Given that it is too damn hot for us to do the Rim walk around the canyon today we decided to go for a bit of 4WDing. We stopped in at the Mobil service station at the KC resort to pick up some fuel (ridiculously priced at $1.95/litre) and purchase our Mereenie Tour Pass for $2.20 which contains our permit allowing us to drive the Mereenie Loop Road as it is within Aboriginal Land. The road is recommended for 4WD only – it was very corrugated but overall not too bad. Not one that we would take the van though!Lost parts treeWe didn’t see anything that interested us too much (apart from an unusual tree) until we got to the Finke Gorge National Park area. This is where the real 4WDing began and so too the more interesting things to see! We followed a track for about 18km into Palm Valley. This was a spectacular drive along dried up river beds on sand and stone and all sorts of terrain.

Palm TreesIt was interesting to see all the sections of rock where previous vehicles had scraped and cut sections out of the rock, like those marks you see on nasty speed bumps unwary drivers create. Thankfully the Patrol had no such problems.

Boggy Hole water hole oasisAfter Palm Valley we continued returned to the Mereenie Loop before turning off to follow the track to Boggy Hole. This trek though the National Park varies from twisting sand tracks, large sections of river rock to rugged rock hopping, quite an interesting drive.

The loop and park trip took us a lot longer than expected and we found ourselves tackling that annoying 30km stretch of corrugations on Ernest Giles Road again just as the sun was setting in front of us.

It was along this stretch of limited visibility that Leonora yelled ‘LOOK OUT’, I was unsure what I was looking out for but heavily applied to breaks and moved towards the middle of the road. Turned out there was a wild camel sitting on the side of the road, which I was unable to see due to its sandy colour and the sun in my eyes. It was not until the camel started to stand up that I saw it. These things animals are huge and could quite easily make a real mess of a truck let alone a 4WD. Fortunately the beast lurched to its feet and run up the bank into the scrub rather than across the road, it must have been close.

After returning to the black top for the remaining 100km back to Kings Canyon Resort we spotted another 3 camels in a group as they meandered across the road well ahead. Figures! We had been looking for wild camels for the last few days and as soon as the sun goes down we find 4 in less than an hour.