Kalbarri – Gascoyne Junction – Kennedy Ranges

Left Kalbarri for our mid-west adventure to Kennedy Ranges National Park. Tonight’s destination is Gascoyne Junction, almost 500kms.

Vegetation north of Kalbarri is very lush, with taller trees and a carpet of pin, vibrant and white flowers in patches, grasses with rust-coloured tops waving in the wind, like a wave. Red sand sets the scene off, with wattles coming into bloom.

Paid $2.05 for diesel at Billabong Roadhouse, where I picked up a cappuccino.

There is scrub past Billabong, with clusters of purple flowers.

We tried taking photos of the flowers, but please forgive them being out of focus. Temperature is 20 degrees at 11:15am.

Crisped up some rolls for our roadside lunch stop, filled with ham and tomato. 22 degrees now, but feels much hotter.

Vegetation has changed since the stop – almost bare plain now – almost what I expected the Nullabour to be like, except for all the patches of purple and yellow, here and there. Flat as far as the eye can see.

MM stretched their legs, and ate well, quiet in the car after painting the town red and surfing, visiting gorges in Kalbarri. They were keen to take a hike down the steep side, but I managed to get a hand to them just in time. What will be in store for us, after they’ve revived?

Left the main highway to the north to take a “short cut” to Gascoyne Junction. Paid $2.09 for fuel at Wooramel. The scenery is spectacular on each side of the road now, with green, larger trees everywhere. Floodway signs and pools of water either side of the road, traveling over small sand dunes, along a wonderful red sand road.

Stopped at Gascoyne Junction Hotel for the night, $10 pp, with power. We only had 66 kms to go to get to Kennedy Rg, but such an interesting little pub, needed a visit. The only downside here was that we topped up with diesel, advertised at the bowser at $1.90, and after the owner pumped 38 litres out of a drum, into our car, he told us that it was $2.35 pl!

Day 2

Crossed the Gascoyne River – MM keen to have a swim, but we promised them a great time at Kennedy Ranges. Defiant as they are, they insisted on climbing up to the top of the windmill – little rascals!

11am and set up at this amazing range. Travelling all the way toward the range, our expectations grew higher and higher, until we set up in Temple Gorge, surrounded by sandstone and shale cliffs, like a three-sided amphitheatre. We have watched the goats run along, what seem like, the narrowest of ledges.

Our poor little MM were completely exhausted on arrival and we left them sleeping peacefully in the car.

Walked into Temple Gorge. There were two grades of tracks, one Grade 3, the other Grade 4, and we walked through this spectacular gorge until the boulders were too big for me to get over, which was 7/8ths of the way. Russ got to the end, where there was a lovely permanent pool.

Returned back to camp for a half an hour break then drove to Honeycomb Gorge. After a short, but hot walk, we were again treated to another amazing gorge, varying all the time from sandstone, to what appeared to be explosions of ironstone.

Came home to shade, a late lunch while, staring at the gorge from every angle, leading to a great discussion about how you would go about painting the gorge in watercolour. I recalled so much of Jean Cowan’s lessons, but putting it into practice is another matter!

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