• IMG_1791

    Day 51 to 53 Marble Bar and Newman

    Sep 26, 2017, 4:16:58 PM

    Day 51 to 53


    22 September to 24 September.  Marble Bar and Newman


     We packed up and left Port Headland early. On the way out we saw an iron ore train stopped and was able to work out that the train was 130 cars long being hauled by two locos. We have subsequently learnt the the double one we had seen the day before with 4 locos was 270 cars and 2.7 Klms long with a total payload of 38,000 tonnes of ore. That is big.


    We headed down the Marble Bar Road for a drive of some 250 Klms. On the way we stopped into Doolena Gorge which was not far off the main road. Then back on the road arriving at Marble Bar in the early afternoon. A very small town but with a delightful caravan park, with grassy sites down near the dry river. We booked in for two nights. That afternoon we drove around and had a look at the relics around town and then adjourned to the Ironclad Hotel for a beer or two. Next morning we went out to look at the old gold mine out of town. Marble Bar was founded as a result of gold but its other claim to fame is that it is the hottest town in Australia. In 1923/24 it recorded 160 consecutive days where the temperature did not drop below 38.7 Degrees (100 in the old scale). It reached 39 the two days we were there, and the locals described that as comfortable. Hot is when it gets to 48 degrees. I'd call that bloody hot. The last night we were there the temp did not fall below 30 which made for a very uncomfortable night.


    Up here when you do get cold nights the temperature may be 14 degrees at 6.30am but by 10 o'clock has rising to 30 or 34 degrees. Once the sun is up it gets hot very quickly. Also the humidity may be 100% early but quickly drop to 10% by midday.


    In the morning we went out of town and had a look at a large outcrop of jade. It was this outcrop that gave Marble Bar its name. The person who discovered it thought it was Marble, but in fact it is jaspa. It is a protected site and if you take a sample of jaspa from this area the fine is $50,000. So there are no signs of people chipping bits off…. How refreshing.


    We then went out to look at the relic of the Comet Gold Mine. It is the only relic left.

     While out at the gold mine we looked in on the museum that is out there as well. It has many interesting artefacts and storys. When gold was first discovered at the mine site it was yielding 10 Troy ounces of gold to the ton. A very rich body of ore. Once they got down a bit the yield dropped off to 40 grams a ton, low but still profitable. The mine closed in the 1950s but there is a chance it may reopen in the future. 


    At the mine we saw a large piece of jasper which had been cut through the middle. It appeared to have gold seams in it, but they were actually asbestos. Witernoon, the home of the largest asbestos mine in Australia is south of here just outside Karajini National Park. 


    The other interesting thing about this area is that it is the home of the Invisible Air Base. It was the best kept secret of WWII. The airbase was manned by Americans and Australians from 1943 to 1945 and was set up as a result of the Japanese bombings of Broome etc. the bombers were American Liberators and they would set off on 15 hour return bombing trips of Japanese installations in Java and Timor. They are reputed to be the longest bombing runs in WWII. The base was camouflaged and despite many attempts was never found by the Japanese. The men who were stationed there worked under extreme hardship. There was no refrigeration and water was a scarce resource. They lived on bully beef and other powdered and dried food. Some of the American airman came straight here from enlistment after training and spent their whole service there. 


    Next morning we set off to take the back road to Newman, so that we could visit Herring Gorge on the way. We arrived at Newman in the early afternoon and booked into a tour of the BHP Mt Whaleback mine. Newman is a real mining town and there is not much to do there. Next morning we were up, packed up our gear and headed down to the information centre for the mine tour. The tour was fantastic. The bus took us to a look out in the middle of the mine where we could see all that was going on. The guide gave us facts and figures till they were coming out of our ears. So that we didn't miss any she gave us a hand out that summarised them all. 

    We learnt that the mountain they have mined looked like a whales back… hence the name.the mine is the largest single open cut mine in the world being 5.5 Klms long and 2 Klms wide and to me it looked 500metres deep, right down to below the water table. In fact the original Mt Whaleback was 805 metres above sea level and they were mining down to 135 metres. We took a gps reading on the lookout, the highest point left and it was 711 metres above sea level. The iron ore seam is estimated to be 1.6 billion tonnes. The ore is very rich being 68.8% pure. In fact after the ore is crushed it is mixed with less rich ores to create a blend that is wanted by their customers. Any ore that is below 50% pure is discarded. When this mine runs out in 20 years they will then move to the next close by mountain and start on it. Owned by BHP they expect to mine 295 million tonnes of ore this year. They pump 46 million litres of water out of the mine each week. I wonder what that does to the water table.



    Once the tour was finished, we were given tea and scones and we then set of to our next destination… Karijini National Park.

