Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Night 48 - Fitzroy Crossing and Giekie Gorge

We had rain all night while staying at the luxurious (not) campground at Halls Creek. It made for very pleasant sleeping!

I got chatting with 'old mate' who had travelled up the inland way from Albury with his wife. They had been prospecting for gold through all the old mining towns. They are using metal detectors and showed us some of the nuggets they had found...very impressive with one weighing 15 grams.

The sun is up at 6am here so we got away fairly early. Lisa was scared so we put Kai in the front seat with her filming the sights of the town from the back....the windowless hardware store, windowless bottle shop, windowless mitre 10.....they are all brick!!

So another drive through ever changing countryside. We go from featureless flat red dirt and scrub to driving through valleys with plateau hills either side. Not so much roadkill around as with the drive through western Qld and into NT.

We arrived at Fitzroy Crossing (about 300k`s) at around 1pm...great, another boarded up town except the supermarket and post office were burnt down so there are temporary ones at the football oval!! Don't have to worry about a windowless bottle shop here either.....alcohol is banned in the town!! They apparently drive 260k's each way to Derby to buy alcohol!

I went into the info centre and the lady steered me to the Fitzroy River Lodge....what an amazing oasis in the desert. A pleasant surprise in deed. It was huge with swimming pool, tennis court but most importantly green grass and big shady trees. It was more like a resort or country club.

We quickly set up and were out because 21k`s to the north into the Kimberley's, was Geikie Gorge or Darngku (it will revert back to its aboriginal name next year). We got up there for the 3pm cruise down the gorge.

The gorge looks amazing with the walls bleached white due to the flooding during the wet season. There was heaps of wildlife here again with freshwater crocs being the main predators. We saw where they climb up and down the sandy banks to tend to their nests. Plenty of birds also with Azure Kingfishers, Whistling Kites, Darters, etc all here. We saw a big kangaroo by the river as well as a colony of noisy/stinky flying foxes. The rock walls had these cool little swallow-type birds that build little mud nests on the underside of the caves and would dart out of the entrance,fly across the water, grab an insect and fly back.

Some pics in no particular order...

The boys and Ellie have their own camera and they got some great shots....Ellie can get a really great index-finger shot everytime!!

The cruise was only $60 and I can highly recommend it! The guide even showed the kids a baby croc that was probably only a year old and 30cm long in the reeds next to the pontoon we tied up to.

On the way home we saw some really red looking dingoes (not foxes) that scared out about 5 kangaroos across the road in front of us. We turned around to get a photo and they were gone.

Back to our digs for a swim in the very cold pool!!