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Published: July 25th 2019
We had heard from a few other travellers that MTE was a great place to stay, that had only opened their property to travellers in the last few years. It was a fairly standard drive in (around 160km odd from Drysdale Station) except for the store we found in the Dodnun Community. There were plenty of signs stuck to trees about ice creams, biscuits, soft drinks, etc. that got our attention. When we arrived a young fella came across to let us into the store for us only to find out that he was also Tasmanian! From Burnie/Somerset area. A nice young fella, as they mostly are up here, so we had a good chat. And the ice creams did not disappoint. The advertising on the trees suggested the prices were the cheapest on the Gibb and, in actual fact, some of the items (noodles, icy poles, curry pastes) were cheaper than Canberra! Figure that one out!
We settled into camp that night for a few rounds of cards, a few beers and much rubbish spoken.
The following day we headed out to one of the gorges on the property. An interesting aside is that some places have taken
the National Park approach and now charge separate fees for camping and for accessing the property/gorges. I suspect that this won’t last too long as the trip in itself is very pricey without having to pay access fees and it will become unaffordable.
Anyway, this particular gorge was great because a) we had to do a 10km quite rough 4wd in (fun times), b) there was a nice 1km walk from the final car park to the gorge, and c) there was plenty of water in the gorge! And the best bit of all is that it was very, very swimmable. We had a great time swimming and diving off the rocks for an hour or so, checking out the little fish and then viewing the apparent* Indigenous art around the falls and a bit further down the dry river. *I say ‘apparent’ as it looked like some parts had been touched up (the most obvious and easily accessible ones) very recently and not very well. From what I understand it is a pretty big deal to touch up these type of paintings and only people from that family group can do it, but what do I know?
One other ‘highlight’ of this place was that we were desperate for a washing machine and they had one - a free one!!! The usual commercial one had broke down so the staff had theirs yoinked for the campers benefit. Mighty sound like a bit of an underwhelming thing but when you only bought three pairs of Reg Grundies with you… But you do get four days out of them. 1) normal, 2) backward, 3) normal but inside out and 4) inside out and back the front. We got a stack of stuff washed and the water pressure and temp in the showers was bucket loads better than the regulated rubbish in the ACT!
Regardless of the cost, once this place gets its liquor licence sorted I reckon it will be one of the big stops on the Gibb along with El Questro and Home Valley. New shower block and amenities make it great!
On the way out the next day we stopped in at Dodnun again and met the rest of the family of the young Tassie fella and some of the locals - not least the sweetest, cutest Aboriginal girl (five months old) who
was playing shy with us. Good people in this store. You should visit.
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