  • 80 mile beach sunset - No reproduction without written permision

    Day 41 to 50


    13 September to 21 September

    Broome, 80 Mile Beach and Port Hedland


    We were up early to say our good byes to the owners of the Goombaragin Eco Resort. It was definitely a restful experience and if we do come back here next year this place will definitely be on our list… but it will be earlier in the year to beat the heat. We headed into Broome. It was unseasonably hot at 38 degrees, so we headed out to Cable Beach and booked into the caravan park. Being closer to the beach we thought it would be cooler, but we did get a nice shady powered site and set up camp. To cool down we decided to hop into Clive and chase down a few tourist spots. We headed out to the harbour entry as at the reserve are supposedly the largest collection of dinosaur prints in Australia. Once out there we discovered they were on the sea rocks which was now covered with a metre of water. Oh well what else to see. Louise found a large Osprey chick nesting on the tower at the end of the spit. We then went and topped up supplies and headed back to camp as it was bear o’clock.


    Next day we headed into the Centrelink office to find out how my claim for the pension was going. I submitted it on 15 July and it was supposed to be determined by 4 September. After some persistence it was discovered that there was an IT problem and I would have to wait for that to be fixed before I could find out the result of my claim. Don't you just love government… if private industry behaved like that they wouldn’t have any customers. Anyway to cut a long story short very late Friday afternoon I got an email saying I had been granted the pension.


    Being my birthday we decided that we would celebrate it on Friday as we could go to the pub and have dinner and watch the Swannies on the big screen. The dinner was very nice but the less said about the game the better, unless your a Geelong supporter. Gee did Geelong play well.


    So on the Thursday we had Clive booked in for a 10000klm service… yes we have done 10000klms since we left Scone. To fill in the four hours we did a walk around Broome on a day the temperature reached 39 degrees. Unlike home the max temperature is reached at about 11am to midday. The heat took its toll as I don't think we were drinking enough water. This became evident when we picked Clive up and we headed off to the museum. As soon as we there in the air conditioned room the heat effect hit us. After many cold drinks we got our energy back and then had a look at the exhibits. Mainly pearling artefacts, but a lot of information about the bombing of Broome, Derby, Exmouth and Kalumburu by the Japanese in 1942/43. I never knew that the bombing of Australia went this far south.


    Friday was a quiet day, recovering from the day before. We went to the shopping centre to connect to Telstra Air but found it took hours to upload anything. I'll have to sort this out when we get to Port Hedland as it is driving me crazy, and in 5 days we have used our phone data allowance of 4GB doing nothing.


    On Friday night we left the pub at half time (yes we are bad losers). Next morning we were up early and headed off to Broome Bird Observatory for two nights of bush camping. The two days we spent at the Observatory were amazing and so far one of the highlights of the trip. 

    It was established in 1988 and is totally run on public donations and the work of volunteers. Broome is a very important stop over for migrating birds and the sand flats are the richest source of food for migrating birds in the world.  The Observatory monitors the migration of birds and also their population with weekly netting and tagging.  Each night  at 6.30 everyone meets at the shade house and calls out if they have seen a species of bird when it's name is called out. The first night we just sat and observed in awe. Louise was becoming hooked on bird watching so next morning I bought her a copy of the Australian Bird Guide. She immediately opened it and started trying to identify the birds we had seen the day before. Then we headed off to walk through the surrounding bush and they down to the bay and mud flats identifying birds as we went. That night at the bird call we were able to add to what was logged. So far this September they have logged 200 different species of shore and sea birds. Wow. Another place to visit when we come back, but next time stay longer and do a bit of volunteering.


    We left next morning and headed down the road towards Port Hedland. We had decided to camp along the way so headed to 80 mile beach which was near the sea and reported to be cooler. Outside the temperature nudged 40, so when we pulled up for a cup of tea which was drunk quickly as the heat was unbearable. We got to 80 mile beach to find that the temperature was 8 to 10 degrees cooler than inland… bliss. We set up camp changed into our cozzies and headed over the sand dunes to the beach. There was one problem. It was low tide and the water was about 1000 metres from the high tide mark, so we paddled around in the wet sand. In places it is like quicksand. Evidence of that is the roof of a 4WD in the sand about 800 metres out from the high tide mark. The rest of the vehicle is still below the roof. One expensive mistake. They lose between 10 and 15 4WD’s a year around Broome as people ignore the warnings about the big tides. Some tide variations are more than 11 metres between high and low tide.


    As the sun was going down Louise suddenly noticed the brilliance of the sunset so we made a quick dash to the top of the sand dunes and captured some great pics of the sun setting.


    Next morning we packed up and headed to Port Hedland. When we arrived we checked our batteries to find that the batteries we rely on for camping lights and fridges were not being charged so we checked into the caravan park with a powered site to get everything charged up while we tracked down the cause of the non charging. A trip to an auto electrician checked everything and established our alternator was ok and everything else was working properly but that the DC to DC regulator was overheating and cutting out. Because he was booked out he couldn't do anything for us but at least we now knew the cause. We went to ARB to see if we could buy a solar blanket so we could add to our solar capacity and keep things charged up as the next part of the trip will include free camping in the middle of no where. He pointed us to another auto electrician who could help us but he had closed for the day. Back at camp I had a look at the whole set up and found that the heat sensor was on top of the black battery and in the drive down with 40 degree heat the battery was extremely hot. I reasoned that if I moved the sensor to a more open position near the charger it would remove the heat affect from the battery and subsequently found that the fix has worked. 


