Kimberley exploring (June 2015) – Part II

In our second week we headed to Emma Gorge and the Cockburn ranges. Despite being only a couple of hundred kilometres apart the landscapes were quite different.


We got an exciting preview of our week to come as we got a helicopter to drop us off at the other end of the range.

IMG_9499 IMG_9501

We got very excited by the Boab trees.


And had a most delightful morning tea stop swimming at this waterhole.


But soon we were into the narrow gorges…


and more packfloats!


Our campsite on the first night was the worst of the trip. I don’t have any photos of the crocodile eyes gleaming out at us, the numerous cane toads hopping around us or the 2.5m python which decided Caro’s bed was pretty comfy. On the positive side there was this amazing bower (made by a bower bird to woo his lady).


Relaxing in the close quarters of camp.


First thing next morning we had a pack float (one of the reasons we’d stopped where we were the night before).

IMG_9513 IMG_9514

There was a lot of water weed in the waterways in the Cockburns.


Morning tea views.

IMG_9520 IMG_9523 IMG_9526 IMG_9532

Camp night 2 was far more spacious – and also featured a bower (on right behind the tree). This one had little skulls in it (amongst other bones), as the bower birds in the north of Australia collect white objects rather than blue.


We explored the amazing ‘bat cave’. This photo can not portray the sulphuric smell which encompassed us as we swam through guano-filled waters with our mouths firmly shut!


Amazing slot canyon.


Emerging from the sulphuric corridor.

IMG_9545 IMG_9547

We had hoped to explore a little further afield but found some of the tributaries dry.



So we continued up the main gorge where there was plenty of running water.





Another amazing slot near our third campsite.

IMG_9557 IMG_9564

The best campsite of the week.

IMG_9567 IMG_9569

Dryfall – this creek system would have been amazing had there been flowing water.

IMG_9572 IMG_9573

Many of the tops had been recently burnt which made for pleasant walking.


We saw a lot of snakes in the creeks – we think they were mainly tree snakes.


We tried to descend the ‘bat cave’ canyon from the top (as we’d got to a drop we couldn’t get up when ascending it). Unfortunately we were confronted with a 12m overhanging drop and we only had a 6mm handline.


So had to be happy with a lunchtime swim instead.

IMG_9585 IMG_9588

The top of the dryfall we’d visited earlier.

IMG_9590 IMG_9592 IMG_9596 IMG_9597

Tom all tuckered out.

IMG_9600 IMG_9604 IMG_9609IMG_0005 IMG_0009

Not many campsites come with existing washing lines (& carabiners)!


Beautiful spot for our last campsite of the trip.

IMG_0011 IMG_0016 IMG_0019 IMG_0020 IMG_0023 IMG_0025

Emma Gorge with the hoardes (out of shot).