Western Australia

Mitchell Falls to Port Warrender

Kalumburu Road and Mitchell Falls Road I think have the biggest and best corrugations we’ve ever seen. There’s something about the type of material and size distribution of the gravel surface that makes it perfect for forming huge vehicle destroying corrugations. Whilst camped at Gibb River on the side of Kalumburu Road we witnessed the tow truck cross the causeway and come back with a vehicle on board quite a few times. On route we passed several broken down vehicles – 2 different vehicles with broken rear axles, another with probable cracked fuel line and another with a blown up engine. Towing to Derby or Kununurra costs many thousands of dollars and usually takes several days to get organised. Then the repairs are usually slow and expensive. Best bet if driving out here is let down your tyres to around 20psi and drive slowly.

The walk to Mitchell Falls is fun, passing a couple of smaller waterfalls, rock pools, a few water crossings and some rock scrambling and is not too long or arduous. The falls themselves are impressive but can only be viewed from a distant vantage point. I would have loved to get closer and maybe taken a dip in some of the intermediate pools.

Further up the Mitchell Falls Road is another nice rock pool called surveyors pool. That’s where the main tourist route finishes but the road continues north towards the coast to Port Warrender. A chap we talked to at Kununurra reckons Port Warrender has exceptional fishing so we thought we’d give it a go. It took us a good few hours to travel the 30km from Surveyors Pool to Port Warrender along the very rocky and hilly track. The couple we met on the side of the road a few nights before joined us. They left their caravan at Drysdale Station.

Port Warrender produced 2 x Cod and 1 Javelin Fish. Not bad but could have been better considering the hours we put in. The cod were fat and delicious and fed the whole party. Fishing around the water’s edge means enduring a few billion midges but the camp sites are elevated with only a few midges passing through. The landscape is vast, rugged and largely untouched. Combine this with such remote isolation and the place gives you the feeling of being a bit of an explorer or something.

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