Friday, 12 October 2012

The Wolfe Creek Experience

From our campsite at the Bungles, we packed up early and got on the road.  The drive out of the Bungles was lovely, with a few creek crossings and views, just as it was on the way in.

We pumped the tires back up when we hit the bitumen, and headed for Halls Creek again.  We had a few decisions to make here.  We were ultimately heading down the Tanami, a 1000 (ish) km dirt road from Halls Creek to Alice Springs.  We wanted to go to Wolfe Creek Crater, up near the top of the Tanami, and also were very keen to visit Balgo, an aboriginal community off the Tanami, which is quite well known for its art.  The gallery in Balgo sells paintings from a number of well known (internationally) artists.

It was a Friday and we found out that the art gallery closes on a weekend.  We had therefore decided to try to fill in some time until Monday morning when we could visit, and hopefully find that particular piece we were looking for in our house.

In looking at the maps, and talking to the tourist information centre, we had a plan.  We were going to go out to Wolfe Creek crater that night, and then find a slightly off the beaten track campsite at Lake Gregory for two night, leaving on Monday via Balgo.  All good.

We fuelled up, and then looked for some water to fill our camper up for the run down south.  The servo sent us back to the tourist information centre, where we found out that they provided water, at a cost of 55 cents / litre!!!!!!!!!!!!  Pardon????  You can’t be serious can you???  In all our travelling over many years, we’d never been charged for water.  Seemed a bit weird given that if you were staying at the caravan park, you could fill up 100’s of litres if you had the tanks.  Anyway, we needed the water, so coughed up.

We drove out of town, and turned onto the Tanami.  Leaving the Kimberley was a bit sad.  We love the area, and definitely enjoyed our re-visit.  Wonder when we’ll be back again??

We drove the 170kms down to the Wolfe Creek turnoff, and headed in.  The access road was pretty rough, but nothing too dramatic.  We cruised into camp early afternoon, finding the campground empty.

We had heard a lot about the movie ‘Wolfe Creek’.  People have said, “Oh, you camp, have you seen Wolfe Creek??”  We hadn’t, and definitely definitely definitely don’t want to.  Other than actually wanting to see the crater, another benefit from being here is that we can now say “No we haven’t seen the movie, but we’ve camped there”.

We setup, chilled out for a while, and then headed up to see the crater before the sun set.  The crater was formed 300 million years ago when a meteorite survived the entry into the atmosphere without totally burning up, and hit the ground.  The crater that was formed was 800 meters across, and at the time, around 120 metres deep.  It is now around 20 metres deep after years of dirt and sand filling it up.  Fragments of rock that came from the explosion have been found up to 4 kms away.  That’s one bit smash!

A vivid image we have is of Savannah, after explaining to her that a huge star hit the ground and caused this massive hole, she continued to make big explosion type noises whilst throwing her hands in the air.  Very funny to watch.  Hopefully we got it on video! J

There were no scary incidences that occurred that night, and we all survived without Hollywood interfering.  Whew!
It takes a couple of hours to walk the perimeter of the crater

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