Manning Gorge – A Picturesque Gorge In Gibb River Road

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.

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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.

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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.

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Manning Gorge

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Until then.

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Arts and Craft : Aboriginal Arts at Judbarra

Arts and Craft (Post#18) : Aboriginal Arts at Judbarra

Trekking Nawilbinbin Walk towards the ridges made the trek not only worthy as physical adventure activities within Judbarra (Gregory) National Park but also worthy as discovery adventure of aboriginal rich cultures for Australian history. An extensive amount of rock arts, variously created by painting, stencilling, drawing, printing, and “pecking and pounding”. These photos are part of Day 2 (Judbarra/Lake Argyle) of 9 Days Darwin to Broome Overland Adventure Tour Oct 2016.

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Trekking Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)

At camping area in the nearby village Yulara not far from Uluru / Ayers Rock where we chose to sleep for the first night of our camping tour, we helped our tour guide in dinner preparation. To be honest, I was not really good in kitchen and food stuff but still I tried my best to be useful, like helping the group in washing the dishes. After dinner, our tour guide announced that our wake-up call was 6am the next morning.

I washed-up myself before I get in the swag. When I was inside the swag, I got a chance to enjoy the sky at night and tried to listen to my surroundings. While I was in that moment, I was also checking my other group mates and found some were snoozing, some still talking and some were just quiet like me.

Overnight in an open space and sleeping in swag was one of the first unique experience I had in the Outback. Yes, as mountaineers, I usually sleep in sleeping bag inside the tent but it was first in swag which quite different. Swag is like a self contain sleeping bag, I never felt cold over night which was really surprising but good as well. Before I totally passed out for day, I was with a thought of happiness and satisfaction with my first day with Uluru / Ayers Rock specifically the base walk experience. That night, I felt excited again and I was looking forward for the next adventure.

Second day at the outback, I woke-up early in the morning. I organised my swag, I tried to roll it to be like it was before I used it, but it’s kind of difficult to roll, so I just fixed it as much I can.  I joined my group in preparing our breakfast. Since I had shower the night before, I was ready for the day’s event. It was still dark when we left the camping area, I felt like it was still early in the morning. As we were catching the sunrise we drove back again to Lasseter Highway from Yulara and visited a lookout area called Kata Tjuta Viewing Area (or Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing). We waited a little, in few minutes we witnessed the sunrise while watching  Kata Tjuta from a far. While observing The Olgas , from a distance at our right side while facing The Olgas, Uluru / Ayers Rock was also visible, the sun was actually behind it. It was a spectacular moment for me. We watched how great sceneries that Kata Tjuta shows because it is a rock dome ranges, it was called t that moment with the sun rising, I felt really alive, I felt really good. It was a moment that I was content and loved my life. It was one of the effect of the Outback to me. Sometimes I can’t explain why, because to other people maybe it’s just a places of rocks with probably no meaning to them, but for me it was a world of amazing things and serenity.

— Uluru / Ayers Rock at dawn and early in the morning from Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing Area

Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) from Kata Tjuta Dune Viewing Area

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— On our way to Kata Tjuta

After, the sunrise, we went back to the bus and we drove towards The Olgas. We returned to Lassetter Highway and I knew that time, that the second day was the day to get up close and personal with Kata Tjuta. We arrived at the parking area where the “Valley of the Winds” trekking trail starts.

— Up close and personal with Kata Tjuta / The Olgas

— The trekking trail

— The first glimpse of Valley of the Winds from Karu Lookout

We jumped-off the bus and started our walk towards the base of The Olgas. At firs,t I thought that The Olgas are small hills until we were really close to it and realized how huge the rock formations and was like Uluru / Ayers Rock. Kata Tjuta is a unique kind of natural rock formation. I was reckoning, in such desert plain like Red Centre, that there such kind of rock formations like Uluru  / Ayers Rock and The Olgas existed. I was amazed how these were created and become what they are today. If we are living in a magical world like from a fantasy story, we can think of that someone may put Uluru and Kata Tjuta in the middle of desert plain and the most surprising, they are located in the almost center of Australia. I was still contemplating how these kind of rock formations evolved in the middle of the desert until I thought that it was some amazing geological miracle. The first part of the trail was Karu Lookout where we first witness the “Valley of the Winds”.

— The trekking trail

— The Olgas

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— Featuring the highest dome called Mount Olga

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We followed the trail inside The Olgas. I enjoyed the trek around the area. We passed a small water streams that looks like a natural canal or a petite river. Trekking in a natural environment such as The Olgas are one of the activities that I really enjoyed. Then, along the trail we saw the water falls which seems the source of the water stream that we just passed by. The same trail where the water fall is, we have to combine walking and hiking in an inclined part of one of the huge rock formation and there’s nothing to hold on. Honestly, that kind of trail made me felt really unsure to myself. I tried my best and we successfully passed the part of the trail until we reach the top area where the water falls came from.

