Way 2013 Trip Diary - Part Two - Broome to Katherine
DAY 21 3.7.13 Up bright and early, fuelled up (Roebuck
Plains Roadhouse - Diesel $1.709, ULP $1.739), hooked up, and
left for Derby. We are now officially filming, and we pulled
into Willare Bridge Roadhouse in time to grab a bite to eat.
We had been smelling a weird smell like rotten eggs for a couple
of days, and put it down to something to do with the turbo ......
and when we stopped, it was putrid. We lifted the bonnet, and
while I was looking around the engine, Annette noticed that
the auxilliary battery was smoking, and it suddenly made sense.
We measured the volts, cut the battery off, and headed for Derby.
Long story short, new auxilliary battery, 100 ah, $230. Hopefully
no more stinky stinky .....
We booked into the Kimberley Entrance Caravan Park again, and
were put on some big sites at the back of the park. Two years
ago, this was a dirt stretch - now curbed, tarred and grassed.
Very nice. $40 per night here.
Tonight, we took a run down to the jetty, watched the sun go
down, had a look at low tide, and spoke to a couple of fishermen
who told of Mulloway about 1 metre long being caught off the
jetty a week or so ago.
I like Derby. Let's hope the world never finds out about it
..... incidentally, the Caravan Park is well populated.
DAY 22 4.7.2013 It's a big day in the life of our American
friends, and to all those having birthdays, but to wake up fit
and healthy and alive in this part of the world is just HUGE.
In an effort to keep on top of things, I sat down last night
and edited what footage I have taken so far on the trip, and
have 8 mins logged in..... and we are only 200 kms into the
trip - Another 3700 odd to go, and that is if we don't deviate.
The worst thing about editing great footage isn't what do we
put in, it's WTF do we leave OUT. And THAT is when tough decisions
need to be made.
This morning, We went back to the jetty, to have a look at the
difference when the tide is high. Derby has Australiaís highest
tides and one of the highest in the world. The Bay of Fundy,
Nova Scotia, Canada, has 15m tides. Other high tides occur at
Bristol (UK) 14.6m, Mont Saint Michel (France) 12.3m, Puerto
Gallegos (Argentina) 13.2m and Bhaunagan (India) 12.2m. High
tides in Western Australia are Derby 11.8m, Yampi Sound 10.9m,
Broome 9.8m and Wyndham 8.4m
Then, around to the Prison Boab Tree, Water trough and Frosty's
Pool. This huge Boab tree is believed to be around 1,500 years
old and has a girth of 14.7 metres. It was used as staging point
for prisoners being walked into Derby in the early days. The
Water Trough was built in 1916/17. This trough could handle
500 bullocks at one time and was later extended to a length
of 120 metres. Frosty's Pool was Built in 1944 as a bathing
area for troops stationed in the area during the Second World
War. This is one of the few remaining reminders of those years
in the town. The bath was constructed by the 3rd General Transport
Co. and was nicknamed Frostyís Pool after a platoon member,
Charles L.V. Frost.
The afternoon was spent relaxing.
5.7.13 Another year older for this old bastard, and time
to hit the road again, and first stop was the Boab Rest Stop,
so called because of the HUGE Boab tree that sits in the centre
of the rest area. It is hollow, and you could set up a small
room inside. Onward, and the country is generally flat, and
boab trees are fairly plentiful along this stretch of road.
The Erskine Range comes into view, and is passed through a gap
in the low hills, before another rest stop with again, a boab
tree to stop and inspect. At this time of the year, the Boabs
should have shed their foliage, but these rest stop trees are
intact and still providing shade for the resting traveller.
There are thousands (it appears) of vans on the roads up here,
and most of them appeared to be parked up in the Ellendale Rest
Stop area, and that was about 1.30pm. We had decided to call
an early day and stop out on the road, but didn't want to be
among the masses, and so we wandered on and found a metal dump
that suited our purpose near the Mount Hardman Creek. I set
up the dish, Annette hit the book, and I decided to spend some
time editing the story so far.
It's a hard life, it really is. I don't know how I survived
suburbia for as long as I did.
Fuel Derby - Diesel $1.765
6.7.2013 The world is a small place. John Giuliano from
ďTravelling With A Camper AustraliaĒ and I are travelling in
different directions. He from Melbourne, and us from Albany.
We have been keeping in touch with each other, and talking about
bumping into each other and meeting each other face to face.
They have been out of range, and havenít been on for a little
while, but read in my blog that we were in Derby, and he had
just come off the Tanami. He wondered if we would actually meet
So imagine our mutual surprise, when he saw my rig pull up at
the Dump Point at the Fitzroy River Lodge and Caravan Park,
and recognised the car from the pic on my personal site, stopped,
thus blocking the road (as another guy was trying to get past
us with van in tow), and introduced himself and family to us.
The other guy? ....... who cares LOL.
in, and this afternoon went out to Geikie Gorge for a leisurely
boat trip up the river. It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon.
There is so much history, both geological and local indigenous
culture around Fitzroy Crossing. The town is also hosting a
rodeo this weekend, which would be fun, however, we have other
plans for tomorrow. More on that later.
9.51pm We have just spent the evening with John, Anita and their
son Thomas. It was wonderful to catch up with them, and it is
a fair probability that we will catch up with them on the road
tomorrow. But we wont pre-empt that. We'll tell you all about
7.7.2013 What a big day ...... we left Fitzroy Crossing
at 8 am and headed for Windjana Gorge. We had thought of going
that way from Derby with the van, but the road conditions suggested
otherwise, and so we decided to do a day trip. Once we left
the highway, we had 102 kms of dirt road, and it was fairly
quiet until we reached the Tunnel Creek carpark area, when we
started to meet all the traffic coming in off the Gibb River
Road to have a look.
We arrived at Windjana, set up the chairs and sat down for a
cup of coffee and a piece of fruit cake, when these two young
guys walked past, and on answering our question, advised us
that they had just walked in from the air strip. They explained
as they drank the rest of our coffee and scoffed our fruit cake,
that they had just flown two ultra light aircraft from Adelaide
ďWe engage with youth, through schools, with a travelling group
canvas themed Ďpositivityí. With the positive motto of the journey
we are fundraising and creating further awareness for the Royal
Flying Doctors and Western Desert Dialysis, two critically important
remote area services.Ē
Their support group turned up, and they were off to business.
Please look at their website .... www.microlightodyssey.com.au.
