Week 27 – National Parks, walks and more rocks

Given that we had spent many days on the Gibb and a few driving back into Kununurra, we decided to spend the time re-organising ready to get on the road again. We did sneak in another visit to the Saturday Market where we found the best spring rolls ever. Never had a Massaman curry spring roll and it was very very good. Driving out of Kununurra was a funny feeling. It felt good to get on the road again to a different area, however, we had a great time on the Gibb and in Kununurra.

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Hello NT
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Goodbye WA

Driving down the road we saw a sign to the Zebra Rock Mine and although it was out of our way and we were unlikely to visit this way in the future, so we turned right. The mine itself is an interesting place, not really inviting, but we went in anyway. We declined the tour, but the kids had a go at polishing a piece of zebra rock and I bought a necklace for Lily and I. A quick lunch in the dust filled car park and we were on our way again.

Keep River National Park was only an hour or so down the road, which meant that we were able to set up, and have a walk that the afternoon. If you ever get to this neck of the woods check out the 2km walk at the Gurrandalng Campground. We saw rock formations that were very similar to the Bungle Bungles, almost tropical landscapes and great views. Highly recommend this walk as it is a taste of everything Kimberley, even the kids loved it. The other walk we did was the 7km loop walk from the Jarnem Campsite to a lookout and past a rock art site. While this walk was longer, the kids did really well and only complain a few times about the distance. I found that if we sang as we walked it made the kids (and us) forget about the distance, so we sang. Probably why we didn’t see that much bird life, they must have been scared off by the noise.

Our next National Park was Judbarra/Gregory, a large park with Aboriginal, European and wonderful natural sites. We headed straight for Bullita Homestead Campground, a fair drive into the park but it had only a few campsites and was guaranteed to be quiet. This was to be our base for two days while we explored the Calcite water falls, the Tufa Dams and did some 4wding. The old homestead was pretty interesting with a great account of how they dealt with a particularly high flood. We also explored the cattle yards, which are still standing after all this time, goes to show how well they were built. While there were things to do here, we were dealing with dust again and we were missing people we knew, so we pulled the pin a day early and drove on to Giwining/Flora National Park.

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Giddy up horsey!

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Nooooooooooooo!
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Amazing construction
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Calcite Flow
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Fig Tree Lookout along the Humbert Track
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Along the Tuwakem Track
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Bizzare!
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We thought this one was a little rude!
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Weird Boab tree

Out of all the National parks we have visited this one was the strangest for a few reasons. It was pretty tiny and remote leaving us wondering what was the notable thing here to make it a national park. It also had fire pits (with wood), hot showers and flushing toilets, something that Judburra didn’t have. However, the two walks to the waterfalls were short and not keep well and you couldn’t swim due to the crocodiles, so there really wasn’t much to do.

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Natural Dam – Kathleen Falls
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Djarrung Falls
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Watch out for those crocodiles!
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Bit spooky, is there a croc lurking

At 11am we rocked into Edith Falls hoping to find a campsite at the Falls. I do have to say that the lady at the office was a little rude saying that the campsite was very popular and I was very lucky to get a site. Other than this downer, the top falls were amazing, clear and swimmable. Craig took both kids out to the waterfall, while I chatted to a family about our experiences on the Gibb. Another swim at the bottom pool did us for the day.

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Top pool at Edith Falls
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Cooling swim
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Bottom pool Edith Falls

It is very easy in this area to get fed up with the dust and heat in this area and we were getting pretty tired of the dust. After a pretty difficult day we decided that we would drive straight through to Darwin early and spend some time chilling out at a caravan park before we spent time with friends who live in Darwin.

I think that we should have spent more time in this area and it will definitely be on the next lap trip. It is an area that needs to be explored to do it justice.

 

 

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