    The next morning we had booked into a boat tour recommended by a fellow traveller we met at the bird Observatory. It is run by the Mission to Seamen. They visit every boat docked in the harbour and provide free transport to the mainland for any seaman that has a shore leave pass. They take them shopping, supply cooked meals and even has a licensed bar plus other support services. They help over 3000 seamen a month and are totally private funded charity. They sell tour passes on the boat that help fund the mission. $55 for Louise and $49.50 for me ( I'm now a pensioner). It was a fantastic and informative trip as we visited all eight ships docked in port at that time. Getting up close to these monsters is a photographers dream come true. We we got back fully impressed with the work the mission does I donated my pensioner discount back to them. Some facts we learnt is that the port is the largest bulk carrier loading port in the world, operates 24 hours a days with the main export being iron ore but also salt, precious minerals, and scrap metal to name a few. The tankers include some of the largest in the world and the port can simultaneously load 19 bulk carriers at a time. At any one time there is between 20 to 50 carriers off shore so efficiency is a must as the waiting cost to the mining companies up to $100,000 a day.  The ships when loading are turned around in 24 hours. Also if a cyclone warning is issued the harbour must be cleared and it takes 18 hours to clear 19 ships from the harbour. All ships must have pilots and 4 tugs to move them through the harbour entrance. All this info comes from the mission and we would recommend the tour to anyone staying in Port Headland.


    The other impressive sight. Was the iron ore trains. We saw one that had 160 cars being Towed by 2 drive less local but then saw another that was two sets of train and cars joined together. That is 4 Lucas and 320 cars…. Huge. 


    Another place we visited, other than the shopping centre to replenish stocks, was a working aboriginal art centre that has up to forty artists working there over time. It was very interesting watching them work on pieces that can take up to a month or two to complete. One artist was working on a commissioned piece and stop to talk to us. Her mother came from the central desert near the South Australian border and her mob only came out of the desert in the late 1950’s early 1960’s and saw their first white man. Her mother was only a child but was taken away from her family and sent to Perth. The family is now reunited but listening to her story was very moving. She is a proud mother of 3 and her eldest daughter has won a scholarship with one of the government agencies to go back to learning the traditional land care skills and then to pass it on to the next generation. 


    With the temperature again nudging 40 degrees we decided that we had enough of Port Hedland. The decision we had to make now was would we head to Marble Bar, Newman and Karajini where the temperatures over the next couple of days was going even higher, or would we miss them all and stick to the coast. An examination of the longer forecast showed that temps were going to drop from Sunday onwards to more normal levels, that is 10 degrees lower than they have been for the past month. So we decided to stick to our original itinerary and that is why we are in Marble Bar now, but you will have to wait for the next blog for that story.



    What I can tell you is that I have finally fixed the problem of not having enough data allowance to upload blogs photos etc.  I have been able to change my phone plan to get 15gb a month of extra data from Telstra without it costing me any more money, so will be able to upload photos to my website when I get time. Time is scarce when you are doing nothing, but we will see what happens.

  • IMG_1693

    Day 36 to 40 Broome and the Dampier Peninsula

    8 to 12 September


    We spent 2 nights in Broome, stocking up, fixing the electrical issues, and  organising the servicing of Clive for this coming Thursday. We also did a run out to the Willie Creek Pearl Farm. Not much to see but their shop has pearls ranging from $55 (for imported fresh water ones) to over $20,000 for the Australian Pearl necklace.  Cheaper than the pink diamonds we saw in Kununarra but not our cup of tea. We also ventured out to a free camping area at Quondong Point. Back in town we headed off to the pub at Cable Beach to watch the Swannies beat the Bombers. All the locals seemed to be barracking for the Bombers and early in the game were quite vocal, but quiet ended down as the game progressed. Us Swannie supporters all sat together. It was great fun. I have just rearranged our itinerary so we can watch the next game at the same venue at the famous Cable Beach pub. 



    Next morning we packed up for three nights camping on the Dampier Peninsula at Goombaragin Eco Resort. This is a hideaway run by a local indigenous women and her husband. It is absolutely magical. You have seen the photos I posted on Facebook and will add them to my gallery of iPhoto photos tomorrow when I get cheap internet access. There are 3 bush camping spots totally private plus some Eco lodges and tents in what I can only describe as the next best thing to heaven. Yesterday we just lay around and enjoyed the peace and quiet as we were the only ones here. Today we drove down to the beach and explored for a Few hours. The red sand is iron oxide and the dark rock you can see is iron ore. 


    Tomorrow we are back in Broome so I can wash the vehicles before I have them serviced on Thursday. We will then stay in Broome at Cable Beach for the touristy thing  till Saturday morning and then take off for a couple of nights at Broome’s Bird Sanctuary and then leave the Kimberley's and head for the next section 80 mile beach and then - the Pilbara.


