 04:57 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Ord River camping

sunny 31 °C

After Parry Lagoons we drove south-east on a 4WD track that followed the Ord River and camped on the banks of the Ord River at an isolated spot called Buttons Crossing, 30km north of Kununarra. The banks of the river are very sandy and we got bogged down in the sand trying to tow the Quantum up a small incline. It took about 30 minutes to get ourselves unbogged and it was our first real recovery situation we had to deal with. Letting the tyres down to 20 PSI, using plastic trax and some branches to give more grip, as well as some digging got us out of trouble.

It is a very peaceful spot with nobody else around. It is a free camping spot with only a bush toilet and a table but we really enjoyed it. At night there is lots of activity in the water (fishes and maybe some crocodiles) and on the banks of the river the kangaroos and wallabies come to quench their thirst.

The Ord River has huge saltwater cocodiles lurking around and we were very cautious not to venture too close too the waters edge. I saw four crocodiles close to where we were camping but they were not aggresive at all. I tried do do some fishing but had no luck this time.

We stayed for two nights and moved on to Kununarra where we are staying at the Kimberleyland Caravan Park. We normally hate caravan parks but the Landcruiser needs its 10,000km service and Lorraine needs the internet to do her studies. I washed the Landcruiser and Quantum this afternoon and it took me almost three hours to get the Kimberley dirt and mud of the vehicles. I know it is a futile exercise as we will be travelling dirt roads soon but it made me feel better.

Recovery

Recovery


Ord River Fishing

Ord River Fishing


Buttons Crossing

Buttons Crossing

Posted by KobusM 04:45 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Parry Lagoons Nature Reserve

sunny 32 °C

Parry Lagoons Nature Reserve is 20km south of Wyndham and is a picturesque area with vast grasslands, lots of boab trees, billabongs and distant views of the Coburn Range. We camped at the Parry Creek Resort and visited Marlgu Billabong which is a bird sactuary with many birds visiting and living around the billabong. This is serious crocodile country but we did not see any salties or freshies.

Wyndham is a one horse town with a 20m statue of a crocodile welcoming you as you drive into town. The lookout north of the town is worth a visit with vast views over the area, including the town, the harbour, the Cambridge Gulf and the Coburn Ranges. At the harbour there are relics of the old Meatworks which was a massive abattoir that operated in the 1950s and 1960s.

Marglu Billabong

Marglu Billabong


Pied Heron on Marlgu Billabong

Pied Heron on Marlgu Billabong


Great Egret at Marlgu Billabong

Great Egret at Marlgu Billabong


Wyndham Crocodile

Wyndham Crocodile


Old Meatworks

Old Meatworks


Camridge Gulf from Wyndham Lookout

Camridge Gulf from Wyndham Lookout

Posted by KobusM 16:59 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Home Valley and El Questro

Eastern Kimberley

sunny 32 °C

Home Valley Station is a 1,6 million hectares cattle station next to the Gibb River Road and has camping and lodging facilities as well as a nice restaurant, the Dusty Bar and Grill. The area is very scenic with the dramatic Cockburn Ranges in the east and the Bidoola Gorge in the west. We had a powered campsite but the sites were not as pleasant as expected as they were too close to each other but we used the opportunity to charge batteries, do washing and cleaning, although I have given up on washing the Landcruiser and the Quantum until we are back on the sealed roads. We spent the afternoon at Bindoola Gorge and Falls as well as Nyarli Lagoon and then drove to the lookout where we could do our e-mails and blogs as this was the first time we got coverage since we ventured into the Northern and Eastern Kimberley.

El Questro is also a cattle station of about 1 million hectares further east along the Gibb River Road, but most of the action seems to be centered on tourism and it is very expensive compared to other camping in the area. We opted for a secluded campsite next to the Pentecost River and that was a good choice. It had a nice big boab tree, lots of shade with many birds (Corellas, Bower Birds and Kookabara) around as well as a few wallabies. There was a sign that swimming was not recommended because of saltwater crocodiles but I had a good look to make sure there was none in that spot and had a quick swim to cool off. El Questro has many gorges and challenging 4WD tracks and we explored many of them, including Explosion Gorge (although the track was officially closed) , El Questro Gorge and Emma Gorge. We also had a bath in the warm 30 degrees streams of the Zebedee Springs, nestled in a tropical palm forest, which was a unique experience. El Questro Gorge was spectacular with lots of palm trees but the hike was very rocky and we only did half of the track up to a huge boulder that blocks the whole gorge. Emma Gorge was by far the best gorge to explore. We hiked across a rocky creek bed for about an hour to reach a magnificent, crystal clear turquoise pool and eventually a very high waterfall and a deep cold pool at the end of the deep gorge. On the right side of the gorge was a thermal spring which formed a natural warm bath to relax in.

