Natural Oils And Swimming Heaven  – In The Australian Outback!

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Last time, we checked out Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek. Go here if you missed it.

Nature’s Skincare

There’s something special about swimming in freshwater creeks. Afterwards, your skin feels soft – and you feel relaxed and refreshed.

Too many people spend huge sums of money on skincare products and fret if they get a wrinkle.

Bell Creek, Bell Gorge.
Pure water and natural skincare at Bell Gorge, courtesy of Mother Nature.

Yet, the best skincare regime is to simply have a swim in a creek or river. Oils are picked up along the way – ti tree oil, eucalyptus oils and the like – so you are effectively swimming in a delightful mix of pure water and natural oils.

We’ll get back to this shortly. First, let’s have a look at where we came from and exactly where we are now!

Lennard River Snack Stop

We left Windjana Gorge and headed towards Silent Grove. Silent Grove is a camp ground providing access to Bell Gorge. We brought Anna with us (who is Anna again?) so she could see more of the sights along the GRR.

She left her car at a “snack stop” on the main road at Lennard River and hopped in with us. The snack stop was a caravan parked on the bank of a river and was run by a bloke who lived there in the dry season. Bizarre! Unfortunately this is no longer operational.

Lennard River Snack Stop. Sadly, it's no more.
A caravan and a bit of a bush campsite comprised the Lennard River Snack Stop.

Queen Victoria And King Leopold Range – What’s With All The Royals?

After crossing the Lennard River you’ll squeeze between the Napier Range as you drive north-east. This is the same range that forms Windjana Gorge. As you approach Napier Range, an uncanny likeness to Queen Victoria emerges from the rocky cliffs. Must be the nose…

Queen Victoria's head, Napier Range.
Yep, it’s definitely the nose!

This part of the Gibb River Road (GRR) is rugged with spectacular scenery; we then wound up and over King Leopold Range. GRR was in good condition and some of the steeper parts were tarred. Way too civilised…

King Leopold Range, Gibb River Road
The rugged and beautiful King Leopold Range.
King Leopold Range, Gibb River Road
Driving through the King Leopold Range.

The country flattened out near Silent Grove. It’s about 15km off the GRR to the north-west. You’ll cross a couple of reasonably deep creeks – depending on the season of course.

Silent Grove campground was excellent, very quiet and peaceful – and had flushing toilets and hot showers (as did Windjana Campground). The drinking water was beautiful, fed directly from a natural spring.

Silent Grove Campground.
Silent Grove campground was so peaceful. And the flushing toilets and hot showers were a welcome bonus.

Ben & Anna set up their swags side by side under a tree. The kids were fascinated by Anna’s Akubra hat. It had blood spatters all over it from de-horning cattle at the cattle station she worked on!

Silent Grove, swagging it.
Anna and Ben decided to roll out the swags.

Nature’s Skincare In A Red Rock Gorge

In the afternoon we drove to Bell Gorge. It’s quite a walk from the carpark, but well worth it. The gorge has a waterfall which drops into a deep swimming hole and we just had to have a swim. Sensational place, paradise.

The long walk down to Bell Gorge. It's worth the walk!
Walking down to Bell Gorge.
Boab tree, Bell Gorge.
A boab tree hiding amongst the rocks.

It’s hard to describe the beauty of this place. You swim in pristine waters with those natural oils we talked about earlier. Float around on your back and take in the deep red rock walls that seem to envelope you.

Waterfall at Bell Gorge.
The waterfall cascades into a deep swimming pool.
The swimming hole at Bell Gorge.
Looking down on the swimming hole.
Swimming at Bell Gorge.
How could you resist this?
Swimming at Bell Gorge.
Truly spectacular.

Spend some time wandering along the creek above the waterfall. If you’re patient, you’ll likely see lots of little fish, lizards and maybe even a goanna sunning itself on the rocks.

Bell Creek, Bell Gorge. Love the pandanus palms!
Bell Creek above the waterfall. Love those pandanus palms!

Bell Creek, Bell Gorge in the late afternoon.
Bell Creek in the late afternoon sun.
Checking out a goanna in Bell Creek, Bell Gorge.
Checking out a goanna.

A truly magical – even spiritual – place. And that lovely water will have soothed your sore muscles, so you’ll hardly notice the long walk back to the carpark.

Anna left us the next morning – she managed to get a lift back to her car at Lennard River Snack Stop with two young ladies. We all missed her, she was great company.

If you’re looking for Kimberley tours, cruises or places to stay, TourRadar have a good selection for you to choose from.

Next time: Mornington Wilderness Camp – eco camping in the Kimberleys.

Gibb River Road Bonus Guide at our Free Resources library.

Plan your Gibb River Road Adventure

Download “Gibb River Road – A Traveller’s Guide” for info on what to see, road conditions, fuel and much more.
…at our FREE RESOURCES Page!

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Any errors or omissions are mine alone.

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