North Kimberley Day 28 - Honeymoon Bay to Mitchell Falls

Thursday, Jul 19, 2001 at 00:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Day 30 - Thursday 19/7/01
Start - Honeymoon Bay
Stop - Mitchell Falls
Trip Odometer - 218.3km
Stopped time - 2.24hrs
Moving average - 49.7km/hr
Moving time - 4.23hrs
Max speed - 6.48hrs

The fishing wasn’t as productive as we had hoped and the area not really well suited for much else so we left Kalumburu knowing that if we ever returned it would be with a boat and well prepared specifically for the area.

Headed back into Kalumburu we took a few side tracks to check out the rest of the area.

At a place affectionately known as “The Washing Machine”, because one is dumped at the track junction, a track leads to a rocky plateau. If you get out of your car and walk a few metres you see the beautiful King Edward River – salt water crocodiles are here but so too are the barramundi (not at Honeymoon Bay or McGowans Island). Shame we didn’t find it earlier as it was the ideal spot for the style of fishing we all prefer.

Back into town we bought a few supplies from the supermarket (including Frosty Fruits) and then Colin bought fuel ($1.50 diesel!) before heading back to the Mitchell Plateau turnoff 103km south. The drive to/from Kalumburu isn’t that bad, but there are rough sections – probably the worst being around the hills near Theda Station.

We have always heard of good camping at the King Edward River crossing, just 8km along the Mitchell Plateau Road and there is also hoards of camping at an established camping area a little further along past the crossing. We managed to time it nicely for lunch before the crossing but just past the signpost “King Edward River”.

The track into Mitchell Falls is very well signposted and we found it incredibly busy (even though school holidays are now over in all states). Yet again, here we are in the Northern Kimberley and you’d think you were in Sydney! No one minds other travellers but it sure would help if everyone understood how to pass one another when the track is just single lane width.

Road conditions are pretty much as you hear – corrugated and full of potholes and wash-aways. But what no one else tells you is that the scenery is fabulous! Quite different to the drive along the Gibb River Road or even on the Kalumburu Road, the Mitchell Plateau road is amass with Livingstonia Palms creating a feeling of entering a rainforest. The temptation of knowing that one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world lies in wait ahead makes the corrugated and washed out road pale into insignificance.

We were rather pleasantly surprised to find the Mitchell Falls campground to be large and well spaced out with plenty of decent camps with large shady trees and a few long-drop “Eco Toilets”. The campground backs onto the main walk to the falls and also the helipad, but they don’t start up until 8am in the morning and the last flight is well before sunset so it is rather civilised. We pulled into camp around 4pm and was able to book right onto a heli-flight for the following morning.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Always working not enough travelling!
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