Charnley River Station
(Beverly Springs) Gibb River Road
Charnley River Station is located off the Gibb River Road, about half way between Bell Gorge and Manning Gorge. This is a working cattle station that also grows a range of seed crops.
Charnley River Station was formerly called Beverly Springs and run by Marion Nixon and her husband. (Marion became known for her book "Children in the Sun", where she describes her life bringing up her five children on the station).
This was the very first station along the Gibb River Road to offer accommodation to tourists.
In August 2010 Peter and Cheryl Camp bought the station and renamed it into Charnley River. And in February 2011 Charnley River changed hands again. (I write more about that and what it means for the future at the bottom of the page.)
Charnley River covers some great country with several gorges and swimming holes. It is a very welcoming place and has become quite popular with tourists.
The station caters to general tourists as well as tours and specialist groups. Accommodation is in "Rondavels" with private facilities or in the Homestead bunkhouse.
Accommodation can be both self contained or including meals. They do breakfasts, lunches and a two course dinner, all taken in the big communal dining room/kitchen at the homestead.
Camping is also available at the large campground near the homestead. (Bushcamping used to be available, but no more.)
From there you can take self guided driving tours, explore their many gorges on foot or by hired canoe, arrange a scenic flight or a guided tour, go fishing, birdwatching... It's not hard to keep yourself entertained for a few days!
Donkey Hole is a series of small rock pools, not far from the campground. (The photo shows the top pool.) It's a good place for a quick dip and a picnic if you have little time.
This is beautiful Lillie Pool, above Grevillea Gorge.
And this is the first pool of Grevillea Gorge. Grevillea Gorge also consists of a series of pools, but most people access only the first:
A ladder is there to help you down, should you need it. But there is no ladder to get to the second pool.
Climbing down to that can be a challenge... And you better not be scared of heights! Here is a view down into the second pool and the drop you have to climb down.
Here is a photo with someone in it, to give you an idea of the proportions:
Most people don't come down here, so if you do, you have a good chance of having it to yourself.
Dillie Gorge does not require any rock climbing prowess. Just walk down from the car park and enjoy!
The red canoe you see in the photo is available for hire. But you could also just take your own. Or be content with swimming, lazing, exploring on foot...
I think by now you agree to what I said above: it's not hard to keep yourself entertained for a few days!
Update: as I mentioned above, Charnley River changed hands again in February 2011.
Nobody knows yet what exactly that means for the future, what changes it may bring. (The owner himself does not know yet.)
The new owner is connected with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (the organisation that also owns and manages Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary and Mornington Wilderness Camp), and the AWC will manage a part of the property as a wildlife sanctuary.
But most of Charnley River will continue to operate as a cattle station, and the tourism business will continue as you know it.
At least that is the current plan. Nothing is definite yet.
Watch the newsletter for more updates.
(You can subscribe to my free newsletter in the top right corner of every page on my website.)
2012 Update: Charnley River just contacted me to let me know that in 2012 things will remain the same for campers. Accommodation is available in the Guest House (the renovated bunk house) only, either self catering or with meals. Nothing has changed regarding access to the gorges and waterholes.