Kimberley Capers Take Two…Lake Argyle

Trip Start Apr 05, 2011
Trip End Nov 15, 2012

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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Thursday, July 19, 2012

We once again packed up reluctantly having enjoyed our stay at Big Horse Creek campground. As we continued our journey west we did have one more stop we wanted to make in the Northern Territory however the road was not conducive to our van so we needed to cross the border into Western Australia and set up camp then back track unencumbered. 

Having enjoyed our time at Lake Argyle so much last year there was never a question of us revisiting and this was the perfect location to set up base.  Driving through and around this area is for the most part picturesque, however the drive off the highway into Lake Argyle is akin to a designated 'scenic drive', with the stunning red rocky ranges that engulf the road, it yet again took our breath away.

Having been camped in red dirt for a few days it was really nice to step out onto lush green grass and having an over abundance of water available it was also the perfect place for us to do a clean-up of the van inside and out!

Whilst tempting, the water in the pool was far too cold to take the plunge this time around so we had to be content to join the fellow travelers each evening drinking in the awesome views over the infinity pool and across the lake.  As the sun descended the stunning rugged ranges glowed orange and cute little wallabies sat on ledges soaking up the last of the day’s rays.  Ummm, we could get used to this!

There was a pleasant walk from the camp across to the old Argyle (Durack’s) Homestead.  Relocated when they dammed the valley, they have done well to maintain the integrity of the original homestead.  Whilst the building is well worth a look we found the actual ‘museum’ itself less than inspiring with oodles of informative history all tucked away in folders piled atop a table.  Not wanting to spend hours rummaging through copious display folders we opted for the great outdoors and started on our trek back to camp. 

The walk was pretty, offering a different perspective out over Bamboo Cove and across the lake.  Up and over a couple of hills covered in long dry grasses, past rugged red rocky outcrops, it was worth the walk alone

Having only arrived in WA a couple of days ago, it felt funny to be crossing the border back into the NT for the day.  The Keep River National Park runs along the NT side of the border with the entrance a mere three kilometres east of the check point.  Leaving the comfort of the bitumen we were pleased we had not risked bringing the van along this track.  The corrugated gravel road swept across a couple of dry creek beds and wound its way through tall blonde grasses and woodland. Driving the eighteen kilometers to Gurrandalng Campground gave no indication of the spectacular vista that awaited us. 

It was only as we drew closer to the campground that we got a hint of what was to come with scattered arrangements of red rocks and the occasional palm tree.  The campground itself left us wishing we had come to camp for a night or ten.  With well spaced and defined campsites including fire pits, low line tables and inviting views across to the massive red rock face we could just imagine witnessing the sunset and sitting around the campfire as day transcended into night, maybe next time…

We set off along the Gurrandalng Walk and were spellbound within the first few metres.  The sandstone formations were just beautiful with all manner of shapes and sizes radiating an array of hues.  As the sun rose higher in the sky and started to move west the colours bounced off the rock formations and massive sheer cliff walls above us.  Whilst this was only a two kilometre walk with a few stairs and a little scrambling it was the landscape across which we traversed and the scenery it afforded us that had our jaws dropped to the track and us both commenting that it was one of the most picturesque walks we had ever done.

We climbed up and sat within a natural window which framed the views back across the valley whilst a breeze swept through cooling us from the excessive outside heat.  Up around a bend and out onto a small plateau we were met with the most stunning of scenes.  Dome formations like those of the Bungle Bungles dominated the landscape, simply spectacular.  Had we been staying we would no doubt have done this walk again and again at different times of the day to soak up the stunning panoramas which would change so much from morning to afternoon.

With the Jarnem, Jinumum and Ginger’s Hill Walks along with Cockatoo Lagoon and Keep River there is so much to see and do.  Said to incorporate seven eco systems, Keep River National Park is diverse and amazingly one of the NT’s best kept secrets.

As we have been travelling around we have visited so many places we had never even heard of until a fellow traveler recommended it, however despite having spent time in the area and having driven past the turn off several times this National Park stayed under the radar, until now that is.  If ever you’re up this way we’d recommend a detour into this gem of a park.

How lucky are we, after experiencing the pristine beauty of Keep River National Park we once again take the scenic drive into Lake Argyle, another day of scenic overload, the camera shutter surely in need of a rest. 

As we join friends sitting atop the hill one last time drinking in the views, we reflect on our day of visual splendor and start to think of our next adventure for tomorrow we are back on the road.

Highlights of Lake Argyle and surrounds:

-          Keep River National Park – we will never just drive past it again!

o   Gurrandalng Walk

o   Cockatoo Lagoon

-          Lake Argyle

o   Scenic drive in

o   Infinity pool overlooking the lake

o   Sundowner drinks overlooking the above

o   The park and lake itself
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Val S. on

.... and there are more stunning photos. Tks.

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