A GRRand Trek

I suspect the Gibb River Road (GRR) will one day be paved. Probably because of mining exploration/exploitation, or possibly so the nomads can access it. While it remains a dirt road it hangs onto its tag as one of Australia’s great treks as it winds through the heart of the Kimberley. However with its popularity increasing yearly, the remoteness and adventuring character is beginning to diminish. We thought we would give it a go, from start to finish, to check out this amazing part of Australia.

The road itself has many tales, however the beauty lies in diversions off its path. The cattle stations form the life blood, and each pastoral lease has the most amazing hidden scenery and landscapes. We are blessed that they open the properties up to travellers. Like fellow lappers, we too were asking ourselves if we found this gorge on our property would we share it with the big wide world ?

Luckily for us, our timing meant that we largely had things to ourselves, passing the odd vehicle each day, exploring gorges alone, and meeting only a few other campers each night.

So, here is our GRR experience. Ten days of gorges, walks, wildlife, dust, rattles and shakes. Our side trip to Mornington Wilderness park will chronicled in a separate post.

And so it begins.....

Beyond El Questro…

Go Jake, Go Tug.......the mandatory Pentecost River crossing photo

Next stop Ellenbrae, with famous tea and scones.

Ellenbrae

Double Barred Finches hanging around for tea and scones.

BloggiE has them eating out of the palm of her hand.

Onto Mt Elizabeth for two nights.  Our campsite was shared only with one other family whom we met at El Questro. We had campfires, cooked damper and avoided the bulls wandering through the campsite.

Along the GRR. Dirt, dust and bumps.

Campsite wildlife !

We explored Mt Elizabeth’s Wunnamurra gorge, having it mostly to ourselves.The gorge is on the Barnett River and comes complete with some fantastic Wandjina rock art.  After crawling a very rough track through the property, and a long hot walk (v high Walk Severity Index) we stumbled upon…

Paradise...

We descended to the beach...

grooved in the gorge...

spotted a couple of Freshies sunning themselves on the rocks...

strolled downstream to check out the Art Gallery...

and declared ourselves King of Wunnumurra Gorge.

On the way to Mornington we stopped for a few hours at Galvans Gorge.  Smaller and close to the GRR, it had a very low Walk Severity Index which meant the whingeometer did not register any readings. It was a fantastic waterhole complete with falls and, what every waterhole needs, a swinging rope.

Galvans Gorge

Geronimo!

Deep, cool and fantastic

We spent a few great days at Mornington (Stay tuned fr axo1000’s blog) before heading down to Windjana and Tunnel Creek. With Jake and tug carrying an extra tonne of dust and the supplies running low, we had an afternoon stroll into Windjana Gorge before tackling the deep, dark and wet caverns of Tunnel Creek cave walk.

Windjana Gorge

The walls of the ancient Devonian Reef that forms Windjana and Tunnel Creek.

Burrowed through the limestone, Tunnel Creek winds its way underneath the towering walls. Feeling like Bilbo (or Gollum) we trod wearily in the dark, wading through the cold creek waters until we traversed the 700m from one side to the other. BloggiE even managed to wade through the creek the whole way.

Dark, bats, cold water and mysterious.

Intrepid Cavers....

Dripping wet, we hopped in the car for our last leg of the Gibb River Road, praying for blacktop and dreaming of Broome beaches.

We made it ! The end of the GRR.

Tug & Jake carried us safely to the end albeit a bit dusty and one eyed.

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10 Responses to A GRRand Trek

  1. Libby says:

    Fantastic! The landscape it spectacular. We didn’t get to wade the whole way through Tunnel Creek because we wore thongs – bad water wading footwear. That and our torches were running low.

    C says – we love your photos. Did you get a flat tyre?

    • Hi C, fortunately we did not get a flat. We ran tyre pressures at 28psi, a bit lower than others, and kept it slow. The new Cooper tyres were fantastic. Jake did get a bit shaken up and an axle cap shook off but we heard it early and fixed it up on the side of the road.

  2. Marnie says:

    What a fabulous part of your adventures- including many things not possible for the general tourists (thank goodness probably!) You must be all very fit walkers! Loved the bird pics. Love to all.

  3. They herd bulls past our house every day.

    Can’t wait for Will’s blog.

  4. SamR says:

    What a great read! Enjoying the blog so much.

    Will – you have mad rope swinging skillz! Looks like a real hoot.

  5. Lozzy says:

    Nice to see you & read your adventures again. Those Finches were amazing, so perfect. Hope your bottoms are recovering after all that bumping up & down. Enjoy Broome! Wa Tunnel Creek really that empty? Well done avoiding the buses.

  6. Lozzy says:

    Luca says: Where did you find that swing thingy? It looks like fun.

  7. Julianne says:

    We are so enjoying reading all your news and loving the photos. It all looks so spectacular and such a wonderful experience. (Reading this blog entry made me think of a bear hunt – can’t go over it, can’t go under it……Oh no! We have to go through it!!). Keep up the great work Tug, Jake and 4 Wheatley’s!!! Love from all of us to all of you xoxox

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