Monday, June 28, 2010


26 June 2010


We had to back track about 600 metres over the rocky creek bed and tricky corner and then go south about 300 metres to the Wickham track.

It is amazing how totally different the three tracks in the park are.

Hubby said to me that the track has not been used for a while once we were on it. It sure was in use today as three cars passed us going north. Apparently more people are coming out to explore this area.

 In places it was difficult to see the track ahead.

In places it was smooth in others a bit bumpy.

The scenery again was very different.

There were many creek crossings and water channel crossings. Hubby referred to this one as a hiccup to the smooth running track at the time.

Often the creek bed was quite dry

but on either side were lovely water pools.

After one creek crossing we were hit by a swarm of locusts. They continued with us for quite a while.

The jump up on the way up very interesting.

This time there was a real sense of going up to something.  The views from the top were spectacular. The so called tent hills in the distance were very striking.

On the way down needed low 2nd gear. It was a short distance down and very deceiving. Didn’t look bad but all advice was use low gear up or down on this stretch.

As we approached Wickham river we wandered whether we would make it as this branch was low and the question was whether we could dodge it or whether we would have to cut it. We just made it as there was a ditch in the track.

Wickham River was beautiful.

There were no boabs on this stretch of the road. Lots of different types of wattles were seen along this stretch of the track.

Some trees were really into doing a contortion act.

There were quite a few cattle around on this track. We didn’t know whether this one was going to charge us or go the other way. Lucky for us it turned and went away.

Most of the track was more forgiving on the car – not as strenuous. It was the first time we came across a sign indicating that we were going past ceremony country.

At a spot where we were expecting a track to the river we came across a sign indicating that beyond that point on the road to the right was a sacred site and no sign of the expected track was to be seen.

We knew we were out of the park when we saw fences appear.

At the end of the Wickham Track we turned left to go along the Mount Sandford Humbert River Road. Note how insignificant the track to the left looks.

This second part of trip towards Humbert Station was full of surprises.

First 11 kilometres very hard on the tyres as some of it was along a channel of the Wickham River over loose stones. At times it was about kilometre in length in other places less. I measured one section as being 600 metres. This part of the so called road was very daunting when you couldn’t see the end to it.

You felt as if you were driving in a gorge with the Wickham River just beyond the grasses and the escarpment rising on the other side. There was no opportunity to decide to go back as there was no way you could turn around.

There were quite a few creek crossings along the way.

We didn’t have any track notes for this and wondered what we were in for as we drove between long grasses and tall shrubs. In places the grasses nearly obscured the track. They were also quite tall – above the window in places and we do sit very high up compared to an average 4wd.

At times it was spot where the track is going.

Then about eleven kilometres in after a creek crossing to our surprise a graded road was in front of us. From then on it was generally smooth sailing.

The last creek crossing was wet black soil. Hubby got quite worried as he crossed it. He felt the back wheels begin to sink in. Luckily there was a rock base on exiting it.

Eight gates had to be opened and shut before reaching Buchanan Highway.

As we left through the last of Humbert Station gates there was a sense of relief that we had got through this part of the trip safely and with the car intact. None of the drawers or cupboards swung open through the rough tracks. Only the fridge had jumped around a bit in its lodgings.

The trip through Gregory National Park was absolutely awesome. A beautiful place. It sure has plenty of flies, termite mounds and birds. Each track had its own beauty and challenges. The Bullita Stock Route was the most difficult. The highlights here were the two East Baines River crossings and the limestone steps. The next in difficulty was the Humbert track. The highlight here was crossing the Humbert River. The Wickham track was the most picturesque. The highlight here was the jump up.

We will do it again if possible.

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