East Kimberley Day 21 - Kununurra to Wyndham

Thursday, Jul 12, 2001 at 00:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Day 21 - Thursday 12/7/01
Start - Kununurra
Stop - Wyndham
Trip Odometer - 150.6km
Stopped time - 2.52hrs
Moving average - 64.5km/hr
Moving time - 2.2hrs
Max speed - 5.12hrs

Our agreed plan for today was to drive up to Wyndham in the morning with enough time in the day to visit the crocodile farm and see the sunset from the Five Rivers Lookout. But we are all getting so good at fiddling around in the morning with last minute tasks that we didn’t get more than a few kilometres out of town until after lunch. One diversion was a visit to the Zebra Rock Gallery, which was actually well worth the stop. Besides seeing the “Zebra” rock, which comes from previous mining days from a quarry that now lies beneath Lake Argyle, the gallery is set on a magnificent property that visitors are made welcome to wander. We found it easy to spend a few hours – we were given bread to feed the catfish off the jetty, spoke to “Charlie the Crow” that is really a Raven who really does talk – it has to be seen to be believed! And of course, coffee, scones and sandwiches at the café. The drive out to the gallery passes through farming property so even the drive there is worthwhile.

So, finally after lunch we made our way out to the Great Northern Highway. From the intersection of the WyndhamKununurra Road and the Halls Creek turn-off, its 22km to the Grotto, a spectacular gorge with fairly easy walking access. The steep path down from the top of the plateau into the gorge looks difficult but the placement of the steps is done such that it is quite an easy walk, taking about 5minutes to get down and about 10minutes to get up. The falls were dry and the water was turning stagnant but during the wet and earlier in the dry this can be a very nice swimming hole.

I think we made it into Wyndham around 2pm and even though the tour and croc feeding is done at 11am, we still spent our $12 each to wander around the Crocodile Farm. The crocs were rather still but it was a good visit all the same. Seeing the “farming” pens was fascinating, with zillions of baby salties snapping and crawling over one another. We picked up a good phrase in Kununurra from a local who called crocs “snapping handbags” – which has become our favourite saying so far.

After making a hasty camp at the town camping ground (excellent actually) and a rushed bottle shop purchase, we headed up the steep and windy road to the top of the Bastion Range, which forms the backdrop to Wyndham, with the Five Rivers Lookout at the highest point (360m). No sooner had we arrived than we were approached by Garth and Therese, who said they were “fans” of ExplorOz.com and proceeded to pull out colour print-offs of our entire trek notes that they have used to travel around Australia. The sun was beginning to set, Leah was demanding her dinner, David was busying preparing sunset snacks and drinks and then another pair recognised us and wanted to chat. It sure wasn’t a bad location for sharing stories with spectacular views of the five rivers – Ord, Forrest, King, Durack and Pentecost Rivers, all which enter the Cambridge Gulf and surrounding mangrove swamps, mudflats and hills. Directly below we watched a container ship patiently wait for the tide to rise so he could approach the port.

At the end of the day we ended back down to our camp at the town camping ground/caravan park for a bbq.

David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
Always working not enough travelling!
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