Kimberley touring

Submitted: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 20:44
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With a longer rig now, wondered if anyone has found any of the tracks to gorges along the Gibb River Road tight turning in the parking areas? Looking at so many interesting places on the map now, before deciding which ones to go and see.

Motherhen
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Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 00:54

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 00:54
Such as - Has anyone taken their BT into places such as Lennard River Gorge, Bell Gorge, Barnett River Gorge, as well as Sawpit Gorge off the Duncan Road?

Mh
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Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 01:33

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 01:33
Hi Motherhen,

Wish I could help! Seems that even with further hints there are no takers. My memory fails me as well as I know that at one of those gorges I had a problem with the trailer so that extra lenth your dealing with would be a problem. Think it was Bell - hopefully someone will come to the rescue.

I hope you are doing a trip report as I will probably find it usefull in a year or three.

Kind regards

Theo
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Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 01:52

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 01:52
Hi Theo

I will do a report when i get home - it takes me ages to get them done - you might have your BT and be ready to go by the time i get it finished. Now we have the MyBlog section on ExplorOz i can post them there.

My son said about the first gorge after Windjana that he went into last year was one of the best, but he couldn't remember which one (it may have been Lennard River Gorge). He thought that might have had a small area to turn. Hopefully some of the many who went along the GRR over the past couple of years will come on line tonight and help me out.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Pixellator - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 03:04

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 03:04
G'day ParentHens

Lucky ducks! We travelled the GRR in both 2006 and 2007. Having a 'lay six months' while we do some house renos, but we've been getting rgular updates from some friends in a group of seven BTs en route to the Kimberley at present. I think that they are in the western Kimberley this week... haven't got my latest update!

We made a short diversion towards the Barnett River Gorge last year. The sign said "3 km" I think. The first 1.5 km was good, but then the track was very rutted and broken up. Around that time, there had been a few BTs that had rolled, so I was a bit paranoid about that. When the track got worse and worse- even narrower and more rutted, I bit the bullet and decided that whatever aesthetic delights awaited us could stay there! A twenty point turn , and we were outta there. Went on to Mt Elizabeth Station, which was great, with some excellent 4WD tracks and great scenery. If you go there make sure you book in for the homestead dinner.

Enjoy.
BobH
PS what sort of battery / electrical problems have you been having?
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Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 03:56

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 03:56
Hi Bob

Thanks for the feedback. I don't fancy doing a 21 point turn with the F250! Jim got the van around with the Nissan when a track came to a sudden stop once, but the extra length will make it so much harder. What other places did you get into readily with the caravan?

We don't seem to be building up enough power in the batteries even with no load. I just rang an auto-sparky business in Karratha so we can take it there for them to test everything - i hope they can. We have a new fridge (130 litre Vitrifigo, same as the last one), and although it seems to draw more than the last on the ProStar reading, this may be because the battery voltage is a bit low. Ian from boatandcaravan tested the fridge to his satisfaction before he sent it to us two years ago, and apart from a couple of test runs, it hasn't been used. We came up through rain on the first day with the fridge running and minimal lights and water pump usage first night, so could understand low battery levels, but now we are in the sun, batteries should be fully charged. As the low voltage disconnect came on overnight after a day in full sun, we have turned off the fridge and disconnected everything else, and even in full sun all day today is only reading 13.4/13.5. The recently repaired solar panels seem to be working OK (our son has tested). The batteries only lost 1 point overnight according to the ProStar. I am reluctant to head north until we can at least run a fridge and a water pump.

Regards

Motherhen
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Follow Up By: Pixellator - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 06:02

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 06:02
Motherhen

Most of the other stops we made on the GRR were fairly tame without any dramas. However as you know all this is weather dependant.

Windjana Gorge/Tunnel Creek : no sweat

Lennard Gorge: haven't been there

Bell Gorge: ditto

Charnley River Station: Well maintained access road, about 40km from memory. Firewood supplied (that's one reason we went there, heard that fires weren't allowed at Bell gorge). A few scenic spots.

Mornington Wilderness Camp: Fantastic, but 90 km off the GRR- slowish going, but most of the road in was excellent last year. The last bit gets a bit rough. Not bad camping spots, and you can be close to good facilities if you wish, still with that remote feeling. Great drives to Sir John Gorge, Bluebush and Dimond Gorge. Wonderful photography opportunities. A chance to see a Gouldian Fincgh or two. (Much more reliable sighting at Australia Zoo! Crikey!)

Manning River Gorge: Fantastic, excellent campground about 10km in from the Mt Barnett Roadhouse. A great walk to the falls, after fording the river. They even supply floating polystyrene fruit boxes to carry your valuables across. Memorable.

