Saturday, June 27, 2015

Galvan's Gorge, Adcock Gorge and Charnley River Station 21-22 June

After leaving Manning Gorge we stopped at Galvan's Gorge and briefly at Adcock Gorge en route to Charnley River Station.

Galvan's Gorge is only a 1 km walk from the main road and we had been there before, so we knew it was a great swimming spot. It's a relatively easy walk, only a few rocks and mostly in shade.

Adcock Gorge had probably the worst road into it, and a walk that disappeared among the rocks. It looked like another lovely spot, but it was several rocks too far.

A long tailed finch

Charnley River Station is 43km off the Gibb River Road, so we were going to give it a miss, but it was recommended to us by someone we met, so we changed our minds. This turned out to be a good idea as Charnley has a lot to offer. It used to be a working cattle station but in recent years it has changed direction and ownership and is now owned and operated by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, a non-government, not for profit organisation with 15 properties around Australia. They are strong advocates for wildlife and habitat preservation and presented an interesting talk about their work on our second night there. They still allow camping, but no fires. We did see more animals at Charnley than we had at other places.

Brahmin cattle are the norm

This big guy posed for us

A rainbow bee eater - not a clear photo though

Magpie larks were plentiful

These large termite mounds are very common
Charnley has 3 gorges and a couple of extra swimming holes as well. Like Manning Gorge it is also very rocky. A feature of the walking/clambering trails in this area is the use of daubs of white paint on rocks to mark a trail. Sometimes a bit of searching is needed to find the next marker. The first place we visited was Donkey Pools (name derivation unknown), but as it was getting late and we didn’t want to lose our way in the dark we cut short our visit and swam in only the middle pool.

The next morning we set out for the three gorges, Lily Pools, Grevillea and Dillie and more rock clambering, appropriate places to be on the anniversary of Mum's death. Lily Pools was 32km from the campground, but a lovely spot, so we had a swim in slightly chillier water than we were used to. There were several beautiful mauve water lilies on the surface.

After drifting around for a while we made our way to the next gorge, Grevillea, which in my opinion is one of the most striking we have visited. It has an upper pool, a middle one in which we swam, and a large drop to the lower level with a big pool.  A Swiss couple we met at the gorges clambered right down to the bottom, with bit of difficulty. We didn’t even consider it. We were going to go to Dillie Gorge but it was another 30 km and we decided to leave it for another visit.

Charnley has a great campground with green grass and new flushing toilets and shower blocks. There is lots of space and a separate area for generators. The road into the station, and also the station roads were in much better condition than many other places. They are quite diligent about people leaving the details of the day’s destination as the area is quite remote and 30km is a long way to drive to look for someone. It’s also the only place where we have been asked whether we have a satphone.

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