Letho's Blog

From the Gibb River Road to Wolfe Creek

by on Mai.26, 2011, under The Kimberleys

May 24, 2011

From Windjana Gorge we went all the way back on the Leopold Downs Road, returned to the Great Northern Highway and arrived in Fitzroy Crossing again. We could not help it but had to complain at the Tourist Information Center: a lot of the information given in terms of road and roadhouse status was simply wrong. Every traveller we met on the road had acquired a different knowledge from all the visitor centers around. For example, not only were both roadhouses on the way to Mt Barnett Roadhouse actually open, they did have fuel as well. Meaning: our 100$ investment in a jerry can was completely needless. And what’s worse: we heard that the Gibb River Road from Mt Barnett onwards had opened the day before at noon! That was exactly the time we were there and turned around, assuming it was still closed. What a disaster. 🙁

We had no alternative to pursue as planned, thus we drove all the way to Halls Creek and finally found a free rest area named Carolines Pool 15 km away from the community. After a nice campfire and some tasty hot dogs we called it a day.

May 25, 2011

First thing in the morning was a little tour around the area:

Our exploration of the area was followed by a visit to Sawtooth Gorge with Palm Springs on the way.

Sawtooth Gorge itself was a long drive over a bad road, but not too fascinating:

On the way to China Wall we passed Old Halls Creek, the original settlement location. It’s funny when you see roadsigns still standing – but there are neither roads nor houses. A few ruins here and there, that’s all.

China Wall itself is a unique rock formation created by a very distinct erosion pattern. The Great Wall in China is bigger and longer, though. See this panorama:

Panorama view of China Wall, Halls Creek

Panorama view of China Wall, Halls Creek

Afterwards we decided to be really super-brave: we drove all the long, dusty and corrugated track to the Wolfe Creek crater. There exists a really bad movie named „Wolfe Creek“ about a psychopath tricking backpackers there into a trap and cruelly torturing and killing them. I’m afraid I saw it here in Australia, and it ranked in my „Top 5 Worst Movies“ list. However, it was a bit of a challenge to convince Inka to go there and stay for the night. And she hadn’t even seen this terrible flic! 😉

On the way south on the Tanami Road we passed a few cattle stations, e.g. Ruby Down Station. Apart from a few other cars going up and down you won’t see anything else but many, many cows. Particularly on the track itself. Interestingly enough they often wait until you approach them quite close, stare at you and then they suddenly start to panic and run off in a frenzy.

We arrived at Wolfe Creek late in the afternoon and quickly rushed onto the crater rim and down into the crater. The sight was really fascinating:

Although it was getting late we walked along the crater rim all the way round, quite a few kilometers. There is no official trail, and we had better put on proper shoes. We knocked our toes a few times on the rocky ledges and made it back just before sunset.

We shot two panoramas, starting with an overview from the crater rim:

Panorama of the Wolfe Creek crater from the rim

Panorama of the Wolfe Creek crater from the rim

The second one is from inside the crater:

Panorama of the Wolfe Creek crater from inside

Panorama of the Wolfe Creek crater from inside

Last but not least – a video, hooray! Digg it.

We set up camp on the campground nearby. Not too scared, as we weren’t alone, at least 10 other cars where there as well. Had they seen the movie – what do you reckon? 🙂

May 26, 2011

Somehow we woke up incredibly early – this anxious feeling something bad had happened here must have had its influence on us!

Just joking. 🙂 After countless corrugations and an exhausting drive on the Tanami Road back to Halls Creek we couldn’t get LPG at the only station in town. It had been shut down only 10 minutes before our arrival due to a gas leak. Great. Therefore we spent most of the day in town, cleaning up, washing clothes, surfing the Internet where Inka found a power outlet and simply put up our camping chairs. 😉 By the way – most likely neither we nor our car has ever been dirtier than after this trip to Wolfe Creek…

At the end of the day we finally could fill up LPG, instantly hit the road and drove almost all the way to the entrance into the Purnululu NP, better known as the Bungle-Bungles.


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