Murchison region, but it ended up taking 8 days.
Because there’s just SO much to see out here ...… well, if you’re slightly inquisitive, that is. And importantly, if you have the time.
We’re lucky to have exactly that. Time. Plenty of people rush through here, and hence miss out on some of the lesser known magic.
For the record, I did have to google “Craton”... it’s defined as “a relatively rigid and immobile region of continental portions of the earth's crust”. Fascinating. It’s the country’s largest granitic area, and one of the oldest landscapes in the world. It’s also our premier mineral province, producing two thirds of all Australia’s gold, and most of the nickel. In addition to other earthly goods - iron ore, copper and zinc.
I was mildly shocked when Wags grabbed our collapsible dish-washing sink and raced up the rock, returning proudly with “fresh water” that he deemed good enough to drink, and wash in. But upon some consideration, it made sense. The rock is granite, the water has fallen from the sky, and there’s not a whole lot that’s going to pollute it, given that the rainfall was so recent.
This area has much Aboriginal significance too.
The waterholes (known as “gnamma”) were a water source for the Aboriginals, Additionally, Walga Rock, a meeting point for Aboriginals from all over the area, contains a huge natural gallery of aboriginal paintings.
Every night we found amazing and remote campsites. With plenty of dead wood strewn about, we easily kept our fire stoked. It became quite the routine to collect wood before dark – enough to see us to sleeptime, and then enough to get us going for morning coffees . One of my favourite parts of the day was settling into my chair, glass of wine in-hand, and staring at the crackling flames.
Big Bell is a fascinating ghost town, which heydeyed during the gold mining era. The town has plenty of structural evidence intact, and enough signage to give one a feel for what it may have been like. I loved the two roomed house, each tiny room being dominated by a huge fireplace. I can imagine settling inside with a roaring fire, listening to the hum of the town through the stonework, as the outback winter night bore down upon the town. The pub is also relatively intact and was said to have the longest bar in Australia during it’s time. We Aussies do love our pubs.
One last riverside camp-spot near Murchison settlement before we headed back home. Usually dry, the river was somewhat flowing, and it was hard to pass up a swim in the sparkling light of the midday sun. The water was relatively shallow, and there was a seeming contrast between the clarity of the water, and the mud that one stirs up with their feet. It’s hard to beat that crisp tingling feeling you get upon emerging and letting the northern winter sun beat down on your body.
And as if a grand finale were our reward, we were lucky to witness a lunar eclipse that night. A full 90 minutes of clear night sky and a large vivid changing moonscape.
So much amazingness packed into 8 days.
We made a video - please enjoy it!
Wags & Deb, 2019