Where are we now
100km east of Broome
The road up to Tunnel Creek wasn’t too bad, in fact we commented that it was restoring our faith that gravel roads didn’t necessarily mean a horrible rough ride. Tunnel Creek was just the best walk, underground for about 800 meters, much of it wading through quite cold water. Very natural with no lighting at all but with carrying torches we could see the waterfalls, stalactites, fish, shrimps etc I was very pleased with my Olympus camera again got some photos I was pleased with.
Further up the same road is Windjana Gorge another Limestone Reef with some good walks, stayed in the campground here with many people who are doing the Gibb River Road. Rather crowded but nice to have solar showers and flush toilets 😊. One of the walks we started at 7am to avoid the heat and definitely worth it walking along the edge of the river 4km saw only 1 Freshwater Crocodile on the way up but coming back saw at least 25 still excited to see them so have plenty of pics.
Staying in WA National Parks is a bit different from other states both at Windjana Gorge and Purnululu there have been camp hosts who check your vehicle registration and make sure money has been paid either at the site or on line.
Where are we now
It was a quick drive on bitumen to Halls Creek, we passed quite a few large Rest Areas, complete with toilets and bins, good to see that WA looks after its travellers. Turned south on Duncan Highway to check out China Wall (wow hard to believe this wasn’t man made), Caroline Pool (pretty spot so camped here the night) and the Old Halls Creek – not really a ghost town as most buildings have perished as they were made from mud bricks, but monuments and street signs have been placed and some buildings preserved under an iron roof. We wandered around the cemetery as well and although there was lots of young children’s graves there was also plenty of older men perhaps life mining gold was good for some.
Further along the Great Northern Highway is Mary Pool a huge free camping area on the Mary River. Had a wander round late afternoon and there had to be 80 vehicles parked here but we had a great spot overlooking the river and a good chance to say hi to other travellers and get plenty of suggestions of good places to go and things to do as we travel in WA. Met another couple in a Isuzu 4wd motorhome but not a SLR.
It has been good to have Telstra coverage to enable skyping etc, told our 4 year old grandson I’d just sent him a post card, his first reaction was to go to the letterbox to see if it was there just too funny, clearly doesn’t understand the concept of distance.
Travelled toward Fitzroy Crossing stopping at the Ngumban Cliffs Rest Area to look at the view, rather lovely and would have been another good overnighter but not so large. Then on to the Mimbi Caves, they do guided tours here and also opened a very nice community campground just last weekend which looked really good but too early in the day and at $18 each we passed. On towards Fitzroy Crossing where we checked out the old crossing then on up to Geikie Gorge where we did all the 4 walks in typical Bekker fashion – if there is a walk and it’s not an overnighter then we’ll walk it. Good walks along side the Fitzroy River where we saw 3 freshwater crocs and then along by the limestone cliffs which are so rough and craggy.
Back to freedom camping by ourselves on Tuesday night just 10km off the highway on the road to Tunnel Creek. Another Wikicamps suggestion and luckily no one else was here even though it was nearly dark (at just gone 5pm). Great site just by some huge limestone rocks but better still was the amazing sunset, there had been high clouds late in the day which made the sky magical come nightfall.
Where are we now
From the Great Northern Highway into Purnululu National Park the ride was rough, yes real rough and busy. Saw a couple of vehicles who looked like something serious had broken. Many four wheel drive hire vehicles in this area so I guess when it isn’t your car you don’t care and go really fast on all roads this is what causes the corrugation. This is why we’ve decided not to do the Gibb River Road, we have met and talked to so many people who have either done the Gibb or a part of it before limping out with parts broken on their vehicles, trailers or caravans just not worth driving 650km when it isn’t a pleasant drive. We will still be doing some rough roads to get into amazing places like the Bungles but certainly not just to say “we’ve done it”.
Once into the park the roads were somewhat better, north better than south where the beehive shaped Bungle Bungles are. We camped at both campgrounds for a couple of nights each which gave us plenty of time to enjoy most of the walks. The 2 areas are quite different and I will post my photos from south to north regions. The amazing thing here was that although the park was fairly busy we still got to enjoy many areas on our own. Sitting in a gorge surrounded by large rocks formed 360 million years ago is just magical. Walking down huge river beds where the water rushes in the wet season was also gobsmacking. Again we talked about coming back in a different time of the year to this vast region that has many faces.
The weather has changed very quickly as we turned south we had gone from lows of 20 to waking up to discover it had got down to 6 overnight, a sharp reminder that this is mid Winter.
Where are we now
Under a Telstra Tower (staying here for the night on our way to Purnululu (Bungle Bungles) National Park)
We had an early start today leaving the Cockburn Rest Area at 5am for our 6am flight – sorry other travellers hope you got back to sleep OK.
The flight was amazing, it is something we’d planned to do on this trip and certainly worth every cent we paid. So glad we chose the early morning flight for 2 reasons, firstly the light was good and secondly there was no turbulence. We had a great young pilot who gave us a useful commentary and answered all our questions, we wore headsets so we could hear her and each other. Only a small 8 seater so cosy but meant we all had a window.
Hope you enjoy the photos, plenty more on Facebook oops once again went a bit overboard.