We continued to Perry Creek Farm near Wyndham and finally completed the Gibb River Road and most of its side roads. It has been a fantastic experience although the Gibb River Road was a breeze, the Mitchell Falls Road was much more of a challenge. We are about a month behind our planned schedule but it was worth while waiting for the Gibb and Kalumburu roads to open. We will be able to adjust our plan accordingly.

I can only post 12 photos on the blog. Check out the galary for more photos.

Home Valley

Home Valley


Bindoola Falls

Bindoola Falls


Pentecost River crossing

Pentecost River crossing


El Questro camping

El Questro camping


Swimming in the Pentecost River

Swimming in the Pentecost River


Noisy Corellas

Noisy Corellas


Zebedee Springs

Zebedee Springs


River crossing at El Questro

River crossing at El Questro


4WD Track at Explosion Gorge

4WD Track at Explosion Gorge


El Questro Gorge

El Questro Gorge


Turquoise pool in Emma Gorge

Turquoise pool in Emma Gorge


Emma Gorge Falls

Emma Gorge Falls

Posted by KobusM 17:20 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Ancient Kimberley Aboriginal rock art

sunny 32 °C

The area around Mitchell River and King Edward River is a treasure cove of ancient Aboriginal rock art typical of the Kimberley area. We saw four different styles at the three sites we visited, two close to Merten Falls and the other one close to the King Edward River crossing. This ancient rock art is evidence of occupation of the area by humans over tens of thousands of years. The Irregular Infill Paintings of humans and animals are estimated between 30,000 and 40,000 years old. The Gwion (also known as Bradshaw) art depicts humans in ceremonial garb and is scientifically dated with Optically Stimulated Luminescence to be at least 17,000 years old. There were also a few Clawed Hand Paintings which is estimated around 7,000 years old. The most recent paintings are the Wandjina Paintings which depicts deities with headdress and halos, no nose and a large nose and eyes, and is considered to be less than 1,000 years old. Of all the rock art styles, the Gwion (Bradshaw) is the most well-known from the Kimberley area with Wandjina also being a Kimberley style.

Clawed hand paintings close to Merten Falls

Clawed hand paintings close to Merten Falls


Irregular infill painting

Irregular infill painting


Classic Bradshaw style Aboriginal rock art

Classic Bradshaw style Aboriginal rock art


Irregular infill painting near King Edward River

Irregular infill painting near King Edward River


Wandjina painting near King Edward River

Wandjina painting near King Edward River


Aboriginal rock art in the Kimberley

Aboriginal rock art in the Kimberley


Ancient Aboriginal rock art near King Edward River

Ancient Aboriginal rock art near King Edward River


Wandjina painting near King Edward River

Wandjina painting near King Edward River

Posted by KobusM 05:50 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Mitchell River National Park

Maginificent and remote Mitchell Falls and Merten Falls

sunny 32 °C

The road to Mitchell River National Park is a rough 80km 4WD track from the Kalumburu Road turnoff to the park and it took us about four hours to negotiate sharp rocky patches, severe corrugations, washouts, bulldust patches, about 15 creek crossings and the 600mm deep King Edward River crossing. But it was worthwhile. The Mitchell Falls and Merten Falls are spectacular so soon after the wet season and in full flow. Heliworks operate from the campsite and we took a transfer flight in a Bell helicopter over and to the top of Mitchell Falls and hiked 4 km back after spending lots of time at both Mitchell Falls and Merten Falls and the splendid pools on the way. The pools above the falls are all free of saltwater crocodiles and it is safe to swim here. We also managed to find the two spots on the way that have ancient Aboriginal rock artm (see the next blog about Kimberley Aboriginal rock art). We also saw and heard many dingos in the area. We camped in the park for two nights and then travelled back to the King Edward River crossing and camped there for a night. The King Edward River crossing was about 600mm deep and very rocky but I took it very slow and came through it without problems. The road to the Mitchell Plateau winds through remote palm forests and we only came accross three other vehicles camping at the park.

