Three weeks on the Gibb River Road and surrounds

Submitted: Wednesday, Jul 09, 2008 at 04:30
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A very brief report for anyone heading out.

We started on the highway to Fitzroy Crossing to see Geikie Gorge on the DEC boat tour, then back to the Leopold Downs Road to see Tunnel Creek and Windjana Gorge. Stayed at the camp site so we could walk the gorge in the morning - nice park camping area. Met the GRR north of Windjana, and headed north east.

We did not go to Lennard Gorge as it seemed unsuitable for caravans - but 'Sooty & Sue' got their even bigger rig in - but turning and parking was not set up for big rigs.

Bell Gorge is one of the lovely ones. Again we camped at the park camp Silent Grove to walk in the morning.

We spent two nights at Charnley River Station (formerly Beverley Springs), as driving to Dillie Gorge and Grevillia Gorge with taking the time to swim and enjoy them was a full on day.

Both Adcocks and Galvins Gorges are well worth visiting. It takes a bit of time finding your way right into the gorge at Adcocks. As we visited these in the afternoon, photos were not good. If you can, go in the morning.

At Mt Barnett Roadhouse, you pay the entry fee of $12.50 even if you don't camp - but can stay as long as you like with no further fee. There are now warm showers. A lot of people (like over 100) were there the first night, but less the second. After the long walk to the lovely Manning Falls, we relaxed for the afternoon and stayed a second night.

Barnett River Gorge is the one i'd cross off the list if pushed for time. After the others, it was nothing special. A tour group was at the swimming hole, and we couldn't find the path down. A very long walk marked with stone cairns took us to another spot where we could wallow in the cascades rather than swim.

We stayed two nights at Drysdale River Station homestead not Miners Pool, so we could do the washing.

Crossing the King Edward River (the deepest crossing we met), we stayed at the second camp on a lovely pool in the river - three nights because it was such a lovely spot. There were four BTs there.

We left the van to go to Mitchell Falls, and i recommend doing this as you have to come back anyway. It was the most corrugated of the roads, although being early in the season, roads were pretty good. We went prepared to camp for the night, but after a leisurely walk to the falls, swims, lunch, walks around and more swimming, the helicopter return taxi got us back to the carpark by 4 pm, so we had enough light to drive 'home'.

The road to Kalumburu was slow going even though being graded. It is stony rather than corrugated. We stayed at McGowans Island Beach - BTs right on the beach looking across the bay. Went fishing with the people who run the park ($150 each), and were guaranteed to catch big fish. You can only take what you can eat at Kalumburu so we threw some huge fish back! The red fish called saddletail due to a black mark on the back near the tail was the very best of the delicious fresh fish we ate there.

On the way back, we stayed at KE River camp again because it is so lovely, and met another BT owner, who headed for Kalumburu the next day.

Another night back at Drysdale and the following night in an old roadworks quarry - the first bush camp, as although there are good gravel pits (camping away from the designated areas with toilets is really not permitted), it was more convenient to stay at proper camp sites to do walks in the morning before it got to hot.

Three days at El Questro, in a 'private' camp along the river. To make the most of it, we had long days sightseeing. Must sees are Zebedee Springs (oh so warm) and Emma Gorge (the coldest water i have swum in was refreshing after the walk and rock climbs up into the beautiful ferny and shady gorge).

Thus ended three full weeks enjoying wonderful scenery, and appreciating all that water in what is otherwise a barren landscape.

Thoroughly recommend the tour.

We met a few BTers, and missed meeting others i had hoped to catch up with as we went into different stations and gorges.

Motherhen

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Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Wednesday, Jul 09, 2008 at 06:43

Wednesday, Jul 09, 2008 at 06:43
PS

First night after Geikie Gorge and before Tunnel Creek was at the quarry site Grumblebum (and others) told us about. It is listed in Jan Holland Priceless Camps book, and we shared it with a tour bus - but plenty of room.

When at Kalumburu do Father Anscar's mission tour. Timetable is reduced due to work on the new Museum getting ready for the Mission's centenary this August. The are at 8.30 am only on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday. He his a real character who has been there for 25 years, and may retire soon. He has an amazing collection of not only Aboriginal artifacts, but artifacts from all over the world - too many to even see in the time there.

Mh
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Follow Up By: ChrisVal7 - Thursday, Jul 10, 2008 at 02:56

Thursday, Jul 10, 2008 at 02:56
It is good to see that you have had a great and safe trip MH. Although brief, I enjoyed reading the report of the trip. Where are you now?
Chris
PS Did you get the power problems resolved satisfactorily?
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Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Thursday, Jul 10, 2008 at 07:47

Thursday, Jul 10, 2008 at 07:47
Hi Chris

As you may have by now seen in my fridge post on the cavanners forum, it turned out to be the solar panels after all - now we are so far away. We will try and get some sent here, no doubt at extreme cost, meanwhile waiting in the CP (more moeny, though not a major cost) before continuing.

Are you back on the move?

Mh
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Reply By: ChrisVal7 - Friday, Jul 11, 2008 at 02:04

Friday, Jul 11, 2008 at 02:04
Hello again MH.
In answer to your question, we are presently in Kakadu at a camp site on Jim jim Billabong. We had to go into Katherine to get our frige fixed, as I have reported on another forum - all well now (ice cream is nice and solid again!) and so are enjoying he cooler weather out here.

In another week we head to the remote Aboriginal community of Peppimenarti for six months (Val s taking over as relief teaching principal out there). When you get closer to this end of the territory (?) send us a message to see if we can catch up. I would love to meet with you both.
Chris
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Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Friday, Jul 11, 2008 at 07:49

Friday, Jul 11, 2008 at 07:49
Looks like you will still be quite some way from us - our plan is to take the Tanami - if we ever get out of Kununurra!

Glad your fridge was fixable - we rely on them in these climates and when far from shops.

Mh
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