The Kimberley WA - Drysdale Station to Mitchell Falls

Sunday, Jun 25, 2006 at 00:00


Sunday 25th June,
Mitchell Plateau.

We were away at 9:00 a.m. sharp. The road north towards Kalumbaru was very dusty but in reasonable condition. 100 kilometres to the turn off through groves of Mitchell Plateau fan palms and many creek crossings. From turnoff it was 50 kilometres of rough ands dusty road. Plenty of traffic coming the other way. Once bleep in a forerunner with a sea-kyak passed us. A disaster waiting too happen that bloke.

The turn to Mitchell was clearly signposted and from the Kalumbaru Road, it is only 7 kilometres till the King Edward River. The track held plenty of sudden rocks and stony patches and a couple of good creek crossings until we hit the King Edward River. This narrow but fast flowing stream is bordered by pandanas and a large camping area on it’s western side. The water depth was still over the tyres meaning for an interesting crossing. It was achieved with out incident and made for a nice photo opportunity. The road to Mitchell Falls campground is some 78 km in total length and we found it in excellent condition having just been graded. You can be blessed at times and being the first vehicles on a notoriously rough track after the grader is certainly one of the best. Despite this it was still very dusty withsome patches of excellent red bulldust which caused the trailer to disappear from view in the billowing red clouds of dust. There were also several long stretches of water inundated track which while looking challenging provided little difficulty.

We stopped at the final turnoff 18 km short of the Mitchell Falls camp ground and collected fire wood before continuing in to the camping area. I had been running the Nissan on vapour for most of the morning and finally ran out fuel only 5 km from the campground causing me to empty a jerry can and then prime the fuel filter before we could head off again. At least it gave me an accurate run-out figure for the big tank.

We have sited in a nice camp spot if a little dusty. We sited at the western end near the day use area. As a result it’s only a 3 minute stroll to the Merton creek and a refreshing dip in the pool there. A great place to form up the senate as fellow travellers came down to revive and refresh. At one point there would have been 10 people in the pool swapping anecdotes and information about their times on the road. It was a scallop risotto for dinner to the chorus of howling dingo’s at sunset. From the depth of the chorus I’d say there are quite a few dingo’s here. They seemed to have every corner of the camping area covered and would howl and answer to each other across the distance. Julie made bread which John incinerated due to over zealous coal placement. We were visited by a barking owl early in the night who scavenged a dropped scallop from the ground and danced a little routine for us.
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903
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