Up early to beat the heat and the crowds we began our trek. The walk is a well marked track with both indicators in trees and on the ground, it would be hard to get lost but we did witness some people almost achieve it when on the return leg not paying attention. The 5 km return isn’t the hardest bush walk you will find in these parts, but a moderate level of fitness is required as you will find yourself up and down rocky creek beds, scrambling over rocks and walking in some pretty intense heat at times with little shade. Upon arrival at the falls of Manning Gorge you get that real Kimberley experience. An almost untouched pool with crystal clear water cascading roughly 20 m down the face of the Gorge. Seeing this is why the Kimberley is best visited earlier in the dry, as the months go on these falls and many like it will begin to dwindle down to more of a trickle.
We made our way back and unloaded the Polaris Ute, it was lunch time and what better way to head back up the 7 km track than on an ATV! We received a few looks as I pulled in to fill up with Unleaded that’s for sure. Using the Polaris to collect some firewood before we returned would mean the perfect end to a perfect day with a big fire for the night. Once the hard work was done we headed back over to the sandy beach by the river and enjoyed another swim to cool off. It was then a somewhat startled gentleman pointed out the presence of a 1.5 m Freshwater Crocodile sun baking on one of the many rocks in the water. Some panicked, some including myself remained calm and just watched. Freshwater Crocodiles, unlike their Saltwater cousins are rather docile and rarely attack humans. Later on another was spotted of a slightly larger size, but he or she was also happy to just enjoy the afternoon sun and leave us alone to swim.
There is all kinds of risk in travelling, be it the dangers of the wildlife or the remote regions we head to. I see travelling early after the Wet one of them, there is always the chance something may be closed but it means you get to see the rest at their best with much less people around you. The closures we have faced so far won’t stop me doing it, I’m tempted to go earlier if anything.