Smithsdownunder
Our journeys around Australia

Wolf Creek Crater

After leaving Purnululu our next destination was the Wolfe Creek meteorite crater. It took 2 hours to drive out to the bitumen where we had to re-inflate the tyres after driving on the track. We then headed for Halls Creek to refuel and grab something for lunch. A few kilometres out of Halls Creek we took the Tanami Track heading for Alice Springs and had to let the tyres down again. We were only travelling about 120km on the Tanami and not going all the way to Alice (Unless we missed the turning to the crater!) The track was a bit corrugated but got a lot worse for the last 20km into the crater.

The crater was formed when a meteorite weighting thousands of tonnes crashed into the earth about 300,000 years ago. The result was an 850mtr diameter crater. It is the second largest in the world from which meteorite fragments have been found. The biggest is in Arizona.Wolf Creek Crater

Wolf Creek Camp Site

 

There was a small camping area within walking distance to the crater with only about half a dozen campers. It did feel that we were camped in the middle of nowhere. The campsite is in the top centre of the photo below.

 

Wolf Creek Lizard

 

 

Unfortunately my copy of the horror film 'Wolfe Creek' was corrupted and I couldn't play it, everyone was so disappointed!!

Here are a couple of the friendlier creatures we spotted. A small lizard and a legless lizard.

Legless Lizard

Our next stop was Fitzroy Crossing. We topped up with fuel and provisions and Brian and Josie enjoyed a boat trip on Geikie Gorge. We shared the campsite with the Australian Army who were helping local communities recover after the flooding early in the year.

From Fitzroy Crossing we headed for Tunnel Creek and Windjana Gorge. After turning off the bitumen onto the Leopold Downs Road we stopped to let the tyres down (again) and noticed that oil had leaked from the breather on the front axle. We decided to head back the 40km to Fitzroy to see if we could get it checked. When we got there the mechanic was not available as it was Sunday. We decided that perhaps some water had been drawn into the axle and with the rough tracks had collected in the breather. The oil that had been leaking was clean and showed no sign of water so we made the decision to buy some oil just in case and press on.

We eventually arrived at Tunnel Creek and walked and waded through the tunnel. There were quite a few people in there as several tour busses had arrived at the same time. The Tunnel was formed by the water flowing through an ancient coral reef. It runs through the cave for about 750 mtrs before emerging out of the other side.

As we were running behind we decided to make our next stop at Windjana Gorge an overnight stop. The Gorge runs through the same ancient reef that Tunnel Creek runs through. We had a great view of the rock from out tents as the sun went down.

View from Windjana camp site

Windjana Gorge

 

The last time we visited there were loads of freshwater crocs on the banks of the creek but on this visit the crocs had been replaced by people as the kids were on holiday. There were still a few crocs in the quieter stretches of water waiting for a wayward kid to stray their way perhaps!

Windjana Freshie

 

 

This freshie was just biding his time for the next kid to come along.

Rainbow Bee Eater

 

 

 

A rainbow bee eater was relaxing on a branch overhanging the river.

Archer Fish

 

 

There were some archer fish in the water. These fish eat insects which they catch by knocking them off overhanging branches by spitting.

Wooden croc

 

 

Although there were no crocs on our side of the river someone with an artistic flair made up for it!

Windjana Crater

 

 

There were a few freshwater crocs basking on the opposite bank though.