Karijini Loop Part 3: Days 8 - 10

Sunday, Sep 29, 2019 at 00:44

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

This map was created using the Positions Manager in the ExplorOz Traveller app by selecting a date range for this portion of our trip (days 8-10).

Day 8

As we were now leaving Karijini, this was just the homeward leg of the journey although we'd been advised to take a look out for Wanna Munna rockholes. Leaving Karijini towards the east meant going a direction we'd never done before so it was an enjoyable drive and mostly very quiet all the way through until reaching Newman.

We had planned to stop at Mt Robinson Rest Area for the purpose of exploring up the gorge as we'd heard it was worth doing but the track petered out before it reached anywhere significant. David led us up the gully and we blindly followed like mountain goats but it was a very scratchy hike and we ended up scrambling through spiky spinifex and grumbling more than enjoying ourselves. We enjoyed the view though.

Further along we stopped at Wanna Munna rockholes, which we would never have found if I hadn't put a marker in Places after being recommend we find this spot. We were surprised to find another traveller visiting there also and further surprised to find they had just exited the CSR and had been in a convoy with ExplorOz Member Equinox. We listened to their tales and after many hours, they left us to the camp and they apparently drove onto Newman.

Wanna Munna is a pretty special area as it is a natural art gallery of aboriginal petroglyphs (rock carvings). These are prolific along the rock walls on either side of the main waterhole near the campsite. The carvings feature shapes that you'll easily recognise such as emus, kangaroos, humans and plants. In fact, some appear more realistic than what I've seen in many other areas of Australia and at first sight, we even wondered if they were aboriginal at all. The intricacies and detail was just so good. If you take your time to wander you might even notice a consistent theme with the depiction of enigmatic beings/creatures and you would be forgiven for thinking these were drawings of alien encounters. It's a place where you could certainly site for hours and just contemplate the possibilities of what these people saw here tens of thousands of years ago. It's not a spooky though, in fact its quite the opposite. There is a distinctive mood of peace and beauty here.

Day 9

The following day we picked up the 4WD track further into the range as it was my expectation from information I'd been given that we'd find another campsite about 4km along. The drive was not difficult but the landscape was harsh and featured many exposed outcrops of iron ore and the place where the track ends is not what we would classify as a campsite. We did some further exploring on foot and found that the 4WD track actually continued down the escarpment and it was perhaps possible to drive over the sandy riverbed here onto the other side. We did not go any further, and were content with the main Wanna Munna site being the designated POI.

For the rest of the day, we were on the tar with the vans and the trucks heading towards the Great Northern Highway. We our time in Newman just topping up fuel, food etc and was hoping to find a nice place for lunch and headed for Opthalmia Dam, having upon arriving found it blocked off and inaccessible due to new mining activity. Oh dear....

Further south along the Great Northern we took a side track opposite Capricorn Roadhouse that was just a line on the map leading to Fortesque River. No idea what we'd see but getting off the highway for a quiet lunch stop was all that we required.

We had no real plan for how far we'd travel today and in these parts finding a decent roadside camp can be a little challenging. We ended up with little option but to stop for the night at the 25 Mile Well designated roadside free camp just north of Meekatharra. It was a little too close to the road for our liking so we had some truck noise early and there was hardly any wood to use for a fire but at this point in our trip the family were operating like a well-oiled machine and everyone did their job and we were all just happy to share a camp dinner under the stars and talk. The reality was we were driving home tomorrow.

Day 10

Our final day was a full day of highway driving with stops just to document and photograph Place entries for camps, station-stays, P-bays, rest areas and other POIs. We arrived home just before sunset and everything was in order, which is always a relief.

We came home with lots of photographic material for Place updates although we had done most of this via the app along the way using phone photos, however we had many special photos on our DSLR for editing to do later. We also had drone footage (both video and stills), GoPro footage, and lots of app features to fix and new ideas for future improvements. If you enjoy outback travel photography please follow our Instagram account. If you also enjoy sharing your travel photos on Instagram please use our hashtags #exploroz & if you find something really worth sharing use #foundwithexploroztraveller


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