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Some more updates about camping and roads.
May 04, 2009

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4 May 2009, Issue #017
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In this issue:

** Just a collection of little updates

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Hi,

I did not expect to send out another update so soon, but I have received several reader e-mails about different CALM/DEC managed parks and campgrounds, about issues that I'd like to address.

Tunnel Creek: I said in the last newsletter that it was expected to open last week. It did indeed open last Monday. Readers have been e-mailing to tell me it is closed and might remain closed for the whole season due to unstable rocks at the entrance.

It was closed for that reason. Apparently it has been assessed and/or secured, declared safe and is open as of last Monday.

(I have now confirmed that twice with the DEC, I have to assume the information they gave me is correct.)

Lennard Gorge: Yes, Lennard Gorge did close last Monday, but only for two days to carry out burning. It reopened last Wednesday.

Bell Gorge: Bell Gorge is open but currently only the Silent Grove campground is available for camping. The bush campsites along the Bell Creek are still closed.

You are now also able to access some of this information yourself. The DEC has created a new alerts page on their website where, by selecting the second tab, you can get up to date information about road, trail and park access/closures:

https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/alerts

As you will see, announcements on that page are published in chronological order. Those at the top are the latest news. (That's why you find the message "Tunnel Creek temporarily closed" right below the update "Tunnel Creek OPEN".)

If you do have additional questions about any of this, please contact the DEC/CALM on 9195 5500.

I have also added this new link to the Appendix of Destination Kimberley. (The phone number was always available through the Appendix.)

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Another reader wrote to me to highlight a point from the last DEC newsletter.

The DEC announced it intends to trial a high-tech online booking system for several of its national parks. Soon.

Now that made me scratch my head. How would that work? Not everybody uses the internet... They can not turn away people who don't book. And that means even if you did book it certainly would not guarantee you a nicer or bigger site or anything. People would still have to squeeze in as they've always done...

It would only make a difference for the rangers and campground managers who would have a better idea how many people they might have to accommodate all up.

Anyway, I was very curious what the idea behind it was and how on earth it was supposed to work, so I followed up with the DEC.

From what they told me the newsletter was a bit optimistic. At the moment the whole idea is nothing more but an internal proposal. No decision has been made, something like that may or may not happen in the future, but it most certainly won't happen any time soon!

But I thought I let you know so I don't look too stupid when someone stumbles across the high-tech announcement... ;-)

(Thanks again, Julie, for letting me know about this!)

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The track to the Mitchell Plateau is apparently OPEN! Now, before you hook up the trailer and make a bee line for the falls: the King Edward is still a metre deep and flowing strongly. This is not for the faint of heart!

If deep, fast water is not your thing, give it at least another couple of weeks. (Don't worry, it'll still be exciting enough then...)

The track is also badly washed out in several places, so if or when you do head up there, take great caution.

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And last but not least, several early travellers have been sending in road reports. All other roads (including the Bungles access track) are in very good condition, some work is still being carried out, but overall people seem to have been impressed with the quality of the roads.

Well, the roads ARE good when they've just been fixed. That's the best time to go... Lets hope they last for a while!

(The more vehicles, the heavier the load and the faster people drive, the sooner the tracks deteriorate again... And once the main tourist onslaught hits, oh my...)

Thanks to everyone who's been writing. I am very grateful for all the little updates and helpful notes that people send in after their trips. While I try to keep an eye on things myself best as I can, I obviously can't be everywhere at the same time.

So please know that it helps immensely to hear from you!

Have a great trip everyone, and more from the Kimberley soon.
B.

Feedback? Go to http://www.kimberleyaustralia.com/contact.html

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(c) 2005-2009, Birgit Bradtke. All rights reserved. The Kimberley Guide is published by Birgit Bradtke in Kununurra, WA 6743, Australia. Reproduction of any material from this newsletter without written permission is prohibited.

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