Manning Gorge

4/7/14 – Our camp spot proved to be a good one, nice and quiet, still cold nights.

Back on the Gibb Road it felt like a smooth Hwy in comparison to the Kalumburu Rd. Looks like good camping on the Hann River, southern  side of the road, Kununurra side of the crossing. Actually there are several places you could easily pull off for the night.

We pulled into Mt Barnett Roadhouse to pay for our permit into Manning Gorge $20 each, this also includes camping for the night. It’s the same price whether you camp here or not. We also got some hot chips that weren’t that hot, Chris also got the brake fluid. We didn’t fill up with fuel but it was $2.50 L. You can also get drinking water and there is a trailer for rubbish. It’s 7km from the roadhouse to Manning Gorge.

Considering most of the other gorges on the Gibb are free to see, (ELQ the exception) Manning is a bit expensive, camping for the night makes it seems more worth while but we have had much better campsites camping on a gravel pit. The campsites are dusty, have fire pits everywhere and as we found out later very full. We had 2 Britz cars with 2 families that had enough teenage boys to make their own football team camp right next to us. Their tents were very close and they weren’t quiet.

The generator that runs the amenities, showers, flushes the toilets runs 6am to 9.30am, then 5pm to 8pm. Generators can only be used in these times, which people ignored and 8pm is a bit late. There is only one hot water system the other one packed it in a while ago, so it struggles to provide enough hot water. There is a sign that says if the toilets won’t flush outside these hours use a bucket. We just used our own shower.

The gorge is great. At the start of the walk you have to pull yourself across the river in a boat. The swimming here is great, clear deep water and very popular when people finish the walk. The fish like to nibble though. It’s hard work pulling the boat along.
Manning-Boat Manning-Boat-1The walk is 2.6km one way as per a GPS allow 1.5 to 2hrs. The track is over sand and rocks and is undulating. Closer to the gorge there is some steeper bits climbing down over rocks, the last one just before the gorge is rather steep. It’s is a hot walk as it’s open with little shade. We didn’t start the walk until 11.30am so it was pretty hot going. At the gorge you are greeted with several large swimming holes which are really lovely but the water is very cold. You have to climb and walk around along the top of the rocks to get to the waterfall. The best time of day to photograph the falls is in the morning. The roadhouse advises to leave the gorge no later than 3pm so you can complete the walk in daylight. But people seem to ignore that too.
Manning-Gorge-2 Manning-Gorge-1 Manning-Gorge Manning-FallsChris had a dip at the gorge and back at the swimming hole near camp, he loved it saying it was nice and refreshing, that’s his code for freezing, bit too cold for me.