At the end of a long day, we finally made it to our campsite at King Edward River, or as the locals call it, Munurru. It’s a tranquil place with big skies and waterholes lined with pandanus and gums.
This was definitely the deep bush – you can’t escape the dust here.
The following morning, we ventured nearby to look at the rock art under the sandstone overhangs.
This area obviously had great significance for thousands of years since there were even the art of two separate peoples. The most recent clans painted the wandjina, or spirits.
But long before that, other people painted these very different paintings, which are now called Gwion Gwion. Much debate rages about who and when these were painted. Some think they’re of Asian, Melanesian, even African in origin.
The camp is my picture of the day.
I’ve never been one to wake up with the birds, but a consequence of camping is that this was exactly what I, and the whole group, did for every day of those two weeks. We arose between 5 and 5.30am, whether we were scheduled to or not. It wasn’t a bad thing entirely, because I was able to watch a lot of lovely sunrises, like the one at our campsite at Kununurra, 250km north-east of the Bungle Bungles.
Kununurra is located by a lagoon that feeds into the Ord River, which we encountered near the Bungle Bungles. It’s a different place altogether, being more tropical in climate. There were a few houseboats, ready for a lazy cruise upstream.
The waterlilies were about the blossom.
Kununurra is the centre for the Ord River scheme, which dammed the Ord in several places nearby in the mid-20th century, forming Lake Argyle, a reservoir that is more than 20 times bigger than Sydney Harbour. We’ll find out more about the lake and dam later on.
By mid-morning, the mist was long gone, and the river was turning into a warm bath. The air temperature was a maximum of 37C that day! The water temperature must have then be close to 30C.
Back at the campsite, we took advantage of every little bit of shade.
Bridie Beagle panting like no tomorrow. She enjoyed the heat, even if it completely drained her.
Even after a swim, she once again insisted on sunbathing. The saying about mad dogs (and some silly people) being the only ones crazy enough to be in the midday sun, is true where she’s concerned.
The next morning was a very misty one.
I was up before everyone else – I couldn’t miss this photographic opportunity.
The mist hung around for half of the morning, until the sun struck the hills.
It was however long enough for me to photograph the river, which we’ll visit next.
Being on the edge of the Blue Mountains, we thought that we would be in a good place to see some wildlife. Well, perhaps it was too hot for most animals. There were plenty of bird sounds in the morning, but not many that appeared in the open. No mammals to speak of, but we did have this lace monitor climb the tree right next to our camp site.
It wasn’t the only one either – we saw three or four lace monitors wander around during our stay. They all looked pretty healthy, meaning there was plenty of food around for them at least.
It’s been two years since our last camping adventure, and when we booked our camp site at the end of January, we thought that we would get a good few days of camping.
We wanted a place that was within a 4 hour drive (including stops), had a place to swim (my request), was dog friendly (so we could bring our beagle), had a toilet, and (at Hubby’s request) had a shower of some sort. Yes, he’s a fussy one. Upper Colo Reserve fitted the bill, having all of those things.
Our last few tries have all been marred by rain, and the last by a little heat, but January seemed mild enough, so perhaps the end of February would be mild too. Little did we know that we’d be camping through the hottest period of this summer…
First afternoon was pretty warm, around 33C or so. Because we came mid-week, we had much of the campsite to ourselves. Upper Colo Reserve is at the edge of Wollemi National Park, on the Colo River. Though it’s just under 100km from Sydney CBD, it felt like a whole lot further away.
Note the jerry cans and water bottles full of water. It would prove to be very important the following 36 hours…
As in all the previous times that we’d camped, the rain eventually caught up with us. It started raining on our last night at Riverwood Downs, and was still going when we woke up the next morning. That meant not much of a breakfast and another wet pack-up. Soon we were on the road back to Sydney. What a contrast from the hot and dry landscape of the previous few days!
One lady who was happy was Bridie. She relishes getting her nose out of the window no matter what the weather.
She really enjoyed having the wind in her
Cattle graze across much of the district, so it wasn’t long until we passed some cattle on the side of the road.
We had to stop and eyeball each other.
It’s fascinating the wide variety of these cows, despite the fact that they are probably all the same breed.
I took the photos from the safety of the car, as some of the cows looked rather mean.
When the sun went down, the temperature dropped to more comfortable levels, and the wildlife made an appearance. First up were the water birds who had their dinner on the lawn.
Then the almost-full moon appeared, and quickly rose up high.
At bed-time, the moon was very bright indeed.
It wasn’t until about 2 or 3am that the marsupial wildlife made an appearance. There were possums scouring the campsite, looking for food and mischief. One even had the gall to climb on to the fly! We were cleverer though. All our food was locked up tight in the car.
We walked past a tangled-up tree.
To the next door neighbour’s drive way. There was a corrugated iron shed, and a field with a wonderfully green crop.
The two dogs accompanied us all the way there and back. They reminded me of Red Dog in that they loved to walk, even if it was only down the road and back. They were also very friendly, even to our sometimes anxious beagle.
It was a lovely way to end our camping trip. Early the next morning we packed up in the rising heat and humidity, and headed back home. I must say that this was the loveliest, most chilled out camping trip I’ve ever had. Even in the company of a beagle.