Bumpin’ up the Munja Track

Where: Start Point at Mt Elizabeth Station (Gibb River Road), Kimberley, WA
Permits: Permission required from Mt Elizabeth Station
Costs: $100 track fee, $14 pp/p/n at Bachsten Camp.
Difficulty: Hard (pack the winch, mud tyres and all the kit)
Days required to do it justice: 2+ weeks

One of the many rocky jump ups on the Munja.

One of the many rocky jump ups on the Munja.

If you’ve been down the Gibb River Road you’ll know all about the corrugations and you’ll probably also know how busy the road is these days, especially with the grey nomad caravan crew. But there’s still some tracks off the Gibb which offer challenging 4WD-ing away from the crowds as well as top notch Aboriginal art sites, dramatic waterfalls and a plethora of rare Australian flora and fauna…and by away from the crowds, I mean completely on your own. The Munja track, out of Mount Elizabeth station,  offers everything ‘Kimberley’ but all in one place.

The Munja is a 1960s stock route which leads 200+ kms out to the Walcott Inlet where there was once an Aboriginal mission. Every year the track has to be redefined after the onslaught of the Kimberley wet season by the owners who slash their way through the mud and grass in a tractor. We were the 12th car down the road since it was reopened in early June and the only car not to get bogged or suffer any punctures. Unfortunately due to the Calder River still running high from late season rains we could only make it out as far as Bachsten Camp.

It took us 2.5 days to travel along the 145kms to the remote Bachsten Camp with much of the time spent at walking pace in first/second gear low range, as we bumped over the numerous rocky jump-ups and creek crossings. We camped on the banks of the Drysdale River and then Pearson’s Creek and in those 2.5 days we saw only two other cars.

What we found when we arrived at Bachsten was nothing short of incredible. Wren Gorge – a swimming hole and waterfall surrounded by 30,000 year old Aboriginal art and who was there with us? No-one. Bachsten Falls – a four tiered waterfall even more dramatic than the mighty Mitchell falls and again not a soul was there apart from us. At night we heard the dingos howl, quolls shuffled through our campsite, a plethora of owls and birds took to the skies. And, here, out in the middle of nowhere we had immaculate toilets and wood-heated showers.

We only had five days to make the trip there and back. Next year we’ll be there for three weeks.

11 Responses to “Bumpin’ up the Munja Track”

  1. Sandy says:

    Looks like brilliant fun, though i suppose it takes a bit longer if one of you keeps running up the road to take another photo!

  2. […] View article: Bumpin' up the Munja Track – Four Wheels Offroad […]

  3. Alexandra says:

    Thanks for the post! I just updated a few of my blogs, too!

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  5. David says:

    Could the river named as the Carson have been the Calder? I have seen the Carson up near Kalumburu, and I have camped at the junction of the Calder and Charnley rivers at Munja. I dont remember the Carson on the way to Munja although we went via Charnley River Stn (it was Beverley Springs when we passes that way)

  6. josh says:

    the unidentified flower is a kimberley rose or sticky kurrajong (Brachychiton Viscidulus). nice write up and well done with a trailer!

  7. Lionel says:

    Mmmmm pretty sure my brother and I were in there last week of May ( in the first 12) and got bogged once, no flats.
    Mate if you pulled a camper in there it must have dried out pretty quick in a week or so- well done.

    • helenosler says:

      Good one Lionel. We were told everyone got flats before us 🙂 It was pretty wet still when we were there and a fair few almost-boggings on our way through.

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