Rudall River - Out to the Oakover and into The Pilbara to Pearana Rockhole

Saturday, Jun 26, 2010 at 00:00


Saturday 26th June, 2010
Pearana Rockhole
The Oakover Country

A windy night again and I had to get up to rectify a banging noise which was Al’s chair he had placed under the car, the stiff breeze causing it to bang noisily on the undercarriage. A bitter breeze to emerge from the warmth of a tent into but it had to be done. A snappy jaffle breakfast, a few photos and we were off at 8:45 a.m. or thereabouts. The track south to Tchukardine was heavily overgrown giving the duco a workout. Once again the creek crossing had been washed out removing all traces of previous vehicle crossing points. We managed to locate the remnants of the track on the western side of the creek but it was now a sheer embankment 1.5 metres high and there was absolutely no chance of getting a vehicle up it. What we were required to do a sharp right hand turn once onto the sandy bottom and then a traverse on a north west angle of 150 metres along the creek before another sharp turn to the left and up the embankment into the scrub….Easy no? Well it was going to be a very technical piece of driving at the very least so tyres were let down to 18 psi all round. I took it in L2 and got through OK despite having to swing wide on the first turn. Then it was bashing back along the creek on the opposite bank creating anew track as we went. A break to blow the tyres up and we were on our way the remaining few kilometres to Meeting Gorge and Tchukardine Pool.

I spied an emu heading off into the scrub as we approached Tchuk Pool which spoke volumes to me on the possibility of water. I was rewarded and Tchuk indeed had a large stretch of water. Someone had removed the jar and notes from the cairn since last year. I often wonder what sort of people do this. There was nothing left but to replace it and rebuild the protective cairn. While enjoying the surroundings, flocks of cockatiels flew in noisily alighting on the branches, seemingly unconcerned by our presence. They were down to the waters edge the minute we were in the vehicles.

The staircase as I call the rocky 5 kilometers or so past Tchuk pool hadn’t changed any but we were soon winding our way through the variety of country towards Bocrabee Hill. Low sandstone ranges, broad gibber and spinifex plains and then eventually, the grassy plain. Once again all signs of the track had been erased by water and then the long lush grass. Thankfully this time, I knew where the cairn was so we made our way directly there, our passing scaring numerous wild cattle into the surrounding dunes. The soil plains to rthe west again refused to give up their secrets and like 2007, I was forced to scout the area on foot.

Remembering that Outback Al and I had swung in further to the north on last years trip, I decided to head that way taking a good 25 mm slice in the inside of the back left trailer tyre. Two plugs had here stopped and in the time I was repairing the tyre, Al had located the track 150 meters further to the north. It was all beer and skittles from here as we made our way through the dunes and then down to Bocrabee where we pulled up under it’s western ramparts and had lunch. Someone had definitely been active on the camel shooting since last year, bleached bones left lying in small mounds about the area. They provided for a macabre photographic opportunity at least.

Heading back into the dunes, we pushed through the spinifex and thick undergrowth towards Christies Crossing the track becoming more prominent as we progressed. We spied plenty of cattle and the odd camel along the way reaching the main track at Christies Crossing without incident. Once through the creek, it was simply a matter of retracing our steps from last year up and along the road towards Mike Mine and Woodie Woodie This involved heading west in the initial stages and then rounding the bottom, southern side of Mount Hodgson before veering almost due north. Once onto the high country beside the Oakover river, we had a few comical efforts at securing some timber before continuing on towards Pearana Pool. There were plenty of signs of mineral exploration about the area as we pushed north.

While lower than last year, Pearana Pools dark waters provided a perfect place to set up camp. These deep brooding waters appear almost menacing which certainly puts you off going for a swim. The rockhole still held a huge amount of water and was no doubt pretty much doubt proof. It supported an incredible amount of birdlife as well as bands of cattle who came down to drink nervously. A good fire, feed and fellowship followed. If there was an “f” word for shower, that’d be in there as well. We’ve decided to stay an extra day here and relax a bit.

''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903
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