Gibb River Road – Part 5 (Mitchell Plateau to Kalumburu)


On our return from the Mitchell Plateau we took a 20km detour to see Surveyors Pool. Again the road was slow and rocky but we were the only ones there and a short flat walk took us along a creek to the falls to Surveyors Pool below. Whilst looking very inviting we had been warned about saltwater crocodiles being present so just enjoyed the views. Pools above the falls were supposed to be safe but there wasn’t much water anywhere except in the creek down and I had already seen a crocodile in there. The return trip suggested they were freshwater ones but we weren’t that desperate for a swim.

Another crossing of the King Edward river, then a left turn onto Kalumburu road headed us north to Kalumburu itself. The road was quite acceptable for the next 80-100km, notwithstanding the occasional dip or floodway that causes you to brake sharply to avoid testing the suspension to its limits. On one stretch we were entertained by a pair of Brolgas performing a dance for us only ten metres from the roadside. So mesmerised by one another they didn’t seem to notice the car and trailer screech to a halt, the massive cloud of dust that followed, nor me jumping out of the car clutching a camera and proceeding to enter the grass near the performance. Finally they did notice and very calmly beat a slow retreat into the grassland where we left them in peace.
Then we had our first major casualty as the trailer drifted on a corner hitting a rock and giving us our first flat. As I was remembering how to change the trailer spare (squirrelled cleverly under the trailer) a posse of young guys on a fishing trip, in 5 cars, pulled over and proceeded to take over. What probably would have taken me an hour was completed in fifteen minutes and we were all on our way again. Thanks guys, we hope you caught lots of fish up there for the good karma.

Most of Kalumburu was closed as we arrived late on a Sunday afternoon so we didn’t have a chance to stop and explore but a couple of lads showed us the way to Honeymoon Bay. We got there to find Crystal and Marty had arrived shortly prior and Hannah quickly resumed her dog-minding duties with their dog Zoe.
And with the next rising of the sun the mighty Marty punt was launched skippered by Captain Marty and his crew were Oscar and I clutching our tackle box, rods and bait bucket. Early signs were not favourable with no action but as our intrepid skipper “sailed” further towards the point things heated up. Oscar was catching batfish the size of dinner plates and Marty was straight into a sweetlips. We could see fish all around following our lures and bait in, so it was time to bring out the “desert island jig”, so named because if you were only allowed one lure to take to a desert island this white feathery one would be the one. I had bought this after seeing what people caught with it in Broome.
Bingo! Almost first cast I caught my first Queenfish and quite a respectable eating size too. Crumbed fish pieces that night were divine.
Day 2 on the mighty Marty punt yielded similar results though we did have a couple of break-offs and we saw a couple of large spanish mackerel cruising around too, though couldn’t hook them. Happy fishermen all round as we had at last started to catch some decent sized fish.
We could have stayed longer and missed a few things but finally we had to leave Honeymoon Bay and head south again, leaving the big boab tree, with eagle nest in its branches, overlooking the bay.

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Categories: australia, Australian Outback, Camper Trailer, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Fishing, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Offroad, West Australia | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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