09.06.2017 - 11.06.2017 32 °C
We left King Edward River campground early anticipating a tough drive to Kalumbaru but we were in luck, the first 45km of the road north had just been graded and the road was a pleasure to drive on. We met the grader which was working its way north and even the section yet to be graded was good with very few corrugations and a few shallow creek crossings. The last 20km into Kalumbaru was slow going with rocky sections and dips but not a problem at all. Even towing an off road caravan through here wouldn’t have been a problem, and there were quite a few at our final destination at Honeymoon Beach. This half of the Kalumbaru road has wonderful scenery to enjoy, dingoes, wild horses, cows and was worth the drive just for that alone.
On arrival in Kalumbaru we refueled at $2.57 a litre for diesel and paid for our permit to enter the area which was $50. The community store sells most essentials including a range of fresh fruit and vegies so we stocked up and headed out to Honeymoon Beach which is another 45 minute drive north on a fairly good road. The cost to stay here was $15pp/n and there are two main camp areas, one above the beach and one right down on the beach, we camped on the beach. You can also drive around the back of the beach and camp above the beach further away from the main areas but there are no amenities down there. The amenities were the worst we have ever seen, there are cold water showers and flushing toilets but they look like they have never been cleaned. This is a real pity as the setting is beautiful with a sandy beach enclosed by a bay which is perfect for launching a tinny.
Unfortunately as inviting as the water looks you take a huge risk if you swim here due to saltwater crocodiles which inhabit the area. We didn’t see any signs of them in the bay but other campers spotted one in the next bay around. I tried fishing here off the beach but had no success and neither did the other land based anglers camped here. However if you have a boat you can expect to catch plenty of fish. The sunrises and sunsets here were amazing and if you just want to relax, lie on the beach and not do much it is probably worth the trip.
One day we took a drive down to McGowans Island which has just reopened after being closed for a while. There are new managers here who greeted us warmly and welcomed us to take a look around and go for a fish off the rocks. There are new amenities here with drinking water available, and the cost was $20pp/n. The beach at Honeymoon Bay was nicer than here but it still looked like a nice place to stop for a few days.
What a difference a week makes to the roads up here. The Kalumbaru road from King Edward River turnoff to Drysdale River Station was great on the way up and now a week later it is badly corrugated, although nowhere near as bad as the Mitchell Falls road. It took us 4.5 hours to reach Drysdale River Station where we stopped for one of their famous burgers for lunch and decided we had done enough driving for the day so booked a campsite and a buffet dinner and relaxed before an early start next morning heading for Home Valley Station.