21-Jul-2012 -- 15S 128E took three attempts over three years before it was finally reached on 21 July 2012 via a 1.5 hr boat ride and approx. 3 hr hike from Wyndham, East Kimberley.
The boat part of the journey consisted of traveling up the Cambridge Gulf, then turning left and going up the length of the Thomson River. We had to time our trip to coincide with a 7.7 m tide that allowed us onto a rock bar as far up the mangrove lined crocodile infested river as possible. Once onshore it was necessary to negotiate a further small section of mangrove then several steep gullies while hiking about 4 km due west for the CP.
The ground was always rocky (sandstone), covered in grass and spinifex, and sparsely vegetated with Snappy Gums and other 2-3 m scrub. On the higher ground some very good examples of Northern Cypress Pine could also be found, particularly closer to the CP, which was at about 220 m elevation. This part of the Kimberley is very remote. Wildfires often started by lightning strike hundreds of kilometres away come through every couple of years.
On our first attempt in 2010, Max Alcock, Stuart Yates, and myself (Cameron Hart, all teachers at Wyndham District High School) were thwarted by the soles coming off one of our member’s boots not 200 m into the hike, a too southerly approach to the CP, and the fact that we hadn’t prepared for staying overnight. We made it to within 1500 m.
The second attempt in 2011 was aborted due to an apparent fuel leak. Finally, in July 2012 Sean McGee (another teacher) and myself made it to the CP utilising a much more direct, slightly northerly approach that allowed us to maintain elevation. Also, Sean’s navigation with a better GPS was a great help!
This CP was of particular interest to me when I first looked it up in 2010 due to the convenience of the Thomson River for access, and an interesting circular rock formation (about 200 m in diameter) that appears directly to the SSW of the CP when viewed on Google Earth. It turns out that the formation was some sort of extrusion. There was also an interesting lighter coloured wide flattened circular mound at the centre of the formation that is not easily seen from the satellite imagery.
All in all, it was a great day and night out, even through Dennis, Simmo and Sharon back on the boats caught only one fish, a Mangrove Jack.