5th – 7th August, 2015.
We travelled to Cobbold Gorge via Georgetown where we refuelled, stocked up on fresh vegetables and visited the Information Centre where we were advised to phone and book our site and tour as the Gorge is very busy. We also managed to come across our first wine casks since leaving South Australia. While some of you might turn up your nose at wine casks, they are the way to go when travelling, being lighter and easier to dispose of than bottles.
The road south to Forsayth was bitumen for about the first 20 kms and then changed to a good gravel road. Our tyres were still at blacktop pressures but once we reached the gravel, we lowered our pressures for the rest of the drive to Forsayth and then the 45 kms to the Gorge. We had been warned that the road to the Gorge was very rough but the Information Centre in Georgetown had confirmed that grading of the road had just been completed and it was a good drive, though fairly slow because of all the steep floodways, necessitating slow approaches.
We had booked an unpowered site at the camp ground and were fortunate to find a spot getting full sun all day for our solar panels to keep our batteries charged.
Our gorge tour was booked for the following day so we used our spare time to photograph some of the local birds.
In Kununurra, a group of Blue-winged Kookaburras visited a mahogany tree where we were camped but they only came in the evening when it was dark and hid among the foliage so we were unable to get any photos. Finally Erich managed to capture a couple of photos at Cobbold Gorge.
Red-tailed Black Cockatoo
We decided to treat ourselves to dinner on the deck beside the infinity pool. Quite simple food but top quality and well cooked.
6th August, 2015. The Gorge Tour
We booked the morning tour to avoid being out in the heat of the afternoon. Our guides, Steve and Pedro, gave us a talk about the history of the family owned property where the Gorge is located and the geology of the area then we boarded our 4WD bus for the trip to the Gorge.
This huge shed is not just a shady place to park the bus while we do the tour. During the wet season, the whole infrastructure constructed to allow easy entry to and across the Gorge etc. has to be dismantled and transported by flying fox to higher ground for storage in the shed until the end of the wet season. Otherwise, the power of the water rushing down the Gorge would wash away the structures.
All of this including the metal walkways down to this point are stored away during the wet season. To the right of the pontoon are the three purpose built boats that would transport us through the Gorge.
Looking towards the entry to the Gorge.
The creek below the pontoon.
The first part of the tour comprises a bush walk to the plateau above the Gorge together with a lot of information about bush tucker, medicinal qualities of various trees and shrubs etc. and Aboriginal lore. We found this very interesting.
Hiking sticks were provided for anyone who wanted them.
Looking down into the Gorge from above. We weren’t allowed to get too close to the edge.
There was evidence that this had at some time been a gathering place for Aborigines with some hand prints on the wall.
Smooth indentations in this large rock show that it was used as some kind of grinding stone.
We visited a lonely grave along what had once been a well travelled road.
Into the Gorge.
Purpose built boats just wide enough to get through the narrowest part of the Gorge.
There were times when we were warned to keep our fingers inside the boat or they would be squashed as we brushed past the narrow opening.
There are a few freshwater crocs in the Gorge.
Ferns clinging to the rocks.
Pretty spider web.
Moss thriving in the Gorge.