Crossing the Kimberly

It’s a funny thing when you steer away from what you know and love, you could almost say we felt like we were driving blind heading inland and across the Kimberly.

Here we were, a couple of ocean lovers, planning our route across north western, outback Australia. It seems our focus will be still on the water but we will have to find our water oasis at the bottom of a gorge somewhere..

We drove all day in convoy with the Degnans, who were also making the same journey. We figured, with the long days on the road, the kids would benefit having some company at the free, overnight roadside camps we will stay at along the way.

The best part about the drive was seeing the landscape change once again. The boab trees were a highlight! Some were so big and so old! These trees were often, a worth while pit stop for lunch. The kids climbed inside one, I would only estimate to be 1500 years old from what I’ve read about them. It was big and hollow with tiny peep holes and a heap more space then our caravans!

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Boab beauty

We ventured on east, passing small aboriginal communities along the way. Every leg of our journey has had its own unique sights and feels different in lots of ways from each other. It was exciting crossing the creeks and billabongs. We were all eager to spot crocodiles, unfortunately we couldn’t tell the difference between a log or a croc going 80kms!

We stayed at a couple of good free camps along the way, one in particular we will remember for a while.. The name – FROTH DINGO entertained us and was a good running joke over the CB in conversation between the Degnans the Road trains and us!
Froth dingo was an abandoned RAAF quarry in amongst the Boabs and some scenic rocks 9 kms into the bush. Sounds ordinary, and it might have been if we weren’t in the company of our friends.
Somehow Pon managed to stumble apon a quadruple sized concrete slab which is pretty luxury for a free bush camp!

From the second free camp at spring creek we unhitched the caravan and ventured into the Purnululu national park 2.5hours along a windy, dusty and badly corrugated road to visit the
Cathedral Gorge, in the Bungle Bungle ranges. The drive was pretty but unappreciated, due to our intolerance from long days of travel we just endured. Once we saw the million year old bungle bungle rock formations the distress was quickly erased as we admired the bee hive looking stripy sandstone ranges in front of us. It was pretty spectacular and unlike anything we’ve seen on the trip.

We hiked in about 1.5km to the Cathedral Gorge, which was a much easier trek in comparison to the Karijini treks. Thankfully as it was much hotter and we were told there was no swimming along the way.

Once we reached the end of the gorge it was a pretty amazing sight! The gorge opened up into a circular space with a type of amphitheater feel to it.. The colours and sheer scale the rocks appear to us in the photos, doesn’t do it justice. It was certainly worth while taking a seat and enjoying our lunch underneath the cathedral ceiling to soak in the magnificence of it all.

We made the 2.5 hour trek back along the bumpy road ( even with deflated tyres ) almost having the teeth rattled out of our heads!

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Conversation between Pon and Ben must have been riveting – cathedral gorge trek

Once home, we get out of the car and notice a hissing sound coming from our back tyre.. We had a leak! We detected a nail! But before we could contemplate what to do, we had two old nomads sniff out the job and were quick to take control! It was an awkward sight to see two 70 year old men in 30 plus degree heat, laid out on their backs underneath our now jacked up car, ready to repair the tyre. They were living it!
Pon felt helpless and Awkward as he scratched his head, wondering what he could do to help, but that quickly subsided, as a cold beer was cracked as he pulled up a deck chair to supervise.
These old blokes with skin as thin as paper had blood dipping down their fore arms and would give the guys a run for their money in pit lane they were that quick!
It’s just another example of the kind hearted people that are on the road. There have now been countless generous acts that we’ve experienced along the way, from various people and fellow travelers. It’s a special feeling to know that there are still so many kind, and helpful people in the world.

We hit the road again until we reached El Questro station, on the eastern side of the Gibb River Road. We ventured in with the caravan and prepped for the hike into Emma’s Gorge.
El Questro was like a little oasis in the middle of the Kimberly’s! Beautifully maintained gardens, around the restaurant/ bar area, they even had a pool out there. It looked impressive but expensive!

We started the trek with the Degnans into the gorge. The boys powered ahead leaving Stan, Meg, Raff and myself behind. The walk got more and more challenging for the kids little legs, but they negotiated the track as good as they could in the heat. Raff picked up a dozen prickles in his finger from a plant but thanks to Stanny and her valuable stash of lollies, he was quick to recover and push on.

We reached the first pool at the top and were impressed, but once we hit second, we were blown away! It was so incredibly beautiful!
The sun was glistening off the gorge walls and reflecting back down into the crystal clear water. It was one of the best natural vertical gardens I’ve seen.. The colours were impressive.

The kids found a little hot spring tucked away behind some rocks that filters into the much colder pool below.
We swam down underneath the gorge ledge where the water makes its way down through the cracks in the rocks from above and showers you with warm water.
What a special place! I’m so happy we stopped in here.

Once refreshed we walked the couple of kilometers back to the car, stopping at the boab tree with a tap to refill our empty water bottles with pristine pure Boab water before driving the rest of our extra long journey through Kunnanurra to reach Lake Argyle.

The thing Lake Argyle is most famous for is the lake! It’s WAs largest man made lake and Australia’s second largest. There is else nothing but the resort out there.
I hear the cruise is exceptional and gives you a good perspective of just how big it is, as you can’t see land from the middle. Alternately the resort offers scenic helicopter flights, multiple times a day which would also give you a good perspective.

We were happy pulling up stumps for a few days and laying low, as the thousands of Kilometers we had driven from the West coast had taken its toll. Instead, we lazed by the coldest pool in the country, most famous for its insane views
from the infinity edge of the lake and the surrounding red mountains and clear blue sky.

We washed clothes, did school work and and preped dinner early for a few nice meals.
We celebrated our 6 months on the road with a bottle of Chandon Moët we’ve carried around, that our good friend Jake had given me before we left.

We played games of soccer on the grass and watched live music amidst the amazing views and even partied on down in the beer garden as the kids burned holes in the dance floor.

Burning holes in the dance floor

We got a chance to feel bored which felt good!
We were ready to carry on and over the boarder into the Northern Terriory.

WA has been exceptional! So many good times over the past 4 months.
We’re sure to return one day!

One response to “Crossing the Kimberly

  1. You guys just keep blowing me away with your exceptional tales of pure joy & utter contentment of living the dream of life in Oz! The colours & scenes you generously share take me there with you so thank you so very much our dear Lees × 4!!
    You are heading back to the East Coast & a little closer to home. Enjoy the next part of this incredible journey. We can’t wait to hear it all.
    Love you 4. ❤💜💛💚💙 Xx Lindy & Steve.

    Like

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