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Published: September 6th 2013
Fitzroy River Bridge
One of many one way bridges of the Kimberley
Warmun isn't easy to find on a map, but you may know it by the name Turkey Creek. Warmun is of course the Gija Aboriginal Community, north east of Halls Creek.
The journey north from Fitzroy crossing was most interesting. The landscape changed continuously, moving from the vast plains to rugged rolling rocky hills and ranges.
There are also many reminders of the hazards of the outback with evidence of floods ripping up flood ways, bush/grass fires, and in fact we drove past some that were still burning, fortunately some distance from the road.
Its years since we have driven a main highway with so many one way bridges, and most crossed dry sandy river beds. However, in the wet season these same rivers can carry huge water flows. We noted a lot of work has been done to protect the bridge abutments, the place where floods can separate the road from the bridge.
We stopped overnight at Mary Pool rest area beside the Mary River. It is reported that up to 100 RVs can be parked here each night, but with the temperatures now into the low 40s each day, the southerners have started their return
The Fitzroy River
Many pools, but not really flowing.
Even though there was little water in the pools of the river, there was an active bird life, and some cattle regularly seen in and around the water. A very wise old Tawny Frog Mouth Owl was resting in the tree just outside the motorhome, and kindly waited while we got some photos. This one had the 'John Howard' bushy eyebrows look, but also looked quite confident of his/her political future in bird-politics.
Further north we stopped for fuel and a walk at Halls Creek. This little town shot to fame when a large nugget of gold was found by Russian Jack. The rush petered out as fast as it came, but the little town is still there as a rural and community service centre. Most travellers fill up with fuel here as the next servo is much more expensive. We had a laugh at the butcher's humour. (See photo)
We had planned to stop overnight the following night at Spring Creek rest area, but this was full. We tried the next one and just about got sanded to nothing in the gusty dusty winds. So while David and Mary stayed here, we moved through to
This was the big transition point from large plains to driving between ranges
the Warmun Road House camp ground. Less wind, good showers/toilets, and time to rest before Rob's next adventure into the Bungle Bungles.
One thing we noticed about the Gija Aboriginal people is that their young folk, male and female were quite willing to stop and say gidday and see how we were travelling. Then in the evening, a group of 4 or 5 boys (8 to 13) dropped by to have their photos taken. Then as we got chatting, one fellow showed us his ability to do successive cart wheels, flips and hand stands. Performed bare feet on a shingle drive way - no problem. Another young fellow did a hip-hop song, or was it Rap, about being proud of being of the Gija people. These kids were really well behaved and mannered, and after chatting (about her age), gave Marg a hug and high fives with myself.
This was the first time we have had a fun encounter with aboriginal children. Else where they have been very shy/reserved, maybe uncomfortable with tourists. When it comes to night photography, their skin just does not reflect enough light in the view finder when under the stars, so the photos
Looking down from Ngumban Cliffs
were a bit of a guess as to where the boys were.
Much of the Kimberley is home to large flocks of corellas. The Road House has sprinklers on the front lawn, and the corellas come down for a bath dancing in the spray. Another hung onto a dripping tap to get a drink of water.
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