Aiden and Daryl are two really wonderful young people, and they
Then, into the gorge itself, and the cavernous walls and fresh
water crocodiles sunning themselves on the river banks. And
to find our two young adventurers taking a swim .... yep with
the crocs .... and with film crew in tow recording the antics.
to start our trek back towards Tunnel Creek (we had decided
to do the furtherest attraction first - 151 kms from Fitzroy
crossing. John and Anita Guiliano turned up as we were leaving,
and we took to opportunity to grab a couple of pics to record
the occasion. We called into the ruins and remains of Lillimooloora
Station. The station was the centre of unrest between the Bunuba
People and the local station owners and police in the late 1800s.
The film Jandamurras War documents what happened between Windjana
Gorge and Tunnel Creek. It is well worth a look.
Then we arrived at Tunnel Creek, devoured lunch, and walked
the 750m walk through this amazing river tunnel.
Then back to Fitzroy Crossing, landing back just on 6 pm. In
all, as I said at the beginning ...... a big day
8.7.2013 We decided that we would move on a little way out
of town and freecamp for a couple of days, hopefully within
communication range. However, while there were plenty of spots
west of Fitzroy Crossing, there was very little that was suitable
to the East. We found a large truck stop that was a good 100
metres from the road about 60 kms out of town, and settled down
for the day and night. We had no signal, but that wasn't a major
worry - once upon a time you didn't have it at all in these
We needed to do a couple of things before we left town. We had
torn the Anderson Plug out somehow, and needed a new one of
those, ($20). We had also fueled up at the resort ($1.775 Diesel
- $1.759 in town). They asked for a 2% surcharge on the card,
which I must say I object to. The majority of their customers
are going to pay by card, so why not build it into the price
and save aggravation.
I also needed to do a bit of filming around the place, as we
had spent nearly all of our time here outside of the town. Annette
topped up the fruit supply, along with the bag of snakes to
munch along the way, and we were off.
Once we camped up, Annette spent the afternoon sleeping, I copied
the video into the hard drive and caught up on some of the motor
racing, and then last night, spent a few hours doing a basic
edit on where we are at so far, while Annette watched "Jandamurra's
War" and "Ray", the Ray Charles movie..
9.7.2013 Wow, another big day. We moved from our roadside
truck stop, a total of about 31 kms to Ngumban Lookout, where
we found we had signal, an amazing view, and a bit of space,
and so we set up ďofficeĒ. Annette decided she needed a nap,
I got stuck into downloading video I had taken of the place,
and a bit more basic editing. Then I found 7Mate were replaying
Sundays race from Townsville, and so thatís where the afternoon
went, whilst Annette caught up on her reading.
set ourselves a budget of $300 per week for fuel, but then ran
into those storms, and in a bid to outrun them, spent 2 weeks
worth of fuel in one week. And we are way ahead of schedule,
and so, we are in no hurry to go anywhere much in the next week
while we allow the bank account to catch up.
a lot of drivel over the next week ...... but then, you never
know just WHAT may come begging to be reported on.
10.7.13 WE DID NOTHING ÖÖÖÖ.. Truly, we
liked our spot at Ngumban Lookout so much, that we stayed and
11.7.13 ........ We decided to move closer to Halls Creek,
and managed another 84 kms before we arrived at the Mary River
Rest Area, and a heap of caravans already set up, and it was
only 11.15 am. This is a very shady area as opposed to the open
area at Ngumban Lookout. It is situated on the banks of the
Mary River, which is mainly dry, but does have stretches of
water pools. There are some water birds here, along with 3 1/2
million Corellas ...... well ok, 3 million... :-).
It seems that a couple who had nothing better to do, counted
120 caravans in this place last night, and I reckon there's
not a lot less here tonight. We usually avoid these areas, but
succumbed to the place tonight.
We had some problems with internet during the day, but tonight,
it is flying. Because of the trees, I couldn't get a stable
pic with the dish, but am listening to the cricket streaming
on the ABC.
12.7.13 7am and the population had already diminished by
about a third I reckon....... all making a dash for the next
24hr Rest Stop I would guess. We had thought that we might stay
an extra night, but we are were needing to do something about
our water supply, the laundry was backing up, and also with
the weekend coming up, the larder was starting to lack in a
few vitals. And so we decided to do the 100 or so kms into Halls
Creek, and book into the caravan park.
Itís nothing like the Fitzroy Crossing park, but itís certainly
no where near the worst park Iíve been in, and really is fairly
There are three or four fuel stations in town, but the Coles
one at the top of the street is by far the busiest. From past
experience, I knew to pull around the back to the truck pumps,
and gave the old girl a drink.
Having divested ourselves of the van, we went shopping, and
the realisation that we are 3000 kms from the city. This would
be a very expensive place to live in. Annette ducked into the
Bottle Shop to stock up on wine and UDLs ........ and came out
with a case of 2.5% strength beer........ If you want stronger,
you drink it LIVE at the pub - no take aways. This is of course
in response to the alcohol problems that have reared their ugly
head in this region, and has been policy for a few years now.
And so it was off to the Kimberley Hotel which hides just over
the road from the caravan park with the intention of having
a quiet Rum and Coke or similar. Whilst waiting for service,
we made the mistake of looking at the menu, and found ourselves
succumbing to the temptation of a pasta in Annettes case, and
a burger in my case ........ and they were generous portions
to put it mildly ....... and tasty. Annette had a couple of
sparkling wines, and I, a couple of Lemon, Lime and Bitters.
Then we staggered (from the amount of food - we were also walking
- it was only a couple of hundred metres after all) back to
park and the cricket for me, and a book for Annette.
We plan to go sight seeing tomorrow (Saturday)
13.7.13 An early-ish start for us today. First up, I dropped
the tyre pressures down to 32, we loaded in our food for the
day and the cameras, and set sail for the Duncan Hwy. I then
turned around, because the Duncan Hwy exits Halls Creek from
the Eastern end of town, not the western end ....... good start
to the day. We then sailed past the turn off to the China Wall,
before doing a u-ie and heading through the gate to our intended
The China Wall is a rock formation that looks just like a wall,
and there are plenty of these formations in the area. Mostly
they are red, but this one is a natural vein of sub-vertical
white quartz rising up to 6 metres above the surrounding country
Next stop was Caroline Pool. This is a picnic, swimming and
bush walking place set amongst cool shady trees and wide sandy
creek banks. Swimming is best following rains when the water
level is high. Unfortunately, the water level is currently low,
and the base is quite muddy. 24 hour camping is allowed in the
area, and there was a caravan and a motorhome camped in the
riverbed. I couldnít help thinking back to my son Brettís experience,
when he and his cousins camped at Cave Hill and got caught out
by a sudden storm.(see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KE9RA06hp4I).
