Something To Look At (Post#14) : Larrkardiy (Boab Trees) and Jilkarr (Termite Mounds)
When we were in Derby and while were in Centenary Pavilion just near Derby Wharf, there are information boards when anyone will had a chance to look at it, will learn something about Australian Aboriginals that lives in Kimberley. I witnessed the Boab Trees and termites mounds strayed in the outback of Northern Territory and wilderness of Northwest of Australia. Before reading it, I did not knew what Boab Trees and Termite Mounds means for indigenous people of Australia. But After I saw it, how amazing the belief of the first people in such places.
“Larrkardiy” or Boab Trees categorized as “Malaji” believes to have special mystical forces. And according to Traditional Law, people who injure it or intrude without authority expose themselves to the prospect of retribution by these forces.
“Jilkarr” or termite mounds are treated with devotion and respect. Historically, the mortuary remains of deceased people are interred in active mounds and the termites resealed the entrance to the cavity that was created to accommodate the remains.
Some photos are part of Day 9 (Tunnel Creek, Derby and Broome) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016. Some are photos taken within Northern Territory and Kimberley Western Australia to represent the main idea being shown here.
While living in Australia for more than 1.5 years, most of the cities and places that I visited are located in the eastern side and southern part of the country. I also got a chance to visit even the middle part of Australia. What does this mean? It means that I never got a chance to be at the northern part and western part of this huge continent country. Therefore, before my visa ended last February 2017, I planned for my last adventure in Down Under last October 2016. The said adventure was not like the first part of my tour. The suppose to be Kakadu National Park day tour became Litchfield National Park day tour. The whole story of what happened in the first part of my adventure were explained in my post here and here. The second part of my adventure started from Darwin at Northern Territory and ended at Broome in Western Australia.
After my tour in Litchfield National Park, the bus tour dropped me off near my hotel accommodation (The Cavenagh Hotel) that I booked for 1-night since the next day was the start of my 4WD Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure in 9 Days. In my travel and adventures, the tour was the longest multiple day tours that I experienced. The tour company also offers longer days such as 21 Days that will end in Perth, but unfortunately, I cannot afford to be in 21 Days straight travel even I wanted to as I have other personal matters to attend even I was in vacation.
From the hotel, I picked-up my Telstra sim card that I reserved even before I arrived in my accommodation, then setup my phone. I had my dinner at the hotel and tried the steak that it was offering since The Cavenagh Hotel is famous for their steak. I had a great dinner that time inside my room since a lot of people were outside having dinner while drinking on Friday night. It was a typical Aussie ambiance in a pub restaurant. Before I slept that night, I prepared my stuff and my luggage so it will be easy for my early morning checkout.
Here are the 9 Days 4WD Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure itinerary that we had:
Day 1: Darwin to Katherine Region
From Darwin, the group drove towards Nitmiluk National Park in Northern Territory to enjoy Edith Falls and Katherine Gorge.
Edith Falls and Upper Pool
Nitmiluk National Park with Katherine River at Baruwei Lookout
Day 2: Victoria River, Judbarra National Park and Lake Argyle
The first stop of the group was a quick look of Victoria River along Victoria Highway. Next, the group had trekking adventure in Judbarra or Gregory National Park which still located in Northern Territory. Here we enjoyed fascinating scenery of the valley and the thousand years of aboriginal drawings and paintings created in rocks, boulders and escarpments.
Then, we drove to cross the border of Northern Territory and Western Australia where we experienced to adjust time as the two states has different timezone. The second adventure of the group for the day were cruising some part of the 700 square kilometre man-made spectacular Lake Argyle and swimming.
Day 3: Purnululu National Park (Bungle Bungle Ranges)
The following adventure we did after we drove towards Purnululu National Park, were quick viewing of Osmond Range from the ground and trekking Echidna Chasm. We also had a sunset viewing at lookout ridge to witness sunset towards some part of Osmond Range and Escarpment Walls of Bungle Bungle Range.
