SATURDAY 16 JUNE TIMBER CREEK TO KEEP RIVER NAT PARK 200kms
The tour group was on their way fairly early. I snuck over there and used their amenities for my morning ablutions, before they got locked up again. These were in much better order, and cleaner – as I’d thought.
We were not particularly slow getting going, but many others in the campground were away before us. Escaping the grunge.
This was not a park – or even a place – I’d recommend for travellers.
Our approximate 200kms drive west, on the Victoria Highway, was an interesting one, as the terrain became more rugged. The road crossed the East Baines River, then the multiple channels of the West Baines River. Noted the turn off to Bulloo River Station, once the home of author Sarah Henderson.
Almost to the WA border, turned north off the highway, onto an unsealed road into the Keep River National Park. This lesser known Park is, in our opinion, a real gem. Most travellers tend to be focussed on getting to – or leaving – Kununurra, with often a long drive ahead of or behind them. They sail on by the unprepossessing dirt road that leads into this Park. Some, of course, are put off by the 18kms of gravel road that leads to the first of the two campgrounds. Usually, this road is in quite good condition and – in fine weather – would hold no issues for a two wheel drive vehicle and conventional caravan – although the latter would have to be off grid capable.
Our destination was the first campground, which we consider the more immediately scenic of the two – Goorrandalng Campground. The way to this took us past Cockatoo Lagoon and the Ranger’s place. We did not stop, having not found the lagoon all that special, previously. Also passed a water point, where potable water could be obtained.
We arrived before lunchtime and, at that stage, there were only two other lots of campers in here, so we had a fair choice of sites.
The camp area was a loop road around a bollarded off central area of low rock outcrops. Places to pull in with campers or vans were spaced along beside the inner part of the road loop. Tent campers could use the central “fenced off” part. At convenient spots in this central area, were fireplaces and low table platforms. There were pit toilets down close to the entrance.
It was a very scenic and pleasant place to stay. Beyond the campground, to the west, were higher rock outcrops – very dramatic ones.
We set up at the far end of the campground, where we had a great outlook across to the rocks beyond. We had a bay where we could pull in and face the van inwards, M had an adjacent bay where she could put up her living tent on the area between the two bays. A most suitable spot for us!
Settled in. Walked up to the check in point and completed our registration envelope and put in our $6.60 a night fee – for the next three nights.
There appeared to be a number of day trippers in the campground area, presumably from Kununurra, it being a weekend. Them being parked in a number of the camp bays made it harder for the would-be campers who arrived later in the day. By dusk, most of the day trippers had gone and most camp spots were occupied. It was certainly busier than when we had been here last.
In the later afternoon, we walked the 2km circuit from the campground, through the rock formations nearby.
There are like a mini-Bungles, in the shapes and colouring of some of the formations, and geologically similar – striped sandstone.
There were spectacular, photogenic shapes.
It was a great little walk, except for there still being too many day trippers around. M was impressed.
Sunset, with an uninterrupted outlook to the west, was dramatic.
We had a campfire again! And stars at night. All was well with the world again…..