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Durack River Photo Gallery
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Our guides have flown over the Durack River many times over the course of many years. They looked down onto an intriguing landscape, one view of which is shown at right. Every time we flew over, we thought it offered tremendous potential for a walk. In 2005, the walk finally happened. It was such a good experience that the trip has been in our program ever since. We get to the start of the walk by boat. This means that we have to schedule it to begin at a fairly high tide. The photo at left below shows us entering the mouth of the Durack. The one at right shows some of the group getting off the boat where it dropped us off. From our drop off point, went upstream a short distance, then climbed up and went cross country to cut out a big bend and get beyond the tidal influence. The photo at left below shows the start of the walk along the Durack. The one at right shows guide Russell Willis at a view overlooking the river when we got back to it. We could see some crocodiles below. A close examination with binoculars showed us that they were freshwater crocs. We'd already left the big, dangerous salties behind. Walking on the top was easy; climbing down would have been difficult so we contoured along the top of the gorge to where we could drop down to our first beach. From there we followed the river upstream to our first campsite. The next day set a pattern, lots of nice flat walking, broken up by some rock hopping. We spent a few hours exploring a side gorge without packs before moving on to a camp site next to a big pool. The sunset reflections were particularly nice. One day followed another as we continued our mix of easy flat walks, a bit of rock hopping and the occasinal climb. The climbs were never too difficult, but even if they had been harder, the views would have made it well worth the effotr. The wildflowers were wonderful. The photos below show two different grevilleas, a calandrina and one (lower left) which we still haven't been able to identify. Nyia Creek is the largest tributary of the lower Durack. We had a bit of an explore there and found the single largest art site (250 m from one end to the other) we've seen. (This was one of the few art sites we found on this trip). The photos below show some of the art plus our Nyia camp site. We had a fairly straightforward climb out of the Nyia Valley onto a plateau. Ten minutes after one of our rest stops on the plateau, we came to an area swarming with birds. This was a holiday. It was too nice to miss, so we sat down for another ten minutes or so and listened to and watched the birds before moving on. (Sadly, we didn't have the long lenses we needed to photograph the birds. Pity we couldn't have recorded the bird sounds. The photos below show the climb out of the Nyia valley and one of the many flowering small trees where we stopped to listen to the birds. Although this trip requires carrying food for a full two weeks, it is rated only as level three because of the large amount of flat walking, walking without packs and the nice breaks that you can have along the way. The photo at left and the two below show some of our rest stops. You might have to click to see a larger version to see the people under the pandanus, lower left. We found Aboriginal paintings on two of the side walks without packs. There were few large animals, but wid see a lot of reptiles ranging from in size from small lizards to moderately large freshwater crocs. The latter were shy and always disappeared before we could get close enough for a good photo. We saw only one snake, the harmless tree snake shown below. It was early morning, the snake was cold and sluggish and happy to pose. Some of the best places were those that didn't look particularly promising at the start. We did a morning walk up a grassy valley and found the greatest concentration of flowers we saw anywhere on the trip. (Photos of some of them are earlier onthis page.) We also saw an amazing concentration of jewel beetles. Most of the walking was fairly easy, but some required a bit more effort. We saw many birds, even if they didn't always pose as nicely as the spinifex pigeon shown at right. We had a variety of great camp sites and leisurely evening meals. But, with all of the many good things to remember, what will probably stick in our minds the most are the incredible views over the Durack River and its gorges.
Want more info? Click here to download a PDF file of our Durack River trip notes.