Derby to Halls Creek

It was hard to leave Broome, we had become quite cosy there and accustomed to the beautiful weather and surrounds, the chilled out pace and the time we were having together as a family. After finally leaving Broome… we headed to Derby to explore some of the sites on the Gibb River Road. Even though our caravan was “semi-off road” we weren’t keen to take it off road, so we parked up in Derby and took a day trip to Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek. (June 2017)

Tunnel Creek (Dimalurru), King Leopold Ranges

There are freshwater crocodiles here and some shallow water to walk through at times in order to get to the other side.

Windjana Gorge

Spot the croc!

Derby

We found Derby to be a clean little town with ageing infrastructure, once the hub of the Kimberley until Broome established the Regional Hospital. At night the salt flats (opposite the caravan park) attracted the local hoons. In all our travels around Australia this was the first time we were kicked out of a caravan park at 10:00am, without any wriggle room. The owner came around on his bicycle at 09:00 reminding us of this!

The Boab Prison Tree – 1500 years old.
120m long cattle trough, one of the longest in the Southern Hemisphere.

Geike Gorge – out of Fitzroy Crossing

Do you like hiking in soft sand? This is what I remember about this walk, the pain of walking across soft sand, my least favourite thing to do. There is also a track but it begins after the soft sand ha ha. Lots of wildflowers and birds on the walk too.

Larrawa Station Nature Stay & Laarri Gallery

Larrawa Nature stay and Bush Camp is between Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek, it was the perfect overnight stay, from memory about $10 pp/pn. They have flushing toilets and hot showers, bush style. Dan will always take the opportunity to make use of available facilities and convinced me to have a shower there. It was so good, it felt like I was having a hot bush shower, with the corrugated iron shelter starting a foot off the ground and partially uncovered to the sky it was really refreshing in more ways than one. Super clean and peaceful. There is a small walk to a lake, which I took with Esther at dusk. We made custard and facetimed family on the phone.

The next morning we saw a sign to an art gallery so decided to pull off, caravan in tow to check it out. It was a 5km unsealed road into what turned out to be a community and school with an art gallery at the back. It was awesome… although we found some leftover custard dripping out of the fridge and across the floor of the caravan, turns out glad wrap isn’t sufficient to keep custard in when falling horizontal in the fridge while driving on an unsealed road.

We bought a beautiful piece of Art from the gallery which we now have framed in our home.

Halls Creek & Wolf Creek Crater

We arrived into Halls Creek late afternoon so we found this free camp called Caroline Pool just out of town to stay at before heading into town the next morning, parking up and making the long drive out to Wolf Creek Crater.

I was a little frustrated Dan wouldn’t take our semi-offroad caravan down this small hill to the below camping area, where other people (albeit with off road camper trailers) were already set up. But not too long after we set up a couple arrived and took their caravan down and got bogged. Sometimes I’m glad Dan puts his foot down and doesn’t listen to me.

Wolfe Creek Crater

What a drive! 150km from Halls Creek on the unsealed corrugated Tanami Road. Looking back I don’t know how we managed so much driving with a youngen. We remember passing backpackers on the road in a Preggio Van, we wondered if they would make it but sure enough as we were leaving they arrived.

This was a bucket list item, which is now ticked so not sure we would go again. The landscape is amazing and as you can see below the meteorite definitely left it’s mark. There were beautiful wildflowers, large eagles eating dead sheep on the side of the road, broken down cars and even a dead caravan!

The drive back to Halls Creek….. Oh dear!

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