My thoughts are, be well aware of what is happening weather
wise even hundreds of kms away from you. I got caught by a similar
storm in NT in 2005 - I wasnít camping in it, but it happened......
Back to the story, itís a beautiful little spot.
Then on to Old Halls Creek. The old post office remains have
been looked after by a roofed structure that has enclosed it,
however the rest of the area has not been maintained at all.
Plaques that tell the history of the place have been removed
by souvenir hunters, and not replaced. It disappoints me that
these parts of our early history are not looked after by historical
groups, volunteer or otherwise. This is a very significant place.
It is the site of the first gold discovery in Western Australia
and where the WA gold rushes began. In 1885 Charles Hall found
a 28 ounce nugget. Men (very few women) soon streamed into the
interior in search of their fortune.
The 'Golden West' had its beginnings in Halls Creek. This is
the site of the original gold mining community where prospectors
followed the gold up the creeks and gullies from Brockman to
Old Halls Creek. The Halls Creek gold rush might have been short
lived but it nevertheless left an important legacy.
We left OHC behind, and meandered through some of the most amazing
countryside. As you leave Halls Creek, you are straight into
hilly country, and the road seems to be endlessly crossing creek
beds. The road twists and winds through the most rugged country,
and if you imagine how you used to draw hills at primary school,
thatís what itís like out here. All pyramid shaped hills........
and then you reach Palm Springs. This is a little oasis, a permanent
waterhole fed by a spring, with rushes and palms lining its
banks. Another 24 hour camping spot, a beautiful place for a
picnic lunch, and to have a refreshing dip.
Our final destination was Sawpit (also known as Sawtooth) Gorge.
This is another 24 hour camping spot, with what appears to be
a permanent pool. The campers there told us of some young high
spirited guys who were oiled up who had been there not long
before we arrived. On our return via Palm Springs, it was obvious
where they had been by the number of beer cans scattered on
the ground ..... and these were FULL STRENGTH VB cans ......
where did THEY come from? Remember this is a low strength only
The Duncan Hwy continues around and up along the WA-NT border
and emerges to the East of the Quarantine station on the border.
I did this trip in 2005 and thoroughly enjoyed it .... but that
is another story.
We got back to town about 2.45pm, had a shower, and hit the
sack for an hour or so. A wonderful day ........
14.7.13 It was time for us to move on, and so we pumped
up the tyres ( i had dropped the tyre pressures yesterday for
the corrugated road we would be travelling on), packed up, and
headed for the fuel station. (Diesel $1.779). And then realised
that I hadnít taken any video of the town (which is one of the
reasons we are here, isnít it?). And so that done, we drove
about 26 kms from town, and found a wide open Metal dump about
100m off the road beside a lovely hill (i love hills, Annette
loves trees) that also had awesome signal. The trees were on
the other side of a gully, so we couldnít make use of those,
but in every other sense, the spot served our purpose. And so
we set up, and sat in the breeze waving at caravanners who were
drifting past, and sipping a cool drink ........
it was time to watch the Derby. I am not a Fremantle fan, but
you have to admire the way Ross Lyon has done what no other
coach has done for the club in all of its existence. It used
to be that the only game the Dockers came out to play all season
was the Derby, but now, the culture has changed, and they look
the real deal.
gave me time to continue editing, and for Annette to catch up
on her library of books. The great part about just sitting and
camping and not going anywhere, is the credit card is avoiding
abuse. And what the heck, we have all the time in the world.
we stepped outside, and WHAT - campers up the other end of OUR
piece of ground - itís ours, we found it first - before Midday
in fact ...... OK, Iíll fix them, Iíll run the genny until late
........ then it ran out of fuel and I couldnít be bothered
refilling it, and so I switched to the inverter and watched
the cricket quietly, whilst Annette set up a steady drone from
the bedroom ...........
15.7.13 We decided to stay put for the next day or so. The
weather is just gorgeous. Temp around 33, skies are cloudless,
the breeze comes and goes ..... just chills ville. We are only
about 75 kms from the Bungles turnoff, and have given thought
to moving closer, but will we find a better spot up the road
with signal. We are both keeping tabs on mums in their Eighties
There are designated rest areas ahead of us, but they are just
like caravan parks without the fees. Itís not that we donít
like people, we just enjoy the space and our own company. As
for the Bungles, My thoughts are that we will book into the
Caravan Park possibly tomorrow, and then do a day trip on Thursday
into the park
16.7.13 We decided that we would stay another night at our
roadside metal dump. And so the day was spent reading, doing
taxation returns, reading, resting, reading ..... you get the
The temperature was a couple of degrees cooler than yesterday,
but felt cooler than that. We ran the air con pretty much full
time yesterday, and didnít turn it on at all today. It was quite
pleasant outside, whereas the breeze was quite warm yesterday.
Tomorrow, we will move on. We plan to stop in the Bungles Caravan
Park, and do a day trip on Thursday...... stay tuned.
17.7.13 The time had come to move on ..... and then Annette
moved the wrong way and an old back complaint reared itís ugly
head. And so while I packed up the van, she was sent to lay
down with a muscle relaxant and a pain reliever. We hit the
road, and Annette hit the wall, very slowly having a battle
with her eyes, which wanted to close and send her to sleep.
Meanwhile, the road between Halls Creek and the Bungles turnoff
is just so picturesque, undulating through a mountain range
that looms up on the west, and moves away to the East - not
too far away though, as it tends to follow the road.
There are two freecamp areas near the entry to Mabel Downs Station,
through which the Bungles road passes to get to the Purnululu
National Park. We were travelling from the south, and so we
called into the first one to have a look, and there were a few
vans locked up with their owners obviously away for the day
visiting the park, as well as a few that were occupied. Not
too many vans at all really, and I would suggest that this rest
area would be the least populated of the two in the area. Just
a few more kilometres down the road is the rest area that is
within 400 metres of the gate. Now this one has two areas adjacent
to each other, and the lower part near the river and under the
trees was jam packed - a caravan park wouldnít jam you in that
close. Everyone obviously trying to get their bit of space in
the shade of the trees. The upper level was less tightly packed.
But we had decided that we would utilise the caravan park which
is located a km inside the gates of Mabel Downs Station. I was
keen to see how different it looked to when I was lucky enough
to be asked to film a promotional video for them two years ago.
And a lot has been done. The tent that was the office has now
been replaced by a donga type arrangement, there are a number
of Eco-tents available, and an airfield for a fixed wing aircraft
has been added. We chose an unpowered site - there being no
powered sites available - and Annette was ordered to bed to
try and get rid of the demon back complaint.
Hopefully, she will be fully fit tomorrow, and we will leave
early to go in and give the lady her first look at the Bungles..
