01.07.2017 - 01.07.2017 30 °C
Zebra Rock Mine was just a short drive from Keep River NP, once back on the Victoria Highway you turn off to the right about 10km to the east and then another 10km along a good dirt road to the campground. At $10pp/night it is good value, choose your own grassy site with shade, toilets, cold showers, free wi-fi tea and coffee. There is a communal camp fire each night and you can purchase scones for $3 or fish and chips for $15. The campground was busy the night we stayed but quiet at night with campers well spread.
There is a free talk each day at 3pm by Ruth, who with husband Kim established this amazing place, giving you the story of how Kim discovered the unique zebra rock on this land and made the place what it is today. Zebra rock is only found on this property and two islands in Lake Argyle, one of which was stripped of all its rock years ago and the other one up for sale. Scientists aren’t sure how the rock was formed and it exists nowhere else in the world. The striped patterns in the rock are very beautiful and Kim and Ruth have a shop on site where you can buy jewellery, ornaments, sculptures etc made from the zebra rock which they mine themselves.
The reason Zebra Rock Mine was on our itinerary was the blogs we had read before the trip praising the Sunset Wetlands Tour on Lake Argyle which they run from here. We decided against doing a sunset cruise on the lake when we stayed at Lake Argyle Resort in favour of this cruise and what a great choice we made. You leave the campground at 4pm on a 4wd bus and are taken down to a creek on the property where you board the boat and head out through the creek which passes through wetlands full of bird life and freshwater crocodiles. You then head out into the lake and through areas of dead trees which were inundated when the lake was formed and into another creek where you go ashore and enjoy some nibbles and drinks. Back on the boat you pass ospreys in nests, numerous species of birds including a large sea eagle which Kim throws a fish and he swoops down and picks it up from the surface in his claws.
As the sun sets you travel through areas of dead trees creating great photographic opportunities with the last of the sun’s rays shining through the trees. There was some light cloud around as the sun was setting creating one of the best sunsets you could ever imagine, the colour changing from yellow to orange to red as we cruised back to the bus, stopping along the way for photos and enjoying more drinks on the way back. The cruise certainly lived up to the favourable reviews and was a fantastic experience we will remember fondly. We had pre-ordered fish and chips for dinner on our arrival back at camp at 8pm and they were delicious. The fish was Silver Cobbler which is a type of catfish that is abundant in the lake and it was very tasty. We had to leave the next morning as one of our solar panels has a faulty controller, which we will need to replace in Katherine, so the fridge is not coping without the extra 140 watts it usually gets. We would have stayed another night in this great place if we had enough power to run the fridge, there are no powered sites here.