Photographs and Adventures

Posts tagged “waterfall

Boodjamulla National Park (AKA Lawn Hill National Park)

Lawn Hill National Park is in the remote Gulf region of northwestern Queensland. It is over 1800 kilometres north west of Brisbane, close to the border with the Northern Territory.

The emerald waters and lush vegetation of Lawn Hill Gorge form a beautiful oasis in the outback, attracting abundant wildlife and offering exceptional views, walks, canoeing and cultural sites.

19.Lawn Hill-1

There are many walks around the park, some of them quite easy and some more difficult and adventurous.

There are many walks around the park, some of them quite easy and some more difficult and adventurous.

The steep rock walls rise above you on either side as you approach the start of the lower gorge.

The steep rock walls rise above you on either side as you approach the start of the lower gorge.

Looking towards the lower gorge from the camp area.

The best way by far to see the gorge is to hire a canoe and paddle upstream.

The best way by far to see the gorge is to hire a canoe and paddle upstream.

It is quite spectacular paddling beneath the rock walls.

It is quite spectacular paddling beneath the rock walls. You can see the relative size of the canoe below the pandanus.

Waterfall at the top end of the lower gorge.

Waterfall at the top end of the lower gorge.

Just along from here you need to lift the canoe out of the water and drag it over the rocks to access the upper gorge.

Just along from here you need to lift the canoe out of the water and drag it over the rocks to access the upper gorge.

I loved the roots of this tree exposed by the rushing water. This is a permanent waterway and runs all year round.

Emerald waters of the gorge.

Emerald waters of the gorge.

Darter resting on a tree branch over the water.

Darter resting on a tree branch over the water.

Some parts of the gorge look quite tropical with palm trees and pandanus.

Some parts of the gorge look quite tropical with palm trees and pandanus hanging over the emerald water.

Water lilies in the upper gorge.

Water lilies in the upper gorge.

Evening reflections as we make our way back to camp.

Evening reflections as we make our way back to camp.


Galvans Gorge & Adcock Gorge

We have been to some very remote places on this trip, and often the GPS doesn’t even know where we are.

This is what the middle of nowhere looks like on the GPS.

This is what the middle of nowhere looks like on the GPS.

And this is what it looks like through the windscreen.

And this is what it looks like through the windscreen.

One particularly beautiful place we visited was Galvans Gorge which is not far from the Mt. Barnett Roadhouse.

One particularly beautiful place we visited was Galvans Gorge, which is not far from the Mt. Barnett Roadhouse.

It is lovely to swim in, and quite easy to climb up and sit below the waterfall.

It is lovely to swim in, and quite easy to climb up and sit below the waterfall.

We all enjoyed a cooling swim in the clean waters.

We all enjoyed a cooling swim in the clean waters.

The walk in to Galvans Gorge runs alongside this water lily filled creek.

The walk in to Galvans Gorge runs alongside this water lily filled creek.

This water monitor was unperturbed by people passing his rock perch.

This water monitor was unperturbed by people passing his rock perch.

Later in the afternoon, we also visited Adcock gorge, but didn't swim there as the water was in shadow and quite cold.

Later in the afternoon, we also visited Adcock gorge, but didn’t swim there as the water was in shadow and quite cold.

There are so many gorgeous gorges on the Gibb River Road, and we are doing our best to visit most of them.


Surveyors Pool

Surveyors Pool is in a remote area of the Kimberley, W.A. From Mitchell Falls, you continue on Port Warrender Road, which is really more of a track than a road, until you come to Surveyors Pool.

The track to Surveyors Pool is pretty rough and rocky in some places, but also beautiful in others.

The track to Surveyors Pool is pretty rough and rocky in some places, but also beautiful in others.

There is a bit of a walk to get to the main pool below the waterfall.

There is a bit of a walk to get to the main pool below the waterfall.

The main pool is a sacred place for the Aboriginals, so swimming is not permitted here.

The main pool is lovely, with another waterfall entering from the far side, but as it is a sacred place for the Aboriginals, swimming is not permitted in the main pool.

However there are several pools and cascades above the falls.

However there are several pools and cascades above the falls.

And these make a very nice place to cool off after your walk.

And these make a very nice place to cool off after your walk.

Further along Port Warrender Road, there is a look out which has a view right out over Admiralty Gulf in the Indian Ocean.

Lookout on Port Warrender Road.

Lookout on Port Warrender Road with promontories and islands stretching into the distance.

It is a little out of the way to visit Surveyors Pool, but well worth the effort. From this lookout, we turned back and retraced our steps to Mitchell Falls to prepare for our return journey down Kalumbaru Road to the Gibb River Road.


Mitchell Falls

In my last post, I talked about Little Mertens Falls, which is a short walk from the Mitchell Falls camping area. This is a great place for a cooling swim, but the main walk from the camp ground is the track to Mitchell Falls and it takes about an hour and a half each way. It is quite a long way, and also involves some steep rocky climbs, but it is definitely worth the effort.

Mertens Creek

Mertens Creek

Waterlilies along the way.