18.7.13 Opened my eyes, looked at the time on my phone .....
6.44am ..... WHAT... SHIT..... was hoping to be on the road
by 7am. Stumbled out of bed, out to the car and grabbed the
tyre gauge, and started letting down tyres - I was going to
practice on someone elses, but didnít think they would see the
funny side of it. Annette jumped out and got the food and drinks
organised - which was a miracle, cos she loves her bed AND she
has this back that decided to cark it yesterday. I Took a look
at her and was immediately worried about how she was going to
handle the day. The offer was made to put it off until tomorrow,
but she decided, no, today it would be. We were going into the
Now first up, this was my third trip in, and I had more than
enough footage from last time for the project at hand - Annette
had never been there. And so it was to be her call as what we
did and how far she pushed herself.........
We left the caravan park a little after 7.30, and headed out
the fairly corrugated road which winds and dips for 53 kms before
reaching the ranger Station. You are on private property until
you reach the river that divides the Purnululu National Park
and Mabel Downs Station.
The drive in is in a word, sensational. Annette loves trees
and stuff, I love hills - looking at, NOT climbing - and the
ranges of hills just keep coming at you, and except for flat
land between the ranges, the road dips and twists and turns
back on itself and takes you over blind crests and through deep
(mainly dry) creek beds through some of the most rugged hills/mountains
that you can find in Western Australia. I hesitate to use the
word Awesome........ but in another word ..... itís AWESOME.
Not that I was looking of course - I was driving .........
We arrived at the Ranger Station a little after 10 I guess,
paid our entry fee, and then had the choice of North or South.
The Domes are best viewed in the morning, because they are on
the Eastern Side of the Bungle Range, however, Echidna Gorge
is best viewed at about 11am when the sun is overhead and shines
directly down the narrow opening into the canyon. From past
experience, I chose the Domes,
The walk around the domes is marked as 400m, and I reckon we
did about 30 kms before we arrived at the entrance to Cathedral
Gorge. In our Dome walk, we had found ourselves in a cavern
that I hadnít seen before, and where a tour group was being
addressed by their guide. The cavern had a pool of water, and
although not officially named, was called Mini Cathedral Gorge
by the tour groups.
We found our way to the magnificent Cathedral Gorge, and spent
some time just soaking up the reverence and majesty of the place
......... well trying to recover from our walk in if the truth
be known. Remember, Annette has a back problem and me? ........
less said the better.
It was time to stagger back to the car park, and lunch. In the
shadows of the walls of the gorges and domes, it was very pleasant
- in the sun, it killed - it certainly had a bite.
The other gorges are at the other end of the range, some 40
odd kms away. We set sail, again being looked upon by rugged
unvegetated hills, whilst strangeley, along side on the other
side of the road is another range of hills, that couldnít be
more different, and completely vegetated - with not more than
a kilometre or so between them. We reached the Echidna Gorge
car park, and made ourselves (well Annette made us) a coffee,
and a decision was to be made whether we did the walk. Remember
I had been here before, and had my footage, and so I wasnít
about to make a recommendation. The walk is a 2 km return walk,
up a river bed of stones, and is suggested about 45-60 mins
to complete. Annette decided that she had probably overdone
it this morning, and decided that she was prepared to give it
a miss. I was Soooo disappointed as I was really keen to ...........
ok, so I was happy with the decision. Truth be know, my troubles
of the past 18 months have taken their toll, and I am nowhere
near match fit this early in the trip.
And so we hit the road again, now driving into the sun if it
got too late. And again, this incredible, if somewhat rough
journey through this beautiful countryside, looking at the other
side of what we travelled through this morning.
We arrived home just before 4pm, and a well shaken (from the
road - NOT my driving) Annette climbed out of the car with the
sound of her voice stating that she was going to sit down ďwith
a bloody beerĒ ..... and she did..........
19.7.2013 7 am and most of those moving out of the Bungles
Caravan Park have already gone, and we are just climbing out
of bed ....... well at least, I am. I make the coffees and teas
and slowly go around returning tyre pressures to normal, packing
the generator away, putting up the awning, empty the portaloo
.... oh yes, The Bungles Caravan Park has a dump point.
Eventually, Annette greets the day, and even more eventually,
we are on the road again.
The Road between Halls Creek and Wyndham/Kunnunurra HAS to be
travelled to be appreciated. We don't have hills like this down
south, and they just keep coming at you. And sadly, I can't
name most of the ranges, because they are NOT marked in the
main on our maps. Well, not where we WANT them to be named -
like the beautiful run down, and through, the range that crosses
the highway south of Warmun. We refuelled at Warmun (Turkey
Creek) and at $1.99 for Diesel and ULP, it is the closest we
have got so far to reaching our budgeted average price of $2.00
per litre. We learn that Doon Doon, the next service up the
road is $2.15, but we have enough and won't need to refuel there.
We had travelled 66 kms from Warmun, when we spied a tree with
a little track around it, that looked perfect for a stop over.
I set up the dish, and settled down to watch the cricket ......
now WHY did I do that ??????
20.7.13 We are nearing the end of the first stage of our
trip, and it occurred to me this morning, that when I have completed
this first disk of the set that will comprise our Savannah Way
project, that I will have documented most of the Kimberley Region
of Western Australia. It is up to the individual to judge whether
or not I have done a half reasonable job of it, but I must admit
that I am proud of what I have achieved and what I have learned
doing it. I am never happy with my work, but I have many supporters
who seem to be appreciative of what I have produced so far.
in my mind, I again gathered our bits and pieces that were scattered
around the caravan, hoping above all that Annettes chair was
in good nick - you see, yesterday afternoon, Annette had placed
her chair carefully among the spinifex bushes that surrounded
the caravan, and it happened that it was right outside the door.
She had gone to bed, read, and retired whilst I was editing
and keeping half an eye on the cricket ...... I missed most
of it apparently, because every time I looked at the screen,
another wicket had fallen. Finally, just after the tea break,
I decided it was time for bed, and was just about to turn off
the light, when I realised that I hadnít done the dishes. Annette
had fried up some fish, and had left some water in the frypan
to soak. So rather than gunk up the sink with fishy water, I
opened the door and tossed it out ........ just as I realised
that the chair was sitting right in the line of fire .........
ďOh botherĒ I remarked ....
And so we
left our roadside camp, and continued on towards Doon Doon,
and again, what a marvellous drive through more of these amazing
hills. We had the OíDonnell range to the West, and the Carr
Boyd Range to the East, and again the road was carving through
these hills ... it was gorgeous ....... and then we reached
Doon Doon. We didnít need to stop, and so we didnít, but the
thought did cross my mind. You are surrounded by hills, and
when it rains up here, it floods - so why would you set up at
the base of a floodway? ..... Itís like the village at the base
of the volcano in Bali ........
