Letho's Blog

The Gibb River Road Pt. I

by on Mai.23, 2011, under The Kimberleys

May 22, 2011

We awoke to the sound of a helicopter – again! Imagine that: you’re in the middle of nowhere, and there’s such a noise that you are literally driven out of your tent. What it was doing there – we have no idea. Hopefully not looking for us. 😉 We packed up and after a few minutes we reached the crossing onto the Gibb River Road:

The road conditions were quite good as the road had just been worked on by the graders, apart from lots of floodways that slowed us down every now and then. The floodways looked a lot like this all the time:

Unluckily Lennard Gorge was closed, and so was Bell Gorge. We passed the so-called Victoria’s Head, a rock formation resembling the shape of Queen Victoria’s profile – watch out for the distinctive nose. After an extensive breakfast at March Fly Glen, a swamp-like rest area, we stopped shortly at Imintji Roadhouse.

See this panorama of the Kimberley region:

The Kimberleys

The Kimberleys

Our next stop was Galvans Gorge. We were pleased to see it open and quickly rushed onto the walk.

A little paradise: a beautiful waterfall pouring over  the gorge’s wall supplying fresh water for a waterhole enclosed by trees and bush. We wandered over to the waterfall and took a very refreshing swim in the cold water and beneath the waterfall:

A quick panorama for you, but the stitch is not perfect:

Panorama of Galvans Gorge

Panorama of Galvans Gorge

On our way further down the Gibb River Road we skipped Adcock Gorge to save it for the next day and arrived at Mt Barnett Roadhouse. However, it was closed for the day and would not reopen until the next morning, meaning we were unable to obtain a required permit for the Manning Gorge. After Mt Barnett Roadhouse the Gibb River Road was still closed for all traffic. Thus we opted to take the risk, opened the gate and made our way into Manning Gorge.

Surprisingly we met a Dutch couple at the campground that had done the same. We set up camp for the night and joint for a campfire.

May 23, 2011

The next morning we started the walk into Manning Gorge. The first section already provided for a surprise:

After searching unsuccessfully for an alternative way to cross the water we negotiated the swimthrough at last, helping out each other carrying our belongings. We wandered around quite some time, following the trail markers wherever possible. Since the track was marked very poorly, we eventually lost orientation and reached the rim of the gorge.

A bit frustrated we returned to the swimthrough and this time wandered along the creek into the gorge for a while:

We learned later that somewhere there must be a waterfall. We could not find it, but still had a good hike here. When driving back to the roadhouse we met some locals that were quite anxious and infuriated about us going into the gorge without a permit. The road was supposed to be closed, but someone obviously had removed the road sign stating that.

Fair enough, we returned to the roadhouse and drove back the way we came to Adcock Gorge for our next stop. Shortly before the start of the walking trail there was a big water pool. We decided to avoid it, parked aside and did the last few meters on foot.

Somewhat comparable to Galvans Gorge, Adcock Gorge had a nice waterfall and waterhole surrounded by tight vegetation.

Another small paradise! It the pictures didn’t convince you, check this short clip out. 🙂

We gathered a lot of impressions about the Kimberley region on our way back that are worth sharing with you. Have a look:

Enjoy this fine panorama of the Kimberleys:

Panorama of the Kimberleys

Panorama of the Kimberleys

After it got dark we unluckily experienced another premiere. So far we had accidently killed myriads of insects everywhere, a snake at Cape Tribulation, dozens of frogs in Queensland and probably a few small birds on Outback roads. Not even going particularly fast we suddenly noticed something jumping from the left of the road in front of our car, and straight before the front left tyre. A bump, another bump – in a blink of an eye we had hit the poor thing and killed it instantaneously.

Roadkill - we are guilty! :(

Roadkill - we are guilty! 🙁

There was no chance preventing it, it happened too fast to even react. That’s obviously the reason why you’re not supposed to drive in the dark. 🙁 Upset we arrived at Windjana Gorge and settled for the night.

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