Gulf Country

The Gulf Country encompasses the landscape surrounding the many rivers that flow into the southern shores of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Its landscape is tropical savannah, and its use is predominantly pastoral, with several large mines and an important fishing industry. The township of Borroloola is about 50km upstream from the Gulf of Carpentaria on the McArthur River. Home to barramundi and saltwater crocodiles, it is a popular destination for fishermen and tourists.

Some 200 km to the north west of Borroloola are colourful and dramatic rock formations. They are often called Lost Cities - for that is exactly what they resemble. Most are only accessible by helicopter. We have a favourite group where we often camp on a small area of level rock beside a pool, one of several along a watercourse that usually flows throughout the year. Its purple water lilies give it an idyllic postcard view, and it is a great place to cool off provided we do not mind sharing with freshwater crocodiles, or being nibbled at by small native fish as we swim.

The pillar formations make for excellent exploring. They have eroded away from the side of a low plateau, and extend for some two or three kilometres. One panorama in particular I have attempted to photograph on numerous occasions, and have made the lengthy climb across the rocks at the end of the day many times, only to reach the chosen vantage point in time to see the cloud cover the sun and the warm light vanish at the last minute.