    Well after 30 days in the Kimberley’s I thought I would summarise our perceptions.


    Is the Gibb River Road an iconic 4WD destination?

     My view is that that is all hype and advertising bull. Yes it is long (620klms) yes it is corrugated but not overly so. The main issue is the other users mainly in hired 4WD vehicles, who drive far to fast for the conditions, ignore all road rules and etiquette. Yes you need to go slow in some places but it is not unlike any other long dirt corrugated roads found all over Australia.


    Is it as beautiful as the ads show? Definitely no. Most photos of the Kimberley's are taken soon after the wet season stops and the places are only accessible by helicopter at great expense at sunset or sunrise. If you travel in August September like we did it is extremely dry (no moisture of any kind for more than three months) so dust is a massive issue to deal with - everywhere. That is not to say that the gorges are not spectacular but they are that because they are spread apart and you have to go through miles and miles of patched country to get to them. 


    So what were the highlights.. El Questro ( but very touristy). Ellenbrae Station (the tea and scones and the excentric bathroom); Manning, Bell and Windjana Gorges were all spectacular and different and well worth the visit; Mornington Wilderness Camp and Goombaragin Eco Camp were both highlights with the Horizontal Falls experience being the absolute best. We didn't make Mitchell Falls or Kalambaru and that was a disappointment, but hey we have already put those two on our list for next year in June or July.


    The other two stops that were memorable but not on the Gibb River Road were Purnululu and the Ord River Dam or Argyle River. Both were spectacular in their own right.


    Overall it has been a great experience and taught us a lot and we are ready for the next leg of this great journey.


    I have now sorted out the blog situation and will post this chapter and future ones on

    https://www.exploroz.com/blogs  and search my user name “Matwil” as well as my photography website ( at http://www.christopherwilsonphotos.com/blog/


    I can embed photos in the exploroz site, but on my website you well need to go to the photo gallery to see the photos. The photos will be uploaded over the next few days once I am in Broome and have access to Telstra Air which uses my home internet allowance so costs nothing extra. Out here if I used the phone I would blow my whole phone allowance of 5 gigs in one day. 




  • IMG_0040

    Day 30 to 35 Mornington to Broome


    2 September to 7 September


    We left the Mornington Wilderness Centre early and headed out to the Gibb River Road without  incident and headed towards Bell Gorge. We had planned to spend a night or 2 at Charnley River Station which is also run by the Wilderness Society. However we had been told that it was more of the same unless you were into Kayaking, so we gave it a miss and headed down the road to Silent grove camping area and Bell Gorge. On the way we stopped in at Imitji Aboriginal settlement to refuel. They were reputed to have the cheapest fuel on the Gibb and they didn't disappoint… $2.00 a litre wow 5cents off. we filled up and headed on our way arriving at Silent Grove about lunch time. Our plan was to walk Bell Gorge first thing next morning. Again we had an early night up again up early, breakfast and then headed off to the Gorge. To us this Gorge was the best we had visited to date. A love rly shady walk in and then a spectacular waterfall and pools at the end. (Would love to see the waterfall in the wet season.) We spent a few hours there photographing the surrounds. And then headed back to camp to pack up and move on.


    Our next stop was to be Mount Hart Station. This was a property acquired by  the WA Park Service some years ago. They gave a lease to a couple who really built up the tourist side, putting in facilities etc at their own expense. Once successful the Minister terminated their lease with no compensation and gave it to someone else. As a result of reading the story we decided on principle to not go there. So we headed off to Windjana Gorge.


    We arrived at Windjana in the early afternoon. On the way we stopped at Marsh Fly Glen for a cuppa and very quickly found out how it got its name, so quickly drank to tea and headed on. Once at Windjana we did a late walk up the Gorge just before sunset. It was spectacular. There were fresh water crocs aplenty as it is a popular place for them during the dry. We had our tripods so took heaps of photos until after the sun had set.


    Next morning we were up early and headed  to Tunnel Creek.. This is a cave that the river has carved through the limestone. Unfortunately they have had a massive rock fall at the entrance and the spectacular entrance opening is no more. We went into the cave, walking through water, but had to turn back when our torch batteries gave out. You are able to walk right through the cave and out the other side but we were not able to do the full walk. Once back at the vehicle we headed off to Fitzroy Crossing and Gieke Gorge. The drive was some 150 on dirt corrugated road and the bitumen into Fitzroy. Once we got to the bitumen we pulled up to pump up out tyres to find that we had the first casualty of the trip. The Anderson plugs that carry power from the truck to the tVan had come apart and one Anderson plug was no more. Also a lead that powered the fridge had also failed. Amazing 600 Klms on one of the worst roads and everything Holds until the last 100klms.  We got a camping spot in Fitzroy with power so we could keep the fridge running while I did running repairs. The park was part of a resort with a bar so we adjourned there for a few coldies. They had Little Creatures Pale Ale on tap which was delicious. We did a trip out to Gieke Gorge and walked some trails but it was nothing spectacular.