Sunset with Escarpment Walls (West of Bungle Bungle Range and Osmond Range)
Since we camped within Purnululu National Park, we trekked “The Bungle Bungles”. The walked includes “The Domes” and “Cathedral Gorge” Walk. After we left Purnululu National Park, we passed Warmun (Turkey Creek) and Durack Range. We took the famous Gibb River Road to continue adventuring Kimberley. Our first stop along Gibb River Road was El Questro. We arrived at El Questro Station before it gets dark that day.
Day 5: El Questro Station and Zebedee Springs (plus Champagne Springs Trail)
The following day was spent in a relaxing bath time in Zebedee Springs. When we returned to El Questro Station, we played around and swam in Pentecost River just beside the group’s camping site inside the station. In the afternoon, I joined few people from the group to walk along Champagne Springs Trail.
At Champagne Springs Trail (unofficial itinerary)
Thousand Year Old Boab Tree along Champagne Springs Trail
Day 6: El Questro Wilderness Park, Gibb River Road and Manning Creek
After leaving El Questro Station that day, we went straight to El Questro Wilderness Park which can be found within Cockburn Range. We trekked towards the waterhole of Emma Gorge and had great time in the water. It was the same day where we spent longest hours driving in Gibb River Road for the day. We passed Pentecost River which cross each other with Gibb River Road, we enjoyed the scenic view of Cockburn Range from a distance and we took lunch in one of the resting point that located along Gibb River Road. Then, we had been in the same road for hours until we reached Manning Gorge Campsite just near Manning Creek before sunset.
A busy time for the group as we visited two gorges in one day which both includes easy to medium walk towards the beautiful gorges. A great time spent in a picturesque Bell Gorge. A great experience in Windjana Gorge to witness sunset, freshwater crocodiles in Lennard River and thousand fruit-bats flying away from the gorge for feeding time in one seating.
Day 9: Tunnel Creek National Park, Derby and Broome
Before heading to Broome, we had our last adventure in Tunnel Creek National Park in the morning where we explored a historical and ancient cave where the Tunnel Creek flows through it. We had lunch near Derby Wharf, stopped in Prison Boab Tree, Willare Bridge Roadhouse and Willare Bridge before hitting the road again to reached Broome. When we reached Broome, it was the end of the 9 Days Overland Adventure from Darwin to Broome.
It was our last day to be all together as we finished adventuring both Northern Territory and Kimberley in Western Australia. I can’t believed that we were already in our Day 9, the last day for the people who only booked 9 Days Overland Adventure Tour from Darwin to Broome. Before we reached the last destination which was Broome, we had few stops along the way, Tunnel Creek National Park and Derby.
Tunnel Creek National Park
We had a beautiful morning in Windjana Gorge National Park camping ground as I woke up around 6:00 AM in the morning. My actions seemed automatic. Some woke-up earlier than me. After washing my face, I prepare all my stuff back to my luggage. And we had breakfast as we used to do every morning. As I observed everyone, we were more relaxed. Everyone took our time to eat our brekkie (breakfast in Australian Slang) and we did it quietly. There was a different feeling that I had that day which a bit of blankness. Yes, it was our last day to be all together but it did not feel very sad like I felt when I joined 3 days adventure tour in Red Centre in Northern Territory. Maybe because it was a different situation. I still have next adventures in Broome, Perth and Southern part of Western Australia after the 9 days adventure, which excites me. And some from the group will move forward and continue the adventure in other parts of Western Australia as they took 21 Days Overland Adventure from Darwin to Perth.
Entrance of the cave which capture during the end of the cave adventure
Before 8:00 AM in the morning, we were already at the park entrance of Tunnel Creek National Park. The main attractions of the park is the ancient cave where Tunnel Creek flows itself and cuts through it. We prepared our head lamp and just brought a bottled water. Then, from the parking we walked straight towards the cave. We saw information board, then, there were boulders in the ground where it formed like an arch which we passed through. Then we reached the entrance of the cave.
