Monday, May 18, 2009

- Broome to Manning Falls -

After a week of preparation - including purchasing food, last minute camping supplies etc our day of departure had finally arrived. I was excited and sad at the same time. Knowing that we had to say goodbye to our home of 2 years and on the other hand such a wonderful adventure lay ahead of us. So at 7:30am Monday the 4th of May we gave Meg & Nick our last hugs and best wishes and headed out of "Broome Town". We topped up the fuel at Derby and just out of town made a left turn onto the mighty "GIBB RIVER ROAD".

(Finally on the Gibb River Road!)

(Bren driving through one of the creek crossings...)

The road condition was reasonable as there were clear signs the graders had just been through. After about 200km we made our first stop to check out Lennard River Gorge. Quite a steep walk to a cliff face with excellent views. We headed on to our first night stop at Silent Grove which is the gateway into Bell Gorge. We set off early the next morning to walk the 2km trail over rocks and navigating over the streams down to the base of the falls... It was awesome and we had it all to our selves!! The water was freezing!!! So we decide to warm up a little exploring the gorge. once warmed up we returned to the falls and plucked up the courage to jump in, swimming to get under the rapids of the falls.

(Me at the base of Bell Gorge waterfall)

Our next stop was Mornington Wilderness Sanctuary. Which is a good 90km drive into the heart of the Kimberley from the Gibb & took around 2hrs with numerous creek crossings, gates, and wildlife to navigate. We spent 3 nights at Mornington, visiting both Diamond & Sir John Gorges, however most was only accessible via kayak... which they charged heavily for. So after a few walk trails, swimming at waterholes etc it was time to head back to the Gibb. We made a quick stop into Galvin's Gorge which was awesome... great for swimming etc though you could only visit during the day.

(Bren at the lookout for Diamond Gorge, Mornington.)

Fuelled up at Mt Barnett Roadhouse, fuel was $2.11 per Litre!! This took a huge chunk out of our savings having to fill the near empty tank and 2 Jerry cans!! Mt Barnett is the access point into Manning Gorge where we stopped for the night. It proved to be a very popular spot with 15 or so campers and 3 tourist coaches arriving in the late afternoon! A short walk from camp is a large water hole lined with paperbark trees and pandanus palms. The walk trail continues from here to Manning falls over steep and rocky terrain. At the end a beautiful gorge surrounds a giant plunge pool with a spectacular waterfall tucked into one corner!! After a few too many photo's we rushed in to get beneath the falls for one of mother natures best massages!!! Ahh we were definately in heaven!

(Me, over looking Manning falls...)

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