Saturday, 21 June 2014

Mt Elizabeth Station

Mt Elizabeth Station

Mt Elizabeth Station is another cattle property open to tourists for camping along the Gibb River Road. When we read about it on the internet it said it had no gorges or waterholes, but was worth a visit as an authentic cattle station. That is completely untrue, Mt Elizabeth has one of the best gorges & great access to the Hann river & some pretty epic 4WD tracks to reach them. 

Mt Elizabeth is about 30km off the Gibb on a decent station track, with some creek crossings to negotiate on the way in.  Any mad keen 4WDers out there will no Mt Elizabeth is the starting point of the infamous Munja Track, while we would of loved to have gone, we decided not to this time with the trailer, but are considering coming back out from Broome minus the trailer if we go have time at the end of our Kimberley adventure. 

Mt Elizabeth has a great campground at the homestead, that allows you to spread out, but has hot showers, flushing toilets & allows fires & pets. The cost was again $20 per person per night, but this drops to $10 if you stay more than 2 nights. As we had only come from Manning Gorge we were pretty early, so we set up camp & got straight into exploring the station tracks, well after meeting Darcy the poddy donkey.

 We decided to head out to the Hann river that afternoon. It was about 20km from the homestead, but the tracks were okay. Slow with lots of rocks, but not to bad. We parked at the car park & a 100m walk over the sand & we found the Hann River, again an amazing stretch of Kimberley river, a set of rapids & a huge deep pool perfect for a swim or fish. This time Mat chose fishing & every cast he was getting a bite. He got a great sized Sooty Grunter for dinner, it was a lovely relaxing afternoon. Back to camp, collecting a bit of fire wood on the way home & we set up the Drifta fire pit, relaxed over a few beers & had our fresh fish for dinner. The camp ground was pretty quiet & we were a long way from any other campers, heaven. 

The next morning, we cooked up some bread in the camp oven & had a chat to the owner. They have been having a lot of dingo problems, as they are almost the only station that culls them in the area anymore, the are a lot of wallabies that come into the campground at night & a dingo had killed 4 of them between the house & shed in the last week or so & had got the owners hen & chickens that night. We had heard the howling during the night, but that was all, it shows how sneaky & cunning they can be. Once the bread was cooked, we headed off to the gorge. The owner had told us it would take us an hour to drive the 10km & she was completely right, it was extremely rocky, with a couple of decent jump ups to negotiate. We finally made it to the car park, for a quick bit of lunch & then set off on the walk which was long, but pretty easy. We came to another beautiful river line & then found the gorge & waterfall, wow again!!

Just beautiful. To reach the swimming hole you had to climb down the side of the waterfall, there were 2 ladders to help, but these weren't tied down like other places we have been so it was a bit scary! We made it down safely & from the bottom was a big hole of water that you could access from a sandy beach, no slippery rocks yeah! About another 500m down the gorge there is an  amazing aboriginal rock art site, that is very well preserved & definitely worth the walk. Back at the pool under the waterfall we had a swim, it was very chilly, but so nice.  There was only 1 other couple there, if it had of been at one of the other gorges on the Gibb there would of been 100 people there, so we felt very lucky. 

We finally pulled our selves away because we knew we had the walk back out & the rough road to negotiate. Back at camp we decided we should do camp oven pizzas for dinner. They turned out really well & were a nice change. The camp ground was busy again, it seems lots of people, come into camp but don't stay to check out the gorge or river, crazy!!

The weather has changed as well, it's finally starting to just feel like winter, well a Kimberley winter. The days are still hot, but quiet windy. The nights are getting nice cool & great sleeping weather. What a great way to do winter!! Still swimming in gorges during the day. 

The next day it was time to say good by the Mt Elizabeth, again it was a great stay, so much quieter than a lot of the other Gibb places & campsites. We would definitely recommend it. We stayed for 2 nights on the 6-7th of June. Time to head further north for us, up to Drysdale River, Mitchell Falls & Kulumburu.  

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