After Derby we were really looking forward to the’ Gibb River Track’. It turns out to be an outback highway and with the W.A. School holidays in full swing, the amount of traffic was horrendous, we were seeing 10-20 cars an hour and this sent the self-appointed radio controllers in our group into a frenzy of approaching traffic warnings and confirmations. We received several lectures on the “correct” CB lingo and were asked several times to always acknowledge with “copy that”. This only made us more determined to follow the advice of the tour leader and to only call and respond to important messages . We travelled in dust free air and consequently could see the road very well and did not respond to the constant calls.
The Three Gorges were Windjana, Bell and Adcock gorges. Windjana was a cut in the ancient reef ridge line, it waa just like the movies where you walk through a huge cutting and come out in the cool oasis. The river was absolutely full of crocodiles – we counted 80 in one group and got quite close to them. We felt very brave until it was explained that fresh water crocs can’t even bite humans without risking breaking their jaw, even still being that close to a very large lizard with big teeth takes a bit of doing. After the crocs we headed out to Tunnel Creek, a river that runs through a ridge line, very long, dark and wet. You could feel worried about losing your way but this was school holidays and the line of touches in the pitch black was never ending.
Windjana Gorge National Park
Next day we moved onto another campsite at Silent Grove and setup camp, we elected to not walk into the Bell Gorge and had a very relaxing day in camp while the others hiked through the heat and clambered over lots of rocks to have a swim. A couple of injured parties returned to camp with grazed knees and legs and we felt justified in our decision to skip this one.
Graham & Sandra on top of hill looking down into King Leopold Ranges Conservation Park
After breaking camp there was one more Gorge left in us and Sandra and I decided to make it to the swimming hole on this one. The days were getting very hot by now and we only made it to the first pool, we decided to enjoy that one instead of the main pool. We left ‘The Gibb’ and headed up the Kalumburu Road towards the Mitchell plateau. The road was rougher than the Gibb but still the “best it has been for 20 years” according to Tony our tour leader. We had been told horror stories about breakdowns and punctures and I realised that when travelling on 4WD trips to never rely on the travellers opinions of roads, only locals. Our target for the day was the ‘Miners Rest’ on Drysdale River.