Berkley River

Our last planned stop of the Kimberley. It didn’t disappoint. Another barred crossing took an hour or so to manoeuvre through the shallow sections – water turbulence made judging the depth near impossible, but we made it without a hitch. Again, like the King George, the initial scenery gave us a taste of what was to come.

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Cruising to the upper reaches
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Anchored at ‘The Amphitheatre’
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The view from Gonyonda to the upper reaches of the Berkley. Time to get the hiking gear on and explore…

After finding another wonderful anchorage toward the upper reach of the Berkley, we decided to explore by dinghy. More hiking – and the promise of a swim??

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The tidal rock bar – where the salt river meets the fresh water.
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A fresh water billabong about 1km from the rock bar. Glad we decided not to swim here as upon further reading we discovered that large crocs have been sighted residing in these lovely pools…
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Consolation prize for not swimming at the rock bar.
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Nature makes the most amazing gardens. This was the spring feeding the waterfall above.

After that refreshing shower, we decided to head up to the top of ‘The Amphitheatre’. More spectacular views…

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After deciding that the waterfall was the best place we had found so far to cool off, we thought we might even take the shampoo and give our hair a wash! Upon entering the alcove the next morning, we noticed that a log had somehow made its way onto the ledge that we stood on the day before.

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See that log just under the water?
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Eeek! Not a log!
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Yeah. We see you now.

After quickly reversing out of the alcove, we were not going to let that log ruin our prospects of a hair wash. He/she received a move-along notice from above, and we were able to get under the waterfall, albeit a more brief hair wash than first anticipated, returning to Gonyonda intact, and ready to head back down the river with the tide.

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We anchored for the night at Casuarina Creek, and took a little detour up a small mangrove creek where we hiked again up to some more pools…

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You can just imagine how spectacular this would be earlier in the season when water would be cascading down those rocks. There was a lot of slime and algae in the pools as the falls had obviously been dry for some time. This creek usually flows late into the dry.
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But… its ok to swim if you don’t put your head under! 
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Our last night in the Kimberley – and finally – a barra each! Yay! What a way to top it off (I think my fish (Mari’s) was bigger…)

The barra from the previous night kept our bellies full as we decided to have one last hike before we set sail for Darwin after lunch. The incoming tide took us up another small creek toward the entrance of the Berkley.

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Stepping stones. Always hike past the first pool to find what awaits further upstream.
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Again, water would normally be at least trickling down the face of this rocks late in the dry. We’ll just have to explore it again another time!
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The final cooling dip. 

The weather window had arrived to cross the Blownapart (Bonaparte) Gulf. As we headed out of the Berkley on the high tide we were aware of the multitude of memories we had created and were taking with us from the Kimberley. A special place we will hold dear to our hearts for a long while to come.

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