Now: The Kimberley – Wyndham to Home Valley
As we drove into Wyndham we’d travelled all the way from Ceduna on the Southern Ocean to Wyndham on the northern edge of Western Australia and the Cambridge Gulf. On the way to Wyndham we stopped at The Grotto which was a deep rocky chasm with a deep pool at the bottom. The stairs (140 of them) were quite steep with no handrail. I felt like I had to hug the cliff in some places to stop over balancing.
The Wyndham Fishing Jetty, does have handrails and was opened in 2012 as a public fishing jetty but it was too windy during our visit for fishing. When we drove up to the Five Rivers Lookout you could see the jetty and the Durack, Pentacost, King, Forrest and Ord Rivers all flowing into Cambridge Gulf.
At Marlgu Billabong in Parry Lagoon Nature Reserve we watched crocs, a jabiru, pelicans, a brolga and corellas wading amongst the waterlillies. From the safety of the elevated bird hide we watched a big salty sunning himself on the bank and closely watching some ducks.
Prior to motor transport cameleers brought all the freight into Wyndham by donkey and camel. At the Afghan Cemetery the large plots include the cameleer and his lead camel! The biggest boab tree “in captivity” is in the Wyndham Caravan Park and the Prison Boab, another huge specimen is 34 kms out of town on the King River Road. There is some interesting Aboriginal art nearby on the cliffs near the town water dam.
And now THE GIBB RIVER ROAD!
As we entered El Questro it seemed to be pouring with people, 4 wheel drives and campers of all shapes and sizes. We were not going to stay at El Questro as it sounded so commercial but the gorges and springs are on the property and they were certainly alluring. After lots of camp cooking the Saturday night buffet of beef, barra and chicken was mighty good at the Swinging Arm Grill. A long soak in the warm water of Zebedee Spring was also very pleasant.
When we walked down Emma Gorge the gorge walls were dripping with ferns covering their surface but the pool was freezing! We had a picnic lunch on the grass at Emma Gorge Resort – the first grass we’ve been able to sit on for a while. Our walk into El Questro Gorge over rocks and boulders in the creek bed was rewarded with a swim in a deep pool. Some adventurers, only a few, swam through the pool and climbed over a huge boulder to get to the next pool but we were happy with the lower pool.
When you’re on a good thing, stick to it, so we had another long soak in Zebedee Spring after we put the washing on the line! That afternoon we cruised the Chamberlain River up Chamberlain Gorge. The Chamberlain River joins The Pentacost and then flows into the Cambridge Gulf back near Wyndham. The Archer fish and one huge “pet” barra live in the gorge. Take the cruise to see what Archer fish can do.
I’m not fond of small planes but I’m learning to like flying in helicopters. From Home Valley Station we went helifishing. We flew over the Durack and Pentacost Rivers to a long billabong on Bindoola Creek. David caught 5 barra two of which were keepers so we had one cooked in the Home Valley restaurant and one filleted to freeze. After tossing lures all morning we dozed on the grass by the pool in the afternoon.
Our stay at Home Valley was relaxed and pleasant and their boab gate said it all.
NEXT: The Gibb River Road – Bell Gorge
See you on the emu track
Cheryl and David