We hit the
T junction that sends you to either Wyndham or Kunnunurra. We
chose the former, and had a look at the Rest Area on the corner,
which is the first rest area since Mary Pool that has a Dump
Point. We passed the Gibb River Road turn off, called in to
The Grotto, and finally pulled into Parry Creek Farm Resort.
I have been here for morning tea a couple of times, and this
is the first time that I have stayed.
all the first person descriptions, for I have been up here a
couple of times before - this is Annetteís first trip.
we had dinner in the Restaurant, and the Barramundi is local,
and the recipe and cooked result were to die for. Simply melt
in your mouth stuff.
the Lagoon and Wyndham ......... canít wait.
21.7.13 We staggered out of bed early (for us) and headed
for the Billabong. We had decided that rather than go back to
main road, that we would take the short cut across the flood
plain. We eventually found ourselves on the right track, and
grabbed our cameras and headed for the Hide. There has been
very little rain this past wet season, and so the water level
was down, and the bird population seemed diminished compared
with past years. For all that, we managed to get some video,
before moving on to Wyndham.
a ďBoab MarketĒ being conducted at the caravan park, and so
we called in, Annette stocked up on books , fruit and veges,
and I carried them to the car. We then went exploring. Wyndham
is made up of two little town sites, neither of which are terribly
inspiring - especially on a Sunday when most places are shut.
We passed a corrugated iron building with the intriguing name
of ďTin Shed CafeĒ, and being curious, we decided it was time
for morning tea, The place was Magic - the decor was a shop
lined with corrugated iron, historical pictures on the wall,
a tantalising food display, and was very clean as well as well
presented. The homemade pies were lovely, the Mango Smoothie
was to die for, and they even had MALT to put in my thickshake.
I challenge you to find anywhere in the city where you can get
trek up the hill to 5 ways lookout. Whoo, that is a big hill,
and the view from the top is stupendous. Five rivers run into
the Cambridge Gulf, and you can see them all from the top of
it was time to head back to camp, in time to watch the Dockers,
Eagles and finally Australia get beaten ........ why did I even
bother to put out the dish?
22.7.13 Time to leave Parry Creek Resort, and we headed
back to the main road, and had a look at the the hills from
the other side ..... you really donít appreciate some journeys
until youíve had a look coming and going.
As we approached
Kununurra, we waypointed a coup[le of potential camping spots.
Then we reached town, collected mail from the Post Office, and
hit the shops - enough food to feed an army .... well us anyway
.... for at least a couple of weeks. Refilled a gas bottle ($37),
purchased a couple of handheld UHF radios - good ones this time,
the old ones had died..... and arranged to talk to an electrician
tomorrow about a potential major problem that had reared itís
back to the clearing that had already amassed a population of
six vehicles, and was within 12 kms of town. A big day in some
ways - over 200 kms and a day of commercial necessity.
23/7/13 Wow, nearly 7 weeks on the road, and what a road
trip itís been so far. Today was no different. Into town to
the electrician to replace an RCD which had expired in the van.
While we were about it, got him to have a look at the fans that
were fitted not so long ago to keep air circulating around the
back of the fridge - they had stopped. Rejoining a wire and
tightening the crimps a bit fixed that.
And then we headed around to Kellyís Knob Lookout. I hadnít
been there in my previous couple of visits, and so that was
sorted today. And then we had received the word that fuel was
$1.919 (diesel) in town, but only $1.716 out at the Co-op. We
were heading out the Weaber Plains Road to go to the Hootchery,
and the Co-op is en route. Itís a prepay self service card operated
Then, on to the aforementioned Hoochery, which is WAís First
Legal Still you are led to believe. We ordered Beer Barttered
Barra and Chips for lunch, and allowed ourselves to be talked
into buying their sample packs. These are 3 of their different
Rum concoctions in a shot glasses for $5. There are six different
products in all, and so we figured we may as well try all six
I was designated the first mouthful of the first sample ......
my eyes shot open, what hair I had stood on end and I nearly
screamed out YeeHaa ........ They reckon you need to take the
first taste to get the shock, and the second taste to actually
experience the flavour. Six samples later, I was bleary eyed
and completely shaken, and I had only sampled half of each drink,
and I had to drive .........
Thank God for the fish and chips, the bottle of water, and the
Now Annette is a much more accomplished drinker than I am, and
she went through much the same routine as I did ........ and
she DIDNíT have to drive.
You gotta do it, thatís all I can say. Lunch is on from 11am-2pm.
Then on to Ivanhoe crossing. For some reason it was closed today.
Two years ago, they were letting water through the Diversion
Dam, and so it was not negotiable, but this year, there hasnít
been a big wet season, they are working on the Diversion Dam,
but there is no large water flow through it, but for what evr
reason, the crossing was closed.
Back into town, and some filming at the swimming beach. They
have a crocodile control policy here, that makes sure that there
are no salt water crocs between the Diversion dam and the wall
at Lake Argyle. The freshies are allowed to play unhindered.
There is a Ski Boat Club, and all sorts of water activities
can be enjoyed on Lake Kununurra.
Did some filming in town, check the post office again for mail
posted on Thursday - still waiting - and finally back to where
we were last night.
We have a plan to visit Mirama National Park tomorrow morning.
This park is right in the middle of town, and is a mini Bungles.
Then one more attempt at the mail, and then part one of our
journey is complete, and I will have documented the entire Kimberley
region of WA - well, as entire as one can. With our Gibb River
Road/Dampier Peninsular DVD set, and the Broome to Kununurra
Disk that will be disk one hopefully of this trip, I think I
can safely say that you wont see a more complete coverage of
the Kimberley on disk anywhere............ Good night.
24.7.13 It was time to have a look at Mirima National Park.
Also known as hidden Valley, this park is a Mini Bungles, and
itís right in the middle of town. I had footage from the last
time I was here, but I had become attached to my tripod, and
although I had determined to just get fresh footage from the
ground and use old footage from the top, I found myself climbing
the ladders and tracks to the roof of the park lugging the necessity
We had finally
received the mail we had been waiting on, and had attended to
a couple of jobs that needed doing, before hitting the road
once more. With the Mirima footage, I had completed the filming
task for the first DVD of our intended 3 DVD account of our
journey, and so now all I had to do was edit it ......... most
had been done, but the narrative still needs to be added, and
that generally messes up the order of what has been done before.
But I am happy with what I have seen on the screen so far.
