While in Fitzroy we went for a boat trip in the Geike Gorge. Apparently Geike was the boss of the geologist who discovered the gorge. There are some rumours that the name may change to an indigenous name more appropriate.
It pays to get up early and get the first boat ride of the day while the water is still glassed over.
These rocks are part of the Devonian Reef – the same barrier reef that Tunnel Creek goes through.
The river is the same Fitzroy river that I have recently posted images of.
This was taken a few km downstream of where the Jabiru photos were taken. I climbed down the banks and out into the river. This is not the full width of the river bed – the sand on the left is a small island in the river bed – the actual river bed is about 3 times this wide. In full flood it must be awesome. Again this is about the best Kimberley sunrise I could manage at this time of the year – not a cloud to be seen.
This was probably the closest to a sunset we had while in the Kimberley – there were no clouds. While taking this shot I noticed the pair of Jabiru’s (just right of centre). So I changed lenses and took the shot that resulted in the previous post. If you look at the extreme right and left of this image you can see the steep drop down the banks of the river. This is why the gate to this area is shut at night – patrons of the Crossing Inn would get into trouble in the dark if they could wander around here.
It must be an incredible sight to see this river in full flood!
From the Gibb River Station we returned along the Gibb River Road to Mt Barnett (overnight) and then down the road past Imintji, and to the turn off to Windjana Gorge. We travelled down this road towards Fitzroy Crossing. The road travells along and through the Devonian Reef – a range of hills that are actually part of an ancient Barrier reef. The land has been uplifted and now the reef is an interesting formation hundreds of kilometres long. One formation that is especially interesting is Tunnel Creek – a stream flows through a tunnel through the hills – you can walk through it. Just outside is a large slab of rock that has many fossils showing – mostly small stingrays. They are around 300 million years old.
The tunnel itself is dark and at various places you need to wade through water knee deep. There are many tours going through and the tours give all participants a LED torch. This image shows the lights of a tour group returning. This was a 30 second exposure and in the full size version you can just make out the images of the people – I assume they stopped to listen to the guide briefly and left a faint impression.
This was as far along the Gibb River Road we went and is about halfway between Derby and Wyndham. The pastoral lease is owned by the Ngallagunda Community. We called in here and met the locals – they told interesting stories. These are images of the original homestead which date back to the 1920’s. Although it is not heritage listed I understand there is interest in the community in restoring these buildings, both to attract tourists, and because many of them had a long association with the homestead (having either lived or worked in the homestead). I hope they succeed because these buildings are associated with the very early days of pastoralism in the Kimberleys. These buildings show just how hard life must have been here then. The original owners (Fred Russ and his wife) lived here until the 1960’s when they built their dream house nearby. Unfortunately their health deteriorated and they had to move to town (perhaps Kununurra) two years later. White ants have got into this new house and it is now unsafe to enter.
The homestead consisted of a number of buildings including a radio room, a meat store and a kitchen.
How would this be in your backyard? After a long hot walk to get to the waterfalls at Manning Gorge, a long cool swim is very welcome. Fortunately no crocodiles are here.
This pool is just below the waterfalL (you can see the waterfall on the far right). It must be impressive to see this river at the end of the wet season. It was a long hot walk to get to this point and we enjoyed a swim under the waterfall just after this photo was taken.