    Next morning we were on the road again to Derby arriving there about lunch time.

    We went straight to the Information Centre to book the Horizontal Falls trip as we heard on the road that it was fully booked out and it might take a week to get a booking. We went straight to the counter and made enquiries. “When do you want to go the girl asked and then added if you want to go tomorrow let me know quick as they have just opened another trip for 8 people.” We will take two spots we replied. She got on the computer and then rang them and we got the last 2 spots. Wow was it our lucky day. At the caravan park there were people who were there for a week as the only bookings they could get were 5 or 7 days away. 


    We had a look around Derby and again next morning and then were picked up from the park at 2.15 and taken to our 12 seater amphibious plane. The trip took 30 minutes and finished withe two passes over the falls. spectacular. We landed next to the pontoon connected to the two house boats which were our quarters for the night. Funny enough one of the couples on the plane we met at Silent Grove when we camped next to them. First thing on the agenda was feeding the sharks and fish and then a swim amongst them. (With a cage between the swimmers and the sharks of course). Next we were on the super fast ( 4 x 300hp engines) for a trip up to the falls and through them. There are two gaps, one 20 metres wide and the second only 8 metres wide. We sped up to the first and stopped while the captain surveyed the rushing currents, then picked his line and off he took. Wow the adrenalin started pumping and it was an ultimate experience. The tide was rushing out and the water inside the falls was about 1 metre higher than outside. The ride back was even better as as we fell off the wave he cut the engines and we came down with an almighty bang. Wow again. I looked over at Louise and she was grinning from ear to ear. On the plane when we hit bumps like that her look was a bit different… fear.


    He took us through the wider gap 3 more times I think to soften us up for the smaller gap. We then took off to the smaller gap and as we approached we could see that it was a lot more turbulent than the wider gap. He had a look at it while the discussion around the boat was will he or won't he? The difference in the two water levels was about 3 metres and the turbulence huge. He then announced that it was far too rough and we would give it a miss today and try again in the morning. So we went back to the wider gap and did 3 more passes through before a tour up Cyclone Creek, which is a bay where  they store the boats over the cyclone season. It use during cyclones goes right back to the pearlers who used to shelter their boats there when cyclones hit. It has high cliffs around it on all sides and the shape of the bay totally protects the boats moored there from the rough seas and high winds. Once back on the boat it was coldies time (BYO) and chin wagging about our adventure we have all done together. Then dinner was served, wild barramundi bbq’d withe salad and then sweets of brownies, berries and cream. Yum. We then sat around over our wines and passed the time chin wagging until about ten. Our latest night on our trip and it was the same for all the others that have been camping.


    We were up early next morning at 5.30am and breakfast, cereal and bacon and eggs, and then another trip through the falls before our sea plane returns to take us back at 8.15am. We again went through the big gap but still couldn't go through the small gAp it was running between 3 to 4 metres. Because of this he did extra passes through the big gap and then took us back to the barge to await the plane. At 8.30am they announced that the plane had been delayed in Broome because of fog and would not arrive till about 9.45am. To help fill the time he would take us for “another burn in the jet boat” in the hope of being able to do the smaller gap. This time we were lucky and we got to do 3 or 4 passes through both openings. Back to the barge to await the plane only to find out it still had not left Broome yet and might not arrive to about 10.30. So morning tea and cake was hastily arranged and then another trip to the falls and another journey up Cyclone Creek to see it in different light and a different tide. This time we saw a salt water croc as well as dolphins.


    What luck did we have getting on this trip. Finally the plane arrived and we headed back to Derby on a different route than the day before that took us over the whole archipelago. We finally arrived back in Derby 3.5 hours late but no complaints. It was an experience of a life time and the high light of the trip so far.


    Back at camp we had lunch and then headed out to the Prison boab tree and the Mowanjum Arts and Cultural Centre. It is where three main aborigine language groups have come together to protect their culture and language and traditional ways.


    The Mowanjum Aboriginal Art and Cultural Centre is a creative hub for the Worrorra, Ngarinyin and Wunumbal tribes, who make up the Mowanjum community outside Derby, Western Australia.

    These three language groups are united by their belief in the Wandjina as a sacred spiritual force and the creators of the land. They are the custodians of Wandjina law and iconography.

    The centre hosts exhibitions, workshops and community projects, as well as the annual Mowanjum Festival, one of Australia's longest running indigenous cultural festivals.


    It was well worth the visit and to view the extensive art work of each artists interpretation on their Wandjina. 



    Friday we he'd to Broome to get fully restocked and fix a few electrical issues before heading off up in the Dampier Peninsula to do some bush camping. Our next post will be around the 13 September, so till then, au revoir.


