Sunday, 22 July 2018

Wolfe Creek Crater

We left our overnight spot on the Tanami at around 9am.  Seems that this will be our usual pack up departure time.  Today was the day we crossed the WA border and in doing so gained an extra 1 1/2 hours time wise.  Of course the obligatory pictures were required although the welcome sign wasn’t quite the traditional one.

Ross's at the WA border

We cruised into Wolfe Creek Crater around 11:30am WA time, after a fairly easy day on the Tanami.  The road conditions were pretty good and it meant an average of 80 kms / hour was possible.  The road into the crater itself was a bit rough but we were more concerned that we might miss out on a spot given the small number of camp spots available onsite.  Turns out we were there in plenty of time with a stream of vehicles arriving with us and we were able to secure a spot.

The crater itself was quite impressive. A 300 000 year old hole from a meteorite which crashed into earth would have certainly made a bang, the surrounding landscape is pretty flat so the crater that is 20 metres deep certainly stands out.  The temperature has certianly risen and it was pushing high 20’s so we thought that we would take a trip to the crater first before setting up for the night. 

The crater!  About 2.5 kms round, 800m across, 20m deep and 300,000 years old 

Dad's glamour shot.

Once setup was complete, the sweatiest and dustiest one undertaken to date, we settled back into the enjoying the afternoon’s warmth with a few cold beverages.  It was nice just to sit back and relax.

 The camp at Wolfe Creek Crater, not a bad view :)

Spectacular sunsets are a regular up here

Corrugations on the Wolfe Creek road were certainly a little rougher than most.

The next day Pam, Jamie and Stu got up early and did the crater’s rim walk returning at 7:30am for a quick breakfast before pack-up.  We decided not overnight in Halls Creek as planned and we were looking to push through to Purnululu NP so that we can setup for a few days rather than somewhat consistent 1 night stays we had experienced to date.

We made Halls Creek around 11:30am after a very rough 150 kms to complete the Tanami Track.  It was certainly a tricky section of road with lots of corrugations as well as sandy sections and a few rollercoaster’ish dips thrown in for good measure.  Charlie did very well!  It was lovely to complete the track and although it was a tricky section that finished it, overall the track was in very good condition.

Halls Creek was an interesting town, good fuel prices being $1.63 per litre for diesel.   From the additional security bars at the information centre, seems that the issues at night reported on forums must be true.  Not nearly as bad as at Fitzroy Crossing but still a concern.  We had the idea that we would use the local swimming pool to refresh ourselves after fuel, accommodation and some other domestic bits and pieces.  The pool had showers, the main reason for the parents going in as well.  After a few days on the road a freshen up with clean hair etc would have been nice.  The pool opened at 2pm so the long wait for it to open ensued.  Delays and distractions such as ice creams were required to keep the kids somewhat at bay.

Turns out a local notice at the pool indicated that it closed for maintenance some 4 days ago, not reopening till mid September.  The kids were shattered, a) we had waited a long time and b) they really wanted a swim.  However it was not be and so we headed for Purnululu NP some 150kms north of us.  Enjoying the tar road along the way, the kms zipped by and we arrived at the 52km dirt road entrance to the park.  

The road in was entertaining for the drivers, but for the passengers that suffer a bit a motion sickness less so.  It was pretty corrugated but had a number of corners ( Stu firmly believes that the person that built the road was a Queenslander) in fact not really a straight section, but this was combined with lots of dips and a few creek crossings to throw in the mix.  It took us a good part of an hour to get in, with the back drop of a setting sun on the Bungles Range as we arrived.  Just stunning.

We got to camp and setup in fairly quick time, ready for walking adventures ahead for tomorrow.

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