Not so Geike Gorge
After what seemed like a hotter and longer drive out of the Bungle Bungles, aided by several bushfires along the way, we reached the outskirts of Halls Creek. “AN OASIS IN THE KIMBERLEY” professed the sign. Judging by the dry, dreary, impoverished and dusty Main Street, we had our doubts…………..! “Oasis” was not an adjective springing to mind.
It was getting dark when we found the van park (the following description is very generous) and were curtly shown to our on-site-van by a rather gruff and camp Frenchman who seemed very out of place. Perhaps he was angry because it is so hard to find a good baguette in Halls Creek! We looked at each other”Ahhhh so this is where caravans come to die, we’d always wondered”.
Without going into too much detail we made it through the night and quickly packed up and moved on at first light. Our first stop “Halls Creek Ghost town (the old gold rush prospecting town)”Some mud brick ruins (quite interesting in themselves) and a very lacklustre attempt at tourism was all we found.
Somebody had erected modern monuments left, right and centre in fact rumour has it that even the first butchers’ dog has one. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find it. This forlorn little place, and the description of China Wall, (our next intended stop) as being “a low stone wall ending in a toxic pool”, had us changing our minds and getting back on the track bee-lining for Fitzroy Crossing and the beautiful Geike Gorge.
We’d heard that the lodge at Fitzroy really was an oasis and a touch of civilisation in the middle of nowhere, and it proved to be true. We were early, so we decided to visit the Gorge that afternoon.
Geike Gorge was originally part of an immense reef that formed a perimeter around the edge of the Kimberley approximately 360 million years ago (pre-dinosaur time). This reef developed over 50 million years while the sea levels rose to much higher levels than today. The seas subsided over the years leaving humongous limestone deposits exposed to the elements. Over the millions of years since, the rock has been eroded so today we have, amongst other formations, Geike Gorge. Gaudi would have loved this place! The formations are so very organic in shape and form you feel as if they have been sculpted rather than eroded.
We, unfortunately, made one mistake on our visit to Geike Gorgewe took the tour. It could only be likened to taking a tour of a sausage factory with Mick Dundee (of Crocodile Dundee fame) as your guide!!! What a joke. We were being filmed by a crew (for what, who knows?) and the guy was more interested in getting his face on film than giving an informative tour. Absolutely hopeless, let’s hope that he soon finds other work perhaps he could swap jobs with Bart Simpson!