  • IMG_1639

    Days 23 to 29

    Sep 1, 2017, 6:58:16 PM

    Saturday 26 to Friday 1 September



    We were up early, on Saturday  morning, and took off for our next stop which is Mt Elizabeth Station about 160 Klms down the road. On the way we stopped into an aboriginal settlement to get some fuel at believe or not Gibb River Station. We met the storekeeper who gave us a run down of the place… 1 million acres and about 8,000 head of cattle when fully stocked but they were only running about 6000 head at the moment. He told us that the roads up here are the worst he has seen in 25 years and he had been told by someone in the know that it was due to state govt budget cuts due to the GST cuts.  What gets me about that is it is another example of a state govt blaming everyone but the real culprits… themselves. What happened to the 10 years of windfall gains from the mining boom.  It seems to me that it is not good economics to starve the area of a profitable industry that that brings in the most of the states  tourist income.

    Anyway we filled up at $2.05 a litre and headed off to Mt Elizabeth Station. Another 1 million acre property with tourist facilities. Of all the places we have stayed so far this was the  most forgettable. We went out to one of their Gorges for a swim. No one was there so I decided to have a skinny dip. No sooner had I dived in two car loads of people turned up, much to Louise’s mirth. She chucked me my togs and laughed as I struggled to get them on under water without sinking to the bottom. 

    We were up early next morning and moved on to Mount Barnett Roadhouse, which is the only store with a range of supplies on the Gibb River Road. We desperately needed to restock especially on fresh food. It is also gateway to Manning Gorge where we camped for 2 nights. 

    At the camp ground we set up and next morning made the 2.5 kilometre walk over rough rocky ground to the gorge. The  walk was difficult but the reward at the end was a magnificent gorge full of water. We swam and took in the scenery and watched a bunch of kids jump off the water fall into the pool below. Great fun. There are also some aboriginal paintings in the gorge which were a delight to find as they are not mentioned in any of the brochures.


    One of the travellers we met told us a man on an APT tour had died at Mitchell Falls the previous day when he fell while exploring. Evidently it is a reasonably common occurrence. 


    In the afternoon we decided to make some bread as the bread in the Roadhouse was frozen sunblest bread. Not the most delicious I have eaten and turns stale as soon as it comes out of the packet. A photo of the finished loaf heads up this post and it was more delicious than it looks. We cooked it in a wood fire using our spun Steel camp oven with hot coals on top. Beats the bought stuff.


    After two nights we pulled out to head to Mornington Wilderness Camp and Wilderness Sanctuary. First we stopped at the store and stocked up on fruit, vegetables and other necessary supplies like biscuits, bread and fuel as it will be about a week before we hit civilisation at Fitzroy Crossing and then Derby.


    We passed two gorges on the way. One Galvins Gorge is right next to the GRR. The car park was chockers, so we gave it a miss. The second Adcock Gorge we also gave a miss as the road in was very rough. 


    We arrived at the wilderness lodge turnoff and checked in  by radio before the 90 Klms Trek in. They had room for three nights camping so after giving all our details over the two way headed in for the 2 hour drive up there front driveway. The country is quite different to what we had been driving through, flat open grassy plains giving away to long jump ups (mountains) in the distance.

    The wilderness park is managed and run by the Australian Conservation Society. This one is about 300,000 hectares which was purchased in 2001. There are some endangered species here as well of remnants of habitat no longer found in the Kimberly's. On the way in, while going through a long stony Creek crossing I sensed someone behind me to see an idiot trying to pass me. He must have a licence he found in a corn flakes packet. What really got my goat was we were only about 10 Klms from our destination. Anyway just as we came out of the crossing we came to a locked gate. Louise jumped out and opened it. As I looked in the rear vision mirror there were two vehicles that accelerated past me and left Louise in a dust storm. I thought I was mad until Louise got in the car and she was more hyped up than me.. we got to the reception counter and the two inconsiderate bastards were at the counter checking in. Louise went straight up and asked who was in the last truck and didn't they know the etiquette of the last through shutting the gate. Oh well he replied “ you were already out so why did we need to get out and get dusty.” That was a bit much for me so I commented that manners mattered in the bush. He then made some comment of trying to pass me for 50 Klms. I gave him the death stare and commented that I didn't know it was a race. Another inconsiderate European. His companion was Aussie and she suggested he quit and let us book in first. I think they may have got the message. This is not the first time someone has tried to pass me on a water crossing, which beAks all the rules in the book. You don’t enter water until you have checked it out and until it is completely clear. Simple survival strategy but seemingly ignored by overseas visitors, who from my observation drive far to fast for the conditions. 


    In the after noon we drove out to Sir Johns Gorge for a look. The rehabilitation work they are doing here allows you to see what the Kimberley's looked like before the introduction of cattle. 


    Wednesday night we decided to shout ourselves out for dinner at the restaurant. Scotch fillet with an assortment of veggies and sweets for $60 a head. It was very nice with a nice WA cab sav from the bar.  We finished dinner at about 7.30 to find that our early to bed and early to rise regime was catching up with us, so we walked back to our camp to be ready for an early morning (5.30am) bird watching tour with guide. 