And so we
left Kununurra, and commenced what will be the Northern Territory
stage of our journey. And although technically, it is in WA,
and part of the Kununurra scene, Lake Argyle was our destination
and the beginning of the next phase of the trip.
in is again through rugged the hill country that is the Carr
Boyd Range. We arrived at the resort, settled the caravan in,
and headed for Pannekin Lookout to watch the sunset. I am so
glad that I invested in my old Landcruiser back 2004. This track
is NOT where you would take the family saloon. And a delightful
evening it was too.
25.7.13 It was time to do chores. We had hoped to do the
Sunset Cruise tonight, but it was booked out, however there
were spots left for tomorrow night (Friday). And so we had booked
in an extra night, and this left us with plenty of time on our
hands to do washing, wash the floors, do the odd repair job,
and generally sit, read and relax.
It also gave us plenty of time to drive to the wall of the dam,
and after crossing it, descending to the delightful park on
the bank of the Ord River. The first thing you see is the water
spewing from side of the dam, and this is a small hydro electric
power generator doing itís thing. You also notice the bright
yellow canoes being launched as a group leaves for a trip down
the river. Itís from here that other Ord River cruises depart.
Then back across the wall to the bay where the Lake Argyle Cruise
Boats anchor and passengers embark for their outings.
Finally back at the van, it was back to reading, editing and
sleeping, before having dinner and walking up to the telephone
box to phone our respective aged mothers. There is no signal
at Argyle, and this is your only communication with the outside
world unless you have a satellite phone, dish (for TV - altho
my neighbours could get channel 7 ...... only), or are prepared
to pay for wireless internet access from the resort.
Now, let me vent my spleen. A pet hate of mine, is Vouchers
of ANY kind, whether gift, phone or whatever, that are a CASH
replacement, that have an expiry date. It should be illegal.
The card is worth the CASH amount, and cash doesnít expire.
It is another ploy to grab and use your dollars, and then hope
that you forget about it, and ensures that the company doesnít
have to deliver. Itís immoral.
What is this all about? I had a phone card from my last trip
in 2011 up the Gibb River Road. I know I had about $1.60 left
on it. I inserted it into the phone, to be told that it had
EXPIRED. Sure enough, in February 2013, my card had expired.
Fortunately, we had just bought a couple from the store, and
were able to make our calls ....... neither answered ..... one
was engaged and the other went thru to message bank ...... not
And so, Annette went back to her book, and I, well I just kept
26.7.13 We had two new phone cards, that had already cost
us a couple of dollars, and we had spoken to no-one ...... well
Annette had spoken to her daughter-in-law, but our mums, well
nope, not yet. And so we decided to walk up to the phone box
and try again. Success.
Then Annette wanted a photo taken of her swimming in the resorts
Infinity Pool. This is a pool where the water is filled to the
very top, and then flows over into a spillway around the side
and I guess gets pumped back into the pool. Itís all very exciting
stuff here, as we try and fit in all these leisure activities.
More reading, editing and resting, and then, time for the Sunset
After being bussed down to the jetty, we boarded the Argyle
Durack, and the twin diesels burst into life and we were on
our way. We were treated to birds, wallaroos, crocodiles - there
are 30,000 in Lake Argyle, some growing up to 3 metres which
is big for a freshie - and then the boat was nudged into the
shore whilst our captain decided to feed the fish - lunchtime
on Christmas Day had nothing on the frenzy in the water, as
Rifle Fish, Silver Cobbler (Catfish), Sooty Grunter and others
all competed for the bread that was being thrown into the water.
Apparently Catfish used to bring about $6 a kg in the metro
markets, and wasnít popular, and so the name was changed to
Silver Cobbler, and immediately was snapped up for $28 per kg.
Funny lot we people.
Meanwhile, a dingo strolled past a couple of hundred metres
away - this piece of land was attached to the mainland.
More cruising, and then we stopped in the middle of the lake
- well the bit we were in - itís 70 kms long and 40 kms wide
at itís widest point - nibblies and drinks were broken out,
and those who wished to go swimming, were invited to do so.
The sun did itís thing and disappeared below the horizon, and
the land around us changed colour, and day turned to night,
and we returned to our launch point. A wonderful afternoon to
finish our Argyle visit.
27.7.13 We had had a lovely time at Argyle, but it was time
to move into another timezone. Just down the road about 15kms
to the East of us, it was 1 1/2 hours later than it was here.
Ridiculous, isnít it? In real terms, we are 3/4 hr later than
Perth at Kununurra, and thatís the way they do the time on the
Nullarbor. Doesnít work that way up here.
And so we
hit the road, our target being Keep River National Park.We stopped
at the border ands took the obligatory photos. The first speed
sign over the border said that the speed limit in NT was 110
unless signed otherwise. !00 metres down the road, the next
speed sign said 130. Go figure. The roads aren't good enough
for those speeds IMHO (and I am not necessarily a believer in
speed limits - idiots will run out of road anyway Ö.).
A few kms down the road, turned into the park. Now we had just
spent 3 days without even once thinking about turning on the
air con in the van. That was about to change. It was warm, very
warm. But before that, we called into Cockatoo Lagoon. After
a good wet season, this place is full of water and teeming with
birds we are led to believe. But the last wet only produced
half as much rain as average, and the Lagoon wasnít in good
shape. There were still the lilies and a few flowers, and the
bird population was lacking in numbers - mind you, it was the
middle of the day, and early morning and evening is where itís
at if you want to catch the local fauna. We shot our video,
and headed on into the park. There are two campgrounds, the
first one allowing generator use, and the second one at the
other end of the park and no gennies. We settled into the first
campground, feeling that we didnít really want to drag the van
over a fairly corrugated road if I could help it, and of course
being able to regenerate the batteries and running the air con
would be a bonus.
not had a back problem for about 7 weeks, the stiffness had
reared itís ugly head once more, restricting movement, and Annette
doesnít do heat very well, and so we just crashed and relaxed
for the afternoon.
28.7.13 The back was still playing up, and Annette was feeling
out of sorts, but we decided that we would have a look and see
what the park had to offer. I deflated the tyres by about 10
psi, and we headed out along the track. The park has a feel
in places much like the Bungles. The rock formations are similar
in construction, but the outbreaks look very different. We headed
for the campground at the far end, and were surprised at how
pleasant it was. There nothing wrong with ours either. There
was a water tank which we didnít have, and on reflection, this
is probably because the walks from this campground are all over
5 kms in length. There is another walk about halfway into the
park which leads up a gorge to an aboriginal art site, but our
afflictions were restricting us. We attempted part of one trail,
but decided to turn back rather than tempt further physical
problems. Again we rested, and I watched two young up and coming
V8 drivers show the stars how itís done.
been without signal now for 5 days, and apparently we wonít
have any for another week ay our rate of progress. And so we
need to find a phone box, and check on our mums to make sure
that they are ok. Oh, and we need to find somewhere that sells
phone cards. Funny that ........