Waterlilies along the way.

Once you have passed Little Mertens Falls, you trek alongside Mertens Creek, which is lined with pandanus and a haven for waterlilies. You next  come to Big Mertens Falls which is much higher and more spectacular than Little Mertens, however you cannot swim here, so it is best to take your photos and move on.

Big Mertens Falls

Big Mertens Falls

Big Mertens is a very deep gorge, and quite spectacular in it’s own right.

Big Mertens gorge

Big Mertens gorge

To take good photos, you need to be a bit of a mountain goat and get right out on the rocks lining the gorge.

Holly framing the perfect waterfall shot.

Holly framing the perfect waterfall shot. You can’t actually tell from this how high she is standing on the rock wall.

 

A bit more hiking and exertion brings you to your first glimpse of Mitchell Falls itself and you don’t at first realise that there are four layers of waterfall.

Mitchell falls from the top

Mitchell falls

As you climb down and around, more is revealed. You need to take off your shoes and socks and cross to the other side of the water to get the best views.

Mitchell Falls-7

We ended up spending several hours at the falls, exploring and swimming.

We ended up spending several hours at the falls, exploring and swimming.

From the top of the falls you can see right down the river below the falls.

From the top of the falls you can see right down the river below the falls.

Mitchell Falls is definitely worth the effort to visit. It is a truly beautiful part of Australia.

Mitchell Falls is definitely worth the effort to visit. It is a truly beautiful part of Australia.


Mitchell Plateau – Little Mertens Falls

We arrived at Mitchell Falls camping area about lunchtime, so in the afternoon went for a short walk to Mertens Falls where we planned to have a swim.

Little Mertens Falls is the closest falls and pool to the Mitchell Falls camp ground.

Little Mertens Falls is the closest falls and pool to the Mitchell Falls camp ground.

Little Mertens falls look very nice as you approach the top pool.

The falls look very inviting as you approach the top pool.

When you climb down the steep rocky slope, you come across a lovely still pool, which is absolutely freezing to swim in.

When you climb down the steep rocky slope, you come across a lovely still pool, which was absolutely freezing to swim in. Nobody stayed in for too long.

Especially when Peter spied a fresh water crocodile sunning himself near these rocks.

Especially when Peter spied a fresh water crocodile sunning himself near these rocks. Unfortunately I couldn’t capture him in the photo because he was behind the rocks on the far side of the pool.

After our swim we climbed in behind the waterfall.

After our swim we climbed in behind the waterfall.

It was magical being behind the curtain of water.

It was magical being behind the curtain of water.

I liked the spotty bark on this tree, and almost missed the spider hiding in full view.

I liked the spotty bark on this tree next to our tent, and almost missed the spider hiding in full view.

Holly inspired us with another fantastic camp oven meal of savoury scrolls, cooked in the coals of the camp fire.

In the evening, Holly inspired us with another fantastic camp oven meal of savoury scrolls, cooked in the coals of the camp fire.

Life is good! A beautiful swim and a good meal. It doesn’t get much better than this.


Drysdale River Station & King Edward River

The morning saw us packing up the tents and heading off once again, towards the Mitchell Plateau. We had a couple more nights camping along the way before we got to Mitchell Falls, and it was time for a shower so we stopped for the night at Drysdale River Station.

Drysdale River Station is huge, over 1 million acres in size.

Drysdale River Station is huge, about a million acres in size.

Close by is Miner's Pool, which is a great place for a swim.

Close by is Miner’s Pool, which is a great place for a swim.

There is a lovely walk along the rocks beside the river.

In the morning we set off again, and found a great camping spot at King Edward River.  After setting up our tents, we went exploring. There is a lovely walk along the rocks beside the river.

A small waterfall is a nice surprise a little way down the river.

A small waterfall is a nice surprise a little way further along.

Close to the waterfall were deep holes where round stones had gradually worn away the rock over the years.

Close to the waterfall were deep holes where round stones had gradually worn away the rock over the years.

This was a serene and beautiful place to stay.

This was a serene and beautiful place to stay. It would be difficult to say which is the nicest camping spot we have found so far.


Josephine Falls, Qld

Sometimes the nicest places are ones you hear about from fellow travelers. We were chatting with a couple of backpackers who mentioned Josephine Fall was worth a visit so we decided to take the detour and check it out.

This is the top pool at Josephine Falls. There must be huge volumes of water passing through this point during the wet season. I have never seen so many signs warning of danger, no swimming, strong currents, slippery rocks, etc. although it didn’t look too vicious the day we were there.

This is where the water from the top pool continues on it’s way downstream. Below this were huge boulders, which I imagine is where the danger would come in, if you were swept off your feet on the slippery rocks and sucked underneath when there was a huge current running.

Beside the stream was a cool place for this couple to escape the heat of the day.

This mossy stairway led up to….nothing at all. Well, not anymore. I am not sure what it’s original purpose would have been. It was at the far end of the pathway going up to the top pool of the waterfall.

Looking up the hill you can see how rocky the river bed is, and the large smooth rocks make for a very slippery surface.

