The Wandering Tops

The Wandering Tops

13 August, 2012

Kimberley Trip - Gregory NP, Duncan Rd & Bungles

Well, we have arrived in Kununnarra after 10 days out & about to stock up scrub up before get back out.

Gregory National Park

Morning coffee at turn off to Gregory NP
After leaving home on Saturday 4th August we travelled to Gregory NP with one overnight bush camp on the way. We arrived at the intersection into the Gregory NP for morning coffee and found this hugh boab as a great spot to stop.  Drove the 47km into Bullita Homestead.  The homestead has been restored with photos and stories of past station times. In 1977 the homestead was flooded and the wife hung to a tree for 8 hours to survive.

Calcite Flow!!
Limestone Springs
Start of Bullita Stock Track

Now that's a boab, on the Bullita Stock Route

After setting up camp we went to Limestone Gorge and from Calcite Flow lookout could view the white waterfall effect the calcite has on the rock face.  Thought we would take the 2km walk to Limestone creek billabong and try out the new boots Hels and I had just brought for the trip. Well... the track in had been washed out and was a real rocky creek bed for at least a km which gave the boots a real work out.  We pushed on to the billabong and being mid afternoon and very warm the water was just too inviting so naturally had a quick dip.  Upon returning to camp we discovered my boots had worked a treat however Hels had bad blisters on both heels!!  The following day we travelled the Bullita Stock Route which was approx 92 kms and took over 8 hours!  The first 10 kms was extremely rocky and took us more than an hour to drive and at times very challenging. Withiin 15kms from the end of the track when we thought the road conditions had improved dramatically, managed to put a 50cm gash in the side wall of the tyre - Buggar!!
From Gregory NP headed back onto the Victoria Hwy into Timber Creek for fuel and onto the Duncan Road.

Duncan Road

Palm Springs out from Halls Creek
Our Camp at Marella George
Some of the locals sun baking .... freshies!!
The Duncan takes us 440km down to Halls Creek.  Our first stop was at Zebra Mine Camp for lunch, a really nice spot, even though we only stopped for lunch have put this on the "go back to" list and will stay a couple of nights and go on the sunset safari to Lake Argyle.  The Duncan is a good dirt road so travelled along comfortably to the Negri River where we stayed over night.  This was one of the coldest nights we had had but a good spot to camp and overlook the river and causeway - the road is relatively quite as not many travel this way.  From Negri River we travelled to Marella Gorge and found a lovely secluded camp at Marella Waterhole in time for lunch. It was late afternoon when we heard a vehicle come scooting down the hill into our camp - it was a police troopie and being local .they must have decided to also camp in the same spot.  They would have spotted us half way down the hill but could not stop so had to come into the camp.  Had a quick look at the waterhole then zoomed back up the track making copious amounts of dust which floated through the camper. It was such a nice camp we decided to stay another day.  I went for a walk to the Gorge in the morning then spent the rest of the day at the waterhole.  We had the camp to ourselves until late evening when another couple decided to drop in. They stayed the night and shard the camp fire and travel stories which are always entertaining

Marella George

Before departing the next morning we drove out to the actual Marella Gorge which looked lovely with the morning sun shining on the rocks.  Continued along the Duncan stopping at Sawpit Gorge, had a quick dip at PalmSprings and called into Caroline Pools before arriving at Halls Creek in time for lunch and getting the tyre changed.

Headed up the bitumen for an overnight free roadside camp at Spring Creek, just a short distance from the turn off to the Bungles. 

Day 8 - Had an early get away to drive the 53kms to the Bungles which took less than 3 hrs however road conditions were very corrugated due to the amount of traffic which has travelled to and fro.  

Echidna Chasm
After setting up camp at Kurrajong we went to Echidna Chasm and Mini Palms Gorge.  Thought the challenging walk into Echidna Chasm was worth it however the same could not be said for Mini Palms.  Hels had the boots on again and persisted with walking into Mini Palms to only aggravate the blisters to such a degree that the boots have been packed away in the back of the car (probably lucky not to have been thrown in the bin!!). The following day we drove to Cathedral Gorge and the Dome where I did the walk while Hels remained in the car & read her book deciding to rest her heels. 

After enduring an extremely cold night (thank God for the beanie), we headed out from the Bungles across the corrugations and back onto the bitumen towards Kununurra where we stayed at the Lakeside C/P and treated ourselved to a Pub meal.

Had a quick look aroound Kununarra today, managed to find the Sandlewood factory and just down the road was Hoochery the rum distillery, had to have a few samples.....hic, hic.

 Tomorrow we head across the Gibb River Road.  Various reports on the condition but generall very corrigated from what we can gather.

 So until next time when we should be in Broome.

Cathedral George

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