Smithsdownunder
Our journeys around Australia

From the Keep River National Park we spent a few nights at Lake Argyle. Brian had some luck fishing in the spillway which was still flowing as fast as it was when we left it several days ago. He caught some Black Brim or Sooty Grunters as the locals call them. There was a lot of evidence of how much water had been flowing out of the spillway as the banks had been stripped away and there were several dead freshwater crocodiles and barramundi lying on the rocks. There were a few live freshies as well!

After a brief stop at Kununurra for supplies we drove on to the Bungle Bungle or Purnululu National Park. The 50km track into the park took 2 hours but the track was in better condition than some people had suggested. The track passes through the land owned by Mable Downs cattle station and there was a guy on the gate charging each vehicle $20 to use the track to go towards track maintenance. They had only started charging a week before and I think there were some politics going on behind the scenes especially as there had been an export ban on their cattle.

The camp site was quite busy but we managed to find a quiet spot alongside a dry creek.

Purnululu National Park

 

The visitor areas are split into two with gorges in the north and the beehive like domes in the south. Our first visit was to the domes.

Purnululu National Park

 

The domes consist of alternate layers of sand and compacted gravel. The sand is white but contains a lot of iron which turns red where it is exposed. The compacted gravel is the blue-green layers and is coloured by cyanobacteria, the same stuff that formed the stromatolites in Shark Bay.

Cathedral Gorge

 

We followed a trail which took us into Cathedral Gorge. At the end of the gorge there is an enormous cavern. To get some idea of the size, look at the picture below and the small specs in the centre are people at the entrance to the cavern.

Cathedral Gorge

 

 

There wasn't a lot of water in the creeks but there was plenty of evidence that there had been a lot a month or two ago.

Piccaninny Creek

Piccininni Creek Lookout

 

 

View from the lookout over Piccaninny Creek.

Mini-Palms Gorge

 

 

The next day we explored the gorges in the north of the park. The first was the Mini-Palms Gorge which took us through steep sided cliffs dotted with Livistonia Palms.

Livistonia Palms

 

 

 

It was a challenging walk with some large boulders to clamber over and around.

Echidna Chasm

 

 

We moved on to Echidna Chasm which took us through a very narrow 200mtr deep chasm with sheer sides. The entrance was lined with more palms.

Echidna Chasm

 

 

 

The further into the chasm you travelled the narrower it got.

Echidna Chasm

Echidna Chasm