Mt Elizabeth Station: Good access, probably better scenery than at Charnley River Station. And the previously mentioned homestead meals. Don't miss a trip to the Hann River.

El Questro: Great, commercial. The masses. Unfortunately you have to cop the high costs of a Voyages property. Still it's a 'must see' to cross off the list. Great walks. esp Zebidee Springs and Emma Gorge.

Home Valley: Maybe instead of ELQ. Don't stay at the homestead camping area, go on to the bush camping beside the Pentecost River. (avoid the basking saltwater crocs on the river banks... they love fresh chook!) They have almost new ablutions with flushing loos and showers, some excellent shade shelters that would make a good annex, and plenty of space, so you're only as close to others as you want to be. Godd fishing if you're game. Wonderful sunsets.

None of these places would present any access problems with the F truck.
There also appeared to be lots of other small areas you could camp off the road. Beside the Gibb River on the Kalumburu road is a popular, pristine spot if you are heading up that way. It's not far from the GRR turnoff.

Hope this is of some use.
Cheers
BobH
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Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 06:13

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 06:13
Thanks Bob - I have printed that list. Charnley River Stn was on my list. When i contacted them to ask where they were and they said they were on the maps as Beverley Springs, Jim said he has been there (back in his Ag Dept days), and that it used to be run by the people who bought our south coast farm last year.

Regards

Motherhen
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Follow Up By: Shortcuts - Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 18:33

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 18:33
We have 2 more sleeps and we are heading up to the GRR as well. Sounds like it could be over run with BTs. Hope we catch up with a few to say hi. Can't help you motherhen with the access questions because we have'nt done the GRR beore and our rig is very small compared to most as we are driving a 100series wagon with a 14ft BT.
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Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Friday, May 30, 2008 at 03:51

Friday, May 30, 2008 at 03:51
I have spent some time on the net today, and it looks like Lennard Gorge is out of the picture for us or a very long walk - an 8 km, real 4wd track in. The others look OK so far.

Mh
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Reply By: Deleted User - Monday, Jun 02, 2008 at 17:44

Monday, Jun 02, 2008 at 17:44
Hi Motherhen,

Had this request to post,

My name is Noel.
I have been reading a thread on the BOG site (I am not a member yet & hence cannot post), however I have some info for Motherhen that you may wish to relay.

Though it was a long time back (1992) when I dragged a 16ft millard thru GRR, however;
I bought for $2, at the servo (I think) as you enter Derby, a brochure called Travelers guide to: Gibb river & Kalumburu Roads (8 pages). Produced by Derby Tourist Bureau. Excellent in detail with distances and details facilities etc. at each site.

Looking forward to going back in the future some time with our 22ft BT we pick up in Perth in a couple of weeks to see all that we missed & to spend time at leisure.

Regards
Noel & Denise

_________________
flavs
AnswerID: 575208

Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Monday, Jun 02, 2008 at 23:49

Monday, Jun 02, 2008 at 23:49
Thanks Theo, and thanks to Noel & Denise who i hope will soon be members. Did they get Leithals's BT?

Mh
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Reply By: Silver Fox - Monday, Jun 02, 2008 at 18:39

Monday, Jun 02, 2008 at 18:39
I'll just add my experience with "Silent Grove" which is the N.P. camp area for "Bells Gorge". The camp area is quite good with different areas. Some near the creek and others more open. There was a resident ranger in 06. There are a few very nice camp spots further on from Silent Grove along the river towards the falls BUT there is a "key tag" system for these and VERY early collection (at the Silent Grove entrance) is suggested. They are very popular and usually taken by m'tea each day. There is a creek crossing on the way in from the GRR which was short but deep. Should be fun in a long wheel base...We got a GRR brochure from somewhere east. Maybe Kununarra tourist shop. It seems to be up-dated each year. The ranger at Silent Grove was a wealth of knowledge. Also the roadhouse (diesel only) fellow at Imintji just east of the turn-off. Silent Grove is a good base to leave the BT and day trip around the area. If you like birds etc a short walk behind the camp ground up the creek which is the water supply for the camp ground has lots of interesting discoveries. Lennard Rv Gorge was not a sensible drive in 06 and the walk into the gorge was very rough. happy GRR'ing.
AnswerID: 575209

Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Monday, Jun 02, 2008 at 23:53

Monday, Jun 02, 2008 at 23:53
Thanks Silver Fox - Lennard sounds like we wouldn't even want to take the F250 all the way in. A couple on the caravaners forum did Lennard and a few other spots on motor bikes which they carry - good idea for out of the way places. All the other spots seem OK for access. We'll take the short walk up the creek at Silent Grove too - thanks for the tip.

Mh
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