Murchison River Gorge - Day 6

Murchison River Gorge Index

Looping Around

As we rounded the shoulder, cliffs that were filled with caves and undercuts that exposed layers and layers of rocks appeared across the gorge on the other side. The path then descended pretty sharply (at the 3.3 km mark), and zig-zagged down the cliffs to the soft sand below. At the bottom lay a sign that issued a warning - that the path up ahead would become progressively strenuous, and that those who were unprepared should turn back.

Jagged undercuts slicing through the cliffs

We continued walking along the sand for a while before it gave way to ledges that lined the cliffs, with sheer drops down to the river on the right. There were all sorts of patterns around the rocks here, the coral-like criss-crossed shapes, waves and undulations perhaps left by the tides, and huge sharp overhangs protruding out and over the river. Approximately 4.5 km in, the path began to broaden and level out, speeding up the slow traverse into an easy flat walk, before dropping down to sandy swaths once again after a few hundred metres. There was a '4 km' marker about 4.8 km in (according to measurements from my Suunto Ambit), more likely because the start of the measured routes differed, rather than inconsistencies with the GPS.

The path lead up from the sand to rocky ledges once again, then descended down to swaths of grass for a short while. The red brick-strewn path wound its way under huge red sandstone cliffs that were filled with a myriad of various shapes and patterns, before switching to sand once again. The sounds of the plopping of water bobbing on the banks constantly accompanied us, along with the melodic twittering of birds that flitted from tree to tree. We were treated to a surprise near the end of the loop - a red kangaroo (Macropus rufus) joey was foraging in the grass several metres away from us. It looked up at us curiously for a few seconds then carried on foraging after having determined that we were no cause for concern. We stayed there for a while just watching it before making out way back up the final slope, past Nature's Window once again, and back to the car.

For some reason, the longer the hike is, the more it seems to not be long enough...

Route Playback

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Murchison River Gorge Index