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  • Aug8

    The mighty Fitzroy River

    August 8, 2018 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 20 °C

    We left the thriving metropolis of Halls Creek nice and early and continued our trek along the Great Northern Highway heading towards Fitzroy Crossing. The scenery on this leg of the trip has changed with it being a lot flatter that it has been. We came around the edge of the Kimberley Plateau and headed west.

    This area of the Kimberley is cattle country with massive cattle stations and huge numbers of cattle. The advent of aerial mustering made cattle farming far more viable with one aircraft being able to muster in one day what would have taken many stockmen days to cover previously.

    Eventually we made it to the Fitzroy River and the town of Fitzroy Crossing. Can’t say there is much to Fitzroy Crossing just a massive bridge, a few caravan parks, and some houses. The Fitzroy River used to be impassable during the wet season until the government built a new bridge in about 1972 - the old Crossing was just a concrete causeway.

    The Fitzroy River meets the sea near Derby and is a seriously big river during the wet but barely a trickle now.

    We headed out of town for our afternoon’s entertainment, a cruise on the Fitzroy through Geikie Gorge. The tour guide clarified how much water comes through the river during the wet, if you drained Sydney Harbour and the Hawkesbury River systems there would be enough water flowing in the Fitzroy at the peak of the wet season to fill it all again in just 2 minutes. A staggering amount of water.

    Geikie Gorge is created by the river eroding the limestone cliffs. There are loads of freshwater crocs around and as we are close to egg laying season they can be rather aggressive at this time of year. Fortunately they have all been told they are harmless to humans. Hopefully.

    Anyway the Gorge was really amazing. The white line on the cliff shows how high the water can get during the wet. I would love to see the country during the wet season just to see how different it is to the dusty and dry country it is at the moment.

    Anyway after our cruise we headed back to out tents with ensuites at the illustrious Fitzroy River Lodge. Our last night under canvas!

    Tomorrow we are back in Broome.
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