Published: October 16th 2010September 17th 2010
Emma Gorge was our destination today. To get there however we had to travel along a small section of the Gibb River Road.
So you say, that doesn’t sound like much, but the road can be and often is very corrugated. Believe me when I say motor homes are not built for corrugated roads. We were not supposed to be on this road, as it is off limits as far as the motor home company is concerned, and we can now see why. Anyone who didn’t have any consideration for the motor home or the state of the road, could certainly do some damage.
As it happened, when we turned onto the Gibb River Road, a lady in a four wheel drive was putting out signs saying that there is a grader ahead. Great we thought, this is our lucky day we will have a nice graded road to drive on, what she didn't tell us though and we found out about 15 mins later, was that he had only just started grading the road, and if he has just started to grade the road, that means the road hasn’t been graded for a while, and is pretty rough.
There was no way we were turning back, we had come this far and we would go on. There was supposed to be some bitumen between the Gibb River Road turn off and Emma Gorge anyway so there couldn’t be that much corrugated dirt.
The first 100 metres was like a highway, and the rest, well let’s just say it was 20km per hour stuff. Any faster than that and the poor motor home would have rattled apart, and I mean that literally. It was not good. But we poked along enjoying the scenery and then there it was the beautiful blue all of us motor home drivers take for granted, BITUMEN. This is more like it. Hang on a minute, END OF BITUMEN.
After about three strips of the wondrous blue stuff, with the dirt between, we reached the turn off to Emma Gorge. It was only a couple of hundred meters and we were in the car park. After re-assembling the motor home, we set off up the gorge.
It was still relatively early, so it wasn’t too hot. About halfway up the gorge the vegetation suddenly changed to a somewhat tropical look, and the climate
cooled down considerably.
It’s a fairly easy walk, although you are almost always walking over rocks. It only took about 40 minutes to reach the end of the gorge, on the way passing small clear rock pools. At the end we were greeted with a relatively open area, rimmed with shear cliff faces on three sides. The waterfall, only a trickle, as it was the end of the dry season, hugged the rock face and crevasses on its way to cold deep pool at the bottom. This hole was formed by the water in full flood mode during the height of the wet season. For now though it was a peaceful cool place to get away from the heat of the day.
After our cool swim and a feed, we headed back down the gorge to our motor home, and made our way back along the Gibb River Road to the safety and smoothness of bitumen (that’s the first thing you notice when you hit the tarred road from corrugated dirt).
The grader hadn’t made much progress, but what he did do was appreciated by all who drove on it. We came across one lady who had done a
tyre in, and stopped to see if she was ok. She had help coming so we continued on our way.
We reached Kununurra just after lunch, and setup camp at Hidden Valley Tourist Park, located right beside Mirima National Park. This park is like the mini Bungle Bungles. The caravan park had plenty of shade and a nice pool. Quite a nice spot really. We wound down for the afternoon ready for the next days drive back to Katherine, for an overnight stay, then back to Darwin the next day. Definitely going back to see the rest of the Kimberley, but that’s another story.
There are more photos below