So...Manning Gorge has taken your interest. Well our friend Ann is heading up that way today, and she has generously offered to be your virtual tour guide. She's all set and ready to go, so you'd better hurry and grab a good pair of walking shoes. Oh, and don't forget your bathing suit....
"Hi! Welcome to Mt Barnett Roadhouse. My name's Ann. I've just refuelled the car and stocked up with some food supplies to camp up at the Manning Gorge campsite tonight. I've also paid our entrance fee into Manning Gorge and our camp fees at the roadhouse. You can pay me back later! So I guess we're all ready to go! We've got to drive through a gate located at the right of the roadhouse to get to the Manning Gorge camping area.The drive will take us about 15-20 minutes"
"Well we made it! Just in front of the campground there's a great place to go for a swim. The water here starts off shallow so it's really easy to get in and out of"
"Do you feel like going for a walk up to the gorge? It's going to take about an hour and a half (one way) to get there. It's a fair hike! If you do want to go we have to cross the river to get to the main gorge walk trail. I did hear a story about some people who left it too late to set out, then got caught with how fast the sun goes down up here. These folks had to walk back in the dark and got lost in the process, so we wouldn't like that to happen to us! But we've still got heaps of time to get up the gorge and back, then set up camp before sun down, so we might as well make the most of the rest of the day!"
"Well I've got everything we need in the foam box. So we're set. It's an easy swim to the other side to get to the walk trail!"
"Some areas along the walk trail to the gorge are flat and easy, others are a bit rocky and uphill."
"The trail takes you past some beautiful rock outcrops."
"Manning Gorge was used and visited by many aboriginal tribes throughout the Kimberleys for thousands and thousands of years, before us tourists came along. Both Wandjina and Bradshaw art can be found around here, showing how important this place really was for the local tribes. The permanent waterholes in the Manning river provided everything they needed to survive all year round"
"As you follow the walk trail up higher and higher, you get a spectacular view of the surrounding country around here"
"Well, after an hour and a half steady hike, we've made it to the top of the gorge. It's definately worth the walk!"
"Isn't it amazing up here!"
"Hey look over there!"
"Some people sure do take advantage of the high rocks and deep pools! Of course you should always remember to check properly before you go jumping in water anywhere. Might be a rock you can't see, or the wet season floods could have easily brought down a big tree that is hiding under the water..."
"But for those of you who prefer not to get water up your nose...there are other ways to go for a swim up here without having to jump from great heights!"
"Wow...the water sure is refreshing! I'm going to paddle around here for a while, so I guess I'll catch you up in a little while. Then we'll tackle the walk back down to the campground, and boil the billy for a lovely cup of tea!"