Inside the Tunnel Creek Cave
Like other caves that I had been through, the cave’s entrance are almost covered with huge boulders that we had to climb a bit to follow the trail. One by one we tried to steps on huge rocks to be able to walked inside the cave. When we were inside the cave, a shallow pool greeted us immediately. We waited for everyone in the group until we were completely assembled again. Our guide started to show us something in different parts of the cave, where I was able to capture some of the Aboriginal arts. Next, we saw mostly of stalactites on the roof. Then, we walked again and stopped a bit as our guide showed us one of the important aboriginal remnants by flashing his torch towards the roofs of the cave, but unfortunately he strictly told the group that it is not allowed to take photos of it, as a respect, we never took one.
We continued our exploration inside the cave. As we were following the walking trail, we saw a freshwater crocodile where half of its body lying in the dry sand while the half still submerged in the water. Therefore, our guide calmly instructed us to silently walk farther from it, to avoid unnecessary encounter with the crocodile. That was the closest natural encounter that I had experienced with crocodile which outside the zoo. The freshwater crocodiles was just around 1-2 meters distance, so wrong move we made may result to a dangerous defense attack from it.
When we reached the huge open space of the cave, we rested and then some of us climbed another part of the cave to see the crystals. Our guide told us, that the area of the cave are narrow and only few people can accommodate to be inside of it. That’s why few from the group went to see the crystals. I climbed and tried to see the crystals and I was amazed to see it, but because it’s too dark in that area of the cave, I was not able to capture photos of it with my DSLR. I had a challenge at first, when I go through myself in the narrow and small space of the cave, but, with the help from the group, I was able to avoid to bump my head to some of the stalactites and I was able to pull off myself from it.
We reached the first large openings of the cave where we had a chance to see the bats in broad daylight hanging in the branches of trees and some in the walls of the cave. Some were flying just around the area of the cave. Then, we looked into a portion of the cave’s roof and we found bats comfortably hanging in their hide-outs.
Bats we found while exploring Tunnel Creek
After watching the bats, we walked again towards the end of the cave. At the end of the cave, we rested and our tour guide started to tell the story of the Aboriginal hero named Jandamarra from Bunuba Tribe. He was banished from his tribe for some reason and he got a chance to worked with the white when he met and be friended with Bill Richardson where his works were mostly tracking aboriginal people and hold them in police outpost. Because of what he did, Bunuba tribe pressured Jandamarra to honor his tribe cultural responsibilities and caught in between. Then, he decided to favor his tribe and killed Richardson, released prisoners and distributed weapons. That’s how the story started and made him led the tribe’s resistance from the white colonization. The Tunnel Creek’s cave was his last stand. After listening to the story, we took time to appreciate the end of the cave and took some photos of it, the group decided to return and we took the same trail to go back.
The end of the cave
When we walked back to the parking, I saw again the information board. Since we were waiting to complete our group, I grabbed my chance read some information and able to capture it. The details about the living things that hides in the cave and the historical information of Jandamarra and Bunuba Tribe Resistance towards the white colonization were described in the information board.
We left Tunnel Creek National Park and we returned to Gibb River Road towards the next destination of the group which was Derby, a small town within Kimberley Region with over 2000 people live. We spent few hours taking the famous dirt, unsealed and rough road Gibb River Road. But, when we reached the sealed road, I missed the feeling of taking a smooth road, honestly I almost forgot that feeling temporarily as I got used to Gibb River Road for almost a week. I missed the feeling of no bumping or no swinging like we were dancing while on the road.
We passed the town before we reached Derby Wharf where the group had last lunch all together. We stayed in Centenary Pavilion located at the park where we cooked and prepared our food. The pavilion that we stayed used to commemorate the Centennial Celebrations where we witnessed the Community Mosaic Tile Floor which symbolizes the town’s celebration of its achievements both the state and nation in 100 years since its Federation.
Before we started the lunch time, I did a bit of walk near the wharf where it is said that its port receives the highest tides in any port of Australia, that’s explains why the jetty of Derby Wharf stands so high. But the port is not the usual ports that we see aside from having high jetty as its shores and its surrounding mangroves covered with mud came from water flow that flows in Fitzroy River that starts from King Leopold and Mueller Ranges towards King Sound, the large gulf where Derby Wharf can be found.
