So, getting back to the Gibb River Road now – we are only about half way along it and there are some beautiful places we still want to share with you! After stopping at Bell Gorge, we set up camp for two nights at Manning Gorge. This was a really nice place to camp with heaps of campsites and the campground was quite big so if you didn’t mind a walk to the amenities you could find a campsite away from everybody else. The amenities were generator operated hot water showers – so you could only get hot showers for an hour or so in the morning and two hours at night. The generator was a little noisy but the toilets and showers were nice and clean. It was a little smelly though so I was glad we didn’t camp near the amenities. Most of the sites were quite shady which was nice but they were all very dry and dusty when we were there.
The best thing about the manning gorge campground was the river and sandy river bed right near the campsite which you could swim in – it was lovely! A great spot that was cool and shady and the water was so nice for swimming.
After arriving fairly late in the afternoon we only had time to have a quick swim and set up camp, so the next morning we headed off to tackle the walk to Manning Gorge. This walk was probably one of the toughest we have done. It was only about a 3km walk in (so 6km’s return) but it is a very open walk, so very hot and dusty!! We all found this walk a pretty long one and agree we should have started earlier in the day (we headed off at about 10am). To start the walk you must cross the swimming hole at the river and to help keep your feet dry you can use a little ‘pull -along’ tinnie. The kids loved it and we had several creek crossing in the boat during our couple of days here!
We were all pretty happy to finally reach the gorge after about an hour and a half of walking! It was worth the walk though and we were lucky enough to have the place to ourselves for some of the time we were there. We spent a couple of hours down there and I had packed enough snack food to keep us all happy, so it was a very relaxing way to spend the hottest part of the day before we tackled the long walk back!
Manning Gorge is about the half way point along the Gibb River Road and we could easily have spent a few more days relaxing and swimming here if we had longer – we’d definitely recommend a couple of nights stay here and the Barnett River Roadhouse was just up the road so you could grab some essential supplies, fuel and ice creams very easily! Aaargh – I just want to go back now!