Home Valley Station
13.06.2017 - 15.06.2017 30 °C
The campground at Drysdale River Station is large with trees scattered throughout for shade and was a nice place to spend the night before pushing on to Home Valley Station. The buffet dinner was a bit of a letdown as we expected to just help ourselves to the buffet but instead you presented your plate and were asked which dishes you would like and were served one item of each, and there wasn’t a big selection and no dessert unless you paid extra. Anyway the food we did get was alright but not worth the $38 each.
The Kalumbaru road from Drysdale to the Gibb was badly corrugated but once back on the Gibb the road was good until 40km out from Home Valley where we met the grader which was grading eastwards toward Home Valley. The yet to be graded 40km was badly corrugated but not as bad as the Kalumbaru road. We got to Home Valley mid morning and chose a camp site down by the Pentacost River at their riverside campground. This campground was one of the best we have camped at with spectacular views of the Cockburn Ranges across the river and a large open area with trees where there was plenty of room to spread out. There were only a handful of campers here during our 3 night stay compared to the packed in sardines camped back at the homestead. There are hot showers, picnic shelters with tables, drinking water taps, new amenities block and you can have fires.
The river here is tidal and there is a huge variation in the height of the river between tides. I tried my luck fishing here to open my barramundi account but unfortunately missed out, only managing a hit on the lure but no hook up. There were plenty of barramundi rising to the surface to smash the poddy mullet that were thick here but they were not really hungry, just being aggressive. A couple of the station’s fishing guides were down at the river catching poddy mullet for bait in a cast net and they said that the water temperature had dropped a week ago and the fish had stopped taking lures. Previous to that campers were catching metre long barra from the same location I was fishing at, should have been here last week they said.
Sunsets were magic here with the setting sun lighting up the Cockburn Ranges across the river with a red glow. Our days here were mainly spent relaxing, fishing, lying by the pool back at the homestead and doing a couple of walks. We booked for dinner at the Dusty Bar & Grill when we checked in for the last night of our stay and when we turned up for dinner they put us outside of the dining area on a picnic table. When we questioned this the answer was that tour groups and in house guests have preference over campers even though we had booked two days earlier and no mention was made of this. We were not impressed and neither were some other couples who were given the same treatment. After ordering our meal we were then asked if we wanted to move inside, it seems that they wait to see if any VIP’s turn up for dinner and as most tables were empty they then allowed us and some others to sit in the dining area as we should have been all along.
We ordered barramundi which came as one piece of fish on some mashed potato and that was it, no vegies, no salad and more of an entree size which was very disappointing. What we got was nice but wouldn’t feed a child and at $38 was a rip off. There was a guy playing guitar and trying to sing but was pathetic so we went out into the beer garden and watched a disappointing Geelong get beaten by West Coast Eagles on the big screen.
Home Valley was a great place to stay but would have been totally different if camping at the homestead. The riverside camp is the prize here, great views, peaceful, friendly campers and we even spotted a large croc basking in the sun on the opposite riverbank one afternoon.