We enjoyed our lunch and when we got full, we were back in cleaning our mess before leaving the pavilion we used. Few minutes after we left Derby Wharf, we stopped again to see and witness a unique and historical prison. It is called as Prison Boab Tree. It is a unique tree because it is only the type of tree found in Western Australia where the rest of its different types of tree can only be found in Africa. This type of tree is said to be washed away towards Australia from Africa. The said Prison Boab Tree had been used by white people to hold the Aboriginals that were captives while waiting for their boat to arrive in Derby. These captives were forced to work in pearling industry. And one thing to note, this contradicting acts from white people is totally different from religious significance of the Aboriginals towards Boab Tree.
Information of Boab Prison Tree in Derby
Prison Boab Tree
The last two stops we did before we continued driving to Broome were Willare Bridge Roadhouse to refill our tanks and to have immediate chance to eat ice creams and Willare Bridge to see one channel of Fitzroy River to towards King Sound, one of the largest river in Australia.
Fitzroy River At Willare Bridge
I felt both excited and sadness all at once. I was excited because after nine days in outback and wilderness, we returned to civilization as Broome has around 14000 population which increase to almost 50k during peak season. I felt sadness because it means that was the last day that I will be with my adventure group that I had been with for more than a week. Though we came from different countries and strangers at first but, we felt at home when we were all together exploring outbacks of Northern Territory and wilderness of Kimberley Region. I made some close friends along the adventure, learned things of other cultures and even shares mine to them.
When we reached the first hotel in Broome, that was time we started saying goodbyes to our group mates, until it was my turned to do it with few people left in the truck. I took all my stuff and I requested Scotty for a souvenir photo with him.
And to finished this travel adventure post, I still wanted to thank him for being such a wonderful and cool guide of our group. Thank you Scotty !!!
We felt ecstatic when we were already taking sealed road, we just finished the last part of dirt track of Derby-Gibb River Road. It means one thing, we were near in one of the town that has over 2000 population in Kimberley. It made us felt a bit that we were away from wilderness of Kimberley. We stopped in Derby so that the group can had one last time to lunch all together. We stayed in the park and had cooked and prepared our food at Centenary Pavilion where we witnessed the Community Mosaic Tile Floor which symbolizes one way to celebrate the achievements of the state and nation in 100 years since Federation. And I did a bit of walk near Derby Wharf where it is said that its port receives the highest tides in any port of Australia, that’s why the jetty stands so high. These photos are part of Day 9 (Tunnel Creek, Derby and Broome) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.
View At My Window (Post#38) : Fitzroy River at Willare Bridge
On our way to Broome, after stopping at Willare Bridge Roadhouse, we stopped in a nearby Willare Bridge to had a glimpse of Fitzroy River. One of the long river in Kimberley with the following statistics according to Wikipedia, it has flows for 733 kilometres (455 mi) from the King Leopold and Mueller Ranges into King Sound south of Derby, and has a catchment area of 93,829 square kilometres (36,228 sq mi). Our tour guide told us that saltwater crocodiles which dangerous can be found nearby the surroundings of this river. These photos are part of Day 9 (Tunnel Creek, Derby and Broome) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.
The name of “Prison Boab Tree” was derived as the tree reputed as rest point for police and escorted Aboriginal prisoners en-route to Derby. When we were in Derby, I learned that Aboriginals were kidnapped in West Kimberley to be divers and workers for pearling boats. They rounded-up, put in chains and marched to the coast. Some of them were captives in this Boab Prison Tree while waited for the boat. But on the contrary, before that, Boab Tree has connection with Aboriginal traditional religious belief. These photos are part of Day 9 (Tunnel Creek, Derby and Broome) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.
