A Travellerspoint blog

Day 80 - Tuesday 24 July 2012

Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek

We were up early this morning for our trip to Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek - a round trip of 362 kms. Last night David let the Nissan tyres down to 30 lbs in the front and 35 lbs in the back for the gravel roads - we normally travel at 40 in the front and 45 lbs in the back. We got away at about 8:45 am and called at Woolworths for some rolls for lunch. The road to Windjana Gorge took us along the Gibb River Road for about 120 kms - about 45 kms of normal sealed road, 40 Kms of single lane sealed road, and about 35 kms of fairly good gravel road. The signs at the start of the Gibb River Road assured us that all roads were open.

Gibb River Road is open

Gibb River Road is open

Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek Road is open

Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek Road is open

When we turned off the Gibb River Road we had about 20 kms to go to Windjana Gorge - the first 10 kms were terrible - badly corrugated, and the rest was still corrugated but not so bad - we were able to travel at about 70 kph without too much trouble. Windjana Gorge is a National Park with a good camping ground with toilets, showers with solar hot water and fresh water available. While there were a couple of caravans who had braved the road, it was mainly camper trailers and tents. A lot of the passing traffic towing camper trailers were going as though there was no tomorrow - many were hired 4WDs which probably explains their haste - if they break it, its not theirs. We would not take our van over such a badly corrugated road!

We walked through the Windjana Gorge which was spectacular, and saw lots of fresh-water crocodile sunning themselves on the banks. Windjana Gorge is the remains of a coral reef that was formed millions of years ago then thrust up from the seabed. It is mainly sandstone with lots of fossil remains of sea creatures. After walking throught the Gorge we came back to the Navarra and had our lunch before moving on.

Windjana Gorge cliff face

Windjana Gorge cliff face

The river through the trees

The river through the trees

Crocodile lazing in the sun

Crocodile lazing in the sun

Two crocodiles keeping their distance

Two crocodiles keeping their distance

A quiet pool in Windjana Gorge

A quiet pool in Windjana Gorge

Looking across the pool

Looking across the pool

Another view across the pool

Another view across the pool

View looking up the Gorge

View looking up the Gorge

Nice spot for a swim?

Nice spot for a swim?

Another view up the Gorge

Another view up the Gorge

View across Windjana Gorge

View across Windjana Gorge

Not many birds around

Not many birds around

Across the Gorge

Across the Gorge

Di at Windjana

Di at Windjana

After having our lunch we drove on to Tunnel Creek - a further 35 kms of corrugated gravel road - mostly in rough condition. Tunnel Creek is also a National Park but has no camping facilities. Tunnel Creek is a cave system that has a fresh water creek flowing through it. We went into the entrance of the cave but did not walk though it as we did not have any good torches - it was pitch black inside the cave. The colours of the rocks were very interesting - an almost rose coloured quartz. At this time of year the creek is knee deep in places but very dark.

Approach to Tunnel Creek cave

Approach to Tunnel Creek cave

Rocks at the entrance

Rocks at the entrance

Tunnel Creek entrance cave

Tunnel Creek entrance cave

Looking into the Tunnel

Looking into the Tunnel

Too dark without good torches

Too dark without good torches

We returned to Derby the way we had come as the alternative of going on through Leopold Downs to the Great Northern Highway would have been slightly less gravel road, but about 100 kms more overall.

Back at Derby we picked up a paper and some more milk at Woolworths to keep us going for a few days, and filled up with diesel to take us on to Fitzroy Crossing tomorrow. Back at the caravan park David pumped up the tyres again to our travelling pressures and also pumped up the air bags to 45 lbs. The Fitzroy Crossing Caravan Park does not take bookings so we will be up early tomorrow so we get there before lunch to get a powered site for a couple of days. We plan to do the Geikie Gorge Cruise while we are there.

Posted by TwoAces 01:37

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