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Kimberley News: Imintji Open, Parks Closed!
May 15, 2016
15 May 2016, Issue #046
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In this issue:
Two items in this newsletter: some good news and some not so good. Mind you, the latter isn't really news any more. It rained...
But lets do things in order. Good news and important announcement first:
Imintji Roadhouse Reopens
The rumour that Imintji Roadhouse will reopen soon has been around ever since it closed in early 2015. Then a more persistent rumour surfaced, saying it will open early May, in time for this season. Nobody really believed it...
However, it happened! As of May 11 Imintji is trading again!
Petrol drivers take note: unlike in the past, only diesel is available at Imintji now!
(Before the closure Imintji offered unleaded also, the only place to do so on the Gibb.)
Opening hours are restricted until June 4:
Mon to Sat 9am - 11am and 2pm - 5pm only.
From June 5 Imintji will be open seven days 9am - 5pm.
The change is not reflected in the guide and on my website yet but those will be updated in the next few days.
Roads and Parks Closed after Rain
I had warned repeatedly in the last newsletter issues that it isn't over till it's over and that cyclones and low pressure systems don't care about "cylcone season end dates." And I had asked you to keep an eye on things. If you did, then you already know:
It's late in the season, things should be drying up, and instead it rained. A lot. Especially on the western end of the Gibb.
The DPaW posted an update on Friday:
The Fairfield Leopold Road has sustained damage and has been closed to make repairs. While the road is closed you can not access Windjana Gorge or Tunnel Creek.
Also closed are Bell Gorge and Lennard Gorge and the Beverly Springs Road into Charnley River.
Some information I get about access to stations is conflicting, it also can change quickly, so if you are up there right now, contact them directly.
The Gibb is open all the way but is not in the best shape in some parts (apparently between Mt. Barnett and the Kalumburu turn-off) so take it easy. Most parts however are looking very good, just a lot of water sitting on the sides.
The much needed rain is a huge relief for the stations, most people up there are very grateful and happy about it, but the parks closure is of course a huge disappointment for the travellers caught up in it.
It is also ironic, since so many people had written to me, asking if they should postpone their trip until next year because the Kimberley is so dry...
(To which I answered that you never know what you will find, this year or next year, and that it will always be a gamble.)
Don't forget, in the past we had unseasonal rains and road and park closures as late as June. If you want to see the Kimberley at its best with plenty of water coming down those falls and gorges, then you always run the risk of finding things too wet to access certain places.
As the climate changes the weather is also becoming more and more unpredictable, something I already warned about several years ago.
On a side note, here is something I came across a few days ago.
It's a very powerful visualization of climate change. The animated graph shows the global average temperature for every month since 1850. The further a month is from the center, the hotter the month was compared with the average temperature for that month from 1850 to 1900.
Doesn't look like things will become any more predictable soon...
(Try this link if the animated graphic did not work for you.)
And another side note: Those of you who have already been along the Gibb and stopped over at Ellenbrae will remember the quirky outdoor bathroom beneath the old boab tree. Sadly, the tree is no more...
And that's it for today.
I hope roads and parks will reopen soon and that those of you currently travelling on the Gibb will be able to make the most of the situation anyway. Over the whole this rain did the Kimberley a world of good!
Those of you planning on leaving for their trips soon, please do refer to the appendix of your Destination guides or to the links in the last two newsletters to keep yourself up to date about the conditions.
Feedback? Found some out of date info in one of my guides? Let me know via http://www.kimberleyaustralia.com/contact.html
(c) 2005-2016, Birgit Bradtke. All rights reserved.
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