We travelled to Fitzroy Crossing, in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, far to the north. The roads are suitable for front wheel drive and there is many an experience to be had in this lovely area.
You cannot leave without visiting Giekie Gorge – after seeing so many, I still say it is extraordinary. The chalk-like faces and colours, varied surfaces and sections are beautiful. I revisited the photos today, for the monochrome madness challenge and sighed once more.
There is an information kiosk at the landing, from where you purchase tickets for the smooth and informative boat ride and marvel at the marks left by the largest flood they have had, well above my 175cm on the walls.
The boat ride is filled with opportunities to see cormorants (now, those I HAVE seen enough of) drying their wings – in case you didn’t know, that is the most photographed pose for them and I was led to wonder if they ever put their wings down.
Apart from the birdlife, there is a variety of environment but the most stunning is the gorge walls.
An endearing feature of the Fitzroy Crossing region was the caravan park, which was home to about 100 kangaroos and wallabies that grazed freely all night long, right alongside the cows! Very different. There are also hundreds of small bird nests under the eaves of the toilet block, so small birds fly about and poke their beaks out at all hours.
Fitzroy Lodge, at the opening of the caravan park was the only place I have been to in Australia where the Aboriginal people and the non-indigenous congregated in the pub in equal percentages and talked comfortably with all and sundry. There was no underlying ill-feeling or tension and it was WONDERFUL. I don’t know how the locals do it, but it was incredibly uplifting. The riverbed, alongside, was almost empty but such a size that to dryland southerners it was unimaginable that it would fill sometime.
There are other things to do in the area that we didn’t get to, and recommended by an indigenous local. Apparently, Tunnel Creek and Mimbi Caves are surprising and an easy trek, with covered shoes. We’ll have to go back.
So, whether you arrive here after Kununurra or on your exit from Broome, make sure you give yourself time to see the beautiful sights.
Don’t forget the hat and water and travel safely!