Tunnel Creek is a national park wherein its major attractions is an ancient natural cave where Tunnel Creek flows into it that cuts and shapes the cave. Coming inside the cave gave visitors a chance to see the wonders of the cave and the sacred aboriginal arts which photography is prohibited, to witness bats in their natural habitat and hideout, to enjoy crossing the cold water of permanent pools and to spot freshwater crocodiles which harmless when undisturbed. These photos are part of Day 9 (Tunnel Creek, Derby and Broome) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.
When we are exploring Tunnel Creek which is an ancient natural cave, there are living things that lives inside and outside the cave. And in one part of the cave, we enjoyed to see them in daylight hanging around on trees and rock walls of the cave. And some of course in their hideout. When I looked at some photos that I captured, I was amazed I captured some of their flying activity that captured their shapes beautifully. It’s not only fruit-bats are staying in the cave, little cave bat, yellow-lipped bat (only in Kimberley) and orange leaf-nosed bat stays as well in the cave. These photos are part of Day 9 (Tunnel Creek, Derby and Broome) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.
Something To Look At (Post#13) : Tunnel Creek, Bunuba and Jandamarra
After coming out from Tunnel Creek natural cave, I had a time to look at the information boards at the entrance trail which I haven’t had a chance to read it before coming in. The boards both gives information about the walk into the Tunnel Creek cave with friendly neighborhood living things that lives inside the ancient natural cave and the historic information about Bunuba Aboriginal Tribe which Jandamarra led the resistance towards the white. These photos are part of Day 9 (Tunnel Creek, Derby and Broome) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.
We left the camp near Manning Creek and move forward in our adventure for the day. If Day 7 used to spent in Manning Gorge and around it up to Manning Creek, Day 8 was a bit different as we had been in few different places that stunned me of its natural beauty. If Manning Gorge amazed me, it’s the same thing that I felt when I reached two more gorges.
After leaving, we stopped again in Mount Barnett Roadhouse to buy some stuff. Then, our guide was on checking up the truck. Someone from the roadhouse helped to checked the tires. Then, one tire has been replaced. Next, we went to a nearby motor repair shop to vulcanize the tire. In the same shop, we enjoyed seeing photos that was given to us by one of the worker in the shop and we had something to spent our time while we were waiting.
Mount Barnett Roadhouse
Over the Range Tyre and Mechanical Repairs
After leaving Mount Barnett Roadhouse, we traveled again in Gibb River Road for at least half an hour to reached Imintji, a local community. There is community store that can serve cold drinks, ice-cream and other groceries. It also provides fuel-diesel. There is art centre beside the community store but at the time we reached the community it was already closed for the season.
We left Imintji Community and move forward to Bell Gorge. We drove towards the gorge for almost an hour. We reached the parking and trekked half an hour to reach another amazing and picturesque gorge named Bell Gorge, still located in King Leopold Ranges. There was a waterhole in gorge but I never walked near it since the waterhole looks deep and my swimming skills are not for it. But few from the group and myself decided to enjoy the small pool where the Bell Gorge Waterfalls flows through it.
Bell Gorge Information Board
We enjoyed more than two hours of our time in Bell Gorge. Next we were all back again in Gibb River Road. After more than two hours again, we stopped along the road without knowing the reason at first. Then our guide Scotty told us to look back and there we saw a human face structure which positioned as side view. The first thing that I noticed was its pointed nose. Then our guide said it is called Queen Victoria Head. It is quite amazing to see a human figure in rocks and boulders along Napier Range and located just above the Gibb River Road.
Queen Victoria Head along Gibb River Road
Windjana Gorge National Park
We returned to our truck, we stayed in the road for more than half an hour when we reached the parking of Windjana Gorge. Scotty told us to bring our torch which we did and we got off the truck. At the parking area, we already enjoyed limestone escarpment that I had noticed when stopped to see Queen Victoria Head. We walked few minutes towards the gorge and we saw Lennard River where we noticed there are lots of freshwater crocodiles (freshie). We stopped walking when we found a great spot to see the gorge and the river on sunset. Most of my group sit around just beside the river. While I spent few minutes to capture the surroundings of Windjana Gorge before I joined the group to sit with them.