Mitchell Falls Road

Mitchell Falls Road


Testing the King Edward River Crossing

Testing the King Edward River Crossing


Mitchell River National Park

Mitchell River National Park


Mitchell Falls and Merten Falls from the helicopter

Mitchell Falls and Merten Falls from the helicopter


Mitchell Falls

Mitchell Falls


Mitchell Falls

Mitchell Falls


Top of Mitchell Falls

Top of Mitchell Falls


Merten Falls

Merten Falls


Polished rock

Polished rock


Little Merten Falls

Little Merten Falls


Little Merten Falls Pool

Little Merten Falls Pool

Posted by KobusM 04:10 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Kalumburu Road to Drysdale River Station

Including the Gibb River crossing

sunny 32 °C

We left Manning Gorge and travelled further east and turned north off the Gibb River Road onto the Kalumburu Road to visit the Mitchell Plateau and had to cross the Gibb River on the way to Drysdale River Station. The water was not too deep (about 400mm) and Lorraine waded across (after I convinced her there were no crocodiles) to take photos of me driving across. The crossing was deep but easy but as I was alomost through the river I hit a large hole in the riverbed and the Quantum became dislodged from the hitch and I dragged it out of the river just with the safety chains. The hitch was buried deep in the sand and I had to jack up the Quantum with the inflatable jack to get it back onto the Landcruiser’s hitch and then discovered that I never locked the hitch that morning when we left Manning Gorge. Luckily there was no serious damage except to my pride for forgetting to lock the hitch. The rest of the Kalumburu Road was actually very nice, being graded recently, but there were a number of very rough patches and one huge, deep washout but a detour was already built around it. We stopped and stayed over at Drysdale River Station for the night before travelling on to the Mitchell Plataeu.

Drysdale River Station is a million acre (4,000 square kilometer) cattle station and also serves as the only shop, fuel station, pub and reatuarant north of the Gibb River Road. The campsites are shaded and grassy and a few had electricity. We had a delightful dinner at their open air restaurant with fresh vegetables and traditional roast beef. We also stopped here on our way back from the Mitchell River Falls and had their famous KBB’s (Kimberley Beef Burgers), probably the biggest burger we have ever had.

Crossing the Gibb River

Crossing the Gibb River


Moment of Impact

Moment of Impact


Kimberley Beef Burger at Drysdale River Station

Kimberley Beef Burger at Drysdale River Station


Annies Bar at Drysdale River Station

Annies Bar at Drysdale River Station


Galahs at Drysdale River Station

Galahs at Drysdale River Station

Posted by KobusM 00:44 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Manning Gorge and Falls

sunny 31 °C

The two day stay at Manning Gorge campsite was not as pleasant as we hoped due to large noisy groups in big 4WD trucks visiting the gorge, camping close to our site and making the campsite overcrowded. Other than that we enjoyed the area and I thoroughly enjoyed swims in both the lower Manning Gorge and at Manning Falls at the Upper Gorge. The 3 km, 1 hour hike to Manning Falls was quite tough over rocky and hilly terrain and included a swim to get across the river, with our backpacks floating in an ice box, or esky as the locals call it. The falls are spectacular and the water refreshing. I swam against the stream into and behind the falls where I rested for a while experiencing this natural wonder. We saw a Yellow Spotted Monitor that posed for both Lorraine and I to take photos. The lower Manning Gorge is a haven for birds and we saw large flocks of Noisy Corellas and Red Winged Black Cockatoos.

Upper Manning Gorge

Upper Manning Gorge


Manning Falls

Manning Falls


Under Manning Falls

Under Manning Falls


Yellow spotted Monitor

Yellow spotted Monitor


Closeup of Monitor Lizard at Manning Gorge

Closeup of Monitor Lizard at Manning Gorge

Posted by KobusM 00:15 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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