Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek
King Leopold Ranges, Western Australia
We left Silent Grove and had a very scenic drive for about one and half hours through a number of smaller ranges. We came into sight of the Napier Range, an extraordinary sight, which is one of 3 ranges which make up a 300km long ancient (360 million year old) barrier reef. It once was thought to be at least 1000kms long and up to 2kms high, but now parts of the range now stand at about 100m high. We set up at Windjana Gorge campground and after lunch headed into the gorge. The high walls of the old reef were beautiful and fossils of extinct fish species could be seen within the walls! You walk along between the walls, beside the Lenard River. Not only is the scenery beautiful but the river is a haven for about a hundred freshwater crocs! They come up in groups and lay about on the sandy banks and we could sit within meters of them and watch them up close. Not that they do much! But it's a treat to be able to see their sharp teeth and beautiful spiny tails.
The next morning we drove another half hour down the road to Tunnel Creek. The creek has carved out a huge winding cave through the limestone range. What an adventure it was for us all! We had to use torches which was fun for Lachie and sometimes scramble over rocks or wade through shallow parts of the creek, all the while checking out the rock formations and stalactites and bats! This site was also the hiding place and eventual death site of an Aboriginal rebel called Jandamarra. An interesting story if you'd like to google it. We returned home for lunch and a rest then headed back down to Windjana gorge for a cool and peaceful afternoon croc watching! If you can zoom in on the pic on this blog you should able to see them all lying on the sand island.