Kimberley Trip Week 3

Sunday, Jul 13, 2008 at 21:10

Member - Hayjude (NSW)

Week 3:

Day 15: Saturday 5 July 2008

Massive dew overnight so everything was wet. Had to pack up campers damp. Bev got bitten by a centipede that was in her trousers when she put them on. OK though. Drove the back road from Derby through private property. Bit rough in some places but sandy in others. Brings you out at Kimberley Colourstone. Cuts off about 90 kms. Into Derby and fuelled up Booked 2 nights at the Kimberley Entrance Caravan Park. $27 per night. Set up and walked to the Spinifex Hotel about 3 blocks away. The Caravan Park Manager said you could get a good meal there. Looked a bit rough so caught a taxi to the Boab Inn. Wrong move!! Worse than the other and $30 for a chicken schnitzel. Taxi back to the Spinifex. $8 each way. Ordered our meal and it was absolutely lovely. Huge. Beer battered barra and salad was $19 and the boys had Seafood Platter for $18. Walked back to camp and had a cuppa and put the blog on website. On the way to the pub we booked a flight to the Horizontal Falls with Reef Flights for 1pm tomorrow. $399 each for a four hour tour plus you get a DVD. Book from the booking centre next to the chemist as they give you 10% discount. About 3-30am the natives got restless and had a corroboree on the mud flats.

Day 16: Sunday 6 July 2008

Top of the camper was soaking wet so tonight we will put a tarp over the top so we can pack up in the morning. Shopping at Woolworths (reasonable prices, aboiut the same as at home). Grog shop at Woolies is closed on Sundays, so you have to wait for the Boab Inn to open at 12 pm. (Rusty’s IGA is probably the cheaper in town). Grabbed lunch at the Roadhouse and then on to the Airport. We had a young bloke for our pilot, I think his name was Adrian. Very knowledgeable. He took us to Horizontal Falls, landing next to a small pontoon. Caught a boat to another larger pontoon with 2 large boats either side. Got on another boat and went through the first falls. Not allowed to go through the second falls as it is too dangerous. The force of the water is extraordinary. Back to the pontoon for afternoon tea. Flew out at 4pm and went over the Buccaneer Archipelago and then over Derby. Hayd managed to snaffle a Reef Flight cap off the pilot. Back to camp and put tarps over the campers. Nibblies for tea and watched ‘Wild Hogs’ on Deb’s mini DVD. Got a bit windy through the night but not too bad.

Day 17: Monday 7 July 2008

Not a bit of moisture on the campers this morning so packed up and went for a drive to the jetty. Last minute shopping at Woolies for ice and bread. Grog shop didn’t open till 12 again. So if you want grog make sure you get it the day before if you are leaving early. You can’t but any grog on the GRR. Drove the Gibb River Road and they were doing road works on it so it wasn’t too bad. Bit dusty. Walked through Tunnel Creek. Cold water, sandy and dark but water is only up to your knees. (except when PB went in the deep part.) Very interesting. Road to Tunnel Creek is fairly rough with corrugations. Fritz’s in Britz’s are everywhere and think they own the road. Hayd managed to drop the small eski out of the back of the wagon and smash 6 of our dozen eggs. Had a look at the old Police Station Ruins and then headed to Windjana Gorge where we made camp. There are 3 sections – quiet camp, generator camp and the tourist bus site. Supposed to be $10 ea per night and $10 per car to camp. The ranger is supposed to come around at 4pm to collect money but so far we haven’t seen anyone and it’s 5pm. The ranger came around later that night. $10 each per night.

PB cooked tea so we cooked up the remaining 6 eggs and had steak, chops and eggs.

Day 18: Tuesday 8 July 2008

Went for a walk through the Gorge early in the morning. There were crocs sunning themselves on the sandy bank of the river. I drove to Silent Grove driving through the King Leopold ranges. Very pretty scenery. Managed to get a flat tyre so we fixed that and drove on. 2 major creek crossings going into Silent Grove. Hayd walked the first one and took photos of us crossing. (only trouble was he had the digital camera set on movie and got a good 2 minutes of the road. Not to worry. Set up camp and then drove to Bell’s Gorge. Long rocky walk in and all downhill. Nice waterfall and pools. The boys crossed the creek and walked down the cliff to the lower pool for a swim. The boys said there is another waterfall around the back of Bell’s and it drops around 12-15m. But had to be careful as the rocks were very slippery and they were swimming through the water and ran into a water monitor about 2 ft long. Water is freezing. Back to camp after a long rocky walk uphill. Freezing cold showers. The ranger came around later that night $10 each per night. All the rangers we have come across have been friendly and helpful. (Not like the ones we have met at home.) Snags, chips and onions for tea. Camp filled up very quickly and they were still coming in after dusk.Gibb River Road has been really good so far. Only the side roads into places have been rough. Hayd is hanging for a feed of fish. Will just have to wait.

Day 19: Wednesday 9 July 2008

Packed up early and headed off. Hayd managed to get photos of the car going through the water crossing only this time it was stills not a movie of the ground. Road to Mt Barnett is great. Missed Adcott Gorge as the road in was a turn around. Galvan’s Gorge was a short easy walk. Lovely waterfall and lilypads.Mt Barnett Roadhouse was looking for a couple to assist in the Roadhouse and general handyman but was taken the day before. Booked a night at Manning Gorge. Set up camp and walked to the river. Lovely shady trees and palms and sandy beach. Big boulder in the middle of the river. You put your gear in styrofoam boxes and swim to the other side. Walk is 1½ hours to the Gorge waterfall (if you don’t get lost, but we won’t go there will we PB) The boys went on the walk, Deb and I sat on the sand for a couple of hours and then decided to try the cold showers out. Not as bad as Bell’s Gorge. Crows had been into our rubbish so we cleaned that up. The boys arrived back at camp about 4pm and we had a roast lamb and veges in the camp oven for tea. (PB said it was the best he has ever had) Rob from Top End Meats in Broken Hill did it again. Lovely. We had got $300 worth of meat cryovaced before we left home. Still got heaps of meat left. Bloody cold during the night.

