Cheela Plains August 2021
Attending in no particular order
Penny and Spence – L/C
Shane and Ralph (friend) – Triton
Dave and Megan – Patrol
Ivo and Lucy – L/C
Dave and Cindy – Prado
Cheela Plains was the 5th stop in a great 2 week trip. We left Exmouth early and
as we drove the 460 Km to Cheela Plains Station , even though the drive was
pretty much all on tar, the Pilbara colours filled our windscreens. According to
Dave and Cindy there were numerous rocks on the way that looked like
Elephants but some of those needed more imagination than others.
When we had set up camp, the first priority seemed to be the use of the washing
machines (they were pretty rare in the locations we stayed at). Given my total
lack of experience with domestic devices, I guess it was not surprising that I
managed to break one of them and had to send for the camp host to fix it. I
redeemed myself by chopping some vegetables (with only a small knife wound
resulting), and some of us cooked on the communal fire. Note: Never attempt
to cook on someone else’s fire – you have no control over the coals and our
dinner was a disastrous combination of burnt and raw.
Megan, Ivo and Shane walked up sunset hill to watch the sun go down, and then
some of the group had a quiet evening by their trailer tents and some sat round
the fire, which was invaded by small children very excitedly setting fire to
The sunrise over the bush the next morning was stunning.
That day we set off for a drive around some of the spots on the station. Shane
had a mud map and navigated.
First stop was The wall. The colours of the rock were stunning and it was a good
place to put the drone up, do some climbing, and for Shane to peer into the
pool. ‘Surely there must be gold in there’.
We carried on to a soak with cattle grazing nearby and the water full of an algae
that turned it florescent green. Even I wasn’t prepared to swim in that one, and I
rarely miss an opportunity to swim, but it gave Ivo and Megan a chance to do
Returning to Mussel Pool, where there is a great bush camping spot, we set up
some shade for lunch and relaxed for a while.
We then took a short walk to Perentie falls. Lucy’s stern comments were unable
to prevent Ivo from climbing as far up the dry falls as he could.
Some of the group checked out a cave on the way back, and then it was back to
camp, with some more scrambling for washing machine time, and a communal
use of pegs (no-one ever has enough pegs, and if they do they have been hidden
in a safe place and can’t be located).
Ivo and I climbed sunset hill. The moon had risen one side of the hill, and on the
opposite side the sun sunk into the horizon over our camp.
Next morning we checked out the old wrecked ‘Shorty’ that was parked on the
station. It was badly damaged but had a diesel engine which Ivo would have
taken out then and there if it had been possible – but that may have to wait for a
Cheela is a lovely spot, with very friendly and helpful camp hosts. It’s well worth
a visit if you are up that way. Next stop Karijini.
Story by Penny C.