    The alarm went off at 4.45am and we got up and walked to reception to head off on the bird watching tour. There were four of us plus the guide so we headed off to a secret spot to see how many different species we could spot with the guide naming them for us. It was a terrific morning and left an impression on us. I think Louise has become a twitcher, as no sooner we were back at camp, had breakfast, that we were off again looking for birds on one of the many walking trails around the park. One walking trail was through termite mounds that goes for about 500 metres and tells the story of the mounds, there formation and the life cycle of termites. Very interesting. Some of the mounds are about 100 years old, with the queen living up to 100. When the queen dies, so does the mound. Wow.


    They are also a critical part of the ecology up here, aerating the soil and helping it to absorb moisture. 


    Back to camp for the afternoon before a few pre dinner drinks at the bar. When we saw Thursday nights  menu we may have jumped the gun having dinner on Wednesday night. Salt water barramundi for mains and individual pavlovas for sweets. Oh well.  We were joined by the couple that came on the bird watching morning tour. We traded stories of our adventures so far as the sun slowly set before heading back to camp for dinner and an early night. 


    This morning (Friday) we took the track out to Diamond Gorge. It was a 28 Klms drive over rough terrain but well worth it. On the way out at one of the many Creek crossing Louise spotted a White ne led heron standing in the water. We didn't have our cameras ready but the sighting was terrific. On the way back we did a detour to another water hole on the Fitzroy River. It was beautiful and we spotted the birds as they darted amongst the trees. As well a male rainbow bee eater settled in the tree above me and I was able to get a few photos of this lovely little bird. We then drove back to camp for a quiet afternoon with time to get this blog up to date. 


    We have promised ourselves that if we ever come back to northern WA we will definitely come back to the wilderness camp and stay again. It is a wonderfull Facility and is doing a lot to restore natural habitat and protect threatened species. The bird life here is prolific and diverse. You could never get tired of this place. The staff are all enthusiastic and love their work.



    One of the services they provide here is usable wi fi for a few hours a day so I can upload the blog. I will up load this tonight when we go to the bar for a coldie or two. Gee life is Tomorrow we will head off to Bell Gorge then onto Windjana Gorge, Tunnell Creek and then Fitzroy Crossing and finally Derby, arriving there next Thursday or Friday (7 or 8 September) when I should be able to upload some photos to the web site. So till then.


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    Days 18 to 22

    Aug 31, 2017, 2:57:33 PM

    Day 18 to day 22


    Tuesday To Friday   22 To 25 August


    I am writing this on Friday afternoon after arriving at Drysdale River Station which in on the road to Kulumbaru. So much has happened since Tuesday morning when we left Kununarra.


    We were up early Tuesday morning packed up and on the road early. We filled up with diesel as well as filling up our jerries as it was $1.42 a litre less a 14 cent discount as I had a flybuys card. Up the road we went on the way to El Questro with L at the wheel.


    We dropped in at Emma Gorge ( which is part of the El Questro Group and had a look at the walk. It was extremely hot and the walk to the Gorge and the Gorge itself are in full sun since a cyclone a few years ago wiped out all the palms that gave it shade and also its beauty. Plus it was a grade 4 walk and so we decided discretion was the better part of valour. We took off up the road and headed for El Questro. We got to the turn off where the bitumen on the Gibb River Road ends and had a 16 kilometre drive in with several water crossings. We arrived at the Homestead/township at just about lunch time. This is a working cattle station and also a tourist resort. The property is about 1million acres. The resort caters for all comers with the dearest rooms overlooking the river at $3,700 pn or down to small cabins near the caravan park for $300 pn.  We decided to take a bush camping site near the river which was $28.00 pp pn. It had a pit toilet and privacy and peace. No other camp site within about 200 metres. The river was nice but you couldn't swim in it because of crocodiles. We set up camp and did a bit of exploring. We decided to do two things while we were there. One was to walk El Questro Gorge early in the morning and also to visit Zebedee Hot Springs (see cover photo).


    We decided to only spend 2 nights here. Everything is commercial and money making, I don't mean that as a criticism but rather an observation and not the experience we want. 


    The walk up El Questro Gorge was stunning and very enjoyable. We got to what they call the half way pool and had a swim. We were there very early starting the walk at 7.30am and it was an incredibly refreshing swim. You can walk or climb is a better word, further up the Gorge to another water hole. (This part was rated a difficulty of 5 out of 5 so we gave it a miss and headed back to the car park and then the camp for a vegging out afternoon. On the walk up the gorge we came across what appeared to be a brown frog ( there is one native to the area.) on closer inspection it looked to me to be a cane toad. We have now discovered for sure it was a cane toad after we found a information notice showing how to tell the difference. This is sad as it will decimate the local wildlife. 


    Next morning we were again up early and arrived at Zebedee Springs a little after 7 am. The Springs are only open to the public between 7 and 12 noon as the afternoon is reserved for the more affluent. The Springs are fed by a naturAl spring and the water temp is a constant 23 to 28 degrees. It was fantastic and very relaxing especially sitting under the waterfall and getting a free back massage. At about 9.00 an influx of people off tourist coaches flagged that it was time to leave so we packed off and headed back to Connie and Clive who were waiting patiently for us in the car park. 