Escarpment at Windjana Gorge National Park
Lennard River at Windjana Gorge
Surroundings of Windjana Gorge
Freshwater Crocodiles at Lennard River in Windjana Gorge
Fruit-Bats Leaving the gorge
We sit in our spot for a while to enjoy watching the “Freshies” in Lennard River and after few minutes, we started to see fruit-bats flying away from the gorge. The few bats become too many, until we saw thousands of bats leaving the gorge. We were watching for half an hour and it seems the fruit-bats have not gone all. It was one of the amazing thing to see in the gorge aside from crocs. It was totally dark when we left the gorge. That was the reason why our guide told us to bring our torch. We spent our night in camping ground in Windjana Gorge National Park, where we enjoyed again our daily night routine in cooking and preparing the dinner, then cleaning our mess after. That night, we also exchanged our email address as the night was the last night of the group to be all together as some from the group and that includes me will end the adventure journey the next day while some from the group will continue exploring Pilbara Region after reaching Broome.
Featuring Our World (Post#14) : Windjana Gorge and Lennard River
Windjana Gorge for me has its own unique beauty. I love the surroundings. I just thought that the dry land area where we sit at that time to observed the “Freshies” (Freshwater Crocs) and to watch fruit-bats most likely under the water during wet season. And it was another amazing environment to see the crocs in their natural habitat which is the Lennard River and the surroundings of the gorge itself. The gorge is made out on Napier Range because of the Lennard River, as per study, the whole place was under the ocean 300 million years ago. I can’t comprehend how long was that. These photos are part of Day 8 (Bell Gorge and Windjana Gorge) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.
Life Of Others (Post#17) : Windjana Gorge – Fruit Bats
One unique thing that I experienced while in Windjana Gorge was the time to observe thousands of fruit bats flying away from the gorge before the place gets totally dark. Before, I wonder why we visited the gorge when it’s already sunset. Then I realized why, because our tour guide wanted us to witness the moment where these bats leaves the gorge for feeding time. We had been watching the bats around or almost half an hour and I felt like it’s too many bats that I was thinking if there will be a time that they will be all gone. These photos are part of Day 8 (Bell Gorge and Windjana Gorge) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.
Discovery (Post#46) : Queen Victoria Head in Gibb River Road
Around two hours after we left Bell Gorge, we stopped along Gibb River Road, but I had no idea why. Then, Scotty our guide told us to look back and he mentioned about Queen Victoria Head rock which visible at the top of the road. When I looked back, I saw an interesting part of rocks that shapes like a head which significantly shows its pointed nose. Its kind of intriguing that even natures shows human head. These photos are part of Day 8 (Bell Gorge and Windjana Gorge) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.
The first place for the group’s adventure was Bell Gorge after we came from Imintji. We had walk few kilometers towards the gorge. And when we reached it, I was amazed with its beautiful backdrop. Its beauty is also unique compared with other gorges that I had seen so far along Gibb River Road. The gorge has cascading waterfalls that goes down to its pool where it flows to Bell Creek. The gorge is located in King Leopold Ranges Conservation Park. These photos are part of Day 8 (Bell Gorge and Windjana Gorge) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.
When the tires has been fixed and has been put back to the truck, we were back in the road. And we had a quick stop in a local community that can be found along Gibb River Road which named as Imintji. The place also offers camping site which is great for nearby attractions such as Bell Gorge, Tunnel Creek, Windjana Gorge and others. It also offers community store and diesel fuel gasoline, a better place to be while surviving in Gibb River Road. And one more thing, they have arts centre to spend sometime on but at the time of our visit it was already closed for the season. These photos are part of Day 8 (Bell Gorge and Windjana Gorge) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.
Chromatic Outlook (Post#46) : Over the Range “Tyre and Mechanical Repairs”
After we left Mount Barnett Roadhouse and had been in Gibb River Road for around half an hour, we stopped again. This time, we went to a motor repair shop. Then, we got off and realized that there was need to be done with the tire of the truck. At the repair shop, while we were waiting, we enjoyed looking at the photos of the owner of the shop and the beautiful places within the range of Gibb River Road or around Kimberley. These photos are part of Day 8 (Bell Gorge and Windjana Gorge) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.