I have to
say that I am amazed that Telstra hasnít taken advantage of
the tourist trade by installing towers along the major highways,
and the Gibb River Road. I realise that it is seasonal, but
there are tens of thousands of nomads (and they are not all
grey by ANY stretch of the imagination) up here at the moment,
and they ALL use todays technology, both phone and internet.
I wonder if the people who run the company have ANY idea of
what happens outside their boardroom ......
29.7.13 We left the confines of Keep River NP, and approached
the Duncan Road. A sign advertising the Zebra Rock Mine appeared
and we decided to go and have a look at what it was all about.
road takes you onto the property just off the Duncan Road, and
a winding track through a couple of gates takes you into their
camp ground and shop. Apart from the rock, they also do Wetland
tours on and around Lake Argyle. The rock? Amazing stuff. It
is only mined in Australia, and this is the only mine in the
world we are told. The rock is formed under extreme volcanic
pressure, and there is no conformity as to how the layers are
presented. There were two leases that had been all but totally
mined out, and are now under the waters of lake Argyle, and
this one which fired up about 4 years ago.
We hit the
road again, and after travelling through some fairly flat grass
country (this is the Savannah Way afterall), a range of hills
appeared in front of us, with a 24 hour rest area, and we stopped
and had lunch. We travelled on and after rejecting the next
rest area, and missing a gravel pit, we found a spot beside
the road to stop, have a nap, and spend the night. We are close
to Timber Creek, and there is another rest area just down the
road, but we like to be away from the maddening crowds where
we can run the genny without feeling guilt, and enjoy the air
conditioned comfort in the middle of the day. As I asked one
incredulous camper, ďDo you have air con at home - this is my
home, I live hereĒ.
Annette cooked a wonderful stirfry, and as we sat down to eat,
commented on the gorgeous sunset behind us. Naturally, I turned
to look, and upended my plate all over the table and floor ....
some mothers DO have them ...... It WAS a beautiful sunset,
we captured it, and I retrieved and and ate a beautiful red
dust enhanced stirfry ........
30/7/13 We left our overnight campsite behind, and headed
towards Timber Creek. First though, was the Gregory Tree. This
is on the Victoria River a few kms down a fairly corrugated
road. We followed a bicycle track wondering how the rider was
coping with the undulations in the road. We arrived at the carpark
to find the bike parked against a tree, and wondered who the
rider might be, expecting yet another overseas tourist doing
it in a manner very different to ours.
our way down to the tree, and discovered that the rider was
in fact an Aussie, who was pedalling from Darwin to Port Hedland,
and who had spent much of his travelling around Oz on a bike.
Very interesting chap.
the tree ........ It was a boab, and carved with the arrival
and departure dates of Gregoryís North Australia Expedition
from the base camp here.by his artist Baines, and very proper
printing it was too. There were also a couple of Boabs nearby
which had instructions for another camp carved into them.
the road, and a look at a campsite at Big Horse Creek, which
had an elaborate boat ramp provided into the Victoria River,
which was flowing outwards, we suspect the tide receding. Then
on, past the Bradshaw bridge and into Timber Creek, where we
booked into the caravan park and set up camp. A bit later we
headed out to have a look at Policemans Point Lookout and rest
Stop, the Escarpment Lookout over the town, and then onto the
Bradshaw Bridge we had bypassed earlier.
Lookout features a monument to the Nackaroos. During World War
II growing concerns over a Japanese invasion of northern Australia
led to the formation of the 2/1st North Australia Observer Unit,
a highly mobile reconnaissance unit led by local Aboriginal
guides who knew the local landscape. The role of this unit was
to report any enemy landings on isolated areas of the coastline.
The unit was active in the Timber Creek and Victoria River areas,
and was recognised in 1998 with this memorial to the "Nackeroos"
being constructed Ė the nickname for those who served with this
the Department of Defence purchased Bradshaw Station, a large
cattle property in the vicinity of Timber Creek. This land subsequently
became Bradshaw Field Training Area, an 8700 km2 live fire training
facility. In 2002, the 270m long Bradshaw Bridge opened, providing
road access to the training area from the Victoria Highway.
It is closed to non military vehicular traffic, but can be used
for fishing. It was here that I stuffed up yet again. Whilst
I was filming, Annette was talking to a guy who was fishing
from the bridge, and who had worked at Albany Regional Hospital
in the 70s. In the middle of the conversation, he caught a silver
bream, and so Annette decided she would chuck in a line. The
back door of the car decided that it didnít want to open, and
so I left my gear and went to fix it - this was an old problem
that I knew about ...... it wasnít THAT door, it was the other
one - I have barn doors on my Cruiser. So I messed around trying
to get that open, when Annette came back and said the bridge
was too tall to use a lure from, and letís fix the door back
at the caravan park. Back at the park, Annette opened the back
door and asked me ďwhere is your camera?Ē ...... SHIT. Back
in the car and a mad dash the 10kms back to the bridge, and
our mate was still fishing and looking after my camera for me.......
Dinner time, and we decide to eat at the pub. We had ordered
and eaten 3 meals of Barramundi and salad over the past couple
of weeks, and paid around $35 each time for the privilege -
and it was gorgeous. And so we ordered it again, same price
....... I have NEVER sent a meal back to a kitchen in my life.
Mine went back once, Annettes twice, and two hours later we
left the pub, having been charged $18 each in compensation ....
and it had still been very ordinary. A sour note to finish the
Incidentally, Timber Creek was named in 1855 when the explorer
Augustus Gregory used timber from the banks of the creek to
repair his expeditionís boat. The first inhabitants were the
Nagaliwurra and Nangali Aboriginal people, decendents of whom
still live in Timber Creek.
31/7/13 We have been on the road for seven weeks now, and
are struggling to come to terms with a sudden change of time
zone. Despite that, we stumbled out of bed, and prepared to
take a run into the Gregory National Park. This is a large park,
and after discovering that the track I had decided on following
was 70 kms long (after doing 45 kms to get to it and then return)
and would take us 8 hours to traverse, we changed our mind,
and set sail for the Bullito Homestead instead. The road instead
of being the predicted corrugated track, turned out to be quite
smooth, and wound through varying country landscapes.
