Rock, RIVER and Reef (Part 3)
Outback rivers are a lifeline of the area. Many are dry most of the year, only flowing from storms upstream. Homesteads are built close to permanent pools or billabongs that rise out of dry riverbeds. Mount Augustus station homestead is located near a permanent pool on the Lyons River. Known appropriately as Cattle Pool, it’s a popular spot to relax and observe wildlife under shady river gums.
Heading south we experienced different types of rivers, while still staying on Outback Stations. On Great Northern Highway is Wooramel Station. Many people heading north or south will drop into their roadhouse. But on the other side of the highway is Wooramel River Resort.
The Wooramel River is usually dry and along the banks are lots of campsites. The surprise part is the warm artesian pools. The warm water bubbles up from about 240 metres underground into four circular baths connected with a deck. What a great place for a sunset soak and drink.
On the inland road into Kalbarri there’s the Murchison House Station sign, about 15km out of town. Although you wouldn’t know it from here, heading down the unsealed road takes you to a historic homestead and riverside campsites. We stayed a couple nights enjoying fishing and swimming in the tidal waters of the Murchison River and the ambience of the river gum woodlands. There is camping on both sides of the river, depending on how isolated you want to be.
Further up, the Murchison River has carved out deep gorges of sedimentary rock. Having done many of the great walking trails in the national park, we decided to ramp up the adventure and go abseiling. Leaning over the cliff attached to a rope, adds to the excitement and grandeur of the gorges. Nothing like hanging off a 35metre rock wall.
After a hot day, climbing up and roping down the gorge walls, we decided to celebrate our achievement with a beer at the Kalbarri pub and swim in the Murchison River back at the homestead campsite. Then we sit back and admire a lovely sunset reflecting in the river.