Tag Archives: western australia

Mitchell Falls – Part 2

There was more rock art to be seen. This one is a Gwion Gwion style depiction of animals.

Mitchell Falls Walk

And of course, there are the hand-prints. Traditionally they should be found in pairs – one when the person was a child and the other as an adult. However many in the last hundred or so years many did not get to return as an adult and so only single hand prints are found.

Mitchell Falls Walk

Mitchell Falls – Part 1

We drove another 70km down the rough road to the campground at the start of the Mitchell Falls walk, deep in the Mitchell River National Park. The walk, a 5km one across the plateau, was definitely one of the highlights of the fortnight. We were led through the park by these poles.

Mitchell Falls Walk

It was quite right that one of the first diversions off the track was the rock art under the sandstone overhangs by Little Mertens Falls. Once again, they consisted of both Wandjina and Gwion Gwion style paintings.

Mitchell Falls Walk

Mitchell Falls Walk

Munurru – Part 1

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.

King Edward River

This was definitely the deep bush – you can’t escape the dust here.

King Edward River

The following morning, we ventured nearby to look at the rock art under the sandstone overhangs.

Munurru

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.

Munurru

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.

Munurru

The camp is my picture of the day.

Mitchell Plateau camping

The road to nowhere

We turned off the Gibb River Road on to Kalumburu Road northwards, and that was when the fun started. My goodness, weren’t we bumped around in the bus! The road was very straight for the most part, but the corrugations on the road were jarring and constant.

Kalumburu Road

Plus, there were quite a few water crossings.

Kalumburu Road

No big vans up there!

Eventually we reached the turn-off to Mitchell Plateau. Our campsite for the night thankfully isn’t far away now. This road to nowhere was my picture of the day.

Kalumburu Road

Country Hospitality

The next day was a very long and arduous drive from El Questro to the eastern edge of the Mitchell Plateau. Along the way, we visited Ellenbrae Station – another million acre property that is still a working cattle station.

Ellenbrae Station

We learned from the young manager Logan that things can get very expensive out where they are – everything has to come by road train or plane! So to attract visitors they have a small camping ground and cream tea. That morning it’s been specially baked by his mum, and it was a good scone.

Ellenbrae Station

Apparently they’ve attracted so many takers that they can hardly keep up with the demand.

The Outback is full of novelties. We found one in the car park at Ellenbrae – their public phone (and me in my ‘Steve Irwin’ get-up).

Ellenbrae Station

Ellenbrae Station

Cockburn Ranges – Part 4

At El Questro we camped by the Pentacost River. It was a little oasis, and the first thing in the morning was the best time to capture this tranquil setting.

El Questro and Pentacost River

El Questro and Pentacost River

However tranquility was no more by mid-afternoon. As the temperature climbed past 30C, everyone was interested in a freshwater dip.

El Questro and Pentacost River

The tranquility of the morning was my picture of the day.

El Questro and Pentacost River

Cockburn Ranges – Part 3

The Cockburn Ranges are most accessible at the various cattle stations that line its route. We stayed at El Questro – a million acre former station, now tourist enterprise.

At Emma Gorge, we walked right into the range. The sandstone cliffs there were a very bright shade of ochre.

El Questro and Pentacost River

And there was also again some interesting geology. These are ripple marks from 450 million years ago – evidence of an ancient shore line.

El Questro and Pentacost River

The local flora was also very striking. This is the Kimberley Rose.

El Questro and Pentacost River

And the shadier and cooler it got, the more palms we saw.

El Questro and Pentacost River

It’s certainly a diverse landscape.

Wyndham – Part 2

Down at sea-level, we perused the one-street town that was Wyndham.

Wyndham

The salt pan attracted a few people.

Wyndham

And there were plenty of rusty remnants from bygone days. Since the closure of the meat works and the mine, there’s really not much work at the port, or anywhere in town.

Wyndham

Aside from these attractions, it had a jetty, a big (fiberglass) crocodile, a museum, a grocery shop, a gift shop, and a surprisingly good cafe. We tried looking for saltwater crocodiles at the jetty, but all we saw was endless mangroves.

Wyndham

Hugh, Nic and Baz were in the area to shoot Australia, but that’s 10 years ago now. Let’s hope that Wyndham gets back on its feet someday.