Skull Springs to Carawine Gorge via Running Waters

Leaving Nullagine

We headed east out of Nullagine on the Skull Springs Road.

A few kilometres out of town Eugene got on the radio to announce he was experiencing mechanical difficulties – steering problems. The initial diagnosis was ball joints but Garry and Joe determined it was a tie rod end.

It seemed like it would be the end of the Road Trip for Eugene and Corey. However, the crew was not about to give up before a visit was paid to the stockpile of wrecks at the ‘village’ back in Nullagine.

Corey and Kirk stayed with the stricken Hilux Surf, Joe, Garry and Eugene returned to Nullagine, and everyone else continued on the Road Trip. I changed the overnight stop to Skull Springs.

There was no area suitable for the size of our group close to the Springs.  Just on dusk, Scott located a large cleared area a few hundred metres away.

The remainder of our convoy arrived 45 minutes later.  We were surprised to see the Surf with them.  They had located a tie rod end from a Pajero at the dump that fitted perfectly, and the Surf was as good as new.

Skull Springs

For some, the ‘instant’ change/shower tent is the bane of their existence when camping. Depending on the variety they are extremely simple, virtually folding themselves, or so complicated as to be a source of great amusement for onlookers watching a hapless adventurer trying to control it back into its cover. We will convert this annoying feature to a competition in the future.

Before leaving our campsite we took the opportunity to drive down to Skull Springs.

Leaving Skull Springs we worked our way further along the Skull Springs Road. It eventually intersects the Woodie Woodie Road but nine kilometres before that we turned into Running Waters, also known as Eel Pool. This was our planned stop last night.

Running Waters

Running Waters is one of a number of great swimming holes on the Oakover River. The track into the swimming hole was washed out – a challenge that Eugene couldn’t resist.

A short walk brought us to one of those wonders of the Outback – a permanent swimming hole.

Time to head to Carawine Gorge.

From Running Waters, Skull Springs Road continues east to the sealed Woodie Woodie Road but we chose to turn west (back along the track we had followed in) and then head north on the Upper Carawine Gorge track.

Oakover River

There was nothing of interest at Upper Carawine Gorge so we continued on, crossing the Oakover River.

From the river crossing it is about eight kilometres to the sealed Woodie Woodie Road.

Upper Carawine Gorge Track

The rough track and spectacular scenery continued.

Out of the valley the track is dotted with mesa and other spectacular formations as it winds its way across open plains between the Oakover River and the Gregory Range.

When contending with gutters, washouts, dips, sharp, flinty rock and other potentially vehicle-damaging challenges back in the dust of the convoy, I could not help but note the incongruity of the call over the radio of – “I’ve turned onto bitumen”.

The rough track we were on intersects with the sealed Woodie Woodie Road, near two distinctive hills known as Two Sisters.

It was then bitumen all the way to Carawine Gorge turnoff.  Our Skull Springs to Carawine Gorge Road Trip finished at the end of a 14 kilometre, twisting, turning track, with a few reverse camber bends.

The camping/picnic area is deep, coarse river gravel.  We found a good spot with shade for most of our vehicles and set up comfortable camps.

We were at Carawine Gorge for lunch and dinner.

 

 

© Kim Epton 2017-2024
1239 words, 97 photographs, one image, five videos.

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