This family were having a ball sliding down the mossy rock in the lower pool.

 

 

 

 

 


Paronella Park – one man’s dream

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who has visited my blog recently, especially today when I have put up several posts to try and catch up with myself. We have been out of reach of internet for most of the past several weeks while we were traveling in the outback and far north Queensland, so I have a backlog of photos that I want to put on here. Thank you also to everyone for their kind words and encouragement.

The intriguing first glimpse of Paronella Park.

I had heard from friends that Paronella Park was a place we shouldn’t miss when we travelled to north Queensland, but we really had no idea what to expect. Paronella Park came to exist through the dreams and imagination of Jose Paronella, who arrived in Australia from Spain in the early 1900’s and through sheer hard work in the cane fields, together with his vision and determination, managed to buy 5 hectares beside Mena Creek Falls and build himself a castle. He also built a theatre/ballroom, refreshment rooms, bridges, tennis courts, a tunnel to a secret garden with a spring-fed waterfall, a picnic area, and planted over 7,500 tropical plants and trees. If that was not enough, he also installed the first hydro-electric plant in northern Queensland. The complex opened to the public in 1935 and since then has had several catastrophies including floods, cyclones and a devastating fire. Today the ruins of the dream make a fascinating place to visit.

The ruins of the theatre/ballroom still have an air of a fairy-tale palace about them.

The lower refreshment rooms have a haunting atmospheric presence, especially when lit up at night. The fountain in front of the ruins is gravity fed from the waterfall and runs continuously.

Waterfall

This photo was taken from the picnic grounds overlooking the waterfall. The waterfall still runs a hydro electric plant, supplying more than enough power to run the whole property.

This is the view from the suspension bridge, looking over Paronella Park and the pool below the waterfall, where people used to hire pleasure boats and swim. You can see the picnic area beside the lake, still with the original cast concrete picnic tables and seats.

The tropical gardens and details such as the wishing well in front of the ballroom show the amount of attention that went into the planning of this special place. I would certainly recommend a visit to Paronella Park if you get the opportunity.

I saw this leaf in the gardens of Paronella Park. I am not sure what has been eating this plant, but I liked the lacy pattern the holes make in the leaf.

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Pilbara and Karijini National Park

Karijini National Park in the Pilbara is one of the most spectacular places we have visited. This was one of our first views of the Pilbara as we entered the area on our way to Karijini. On the winding road you can see a huge road train, which dwarfs the bus and car sharing the road. The sides of the roads were carpeted with purple and white wildflowers.

Our introduction to the Pilbara

The many precipitous gorges of Karijini take your breath away when you peer into them for the first time, with their sheer rock walls, cascading waterfalls and clear rock pools. In this picture you can see a man standing at the bottom of the gorge and if you look carefully, near the top you will see a woman on a rock ledge that is half way up the sheer wall. She is on the track you use to descend to the gorge floor.

Can you see the two people in this photo?

We camped in the National Park for a few days and explored many of the gorges. Dales Gorge was lovely, with a walk up to Fortescue Falls, where this serene pool lies at the top of the waterfall.

Rock pool above Fortescue Falls, Karijini

Further on into Dales Gorge you come across Fern Pool where we swam in the clear emerald water across to the twin waterfalls on the far side of the pool.

Fern Pool, Dales Gorge, Karijni

We enjoyed the many walks in the Park. The photo of us was taken near the waterfall that flows into Joffre Gorge. But I think our favourite gorge was Hancock Gorge where we climbed down rocks and ladders to reach the gorge floor, then made our way along narrow rock ledges and waded and swam through various pools until we could go no further, then made our way back again, the way we came. Unfortunately I couldn’t take the camera with me on this trek, so no photos to share, but we highly recommend the adventure if you get to Karijini National Park.

Peter & Rhonda at Joffre Falls, Karijini

This last photo is a view of Joffre Gorge from part way down the climb. It gives you some idea of how steep the walls are, but if you are careful you can get all the way to the bottom.

Joffre Gorge, Karijini National Park


Down the Gibb River Road

Well, we didn’t really go all that far down the Gibb River Road, but we loved the day we spent at Emma Gorge with our Phillip Island friends, Lyn and Jeff.

Crystal clear pool at Emma Gorge

Lower pool at Emma Gorge

Lyn told me this was her favourite place, and I can see why. It is absolutely stunning, very beautiful and so peaceful. And the water is an amazing turquoise blue colour.

Rock pool

The other side of the rock pool is a pebbly shallow. Very inviting, but the water was quite cold.

Waterfall at Emma Gorge. Very hard to photograph!

Road home from Wyndham

The roads might be long in the Kimberley, but there is so much to see and so many amazing vistas that it is never boring.

Grass fire near Wyndham

We drove through this grass fire on the way to Wyndham and on the return trip as well, by which time it was burning on both sides of the road. It is very common up here to see burnt out sections of bush and grass land. Most of the fires only burn the grass, leaving the small trees, and ‘cleaning up’ the country, as the aboriginals say.