From Derby, we went back onto the Gibb to explore the last of the places on our list….Bell Gorge, Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek NP….all well worth the revisit of corrugations and dust!!!
Bell Gorge, in the King Leopold Range, was a walk to the river and the rapids, culminating in a waterfall, after which we clambered down rocks to the deep pool and the base of the waterfall for a few hours of swimming, laying in the sun and exploring the area. A beautiful environment and experience, capped off with a wonderful campsite.
From there we travelled to the Napier Range which in the Devonian Age was a 2km high barrier reef in a vast sea. Earth movements pushed the reef system up and out of the water and wide rivers eventually eroded paths through this reef, which had turned to rock….the Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek. 3km long, you walk through Windjana Gorge but you don’t swim in any of the inviting pools as there are sooooo many freshwater crocs that the chances are you would step on one and they do bite when upset… We saw plenty of really big ones too. The walls of the Gorge also contain fossils of wildlife from that sea. Tunnel Creek is the same reef further along but the river has eaten through, creating a tunnel that can be walked through in the dry season. It was an experience we enjoyed, seeing freshies eyes (and spiders too) by torchlight and the bats letting us know they weren’t happy, the symmetry of the near perfect reflections and wading through the many pools of the tunnel.