Mudgee to Darwin Day 15 Kings Creek Station to Palm Valley

Friday, Jul 26, 2013 at 12:15

Member - Lisa & Peter (NSW)

Mudgee to Darwin Day 15 Kings Creek Station to Palm Valley

This morning we fuelled up at Kings Creek Station ($2.41/litre) then bought our permit for Mereenie Loop road and headed off. This road is OK for 2WD vehicles when dry, it was mostly pretty good, with some corrugated sections and occasional gutters across the road to watch out for. There is a tar section where it crosses the range with hairpin bends - must be interesting getting a road train through there! We saw 2 dingoes, a lone camel, several small groups of brumbies, and one very red kangaroo (standing in the middle of the road just at the end of the national park, like Ned Kelly holding up a stagecoach)

We made a detour in to Gosse Bluff, an astonishing land feature formed about 140 million years ago when a comet about 1km in diameter struck the earth forming a crater. It struck with the force of a million Hiroshima bombs, strong enough to compact rock layers over 4km deep in the earth, it would have obliterated life for many hundreds of km, and affected the worlds weather patterns for several years due to the cloud of fine particles sent into the atmosphere. Gosse Bluff is the centre of the impact, but photographs from orbit show a huge circular depression in the earths surface, much bigger than is immediately obvious.

We stopped at Albert Namatjira's house outside of Hermannsburg, just a two room cottage which has been restored.

Then it was off to Palm Valley, up a 4wd road which mainly follows the course of the Finke River. It had been graded recently and was quite good, with rocky and sandy sections along the riverbed and a few bull dust holes. Along the way we slowed up for a couple of vehicles parked on the road, and were surprised to see they were doing a fashion shoot featuring Jessica Mauboy, who looked gorgeous in a white dress and very high heels, standing on the red dusty road with red cliffs as a backdrop.

We continued on in to Palm Valley, passing over an electric grid , which is designed to prevent horses and camels accessing the park. We unhitched the camper at the campground, then drove on to the Cycad gorge and Palm Valley, did a short walk along the floor of the gorge and back along the ridge line. What a stunning place, the scenery was lovely, and so interesting to see the palms and cycads, alongside gum trees and cypress pines. We had some fun 4wd rock hopping and some water crossings on the access track to the walks.

There were signs up warning of dingoes, sure enough one showed up, posed for a few pics, and managed to make off with a carton of processed egg from the BBQ area when it's owner's back was turned. That evening the ranger came down to do a chat around the main campfire, bringing some nice big logs to add to the fire. She was very informative and answered many questions about the park.
Toyota Hilux SR5 2010 D4D
Echo Kavango
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