— Trekking Trail

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— Getting inside The Olgas

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— The poop (captured this photo while our tour guide is telling something about the poop)

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— The water falls we passed by along the trail

— The top most area where the water falls came from

— Trekking trail

— Between The Olgas

We arrived at the top most area that we can reach in the trail and walk towards Karingana Lookout. There, I saw the “Valley of the Winds” again. At Karingana Lookout, “Valley of the Winds” was an amazing and a picturesque view. At the time of trekking, I was quite tired after taking steps upward to the area, though tired a bit, I felt it was worth to climb. At the lookout, I realized how lucky I was to witness such sceneries and such views  that cannot be appreciated down below.

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— Trail to Karingana Lookout for “Valley of the Winds” view

— Between The Olgas

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Valley of the Winds at Karingana Lookout

— Couple of shots on the way back to the parking area.

— Kata Tjuta / The Olgas

After spending sometime and after enjoying photo snapshots at Karingana lookout for the “Valley of the Winds”, we started to go back. We used the same trail going up to descend The Olgas. We passed the same water falls and slippery trail. After returning to the parking area, I thought that the adventure in The Olgas was finished until we drove back to Lasseter Highway and stopped at The Olgas Viewing Area.

Before we completely ended our adventure that day, after finishing Kata Tjuta trek, we returned to Uluru Sunset Viewing area because our tour guide considered that we experienced rain during the first camping day tour, it was good to go back for such wonderful day. And we spent few minutes to take photos and snapshots until we leave the premise.

— Kata Tjuta

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— Uluru / Ayers Rock (during our second day)

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Mount Conner

On our way to Kings Creek station, which was the designated place for our upgraded accommodation arrangement. Upgraded because from swag, we were about to sleep in Tent with two beds, which means one thing, a more comfortable bed are waiting for our group. Passing Lasseter Highway, we stopped at Mount Conner lookout area, where we saw how magnificent Mount Conner. I was amazed because the rock formation that Mount Conner has which stands around the area of Red Centre is another piece of huge rock formation in the middle of the desert and its  distinguished shape still notable compared to Uluru and Kata Tjuta.

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— Our Tour Guide

— Lasseter Highway

After enjoying Mount Conner from a distance, we crossed Lasseter Highway to enjoy the nearby desert with perfect sand dunes, we walked around the area and played the sands, we saw the lake as well and discovered a unique species in the outback desert called Ngiyari or Thorny Devil.

— Lake

— Desert sand dunes

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— Ngiyari (Thorny Devil)

The rest of the afternoon spent in the road while we were on our way to Kings Creek station for our third and last day adventure in Kings Canyon. It was another worth experience I had in the outback of Australia. And though I was quite sad that the adventure will be over soon, I was still excited for the next adventure.

Until then.

Precious Moment In The Mountain : Kata Tjuta (Mount Olga)

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Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#22) : Kata Tjuta (Mount Olga)

Kata Tjuta is a group of large dome rock formations which located near In Uluru and Alice Springs. It was mentioned that there are 36 domes. This site like Ayers Rock is a sacred to Aboriginal people in Australia. The photo above is one of the valley in between dome rock formation we saw after we did a short trek on one of top area inside Kata Tjuta. As per Wikipedia, Mount Olga is the highest point and name came from Queen Olga of Wurttemberg (grand-daughter of Russia, wife of King  Charles I). Photo above captured last March 2013.

Natural Wonders : Kings Canyon – Lost City

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Natural Wonders (Post#2) : Kings Canyon – Lost City

Outback experience was one of the unforgettable experiences that I had while in Australia, because while lost in the desert, it’s totally new world out there to discover and learned something. The photo above is the one they used to call “Lost City” within Kings Canyon (Northern Territory). This canyon is still part of Wattarka National Park in Red Centre area of Australia. Photo snapshot last April 2013 after climbing the canyon and the view was really wonderful.

Natural Wonders : Uluru (Ayers Rock)

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Natural Wonders (Post#1) : Uluru (Ayers Rock)

When I arrived in Australia, one of the place that I dreamed to see was Uluru or Ayers Rock. For me, it represent Australia’s Outback. One of the amazingly great to know that Uluru is in the middle of the continent country in southern hemisphere which they commonly calling as Red Center. Ayers Rock is treated as sacred place of aboriginal people (first people live in Australia) and it was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Photo captured during Outback Adventure held last March 2013.