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Keep River National Park

Mini Bungle Bungle

sunny 30 °C

It was only a short drive from Lake Argyle to the Jarnem campground in Keep River National Park but we crossed the WA/NT border so lost 1.5hrs which meant we arrived at 10:30am. Just as well we arrived early as this is a busy campground and by lunch time it was full. Our logic for choosing Jarnem over Gurrandalng was because the Jarnem loop walk is 8km and we wanted to do this early morning before it got too hot and also because Jarnem doesn’t allow generators. Anyway our planned walks got reversed when we discovered that the ranger was doing a walk and talk on the Gurrandalng walk the following morning.

Luckily for us the day was cooler than it has been recently and there was a cooling wind blowing as we set off on the 8km Jarnem loop walk. The walk takes you along the forested valley floor before ascending up the escarpment to the Jarnem lookout which gives 360 degree views. The view as we sat on the rocky ledge with a nice cool breeze coming up from the valley floor below was absolutely breathtaking, you could see for many kilometres up the valley with escarpments on either side and it was a lush green. We sat here having some morning tea and mesmerised by the view for quite some time, not wanting to leave this amazing view. Looking out the opposite side you could see a range that resembled ones we had seen at Purnululu with the beehive dome like structures.

The walk then descends into the valley on the other side of the range and in amongst palm trees and more domes then around beside a high escarpment which has some very faded aboriginal rock art. This was a great walk which took us around 2.5 hours and well worth the effort. We spent the rest of the day around camp, cooked dinner on the camp fire and enjoyed the mild night watching bush tv.

Christian the ranger began the walk/talk at Gurrandalng at 8:30am the next day with a tasting of the nectar from some lovely orange grevillea flowers which are found around the campground. They had a nice sweet flavour but need to be harvested early morning before the dew on the nectar dries up. The talk was very interesting as Christian explained the traditional use of the plants we saw along the walk up to the lookout, as well as the geological features of the escarpment. The view from the lookout highlighted the beehive dome structures of the escarpment in the distance and the valley below. The ranger left the group here to continue the walk down into the valley and back to the campground. This walk was much shorter (2km return) than the Jarnem walk but well worth the effort.

Heading back on the road to Jarnem there is another walk to do which takes you along the side of the Keep River past lots of large boab trees to an aboriginal wet season shelter site under a large rock overhang where you can view some rock art. The Jinumum walk is 3km and fairly easy going but worth a look to see the rock art. Back at camp people kept rolling in all afternoon looking for a camp site with some camping where they shouldn’t and others missing out. There were way too many people here for the one toilet to cope and National Parks either needs to install another toilet or control the numbers of campers here.

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Posted by OzJourney 04:45 Archived in Australia

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