Smithsdownunder
Our journeys around Australia

Creek Crossing

 

After leaving Mount Elizabeth Station we headed for Drysdale Station. The road was getting more interesting with some deeper creeks to cross.

Preparing the Creek Walkers

 

 

We decided that it was time to prepare the Creek Walkers.

Calibrating the Creek Walkers

 

 

 

Before we could use them properly they needed calibrating.

Drysdale Station

 

 

From Drysdale we had hoped that we could drive out to the Mitchell Plateau but the road had been damaged so badly from the extended wet that we were told that it was unlikely to open for several weeks and the road to Kalumburu could be closed for months.

Mitchell Plateau Plane

 

 

Our only option was to take to the air so we booked a 2 hour flight from the station's airstrip.

Drysdale from the air

 

 

Here are a few shots we took from the plane. The first is of the station that we are staying on and as you can see there aren't too many neighbours to worry about. We are camped on the left hand side of the track.

Prince Regent River Falls

 

 

Waterfalls on the Prince Regent River.

Mount Trafalgar

 

 

Mount Trafalgar in St George Basin.

Mitchell Falls

 

 

 

The Mitchell Falls.

Elenbrae Campsite

 

After topping up with fuel at Drysdale Station our next campsite was at Ellenbrae Station. It was a nice quiet site in a bush setting.

The Donkey Heater

 

 

There were even hot showers but you had to stoke up the donkey boiler with a few logs to get the water hot.

Blue Winged Kookaburra

 

 

 

There was a lot of bird life around the campsite including Red Tailed Black Cockatoo and the birds that usually woke us up each morning the Blue Winged Kookaburra (or the monkey bird as Josie has renamed them).

Double Barred Finch

 

 

And also the pretty little Double Barred Finch.

Creamed Tea

 

 

If we had been back home in the UK then we would have been in Dunster where traditionally we have had a creamed tea on this day so Ellenbrae came to our rescue.

Durack River Crossing

 

 

From Ellenbrae we headed for El Questro but we had to cross two large rivers the Durack and the Pentecost. When we set out on the Gibb River Road the depth of water in the Durack was a little deeper than we would have liked but fortunately the level had dropped a little by the time we arrived.

Pentacost River Crossing

 

Having survived the Durack River crossing the final hurdle to cross was the Pentecost River. This river was tidal at the crossing point which meant that the depth was uncertain and that it was inhabited by salt water crocodiles. It was also much wider than any of the other crossings. The Creek Walkers both had a sickie for the day!

The Cockburn Range

 

We got across OK and made our way beside the Cockburn Range of hills towards El Questro.

Chamberlain Gorge

 

 

El Questro (or El Que$tro as we named it) was a big disappointment. It was very busy, very noisy and very expensive. We booked a cruise along the Chamberlain Gorge which was advertised as a two and a half hour cruise with a guided walk which turned out to be a one and a half hour cruise without the walk. The small store had very little in the way of foodstuffs which meant you had to eat in their expensive restaurant if you had limited supplies as we did.

Chamberlain Gorge

 

The Zebedee Hot Springs were closed at midday in order that the upper class guests staying at the lodge didn't have to put up with the lesser mortals like us! We did enjoy walking the gorges that were open. Chamberlain Gorge had really suffered in the wet with all vegetation having been stripped from its banks and even boab trees that must have been hundreds of years old had been toppled.

Edith Gorge

 

 

 

We walked into Edith Gorge which has a nice plunge pool at the end with a couple of waterfalls.

Emma Gorge

 

 

 

We went in for a very brief swim but the water was very cold!

El Questro Gorge

 

 

We also visited El Questro Gorge which was smaller and much narrower. The track took you along a shady palm lined creek with crystal clear water.

From El Questro we finished our 19 day 1,200km journey along the Gibb River Road and came out onto the Great Northern Highway between Wyndham and our next stop, Kununurra.