Friday, August 29, 2008

Kimberley Trip Photos

Finally I got time to upload these pictures from our quick trip to the Kimberley's in Western Australia.It takes two days to drive to where we went and back.Again there were a zillion Kangaroos on the road at and after dusk so driving at night is a NO NO.As we only had 7 days leave we really only had three days to sight see.We took Tim with us as leaving him with his cranky teenage older sisters was not an option LOL.It is truly beautiful over there and we saw just a glimpse of what there is too see.We hope to go back next year for three weeks,head straight to Broome and then drive slowly back home stopping at lots of places on the way back.Our first stop was Kununurra.We got there just in time to climb up Kelly's nob for the sunset.We climbed beyond where all the tourists where to an old steep walk to the left of car park and up the far side.The huffing a puffing was worth it. First view is from there looking down over Kununurra

and behind looking over Hidden Valley.Even here you can see the mountain range is eroding similar to the Bungle Bungle's and people call it a Mini Bungle Bungle range

Minutes later there was another gorgeous sunset

The next day we drove down to the Bungle Bungle ranges.They are in Purnululu National Park and are World Heritage listed.The area has only been known about by the general public since the 1980's when a documentary was done here.Most people just fly over this amazing range from Warmun(Turkey Creek) for views of huge eroded sandstone domes.The domes have gorgeous bands of black and deep ochres.I first did that in August 2000 and was blown away then by the visual sites here but this time we drove into the campgrounds at the base of a small section of the range.You have to take all your own water,cooking gear,tents and food as there is limited facilities here.Drop toilets are the norm and no showers at all.
There are only two small areas open to the Public at the moment.The road in is very rough and 4wheel drive only...takes about 2 hrs to drive 53km's so you can see why.You have to sign in at the Rangers station and pay camp or day trip fees.These are the first domes that we saw up close on the road to the camp area.

After setting up our tent at the camp grounds to the left of the Rangers station we had just enough time to go for a few walks.The trademark stone domes are not greatly evident in this part but there are some pretty Gorges to explore.First we went on the Mini Palms Gorge Walk.As you pass the entrance the high sandstone walls part to reveal a rocky palm dotted pathway.Here is Grant and Tim in a cool leafy section of the walk.Judging by how steep the walls are the water MUST rage thru here in the Wet season(we do not have the regular four seasons here...just two...the WET where is rains alot and the DRY where it doesn't LOL).

looking back toward the entrance over the palms

At the end you climb over huge boulders(that have thankfully had steps and a viewing point built on them)to see a lovely mini palm lined chasm below.

The afternoon light was fast fading but we still had time to go on Echidna Chasm Walk.On this one you felt you were being engulfed by the steep sides of the walk.It goes for ages thru numerous tight walled areas that spill into open areas.Toward the end it opens into a large circular area.Tim had a hoot here making his voice bounce of the walls and it was so cool and peaceful.This next photo is taken from there looking toward the next tight walled section to walk thru just before the end.

Night quickly fell and after a restless sleep in the noisy packed camp grounds we headed off to other walking tracks and Gorges to the right of the Rangers station.As you drive there the domes start to appear more and more.We were all transfixed by these stone structures and there coloured bands and kept stopping and taking photos of them.On one stop I walked away from the road to get better pictures and discovered Wild flowers and emu tracks in the red sand.

In the distance you can see the dome range that we are driving toward.

Getting closer the white bull dust road we are on goes over a rise and gives you a wonderful view of the domes

Once you are in the car park there are three walks here to do.The first we went on was The Domes Walk which also branches off to Cathedral Gorge.The Domes walk gets you up close to these unique looking rock formations

and closer


AAAhhh what a perfect backdrop for a photo of Grant and Tim

We did go to Cathedral Gorge which I think was the best Gorge walk there but my photos there were crap as it is so large they do not do it justice at all.Grant had this one though.It shows about a quarter of the HUGE circular area that has been eroded by water.You can see where the water comes in the roof at the top in the Wet season.In the centre you can see part of the stagnant still pond that has remained well into the Dry season.That is Tim and Me beside the pond.

The last walk we did was to Piccaninny Creek lookout.There is a Piccaninny Creek Gorge walk here too but it takes a day to walk there,sleep in the tent overnight and a day to walk back so we did not do that one...this time *grin*. Below is a section of the creek walk domes and a cone.

