Wednesday, May 20, 2009

- Manning Falls to Home Valley Station -

After a wonderful swim & look around at Manning Falls we headed off to our next stop, Drysdale River Station, situated 60km up the Kalumburu Rd. The station is famous for its outback hospitality with the "Kimberley North Bar and Restaurant" and we were looking forward to splashing out on a few drinks, catching up on laundry etc. We spent two nights there, exploring nearby Miners Pool during the day.

We set off early the next morning towards the Mitchell Plateau. The road was very rocky & we seemed to be climbing hills higher into the surrounding escarpment. We finally reached the turn off into Mitchell Falls and about 2.4km along is the King Edward River crossing! Which was an estimated 80cm-100cm deep and much wider & faster flowing than any crossing we had come across!! With our hearts racing a little we crossed without a problem! From the crossing it was a long 80km trek to the Mitchell Falls campground, over loose gravel, tight corners and steep inclines averaging 50km p/h!

(King Eward River Crossing...)

That afternoon we made a short walk down to Little Merten's Falls to cool off and check out some of the Aboriginal Rock Art found just beneath the falls. It was awesome! We woke early the next morning to get a head start on the 3.3km walk trail to the Mitchell Falls. On the way we saw more Rock Art and got an awesome view of Merten's Gorge cutting narrowly through the sandstone plateau. We finally arrived at the Falls and it was in every way IMPRESSIVE! The size and sound of the water cascading over the 3 separate levels was unbelievable!!

(Bren sitting in the rapids at the top of Little Merten's Falls)

(Some of the Rock Art we found on the walk to the Mitchell Falls)

(The mighty Mitchell Falls... It was an awesome sight!)

We camped the night back at the King Edward River, and pushed on the next morning to Kalumburu.To enter the town and surrounding areas we needed an access permit, $40 valid for a week. We decided to stay at McGowan's Beach about 30mins out of town. With campsites right on the beach, lawn, all amenities we had found our little oasis! We claimed a site closest to the beach nestled under a boab tree. PERFECT!

(Sunset from our campsite at McGowan's Beach, Kalumburu)

We spent 2 nights at McGowan's, fishing (with no luck) and exploring nearby Pago and Honeymoon Beach. On the way out we stopped to visit the Mission Museum, which is rich in history about the war, mission and local aboriginal culture. Well worth the visit. We pushed on with a full day of driving to arrive at Home Valley Station, which was made famous as the setting for the movie "AUSTRALIA". We spoiled ourselves with dinner at the "Dusty Bar & Grill".

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