18/08/16 Located on the outskirts of the small town of Fitzroy Crossing, 260kms east of Derby, Fitzroy River Lodge was our stop for the next two nights. It was an oasis of shady trees and green lawns on the southern bank of the mighty Fitzroy River and a very pleasant change from the standard caravan parks up this way with motel and camping site accommodation, conference rooms, a pool, restaurant and bar facilities. We went for a look-see around town which didn’t take too long, and a couple of kilometres downstream of the current bridge, we ignored the “Road Closed” signs and crossed over the Fitzroy via the old causeway crossing, now in need of a little TLC.
15kms north of the town is Geikie Gorge. We didn’t spend too much time there as it was a very hot day and, besides, we weren’t all that impressed by the gorge. The vegetation was severely overrun with introduced weeds and climbing vines covering most trees and shrubs, greatly spoiling the natural beauty of the gorge.
Halls Creek was our next stop, 290kms east. We unhitched the van, and headed to Wolfe Creek Crater, 140kms down the unsealed Tanami Road. While the condition of the Tanami wasn’t too bad, corrugations on the final 23kms through Carranya Station to the crater were bone rattling. The crater is located in flat spinifex desert country. A short track took us up the 25m high gently sloping crater wall to the top of the rim. From there, Wolfe Creek Crater was quite something to see. At 870m wide and 50m deep, the circular meteorite crater is the second largest in the world, created when a 50,000 tonne meteorite travelling at 15kms per second crashed to earth 300,000 years ago.
On the return trip to Halls Creek, a rear tyre blew out on the stony road leaving a hole that I could fit two fingers into – a tad big to plug. So there we were, on dusk, changing a tyre by torch light on the side of an isolated outback track at Wolfe Creek. With all the proverbial ducks lined up on the roadside watching us, the only thing missing was for a local bushman named Mick Taylor to come along to offer his assistance. Fortunately, he didn’t and I ran over the ducks on the way out.
The following day, we went on to Turkey Creek, at one stage alongside the bushfire that had closed Purnululu National Park preventing us going in to the Bungle Bungles. Hopefully, it will have burnt itself out and the park reopened when we head back through in a week or so on our way south. At Turkey Creek, I arranged for three new tyres to be shipped to Kununurra from Perth to replace the blown tyre and two worn front tyres. They reckon it’ll take about a week to arrive there. (Riiight! Heard that before.) Still, more than enough time to pawn Di’s new ring to reinstate the tyre budget…
“A Ring, once Rung, can not be un-Rung!” – Di