TUNNEL CREEK  - Page 5

A BIT OF HISTORY - Late last century Jandamarra, or Pigeon as he was also known, was  an aboriginal tracker for the police, but in 1894 he was persuaded by members of his tribe to shoot and kill a police constable and set some aboriginal prisoners free.  This was the start of a guerilla war which lasted for almost three years.  Following a battle between armed police and settlers with Jandamarra and his followers, Janadamarra was seriously wounded and hid in a cave in Tunnel Creek.  Apparently the police only knew about the "back" entrance to the tunnel and this was watched continuously.   Jandamarra's mother entered the tunnel from the other end and nursed him back to health.  In the following years he led the guerilla "war" and was finally killed by another aboriginal tracker near Tunnel Creek in April 1897.

 
Tunnel Creek is a further 35 kms down the road from Windjana Gorge and it is a really fascinating place.  There are two entrances, the front entrance which is all but hidden by a jumble of huge boulders (negotiating them is an experience in itself).  Once into the tunnel you wade through water which, on the day we were there varied from ankle deep to knee deep.  The tunnel itself is 750 metres long and you definitely need a good torch and some form of footwear.  This photograph was taken at the halfway point looking back towards the entrance, where the roof of the tunnel has collapsed allowing bright sunlight to penetrate. Half way point in Tunnel Creek.  The ceiling has collapsed here allowing plenty of light in.

Inside Tunnel Creek.  There are many stalagtites to be seen here.

The tunnel itself has a great many stalagtites and several mini waterfalls can be heard cascading down the walls.  Where the roof has collapsed there are several large trees growing from the floor and walls of the tunnel, which are now home to a colony of hundreds of fruit bats.  When you go round the corner in this photograph you are again plunged into inky blackness and finally emerge into bright sunlight at the other end.  It was an ethereal experience and one that I will not forget.
The waterhole at the end of Tunnel Creek.  An ideal place to cool off before commencing the walk back through the tunnel.

After walking through Tunnel Creek, a swim in the pool outside the back entrance is welcome.

Queen Victoria's head - Gibb River Road

We left Windjana camp ground on Wednesday and travelled towards Bell Gorge.  This quite extraordinary natural landmark bears a striking resemblance to the profile of Queen Victoria.   Unfortunately I was a bit overeager when taking this photograph because had I taken it half a kilometer closer you could really see how much like Queen Victoria this rock formation is.