Sunday, 12 June 2011

The Kimberley

Our stay at Barn Hill was topped by a trip in a tinny for some conservation fishing courtesy of Mark and Kerren before we set off on a longish stretch north towards the Kimberley region. The ancient baob prison tree near Derby was fascinating and we enjoyed a night at Birdswood Downs Station which gave Sarah a chance to enjoy a ride early the following morning.

We then skirted south of the Kimberley as the Gibb River Road had only just reopened after twice the usual wet season rains and the crossings would have been beyond our scope. Such has been the extent of the danmage that none of the side trips are yet open and remote Kalumburu will not be accessible until next year at the earliest.
Two nights at roadside rest areas were made memorable by the company which included a night of music around the fire courtesy of four other van based travellers. At Hall's Creek we took a side road to view the Wall of China quartz outcrop before turning on to the northern end of the Gibb River Road to approach the million acre station of El Questro.

The station was reached by a rather challenging crossing of the Pentecost River which was 100 yards of submerged slippery stones with the water at the far end rising above the door seals - a very loose last few yards and a steep climb out nearly saw us scuppered but again the van rose to the occasion and we pulled up at reception with water draining out all round - not surprisingly we were the only two wheel drive vehicle around!

Staying was relatively expensive as the station charged a daily admission fee on top of camp fees and considering that they had a million acres the camp area was small and rather busy. However it was in a wonderful location and provided some good walks over the next couple of days with a memorable last night as we met up with a couple we'd first met in the Pilbara who are on a trip to Europe by dirt bike. Whilst a great place to stay at this time of year the whole place shuts down for the wet season when torrential rain, high humidity, soaring temperatures and damaging cyclones make life much harder.

After safely negotiating the Pentecost River a second time we did both Amelia and Emma Gorges before dropping in at Wyndham to admire the view from Five Rivers Lookout with river deltas, estuaries and flood plains extending way in to the distance and the rugged ranges of the Kimberley reflecting the hot sun off their striking red flanks.

A commercial site in Kununurra has given us a chance to chase up our shipping and flight arrangements and catch up on news from home.

Photos sit here this time and our positions here with slides coming from Tasmania

1 comment:

  1. loving the blogs. I think the camper must be 4 wheel in another life


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