Gibb River Road 3 – Silent Grove & Bell Gorge

8th – 10th July, 2015

The 21km drive back to the Gibb River Road from Windjana Gorge was no better than the drive in. Still quite corrugated and rough but once on the GRR again, it was a smooth run.

We stopped to photograph this rock formation in the Napier Ranges appropriately called Queen Victoria’s Head, due to the uncanny resemblance to Queen Victoria’s profile.

After quite a hilly section of road we pulled over for a break and took a few random photos.

There were quite a few outlooks where the view would have been wonderful but they were either on the wrong side of the road on a bend or, in the case of Inglis Gap, full of other vehicles. We decided not to chance trying to get the van into Lennard Gorge but hoped to do a day trip from Silent Grove with just the car.

We took another break at a parking spot off the road.

We made good time to Silent Grove Campground in the King Leopold Conservation Park, despite the 29kms of very rough corrugated road from the GRR, and paid our fees for 3 night’s camping. As we had camped at Windjana Gorge and paid the entry fee there, we did not have to pay an additional entry fee here.

Based on our experience at Windjana Gorge, where the ‘quiet’ area was packed with campers while the Generator area was almost empty, we chose the Generator area this time. It was still very busy though.

The spring that supplies water to the Silent Grove campground provides a nice shady walk along its flow and more photo opportunities.

Overnight there was significant rainfall so we decided to postpone our trip to Bell Gorge as the rocks would have been extremely slippery. Instead we thought we would head back to some of the photo opportunities we had missed around Lennard River Gorge. We got just a couple of kilometres back towards the GRR where the road became very slippery so we headed back to camp.

By Friday, we felt Bell Gorge should have dried out enough that we would feel safe crawling around on the rocks so we set off early for the 10km drive to the Gorge car park. Even though it is winter here in the Kimberley, daytime temperatures sit around 30 degrees celsius making early starts a must for any strenuous exercise. The walk in meant negotiating this rocky path – the photo was taken on the way back to the car i.e. uphill.

The walk took approximately 30 minutes and was not too difficult. The views in the Gorge were magnificent.

People rock hopping to get to the path down to the second pool. We opted to enjoy the view down to the second pool instead.

However, we had come prepared for a swim. This is the top pool above the waterfall.

This fellow was sunning himself beside the pool.

And this fellow appeared after we got out of the water.

We have been amazed by the birdlife we have seen everywhere. These photos were taken around our camp.

Peaceful Doves

Double-barred Finches

Female Crimson Finch

Great Bowerbird

In flight

This looks like a Finch but I have been unable to identify it. Perhaps an immature Gouldian Finch?

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