Name Of The Place (Post#50) : Mount Barnett Roadhouse
As photo for the day, Mount Barnett Roadhouse is featured. During the group’s 8th Day adventure, we visited Mount Barnett for the third and last time after we left Manning Gorge campsite to check the truck and of course because there is a store inside it, we sneak sometime to shop. And the most sellable to the group were ice pop, ice cream, cold drinks or any type of frozen food as the sunny day helped us to crave for it. The place was short drive from the camp we came from. These photos are part of Day 8 (Bell Gorge and Windjana Gorge) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour October 2016.
It was our 7th Day and the adventure destination was Manning Gorge. The group had breakfast but did not break the camp that morning. Scotty, our guide explained something in the group even before the walk starts. He explained in the group that there are options to choose. First option was walking to the gorge will be the same walk going back to the camp and the second option was walking to the gorge while swimming back to the camp. Since I was not really a good swimmer at all, I chose the first option and we were just few to chose the first option, the rest chose the second. Since there were two groups in the camp, the other group came from Broome joined us in the activity.
Then, we started the walk after passing Manning Creek using a small boat. At first the walk was easy but because the sun was up, we felt the warm in our bodies. We thought that the walk was a short one but it took us more than an hour to reach the gorge. There are parts of the trail that were too rugged because of rocks and boulders stray along the trail but still pretty well-marked and visible to which most of the group or individual can follow the track.
Along the walking trail
When we were almost near in Manning Gorge we had a bit of trek as we descent towards the gorge. When we reached the gorge, I felt that we discovered a remote paradise from nothing in the wilderness to something amazing. Along the walking trail, I never imagined that there is a magnificent waterhole at the end of the walk. Because I was too mesmerized in the waterhole and my surroundings, I took a lot of photos that I felt that I did not want to miss anything. Someone can say, why don’t you take a video of it? To be honest, I was not really a fan of taking or recording videos, but sometimes in some of my travels I did capture videos. The reason I preferred photos than videos is because photo is like frozen time, taking photo means capturing a second or a moment.
Aboriginal Arts in Rocks in Manning Gorge
As I approached the main waterhole where the waterfalls tracks is visible, during my descent I saw some Aboriginal Arts drawn in a rock wall which significantly shows that the place has been lived by ancient people.
At first, I didn’t have a plan to swim in Manning Gorge waterhole as I can see that its depth was not for me. But our guide Scotty invited me to get into the water and the rest of the group did the same thing. They showed to me that there was a shallow area in the waterhole that I can stand. When I saw the lighter color of the waterhole, I decided to join the group with a thought that the whole group were there that can help me and assist me so I can enjoy the water too.
At Manning Gorge Waterhole
We spent hours in the gorge. But before lunch time, we decided to return to the camp. As mentioned earlier, the group divided into two. One group will return to the camp the same way reaching the gorge which was walking back to the same trail and I joined that group. The second group was group that will swim from Manning Gorge following the Manning Creek towards the camp.
We reached the camp an hour earlier from the other group that swam through Manning Creek, then altogether had lunch at the camp site. After lunch, we went to Mount Barnett Roadhouse to refill our truck since the previous day was unsuccessful as it was already closed.
At Mount Barnett Roadhouse – Looking at the information about Toad in Western Australia
We returned to the camp to spent the rest of the days. For the group to maximize the resting time in the camp, some of the group went at Manning Creek to swim and play which just beside the camp, I joined the group and had fun. And some just rested in the tent to rest and sleep.
Soaking myself in Manning Creek near the camp
We spent another night in the camp. And since there were two groups in the same camp, it was kind of fun because there were lots of people having dinner altogether, helping out together in preparing and cooking the food. Even in cleaning up the mess we made during the dinner. I kind of like of that way of mingling with people though we were strangers at all personally but it feels like we were a big one family at that time.