Sunday, June 28, 2015

Windjana Gorge 24 June

Windjana Gorge is our last stop on the Gibb River Road. We visited here in 2004 but I have always liked it. At home I have a picture of it painted by Mum, so it's a bit special.

Mum's painting, from a photo
My photo, obviously taken at a different time of day

The road to Windjana from Bell Gorge passes through the King Leopold Range and here are some quite steep sections, most of them with sealed road. It's quite rugged country with lots of exposed weathered sandstone. In other areas there are outcrops of black Rock which look almost volcanic. One named feature is a rocky outcrop called Queen Victoria's Head. I must admit there is a resemblance.
King Leopold Ranges

Queen Victoria's Head
This afternoon we took a walk to the Gorge itself, an easy 2km return walk compared with others we have completed recently. It is mostly flat and sandy along the riverbank. The gorge walls are weathered to a dark grey, but in places are the orange-red of the rest of outback Australia. The Lennard River flows through the Gorge and is obviously a favourite place for many freshwater crocodiles. Definitely no swimming here. It's obvious that the water is drying up quite quickly so some will be in difficulty soon, especially if today's hot weather continues. It was 40 degrees today!
Setting off on the walk in the heat of the day
An island of freshwater crocodiles
Peaceful gorge with a croc in the foreground
The far end of the gorge
Remnants of the devonian reef that underlies the Girge

The Gorge walls reflected in the river

There are two other attractions here at Windjana. The sunset on the gorge walls is magnificent, changing from a dull daytime grey to a stunning glowing red.

The other attraction is another Great Bowerbird bower, this time next to the shower block. The two birds have been entertaining any passers by all day with their courting rituals. I also found another rainbow bee eater, a better photo this time.
The female adding a twig to the bower
Inspecting the workmanship
Rainbow bee eater
Our trip along the Gibb, from near Kununurra to Derby, has taken us just over 2 weeks to complete and we have seen some amazing places. The route is marked in purple and we did most of the side roads as well. Although the Gibb is only about 660 kms long we took about 1300km with side trips.

It has been quite a challenge planning enough food and drink to last the distance. We topped up some meat at Drysdale River Station and a few more items at Mount Barnett, but not as much fruit and veges as we would have liked due to the cost. It has been a bonus to have 2 fridges. Alcohol has been much more difficult. Due to restrictions on purchasing in WA, (and in NT and SA) and our poor organisation (we didn't know you can't buy casks of wine) we ran low several days ago and David has been eking out his Scotch like a miser. I suspect many others are in the same position. David helped some women change a tyre the other day, and his hopes for a beer were dashed as they didn't have any.

Fuel hasn't really been a problem as it was available at El Questro,  Drysdale River and Mount Barnett.  So far (touch wood) our mechanical problems have been all electrical ones. Today the 7 pin plug to the trailer broke off so will need to be replaced in Derby. The car is also due for a service now as we have done almost 10 000km since we left home.


  1. Oh my what an adventure it all sounds wonderful. Have enjoyed reading all about it and looking at your photos. I'm sure that you have ,any more stories to tell and look forward to hearing about them when next we meet.


    1. Yes,we have been having a great time exploring the Kimberley. Our next stop is Broome, then on through WA.


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