After updating the map we left Mt Elizabeth slightly later than planned…we always aim to leave early but somehow loose time when packing.
We were aiming for Munurru (King Edward River) which is on the Kalumbaru Rd turn off. The Kalumbaru road has a reputation for breaking cars due to big bumpy corrugations and the rocky track and as we made the turn into Kalumbaru we saw two tow trucks loaded with broken vehicles. Not a good sign! A bit further up the road we met the grader…this can be good and bad too as it creates rocks.
We called into Drysdale Station not far up the Kalumbaru Road. Here we refulled at for $2.14 per litre and the scenic flight pilot doubled as automotive fuel attendant! (I asked if I could take his photo – not every day a pilot refuels your car!)
We bought a a few grocery items and Andrew had the fun job of trying to get them into the car. Not an easy pantry to pack!
We had to have a famous Drysdale Roadhouse burger for lunch… as it was lunchtime!
The novel phone at Drysdale Station is housed in a fridge…Telstra must not have supplied a booth with the phone!
Then we headed on further up the road to Munurru (previously called King Edward River) the camp ground on the King Edward River. The road didn’t get any better as we progressed with patches of corrugations that were shaking the patrol so much that items were falling and bouncing around the car. The corrugations on the road were pretty big and it is always hard to know what ideal speed provides the smoothest ride but we think too fast is going to cause more damage so we were travelling around the 40-60kph. A man we had met on our travels said if your heading onto that road…”hold onto your teeth” luckily unlike some of the tourists out here we have all our teeth fixed in our mouth so we didn’t loose out teeth on the rattle and bumps but it sure was rough and dusty.
Not much further along the track we came across a couple camped on the side of the road awaiting a new axel for their boat trailer which had snapped. After stopping and offering help…we passed and hoped our trailer would not meet a similar fate.
After a shallow river crossing we turned into the Munurru camp ground which was fairly busy. The camp had recently been burnt out and looked a bit like a moonscape in some of the area. We chose a site and set up for a quick night stop over.
The next morning we awoke early planning on heading up and onto the Mitchell Plateau early to get a campsite. We were doing well packed and almost ready to go when the neighbours popped in and said hello. A couple from Tassie – John and Jenni and their gorgeous two kids Rowan and Remi. Aaron and Rowan immediately started chatting and playing and then we found out that John was a retired professional climber…so we had an immediate bond…the love of mountains, rock climbing and kids similar ages. We didn’t get out of camp until nearly two hours later. As John said…”heading off at the crack of noon…” well almost.
John and Jenni were heading to Mitchell Falls the next day so we had a plan that we would save a spot next to us and catch up there.
The road from Munurru up and onto the Mitchell Plateau was rough for the first 10km and then was windy and hilly which caused everyone to slow down and therefore there it was less corrugated. Overall whilst a rough road and we had to go slow average 50kmh we didn’t think it was too bad. We were one of the lucky ones that didn’t have any car trouble so far…here’s hoping our luck doesn’t change.
Along the way the forest changed from woodlands to a really tropical forest with palms as the predominant species and it was feeling really hot and tropical.