Sunday, 26 August 2012

Fitzroy Crossing - 20/08/12 to 22/08/12

Next stop was Fitzroy Crossing, which is 400 km down the road. The main attraction here was to visit Tunnel Creek which, as the name suggests, is an underground creek. Many people have been talking about it as we travel through this region and it has been described as one of the 'must do's" of the Kimberleys. After setting up camp we headed into town to the tourist info centre. It is here that we got the news that the road to Tunnel Creek was closed for the next few days as they build a bridge. With our booking already being in place for Broome we are unable to change things and, therefore, have to miss out seeing Tunnel Creek.

The first afternoon we looked at a few things around town. One of the first places we visited was the Crossing Inn which is one of the oldest hotels in WA. We were told at the tourist info site that we could go out there for a nice cold drink. When we got there there were no cars in the car park and not much sign of life. Some staff who were working in the gardens out front told us we could go through out the back for a drink. When we finally found the bar we discovered that it was full of the local brothers, all enjoying a pretty heavy session. We looked a little out of place, especially with the boys in tow, so we didn't stop. We also checked out the old river crossing which would only now be any good right at the bottom of the dry season. You can see that if any rain comes the crossing would quickly go underwater.

Speaking of going underwater, it was noted that all the buildings in our caravan park were either on built up ground or up on stilts. In the wet season the caravan park would close and the camp grounds disappear under the flooded Fitzroy River. There were some pictures around that showed how much water comes through the area at the height of the wet season; and it is quite substantial.We stood on the bridge over the main highway which is around 30 metres above the water level now. We were told that in the 2011 floods the water was right up to the road level. The park was fairly big with a motel, pool, tennis court, restaurant and bar all attached. We had a couple of cold drinks in the bar that afternoon.

Next day we headed out early to Geike Gorge to do the 8.00am tour of the gorge. We wanted to be on the early tour as the boat had no cover and it is very hot out here (probably around mid 30's today). The early morning tour was most popular and we had over 60 people on the boat. The gorge was very picturesque with 100 metre cliffs on each side at some points. The gorge is over 350 million years old and was at one time an underwater reef. Once again we saw fresh water crocs everywhere. After the cruise we went on a walk that took us along the gorge wall. Really getting hot now and we were glad to make it back to the carpark. There we sat under a shady tree for a while before heading back to the caravan park.

The rest of that day we spent around the van - boys mucked around on scooters and skateboards and made some friends to play with. They did, however, get up to some mischief as later they told us that they got in trouble for holding onto the back of caravan that were moving around the park while on their skateboards. Later in the day back to the bar again for some drinks and ended up staying for the barra and chip dinner.

In summary, Fitzroy Crossing is a small town, very hot, basic facilities (including only one pub) and many aboriginals.

Barra and chips in styrofoam containers - regardless of whether your eating in or taking away. Very classy.

The wide open areas of the Kimberley region

Apparently not as good as the barra and chips

Cruise on Gieke Gorge

Crocs. Not that exciting anymore. They are as common as flies in  Alice Springs.

Rock formation known as Nixon's Head.

Tourist shelter at the gorge

Flood level markers. These are looking up at the roof of the tourist shelter. It's probably 3- 4 metres up to these markers

Off on a nice warm walk

Fitzroy Crossing bridge that spans the highway. This is the one the water was lapping over in the 2011 wet season

1 comment:

  1. Love the facial expressions with your classy fish & chip meal.