Cape York via Simpson Desert 26 June 2015 – Day 25

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 18:46

Peter Beard (WA)

Heading west, on the way home. An easy start today, across to Burketown from Karumba - the 296km trip made 40km longer due to a detour just out of Normanton. Looks like the local council is doing bridge or ford work on the Bynoe and Flinders river crossings. The detour takes us 60km south back down the Burke Developmental Road, turning right and back north through cattle stations to pick up the Savannah Way west of the river crossings. The detour track is a dark grey clay-like surface, easy on the car. Lots of gates to open and close, and lots of cows looking a bit startled at the stream of traffic that has invaded their paddocks.

The Savannah Way to Leichhardt Falls is well graded, well formed and quite busy. Lots of cars towing caravans heading east towards us, we also overtook a few cars towing an assortment of trailers, boats or caravans (not at the same time...). A pair of kangaroos bounced across the track in front of us, Pete slammed on the brakes but started to skid so eased off. One kangaroo cleared the front, the second making a heroic last minute evasive turn as the front wheel skimmed past. No thump, and Pete saw it hop rapidly back onto the bush but we both reckon it must have left hairs on the bull bar.

Leichhardt Falls is dry apart from a couple of big pools caught in the deep crevices between rocks. Big white gums and paperbarks line the edges, one gum hosting a large flock of corellas squabbling noisily amongst themselves. The rock formation of the river bed is amazing; the falls must be spectacular when water is flowing.

From the falls it is an almost dead straight bitumen road all the way to Burketown over the flat savannah plains after which the route is named. Friday night at the Burketown Hotel for us, tomorrow will be long day. We hope to make it to Borroloola but will camp on the track if we don’t make it that far.


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