East Kimberley Day 23 - King River to Pentecost River (Karunjie Road)

Saturday, Jul 14, 2001 at 00:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Day 23 - Saturday 14/7/01
Start - King River
Stop - Pentecost River (Karunjie Road)
Trip Odometer - 53km
Stopped time - 1.31hrs
Moving average - 28.6km/hr
Moving time - 3.22hrs
Max speed - 3.22hrs

This morning we awoke to find that our river camp was indeed a great barra fishing spot – it was tidal, whereas yesterday we had thought it was not. By 9am David had caught 4 barra but all were around 45cm and that’s just a bit undersized so none were kept.

We lifted camp by 10.15am and headed towards the Gibb River Road. Just past the Prison Tree (RHS after King River Crossing) is a Y-junction. The left junction is marked El Questro, although the homestead itself is on the southern side of the GRR. Unless you intend going to El Questro, you need to take the right fork to head towards the Pentecost River. Then you meet a gate at a junction – the right fork is sign posted to the “Digger’s Rest”, a farmstay, but to get to the GRR you continue through the gate, leaving it as you find it.

From here the track deteriorates slightly, with travel becoming a little slower as the driving terrain alternates between rocky creek beds and along single wheel tracks through long grass.

To the south, spectacular views of the Chamberlain Range provide opportunities to get photos of some of the best ranges in the Kimberley. The track changes again as you pass through the 2nd gate on your approach to the Chamberlain River, entering very thick bulldust. This is cattle country and livestock is on the path, especially around creeks.

The final section of the track as it swings towards the Pentecost deteriorates significantly and a high clearance 4WD is necessary. The last few dry river beds are extremely eroded and the track is totally washed out, so low range 4WD and heavy articulation over rock steps is required.

Immediately on the RHS are tracks to the Pentecost River with excellent campsites and fishing access. Quite different to our trip here in 1998, the Pentecost this year is in full flow at this time and very popular with campers. We selected the 2nd last campsite before the crossing on the east side of the river.

We were surprised at how crowded this area of the world has become – the crossing had a constant flow of traffic over it all through the evening, from road trains, tourist buses and other travellers. And, the majority of travellers are towing camper trailers. For people who have never ventured into this part of Australia and think that the Kimberley is a remote, largely inaccessible region are very misguided by the media! You can’t get away from people here.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Always working not enough travelling!
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