Posts for June, 2019


Return to NT (Keep River NP, Northern Territory)

Journal entry for Saturday 1st Jun, 2019 (day 96, kms 82)

Today we ducked back into the Northern Territory a few kilometers to visit, and camp at, Keep River National Park. On paper the attractions of this park are a couple of nice campgrounds and a couple of interesting walks amongst some sandstone cliffs. The first of the days hikes introduced us to the small stone and twig structure in the first picture, which was explained by the info-plaques in pictures 2 and 3.

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An early morning hike (Kununurra, Western Australia)

Journal entry for Sunday 2nd Jun, 2019 (day 97, kms 78)

We were up well before sunrise this morning as we had decided to undertake the Jarnem Loop hike and all the advice we had read suggested getting to the lookout for the sunrise. Well we did not quite manage a sunrise at the lookout but we did get some photos of the rising suns rays on the sandstobe cliffs. Towards the end of the loop we came to Nigli Gap; a series of cliffs which show signs of aboriginal habitation.

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El Questro (El Questro, Western Australia)

Journal entry for Monday 3rd Jun, 2019 (day 98, kms 112)

Before getting underway this morning we took a few photos around our campground, and around the town of Kununurra. In particular we wanted to demonstrate the relative lushness of the area as the Ord River Valley around Kununurra is the region that is irrigated by the water released from Lake Argyle.

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Correct handling of a cane toad (Drysdale Station, Western Australia)

Journal entry for Thursday 6th Jun, 2019 (day 101, kms 132)

Before leaving Ellenbrae this morning we drove back to the homestead to try their coffee and scones. This seems to be a feature they are trying to cultivate as a "differentiator" for their tourist business. While sitting in the quirky but attractive cafe devouring said coffeee and scones we started reading an information sheet that is provided at each table. From it we learned some interesting facts.

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Kimberley Plateau (Mitchell Falls, Western Australia)

Journal entry for Friday 7th Jun, 2019 (day 102, kms 186)

It's a bit hard to put into words the contradictions that today brings. On the one hand we are in an incredibly remote place and on the other hand tonights campground will have quite a population (maybe 100 people), we will see a number of offroad tourist buses at the campground, and there will be a helicaopter base at the campground. Our starting point for today is already 500km (310miles) from the last town we passed through (Kununurra), it is the only fuel stop we have seen since that town, and today we are going to drive another 185 km (110miles) north and west from Drysdale.

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Mitchell Falls (Mitchell Falls, Western Australia)

Journal entry for Saturday 8th Jun, 2019 (day 103, kms 0)

Today is one of the big days for this trip. This region, known as The Kimberley, is one of the remotest and least populated parts of Australia and the Mitchell Falls is perhaps its most iconic tourist attraction. It is also the attraction that stretched this particular adventure for us to 6 months from its original conception of half that much time (originally we were planning a 3 month trip to Australia and then Nina found Destination Kimberley and the plan got extended to 6 months). So its a big day.

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Aboriginal art (Drysdale Station, Western Australia)

Journal entry for Sunday 9th Jun, 2019 (day 104, kms 184)

The route between Drysdale Station and the Mitchell campground consists of two road segments. From Drysdale one follows the Kalumburra Road north for 100km and then turns west onto the Mitchell Plateau track for 80km. So of course todays return journey to Drysdale reversed that route. As mentioned previously much of tne Mitchell Plateau track travels through Livistona Palm forest which we both really enjoyed. Just west of the junction of the Mitchell track and Kalumburra Road is an Aboriginal Art Site that we missed on the way up but called in on todays return.

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Return to the Gibb (Manning Gorge, Western Australia)

Journal entry for Monday 10th Jun, 2019 (day 105, kms 171)

With our Mitchell excursion done today we returned to the Gibb River Road and continued our westward journey. The first leg of the days journey was 60km south from Drysdale to the Gibb River Rest area and then 110 west to Mount Barnett Road House and the nearby Manning Gorge Campground. There was not much of note on todays drive, lots of road corrugations, a surprising number of fellow travellers, maybe 50 other cars most towing a camper of some form and two notable river crossings where we took a few photos. We crossed the Gibb River just before rejoining the Gibb River Road and the Barnett River just before the similarly named road house.

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Freshies (Windjana NP, Western Australia)

Journal entry for Tuesday 11th Jun, 2019 (day 106, kms 205)

We made a start before sunrise this morning and walked from the campground to Manning Gorge. The start of the walk is quite interesting as one has to cross a large waterhole, and a small aluminium boat with rope tow is provided for the purpose. By the time we returned from the walk the kids staying in the campground were up and playing in the waterhole and a couple of them offered to be our ferrymen. The walk to the Gorge was hot and a bit tedious but the gorge provided some nice photos of cliffs reflected in the clear water.

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Crocs and bats (Windjana NP, Western Australia)

Journal entry for Wednesday 12th Jun, 2019 (day 107, kms 72)

This morning we visited another attraction of the Napier Range, Tunnel Creek about 35km south of Windjana. The "tunnel" which is about 750 meters long is nothing more than a small limestone cave carved out by a wet season river/creek. The thing that sets this cave apart from other limestone caves are the resident fresh water crocodiles. The one in picture 8 is real. This cave was once the hideout of an aboriginal outlaw or freedom fighter (depending on your perspective) name Pigeon or Jandamarra. See Tunnell Creek

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Cape Leveque (Gumbana, Western Australia)

Journal entry for Sunday 16th Jun, 2019 (day 111, kms 279)

We have a few things planned in Broome next week but the thought of hanging around in one place for over a week was more than Nina could tolerate so we decided to take a little excursion to Cape Leveque about 200km north of Broome. The peninsula that is tipped by Cape Leveque is all aboriginal land and hence is very lightly inhabited but non the less is a very popular tourist destination.

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Return to Broome (Broome, Western Australia)

Journal entry for Monday 17th Jun, 2019 (day 112, kms 228)

Before returning to Broome this morning we wanted to visit Kooljaman, an aboriginal owned tourist resort that provides accommodation ranging from luxury cabins through to unpowered campsites. They were fully booked so we could not camp there last night. Also this property is the only place where one can access the beach front at Cape Levesque. Photo 2 is the access road to Kooljaman. We spent a couple of hours at Kooljaman exploring their beaches and facilities before starting the return trip to Broome.

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Stairway to the Moon (Broome, Western Australia)

Journal entry for Tuesday 18th Jun, 2019 (day 113, kms 0)

One of the big events in Broome is called Stairway to the Moon. This takes place whenever a low tide and new moon coincide. Since the downtown beach area of Broome face East one can watch the new full moon rise over the sea, and when the tid is low the moon light reflects off the sand/mud to give the impression of stairs leading to the rising moon. This is now a big event and attracts thousands of spectators. So this evening about 6:17pm we were at the Town Beach to buy dinner from one of the many food stalls and watch the moon rise. Photos were difficult.

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Horizontal Falls (Broome, Western Australia)

Journal entry for Wednesday 19th Jun, 2019 (day 114, kms 0)

Today we visited and "rode" a tidal phenomena called The Horizontal Falls. These falls are located about 120 miles North and a little East of Broome and to visit them we took a 1 hour flight in a small plane to Cockatoo Island, followed by a 4 hour ride in a fast and powerful boat (3 x 250 Yamaha outboard engines) with 18 other people, and then a return flight (passing over the Horizontal Falls) back to Broome.

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