We were the third group to make it through to the camp at Bachsten Gorge for the season and the third group to require Rick’s assistance. He was considering closing the road until the water levels had gone down a bit. At that evening’s radio call he suggested that the Station ensure that people came up in groups. That was enough to deter any more visitors for a few days! Being bogged can be hazardous.
The camp has cabins, un-powered and powered camping sites. The generator runs late afternoon until evening. Showers were available any time, from 5 pm they were heated by a wood fire. Hospitality ran hot all the time, Rick and Anne are very lovely people.
The Black Grasswren requires large sandstone boulders and spinifex. We wasted no time looking but drew a blank.
That evening, though brought an abundance of wildlife in the form of Northern Quoll, Golden-backed Tree-Rat, Northern Brown Bandicoot, Monjon, Sugar Glider and Dingo …
Heaven is a warm shower, a cold beer, a Northern Quoll and a Black Grasswren. I was almost in heaven …
Faint-hearted we were not, adequately prepared was another story.
We set off early from Turkey Creek and made good progress to about 35 km from the gorge. At Filter Creek the crossing proved difficult. A fallen log in the stream constrained every vehicle to the same path. The wheel ruts had become rather deep, too deep for our stock standard Prado. We bottomed out and stuck fast. We were in a convoy of one with no winch. The jacking points were not only under water, they were in contact with the stream bed. Attempts to feed logs under the wheels were predictably futile. Self rescue was not going to happen.
At 10am we put the satellite phone to use and rang Mount Elizabeth Station. They would inform the camp at the gorge in the next radio conversation. Because of limited power at the gorge there are two radio calls each day … the next would be at 5 pm. Rescue would not happen that day unless someone came up from behind, the station were not aware of anyone likely to do that. Would we please ring back at 5.30 pm.
We went bird watching then set up our tents. We had food for ten days and, as for water, our car was up to its doors in the stuff. No worries.
We called again at 5.30. They’d forgotten us. Not to worry, there would be another radio call at 6 next morning.
The following morning we were not forgotten. Rick would come from the camp and tow us out. He’d be there at 10 am. He was early. Our rescue was quickly executed. Rick then turned his attention to the offending log and carried out some deft underwater chain sawing. The rescued party meanwhile set about digging away some of the bank so that the crossing could be moved upstream enough to make our return journey easier.
The last 35 km took another couple of hours and involved a few more creek crossings and the passage of a particularly viscous bog.
But we got there, could we now find the elusive Black Grasswren?
Leaving Windjana Gorge quite early we headed east. The first port of call was the Mount Barnet Roadhouse to fill with diesel. For people living in settled districts fuel is never far away. Out here there can be three hundred kilometres between service stations. Our intended side trip meant we had to have twice that range plus prudent reserves.
At Mount Elizabeth Station we turned left. The road to Bachsten Gorge is a private one crossing a cattle lease or two. The road use fee is $100 per vehicle. Half goes to the station half to the owners of the camp at Bachsten Gorge, Rick and Anne Jane. Maintenance of the road is done by Rick. Driving it is not for the faint-hearted or ill prepared. Considerable sections are extremely rocky, early season river crossings can be quite deep, there are some very steep sections and there are bogs. I would recommend travelling in pairs of vehicles or having a winch. At about half way you descend the Magpie Jump-up, if you’ve skiied double diamond slopes the incline will not seem unfamiliar. The trip in is a bit over 150 km of sustained concentration, allow seven hours. There are some very nice campsites along the way, take a couple of days on the journey. Not everyone comes back …
We camped at Turkey Creek, the camp was investigated by a very hungry dingo as soon as we retired.
Mr Slipper, believe it or not, is still drawing a salary at the taxpayers’ expense.
Yesterday he made a valedictory address although he wasn’t promising not to stand again for the seat of Fisher. He used parliamentary privilege to accuse the opposition of plotting against him. According to the Australian …
Mr Slipper said former attorney-general Nicola Roxon had mentioned the possibility of an “Ashbygate” royal commission.
“I have spoken to other senior ministers in the government, I do understand that matter is under active consideration …
It’s not hard to imagine Ms Roxon embarking on such a venture, it would be well inside the very elastic envelope of her judgement. Nor is it unusual for someone facing criminal charges to say “Hey, investigate someone else”.
Pathetic man, a footnote to history.
Just remember, wearing someone elses slippers can lead to a nasty case of tinia.
Limestone walls rise starkly from the flood plain of the Lennard river, this is the remnants of the Napier Range formed over 300 million years ago. Windjana Gorge runs through the centre.
It is spectacular and it’s popular, it’s 360 km from Broome and can be reached in about 5 hours. It was the busiest camp site on our Kimberley trip.
This is crocodile territory although only the fresh water variety. They are happiest when there is a big flying fox camp in the gorge. The bats take to the air at dusk and the first thing they do is take a drink. Flying in circles they dip their mouths to the water. The crocodiles line up across the stream and snap at whatever comes near.
On this visit there were just a couple of small camps but the crocs were still smiling.
Freshies are not man eaters but can be aggressive especially females guarding their nests. Always take care
The ABC is keen to point out that Miss Gillard did at least make history, I think they mean by being the first woman PM not the worst PM in living memory. They also are keen on the notion that her policies were good, she just couldn’t sell them … but no one was forthcoming with a list of her achievements.