Gulf, Anyone?

6 Aug

From Daly Waters we headed east towards the Gulf. We wanted to visit the King Ash Bay fishing club, which is 40 k’s north east of Borrooloola. As the two lane highway became barely a lane we began to get nervous about our decision. We got to Cape Crawford, which is basically a corner, and fuel was $2.20 so after Rosie and Archie played in the helicopter we headed for Borrooloola. Thanks to the Nickel Mine, this road is pretty good. We rolled into King Ash Bay after filling up and set up camp for a couple of days. The main reason we came to this part of the world was to see the Gulf and fish so Darren booked a charter for the next day. The fishing has been very slow of late so Darren wasn’t expecting much but he was pleasantly surprised with the day. He came home with a feed after having a great day cruising through the mangroves. Meanwhile back at the camp Mif had spent the day Line dancing and playing bingo with the locals.DSC06178
Then the adventure really began. We had committed to doing a bad leg of the Savannah Way and by chance, Mif found a family heading the same way the next day. We set off at 10 ish and covered about 420 k’s of corrugations, rocks, water crossings, cattle, bull dust and all round craziness on the way to Hells Gate.

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(Go on – look it up on a map) we spent a night at the roadhouse, which was pretty nice actually, then headed off on some serious back roads through cattle properties to get to Adels Grove and Lawn Hill. Apart from the badly corrugated sections, the drive was pretty nice and gave us a real feel for the vast northern Queensland cattle stations. The van travelled well considering, and apart from a heap of screws and bottle tops rattling loose, we only lost some of our water when a stone broke our outflow hose. It was great having the company of the Geue’s family and expertise of a truck driver too!

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Adels Grove at Lawn Hill is a beautiful place. If only someone had mentioned that we should stay in the Grove section! As our van battery has been playing up, we opted for a generator site which left us up the back in the thicker bull dust. Regardless, we had a great time and spent each afternoon with new friends floating down the rapids. Rosie was actually quite scared doing it but wouldn’t stop as all the big kids kept going. They also like being responsible for rescuing her each time.

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Lawn Hill national park is an oasis in the middle of some dry and dusty country. We did some great walks to the top of the lookout, then upstream to see the cascades. The next day we borrowed a canoe and paddled the 6km upstream. It was truly beautiful and so fun to swim in the bubbling waterfalls.

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After a short 90km dirt road we spent a night at Gregory Downs, a well known free camp on the banks of the Gregory river. It was the nicest spot we’ve been for a while. Amidst paperbark trees, 2m from the banks of a sparkling clean river, we sat in the shade and played Lego. We then tackled the rapids and on our second leg, a lady shouted out “is that Miffy?” We were so happy to have run into old friends Marg and Bill McMahon, and had a great few hours catching up. We also had a beer in the local pub and met some great local… dogs.

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Now in Karumba where we can finally get a look at the actual waters of the Gulf.

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2 Responses to “Gulf, Anyone?”

  1. Matt August 6, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    Too good! Looks like some good country there. What kind of fish is that? Have you lit up some country – the AWC folks up north reckon people drive by and if they see the grass is too long somewhere they just toss in some matches and keep driving. Did you see any fossils at Riversleigh (Lawn Hill)?

  2. Raymondo Martinez August 6, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    Hey Stevo’s, Di n I are loving your diary. Got our “Easy Read Road Atlas” out & following your route. Bluddy ‘mazing. Love Rosey’s hair tangle,too. How ya gonna get Archie back into school after these adventures? Worse, how’s Dazza going to settle into Year 12 science? Especially when he wants to now be the new David Attenborough. Great photos, million memories. On ya. Stay safe.
    Love Di & Raymondo

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