As usual we were up with the sunrise, we purposely only unpacked a few things, so it didn’t take us long to get back on the road. Our next stop was Tunnel Creek, and we were there by 7am. The car park was deserted except for a couple of hippies, camped for the night. We made our way to the tunnel entrance and discovered it was quite a long tunnel and we would need torches.
Back to the car we went to get geared up. The creek was amazing, it has basically carved itself through a mountain, the water was very low, so walking through was pretty easy. We came across and small inlet/waterfall and walked over towards it to have a look. Suddenly Iain said ‘wow look at that’, tucked in along the rocks was a very large freshwater crocodile. There were certainly no warning signs out the front! We walked about 50m and realised we would have to wade through water to continue on – being a big sissy I protested, but as usual Iain convinced me to do it. I walked very swiftly across. Just on the other side there was a partial collapse that let the light in, a magnificent spot for a photo shoot. We got quite a few photos in before we heard voices – it was a mad dash to get dressed before the tourists arrived.
It was a couple around our age, and when we asked if they had seen the croc their eyes were as big as saucers. We had a group chat and decided that there was safety in numbers so we would push on. We rounded another corner and suddenly Iain stopped dead and there was movement in front of us. A few crocs lying on the bank, hurriedly getting out of our way and into the water. We had a few more water crossings to get across, so we made sure we made as much noise as possible, to let the crocs know we were there. They are pretty shy creatures so will get out of your way. When we got to the other side we had a bit of a walk around and found some rock art – fascinating.
The tourists were coming through in droves now, so we made our way back through the tunnel to the car. It was only 8.30, and the parking lot was very busy, we were really glad we made the effort to get there early. This was the end of our Gibb River Road experience, and we were headed towards the coast. I must say I do enjoy the desert, but at I seem to be in my element when I am near the sea. We got to Broome around lunch time and went and booked the car in for its warranty service the following week. We stopped at a few tyre places to see if we could get replacement back tyres, but they are an unusual size so no luck. Next stop was shopping centre to replenish our stocks. Iain bought a wifi hub – sharing a dongle was becoming a pain, everything takes twice as long.
All the shopping done we went north to find a place to camp for the night. The camps 5 book and maps showed some free camping spots around 40km away. It was getting late by the time we arrived, we were hoping it wouldn’t be busy, but much to our disappointment there were crowds of people – it suddenly dawned on us it was Friday, all the weekend campers were here. We eventually found a spot and set up for the night, not ideal but we were leaving early.