As many West Aussies head north to tackle the Gibb River Road in the Kimberley during school holidays, we thought we would share some of our favourite saltwater croc free waterholes. We have done the trip six times we think, mapped the drive and the walks. We have even done it by mountain bike.
Strictly speaking, this isn’t a weekend away unless you live in Broome, Derby, Wyndham or Kununurra.
Manning River (near Mt Barnett Station):
My favourite because of the colours at sunset, clear as water, sand and rock bottom and the added adventure of sharing it with freshies. Yes Fresh water crocs!
Manning River on Mt Barnett Station and campground
There is a 5.6 km walk/rock hop to get there and its hot going but the destination is definitely worth it. Manning Gorge is a deep waterhole with a fabulous waterfall to swim up to.
Manning Gorge Waterfall
This a classic Kimberley waterfall and waterhole. The 2 km walk across Bell Creek and down the gorge wall is a bit steep, but so worth it. The surrounding mountains is part of the newly renamed Wuaamin-Miliwundi Ranges.
Bells Gorge from the top
Bells Gorge from the bottom
It is at El Questro and is a warm (yes WARM) spring amongst a lush tropical rainforest including pre-historic Livistonia and Pandanas palms. It does get crowded during peak dry season.
Zebedee Springs (Photo from El Questro)
This one is special because of the boab at the top, the Wandjina ancient rock art and a friendly python in the wall. We will let you find them.
Wandjina at Galvins Gorge
And for one more remote one:
Charnley River Station is a far less visited, and you have many of the waterholes all to yourself. Donkey Pool is a series of three pretty pools with waterlilies, boab trees and rock platforms to bask on.