Looking up the domes as you pass them

View from the Piccaninny Creek lookout
That afternoon we drove to Hall's Creek and stayed in a hotel.Man that shower there was sssooo good after being coated in sweat and dust for two days LOL. As our time was limited we decided to not drive on to Broome but did a day trip down to Fitzroy Crossing and back.Grant had seen a documentary on Tunnel Creek in the 60's and had always wanted to go there to see it for himself so off we went.It's on a good dirt road not far from Fitzroy Crossing and is a creek that has tunnelled it's way thru a mountain that you can walk thru.In the car park you are met with the step sandstone mountain walls.

As you approach the creek tunnel mouth there is Aboriginal rock art to be seen.

View in at the entrance.This creek must have been tunnelling under the mountain for thousands of years.You easily walk upright and it's really quite wide and is about 750meters long inside.Make sure you have a torch(No artifical light at all but there are sections where the sun comes in)and good shoes that you don't mind getting wet.That's Tim in there with the head torch on.
Some sections of the roof have broken off to let sunlight stream thru and you can see stalactites and stalagmites everywhere.In the dark unlit areas they are very hard to photograph as you can't see well to focus.The roof and walls have heaps of small bats on them.Even fruit bats come inside from the hot mid-day sun which is really unusual to see.They are just outside hanging on the trees and intermitantly one flies down and up to the cool roof.

some of the formations inside

Fresh water crocodiles live in the tunnel and we spied this one against a back wall.We got up quite close to him and I don't think he was too happy about that either.

The creek exists here to a still pond and there is Grant the conductor. LOL

some more rock art at the exit where you can see the bottom half has been washed away from the water running thru in the Wet Season.

On the way back we saw some iconic Boab tree.These trees have bottle shaped trunks and many are ancient as they are really slow growing.Here is a typical one.

and a huge old one with Tim in the middle and Grant bottom left.

Our last night we stayed at Hall's Creek again and then headed back home.On a section we took a rest at,there was a huge dried up creek bed that Tim and Grant went exploring in for rocks.I just loved the patterns of this dried up mud there.

Another funny thing for me was the length of the Aboriginal community names that we drove past signs for.Here is one of the many that easily tongue tied me.

I'm not sure what it is with me and holidays but again on the last days drive home we had an interesting thing going on above us with this ring appearing around the early morning sun!!!WAHOO and thanks to Paulo the great rehab Dr from Brazil, who let me know that it is a 22 degree circular halo caused by ice crystals in the skies...and YES they occur even in hot areas like here.You can read about them at this site.Thanks Paulo :o).It was an amazing sight to see.


Rosie said...

OMG! What wonderful photos of your walking trip Annette. I'm in awe od the Boab Trees - amazing! And that dried mud would make a fab background texture. What amazing places you visited! Thanks for sharing.

Sarah said...

I just finished reading the book Outback and had mental pictures of the terrain of Australia. With these fantastic pictures I now have an even better idea of how things really look. Thanks for sharing.

Zeborah Loray said...

Wow. Wow. Wow.
I think you've left me speachless.

Thank you so much for sharing this.

Cory said...

These photos are so amazing...thank you for sharing.


christina d said...

All I can say is WOW!!! The area is so pretty and great pictures too.

texasbarb said...

You have a wonderful eye!!! The photos really give me a feel of where you live. And...I LOVE your voice!!! Keep making videos and keep talking!!!

Barb A from Texas, USA

Paulo said...

your pix are amazingly beautiful. Congratulations and thank you very much for sharing.
If you'd like to know something about the circle around the sun, please take a look at:


OMG Thanks folks:o)..wahoo to you too Dr Paulo for letting me know what the sun rings are as well...I've adjusted the post accordingly.OH and added one of Cathedral gorge

Paulo said...

you're welcome.
Since it's my pleasure to peruse your awesome blog...
then I am the person who must thank you for been such amazing creative person. I always learn a lot from your tutorials and them.
Best wishes,

Debbi Baker said...

Brilliant Annette - Tourism WA should employ you!! Great photos - one of my favourite Aboriginal community names down here in the WA Goldfields (now renamed but this is what is was called in the 80s)- Wangkatja Tjiwataarnmartatji!

Debs said...

Hi Annette, what stunning pictures. I have always wanted to go the the Top End and now I want to go even more.

I'm planning a trip on The Ghan from Adelaide to Alice Springs and Darwin, now I just have to save up for it and stop buying stamping products!! :)

Debs xx


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