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Published: August 14th 2018
Well I can cross off another item of my Bucket list. The Kimberleys and the Gibb River have always been somewhere I wanted to see. And I'm glad I finally done it.
We started at Derby and the first 100km is mostly bitumen with patches of gravel. Then the fun begins. Not long after we hit the gravel we turned right for 21kms to Windjana Gorge.If you wish you can go another 35km to Tunnel Creek. We stayed for the night. (Cost was $10 pp with hot showers. These were the first Hot Showers since leaving Perth), and walked the gorge our first sighting of Fresh water crocs. We then travelled to Bell Gorge. This was a rocky 1 1/2 km walk into on of the best waterfalls and water holes.On the way in we got the first of our punctures Next day was more driving with a stop at Galvins Gorge. Another lovely waterhole with a waterfall. And to get a new tyre from Over the Range repairs. Lunch was at Manning Gorge, a 2.5km walk which I sent Ken to investigate while I swam in the Pool near the campsite. We camped beside an escarpment, which there were
plenty. Next day we drove past Gibb River Homestead and turned up the Kalumburu Rd about 3km and camped for 2 nights to recover for the next big Gorge. This was another free camp. It also had a swimming hole, so long as you didn't mind swimming with the Fresh water croc. (we nicknamed him Bruce). Then we headed North to Drysdale Station to get permits $20 pp. (next year the fee is going up to $45pp) This is a new fee put in by the local inhabinants. We had morning tea at Miners Pool. Then just up the road we stopped to help out 5 ladies travelling back to Kalumburu. They had a puncture and there jack was out of oil. For our good deed they invited us to join them for lunch and a swim at King Edward River 100km up the track. They had to go North back for work the next day we headed west to the Mitchell Falls. Stopped at one of the Aboriginal Art Sites. I forgot to mention the condition of the roads as we were travelling. from the turnoff to Windjana to the Gorge was rough corregations. going east to Gibb River
Homestead was mild corregations. This is where we first found some graded roads. the difference was amazing. But the dust was thicker on the graded sections. Apparently there was a fatal accident later that day. (we are guessing it was due to the extra dust as you couldn't see a thing when another car passed by.). Kalumburu rd was corregated for the first 30km then graded sections for the remainder until the final 22km into the Mitchell Falls. This is where we suffered our second puncture. Got in late to the campground and burnt dinner due to poor light. Well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. Camping fees were $11 pp Next day we walked 4.5km over uneven ground about a rating 3. The walk was broken up by stopping at the Little Mertens and Big Mertens Waterfalls. Finally got to the main Falls and to get a decent photo you had to walk another 500m over rocks to an overhang, which allows you to see all 3 falls in one hit. For those that know me know I'm not big on walking, and to do it in 40deg temp as well I was a bit dehydrated by
the time I got there. So the swim afterwards was extra nice. Then we had to walk all the way back to camp. another 4.5km. Damn if only I had $150 in my back pocket for the 6min Heli ride back to camp. This time I stopped for a swim at each of the falls. Next day after trying to repair the tyre we headed back to King Edward for another swim and lunch. then Back to the campsite beside the Gibb River itself for another 2 nights to recover. Back on the Gibb river rd the gravel turned into grey shale for the next 100km+. The grader had just gone over this as well and left behind a few rocks which were kicked up. These led to our third puncture. The last 2 were small tears, and the one I tried to repair with plugs only popped out. so I had no spare to put on. Lucky for us the next person to come along had some Mushroom Plugs. Which go on from inside the tyre. They were kind enough to stop and help me fix the tyre and gave me a couple of spare plugs in case of
any further mishaps. I cant thank them enough. It was a short trip from here to Ellenbrae Station and a feed of hot scones and jam. We found a campsite further up the road after stopping for lunch on the Durack River. Next day we passed Home Valley Station and a lookout of the Pentecost River and the Cockburn Range. I gave Ken the keys to drive across the Pentecost while I took photos. We then travelled to El Questro. (day passes were $12 pp and camping started at $22.50pp) we had lunch at Jackaroo pool. Then went to camp beside the King River which I had done last time I was in this region only to find it has been fenced off. A bit further up the track was an opened gate. So we ventured in. As we got there another vechile was coming out so we asked them if it would be ok to camp. He was not the owner,but said there was a gypsy camp further up the road and didn't think anyone would mind if we stayed the night. This camp turned out to be a horse camp for tours conducted by El Questro. It also
had a spring fed hot pool. So we stayed an extra day to enjoy it. This is when the manager turned up and asked us to leave. Good while it lasted So we finished the trip at a rest area at the end of the Gibb River Road.
Tot: 2.496s; Tpl: 0.054s; cc: 11; qc: 48; dbt: 0.0371s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb