Day 282 – Judbarra / Gregory National Park

I took the Victoria highway west from Katherine heading towards the Western Australian border. Judbarra/ Gregory national park was a park I figured I’d stop in to see now, but it seems fate was against me.

There are 2 main sections with the larger of the 2 offering several long 4wd tracks to explore the park. Unfortunately all tracks were closed already for the duration of the wet season. My only option was to visit the Limestone Gorge area and the old Bullita station along the main gravel road.

On the track to the Limestone Gorge I came across more Tufa dams like in Flora River NP, except these were currently dry. These rocks are a type of limestone created by layers of minerals precipitating out of the mineral rich water over thousands of years.

Further on was a short walk which leads through ancient sea bed rocks with Stromatolite fossils. It was interesting to see the layers of rocks showing in the surrounding mountainsides. The limestone gorge area itself was closed so off I headed to explore the old Bullita cattle outstation.

The station was well maintained and intact. It included cattle yards, the main homestead, workshops, and other accommodation for the cattlemen. A large Boab tree was out front with the names of past visitors. The river close by had a decent sized waterhole remaining.

I ended up camping at the nearby campgrounds for 5 nights, spending all that time reading books. Finished 3 in that time. I didn’t see anyone else for my whole 5 days so was wonderfully relaxing. At nights the wild cattle and dingoes would call out. Got a little worried when the calls from the pack of dingoes sounded like it was coming straight towards me.

Leaving the park I came across multiple feral horses and donkeys. My first feral donkeys!

The Victoria River and Timber Creek township appeared as I continued west along the Victoria highway.

Gregory’s Tree was a significant landmark where a very large boab tree had been carved with the arrival and departure dates for the expedition of the explorer Augustus Gregory. He had set up a base camp by the river, having a ship sail up the Victoria river to this point and supply his exploration of the top end. The tree’s dates were October 13th 1855 and July 2nd 1856.

 

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