Saturday, June 27, 2015

Bell Gorge 23 June

It's not a very long drive From Charnley Station to Bell Gorge, so we had set up camp by 11am and we're ready for the next adventure. Along the way we stopped at the Imintji Store for a look. It used to be a major stopping point on the Gibb River Road but closed earlier this year. It still looks in reasonable condition though.

Imintji store

Bell Gorge is located in the King Leopold National Park, in the King Leopold Ranges area of the Kimberleys. The campground is called Silent Grove, and is 20 km from the Gibb River Road. It's a further 10 km drive to the beginning of the falls walk, and a 1km walk or rock scramble to Bell Gorge and its multi level falls. 

The King Leopold Ranges

The beginning of the walk, steep and all rocks
A creek crossing at the end
The falls are striking, with pools at the top suitable for swimming. There is also a large pool at the bottom of the falls, requiring a further 200m climb. David felt he hadn't had enough climbing and swimming so climbed over the hill to access to lower pool. It seems the flow was too strong from the falls as he decided against another water massage. It might have drowned him.

Bell Gorge Falls

The large lower gorge

The falls

The upper pool, shallow like a wading pool

David setting off for the lower gorge

He made it

Clinging onto the rock near the falls

Silent Grove is a nice campground with good shade and fairly new amenities.There are solar hot water showers, flushing toilets, water on tap and fire rings forever campfire. It is run by the Parks and Wildlife Service, and costs only $8.80 per person per night.

There is little else to do at Silent Grove after you have been to the falls, except chat and check out other people's rigs. There is certainly a variety here. There are the usual hired vehicles which charge along much too fast, spitting up stones and not slowing down to pass other vehicles. There are all kinds of campertrailers from the basic to the very pricey and quite a collection of tents. There are hardly any caravans in the Kimberley except for the tough off-roaders. They aren't built to cope with the roads.

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