Day 20: Thursday 10 July 2008

Packed up camp and had a hot shower at the Roadhouse. $2.20. Called into Barnett River Gorge. Sign said 3kms in but someone couldn’t measure properly and it was rough as guts. I managed to kick my foot on a large rock while watching Hayd do the Harry Butler thing looking in a tree at the flowers that the lorikeets were eating. Wounded.

Road from Gibb River Station to about 10kms before Drysdale River Station is very corrugated but the graders are working their way down from Drysdale. PB and Deb left us at the Wyndham turnoff. They are spending a few days in Kununarra and then heading off home. Hope they have a good trip home. If you read this PB don’t forget to give the Frumpy a big hug and take her for a walk.

Drysdale River Station is quite nice. Got a powered site $14 each per night and $6 for power. Only 6 powered sites. Had a stubby at the bar. $6-60 and $6-00. Set up camp and while Hayd fixed the wiring on the trailer I decided to do a load of washing. WELL!!! There were 4 in front of me and then there were about 8 behind me lining up to use the 2 washing machines. Anyone would think it was World War III as they were complaining about who was in front of who. WHO CARES. One $2 and two $1 coins.

Day 21: Friday 11 July 2008.

Up at 5-30am to beat the rush to get a hot shower. Toasted ham and cheese sandwich and coffee and packed up. Got fuel and ice and rang Kel (Hayd’s Dad) for his birthday.

The road from Drysdale to Mitchell Plateau is rough as guts and it must be a perquisite when you hire a Britz van to be a Jack Brabham wanna be so you can do over 80kms/hr on heavily corrugated roads which doesn’t do the roads, vehicles or fellow travellers any favours. Not taking into account the safety aspects. We had one Britz van overtake us on the inside of us and we were watching in the rear mirrors the whole time and then all of a sudden he was along side of us.

Crossed the King Edward River and found a lovely shady site at Camp 1. Set up and having a beer by 11-30am. Took us 2 hours from the Drysdale Station to Mitchell Plateau turnoff.

We have found the best way to get a good site is get up early and travel to where you want to camp and have everything set up by 11am to beat the rush. Campers are still coming in after 5-30pm and setting up in the dark.

Went for a 3.5km drive to check out the Aboriginal paintings on the rocks. Pretty impressive. Collected fire wood on the way back to camp. Found a 2m waterfall about 500m from camp. Walked over smooth rock formation for a secluded swim in the pool. After Hayd got out, we climbed up to higher rocks and could see a 4ft croc sunning itself on a rock below. Back to camp and Hayd cleaned the air filter out of the wagon. Filthy and covered in red dust. Cooked a stew in the camp oven and relaxed. There are eco toilets across from our camp giving us a lovely aroma every now and again. I’m sure they don’t work. In bed by 8-30pm and had a good night’s sleep.

Day 22: Saturday 12 July 2008.

Up at 5-30am. Line up for the toilets. Lucky I hadn’t had my coffee yet because as soon as I walked in I started to dry retch. Had to shove my shirt over my nose the whole time in there. Out in record time.

Drove to Mitchell Falls and on the way a couple with 3 kids had stopped. The corrugations had broken the battery mounting plate and a couple of positive wire had come off and shorted out. Fixed it with cable ties an electrical tape and we were on our way. Corrugations were very bad. 2½ hrs to get to Mitchell Falls. Booked a helicopter flight back for $95 each for a 6 minute ride. Walked to the falls and Hayd had a swim. Climbed more rocks and then waited for the helicopter at the helipad. Best $95 spent so far as far as I’m concerned. You see so much more and it’s great fun hanging out of the helicopter with no door to take photos. Only Hayd and I and another man going back on this flight. Drove back to camp and had a bucket shower. Packed up the roof rack so it won’t take so long in the morning.

Day 23: Sunday 13 July 2008.

Awoke to the screech of corellas and black cockies at 5:30am. Packed up and headed off. Grader on the road so it’s not too bad. About 10 kms out of Drysdale there was a camper trailer on it’s end. Axle sheared clean off, looks like he’d hit a large boulder. Called into Drysdale for fuel and ice. Pulled up at the junction of the GRR and emptied the water from the eski. Headed of on the GRR and the scenery at the end towardWyndham is spectacular. Driving through the Cockburn Ranges is a site to believe.Home Valley is still closed. Called into Emma Gorge and paid our money and then they informed us it was an hour walk in and an hour walk out. Not taking into account a swim. Too late in the day for us so we kept going. Had a look at the Grotto and there are natural steps to the bottom. Didn’t climb down though as we were getting tired and thirsty. Booked into the Wyndham Caravan Park. Nice shady grassy spot for $25 per night. Donkey roaming around the Caravan Park. Set up camp and sat back with a beer. Rang all the kids and the family. Hayd very happy as listened on the wireless Richmond flogged West Coast. Mozzies are pretty friendly so have given everything a good spray. Rang PB and Deb and they are in Kunnunarra and leaving for home in the morning.
Alcohol may be man's worst enemy but the bible says love your enemy
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