We finally reached the Bullito Homestead which sits on the East
Baines River. These days it is owned by the NT Parks and Wildlife
Department, and the old house has itís walls adorned with hangers
telling you all about the past history of the place. The nearby
stockyards are handbuilt out of raw timber, and are a reminder
of how tough things were in days gone by. Bullita was an outstation
for the Durack family; they were firmly linked with cattle and
the opening up of interior Australia in the 1880s. The name
of one of the Duracks is carved into a nearby boab tree.
On the way in, we encountered a herd of Brumbies, a Walleroo
and a dingo. We also passed a fenced off area not much bigger
than a basketball court, and on closer inspection found a small
sign indicating that this was an Aboriginal Secret Site.
Finally, we wound our way back into town, took a tour of the
residential area (which is quite small), and returned to the
caravan where we took a nap for the afternoon. This touring
is hard work .........
are two servos in Timber Creek. BP (Diesel $2.05) and Mobil
(Diesel $1.95). They stand 200m apart and are $0.10 difference
1.8.13 Awoke to the realisation that I had videoed everything
from the Escarpment Lookout EXCEPT the monument to the Nackeroos.
And so we hooked up the van and headed back out there to do
just that. The road to the top is pretty steep, and the van
is heavy, and thank God for the turbo and 1st gear, because
it took a bit of cog swapping and momentum to get there. But
get there we did. For those of you who missed it, see the DAY
48 report to find out what I am talking about.
It was then
back into town to the Police Museum - open 12-4 - and it was
early - and the Croc Stock Shop which apart from souvenirs and
tours, did Devonshire Teas - Pumpkin Scones for me and Plain
Scones for Annette. Delish.
to hit the road, and a fairly uneventful trip thru the flat
grasslands before reaching the Joe Creek Picnic Area. This necessitates
a drive of a couple of kms up a gorge basically, to the picnic
area. There is an escarpment walk. We chose to do the first
part of the climb, before resuming our journey.
into the Old Victoria River Crossing, which according to a couple
of guys who had been there the year before, was not delivering
any fish, there wasnít enough water, wheras last year, the water
was flowing strongly. Even a mildly dry Wet Season can be disheartening
point in time, you are driving through some beautiful ranges,
before reaching the Victoria River Roadhouse. Diesel and ULP
not to stay at the caravan park, and instead found ourselves
a nice little spot beside the road a few kms down the road,
and settled down for a quiet read and sleep. I even set up the
dish and watched the cricket ... was pleasant viewing for a
2.8.13 We were in no hurry to get away. I had been expecting
to see the memorial to Noel Buntine at the junction of the Victoria
and Buntine Highways, and when we reached there, it appears
that the road had been re-aligned, because I recall it being
on the other side. The Buntine Hwy was opened in October 1997.
Noel Buntine dabbled in the truck driving industry for a few
years but it all really started for him in the 1960s when he
purchased a B61 Mack, named it the High and Mighty, and started
hauling cattle to the Wyndham meatworks. By 1980 he had a fleet
of 50 roadtrains, depots in three states and 120 employees.
of the days driving was just a cruise, and we decided that we
again would not use the roadside camps set up by the authorities,
and found ourselves a nice big gravel dump - it was more like
a massive clearing some 1-200 metres wide - to park in, and
we had it all to ourselves. It was only early, and we werenít
far from Katherine, but it was an ideal place to again indulge
in some reading, sleeping, and viewing of NASCAR NOW. And of
course, the cricket ..... who the hell is the 3rd umpire?
some breeze, and the occasional heavier gusts - it was quite
3.8.13 I was up early again, and spent the time editing
the video taken so far. Annette appeared, I started organising
breakfast, and then a gust of wind that ripped the top corner
mounting apart on the awning at the front of the van. This was
definitely something we didnít need, especially just as I was
halfway through cooking the scrambled eggs, and I could see
my cullinary efforts being ruined. We raced out, and having
suffered something similar once before when the front assembly
decided to disassemble itself, and therefore having an idea
of how to put it back together again, we got the thing back
in shape, but with no way of anchoring it to the top of the
van. It was still attached at the bottom, and so I managed to
roll it back up again, tightened up the centre pole, and hoped
that it would hold as we drove into Katherine ........ and it
now the important thing was, was the breakfast ruined? I cooked
the toast, dumped the egg on top, and Mmmmm, not bad, even if
I say so myself. Different to the Weetbix we usually had.
And so we
packed up, and hit the road once again, arriving in Katherine
at about 11am, and obtained a lovely spot under the trees WITH
a look at the sky at Shady Shores Caravan Park, just 6kms out
of town on the Katherine Gorge Road ..... AND we have signal
jumped in the car and went back into town to do some food shopping,
whilst I was told to stay ........ I get in the way apparently
and she can shop a lot quicker without me it seems ............
Bugger, Iíll just have to watch the footy then
4.8.13 Bugger, the reason we hit the road when we did was
to get away from the wet and cold weather in Albany, and hope
that a change to warmer conditions would be beneficial with
regard to an arthritic back condition. It worked, that is, it
did until we reached Lake Argyle, and then I must have done
something to reignite the problem. Since then, it has got slightly
worse each day, and as a result has impacted on how far and
where I can drag my camera and tripod. Climbing hills and doing
dodgy tracks looks as though it could be out for me at least
for the time being. And so with a;ll of this in mind, we decided
to dispense with the sight seeing around Katherine, and head
straight to Darwin. From there, we plan to drop the van and
do day trips unhindered.
been said, we did some looking around Katherine today. We are
staying at Shady Creek Caravan Park which is 6 kms out along
the Katherine Gorge road, and so we decided firstly to take
a run out and see what it is all about. There are a number of
boat tours up the gorge available, and all entail a fair bit
of walking. And so we decided that we would leave that until
we come back through in a couple of weeks time (or whenever),
and hope that the back has healed.
drove back into town and out to Springvale Station Homestead,
which is purported to be the oldest original homestead building
in the Northern Territory. It was built in 1879. There are some
beautiful big old South American Raintrees which are a feature
of the place, as well as the homestead and outbuildings.
out to NT Rare Rocks, which is a business run by an old prospector
named Geoff, who has collected all of the stones and rocks on
display from all over the NT. And an impressive display it is
too. Annette added to her collection of ďtreasuresĒ, and we
headed back to Low Level Nature Reserve. The river flows under
the bridge and over rock bars, which forms pleasant little rapids.
The locals use the area for picnic-ing and fishing, and it is
safe to swim there as well. There are sandybanks and paperbark
trees which create just a delightful atmosphere.
into and had a look at the Katherine Hot Pools before heading
back to camp. Not a bad day all round.
cricket wasnít bad either ........