More travels

The Kimberley Beckons

Contents

Distance covered: 589 kmDistance covered: 589 km

The morning next to the Glendale Lake is just as lovely as the evening before. So it's time for me to leave the Kimberley now, huh? Well, all good things have to come to an end, I guess.

So peaceful.So peaceful.

At 9 I arrive to Fitzroy Crossing: a small town next to the highway. As you could guess from the name, it's right next to the River Fitzroy, which swells many times over in wet season, and which is a lot tamer during the Dry — which is what we have right now. The river, actually, is the reason why I'm stopping here, and here's why.

The river is quite shallow at this time of year.The river is quite shallow at this time of year.

There's a lot of limestone deposits in the area, and it took many millions of years for them to slowly buck upwards and form the King Leopold Ranges. The mighty Fitzroy, however, stayed largely where it was, and kept slowly carving its way through the rock until it formed the famous Geikie Gorge. Whether it's pronounced “jee-kee” or “geek-ee”, no one can tell for sure; maybe it's one of the reasons they decided to revert back to its Aboriginal name of Danggu, which by the time of this story hasn't taken hold quite yet.

But I digress. Several times a day they do hour-long boat tours down the gorge and back, which is why I'm here right now. I've actually been here two years ago, but back then I didn't really have much time to see this place from water. So here we go!

The boat can take up to 50 people, but right now, due to the early time of day, it's only half full. Which is great, of course: plenty of room to walk around the boat when it approaches one picturesque cliff after another. The guide is very friendly and informative; and the freshwater crocodiles, leisurely floating in the calm green waters, look just as chilled. As I said before, the Fitzroy carries a lot more water during the Wet, and you can see it on the cliffs: they're much whiter below the high water mark, which is probably 5 metres higher than us right now. Very impressive. This place must be quite an intimidating sight come the deluge!

The Geikie Gorge.The Geikie Gorge.

The white part is underwater during the Wet.The white part is underwater during the Wet.

Eroded by water, limestone is carved into some interesting shapes.Eroded by water, limestone is carved into some interesting shapes.

More of them!More of them!

Trees and other vegetation have to make do with what they have.Trees and other vegetation have to make do with what they have.

Sometimes the walls fold and buckle quite spectacularly.Sometimes the walls fold and buckle quite spectacularly.

Some banks are shallow, and from these Some banks are shallow, and from these "steps" you can see how the water level was changing during the last weeks.

A few chill crocs (can you see one?) keep us company.A few chill crocs (can you see one?) keep us company.

A beautiful rock in the middle of the river on our way back.A beautiful rock in the middle of the river on our way back.

The tour is a lovely change from all the driving; but an hour later, alas, it's time to go back to the steering wheel. Next stop is Halls Creek, which I visited a couple of weeks ago. Plenty of places seen since then, and many more kilometres covered! Time for a shower and a refuel, and then — back onto the Tanami Road. Time to leave the beautiful Kimberley behind, and time to go home.

A lookout spot on my way back to Halls Creek.A lookout spot on my way back to Halls Creek.

And so we meet again, Tanami!And so we meet again, Tanami!

Last glance at the Kimberley's ancient hills.Last glance at the Kimberley's ancient hills.

By 5 o'clock I stop at the same camping area in Wolfe Creek I visited last time; this time, however, it is significantly more populated. So much so, in fact, that I can't even find a designated area for myself and have to make do with a roadside spot. Which is fine, because no one drives around after dark anyway. And the sunset and moonrise are just as quiet and lovely as they were a couple of weeks ago.

A heart-shaped sunset.A heart-shaped sunset.

Like my photos? Follow me on Facebook or Instagram!

Want to keep up with the latest updates?

Contents