    We headed back to the GRR ( Gibb River Road) and turned west. About 80 klms down the road we came to the Pentecost River crossing, which is the most photographed part of the GRR. The crossing is quite long and when you get to the other side the backdrop is the stunning Cockburn Ranges. We waited while another car in front crossed and then did it ourselves. Once over the car in front went back over so we could all get the ‘money shot’ of the crossing. 20 Klms further on we came to Home Valley Station. This property of about 800,000 acres again is a working cattle station but is owned by the local indigenous development corporation. It is also a TAFE college and trains young aboriginals in the cattle and hospitality industries. It is extremely well set up with beautiful swimming pool, camp grounds, huts and a huge bar and entertainment area. We stopped and had morning tea there and then headed off to the next stop, Ellenbrae.


    Ellenbrae Again is a working cattle station but has become famous for its tea and scones. We arrived there at about 2pm and decide to have a lunch of tea and scones complete with fresh whipped cream. I'll quote from Birgit Bradtke’s book The Kimberley: “There are no gorges or walks on Ellenbrae, and no sightseeing other than seeing the place itself, which is definitely worth a look!

    Every building and every structure here is built by hand from bush materials, with ingenuity and creativity. The facilities are basic and unusual, like the boab bathroom an outdoor bathroom attached to a massive boab tree (oh no, the boab fell over in May 2016 and is no more!), or the donkey water heater at the campground (stick in 2 or 3 bits of the provided fire wood and voila, hot shower water in 15 minutes).

    The gardens are lovely and so is the veranda with the well visited bird feeders where you enjoy your scones. “


    We were so impressed we decided to stay a night at the camp ground near the river for $15 pp. it had running water, flush toilets and hot shower and a water hole 100 metres away for swimming. As well there was a short drive and walk to another swimming spot that had a sandy beach which we checked out and it was fantastic. We ran into a couple there who had just come from Mitchell Falls with horror stories about the state of the road in. Evidently 5  4WD recoveries at $5000 a pop in one day. Does not sound promising. 


    The night at Ellenbrae was very relaxing and we both agreed it was the best camp yet.


    Next morning we headed of up the GRR for our next stop Drysdale River Station.


    One of the things we had heard from other travellers was just how bad the western end of the GRR is. Driving along at 80 Klms an hour we wondered what all the fuss was about. About 50 Klms on we came to a grader, grading the road. A little later on we found out first hand what the fuss was about. We had been driving on the newly grade road, now we were driving on the road that hadn't been graded for 12 months and had seen a very wet season in between. The corrugations were so big in parts that we were reduced to a crawl, below 5 Klms and hour and they were bone shaking. Occasionally the ruts would be reduced and I would speed up only to be caught again at the next corner. It continued like this for the next 20 kilometres until we arrived at the turn off to Kulumbaru and a shady rest area where we stopped for morning tea.


    Some vehicles shot past us at 80klms an hour, but the hundreds of shredded tyres on the road side is testament to where speed gets you. Slow and easy is the way to do it.


    The road for the first part into Drysdale River Station had also been recently graded and was in excellent condition until we again met the graders and then deteriorated badly. Again down to 5 Klms at times. Louise thinks we should stay here until the graders catch up to where we are. We arrived at Drysdale River Station and checked in for two nights. We had read about their legendary burgers so decided to have one each for lunch. And they were everything they were cracked up to be.


    We are going to veg out this afternoon and then do a bit of exploring in the morning, depending on the road situation. With over 15000 Klms to go on this trek I don't want to break anything just yet and certainly don't want a recovery bill.


    I just ran into some one who has come back from Mitchell Falls. It took him just over 7 hours without a stop to do the 150ks one way. I think that has made our decision for us. It's a pity but that is the way it is.  As a constellation we have decided that once we get to Derby we will shout ourselves an overnight visit to the Horizontal Falls that involves a seaplane from Derby an overnight on their luxury boat and a jet boat ride through the falls on the tidal turn  and back to Derby next morning on the seaplane. 


    So we will veg out for a day and move on on Sunday for the eastern end of the GRR.


    Postscript to Argyle River. 

    One of the things I forgot to mention was that the hills you see around the Argyle dam and the Ord River are remnants of mountains that were as tall as Mount Everest, however the Kimberly rock is a lot more brittle, so the towering mountains are no more.



    I don't know when this will be posted as there is no internet out here. Also I haven't up loaded any photos to my gallery as when you get internet coverage it is $4.95 for 100 mbits and that is just two hi res photos, so you may see none until we get to Broome and we get A Telstra hotspot connection.

  • IMG_1582

    Days 14 to 17

    Aug 21, 2017, 6:57:40 PM

    16 August to 21 August Wednesday to Monday


    Well time is going very quickly. It doesn't seem almost a week since the last blog. We arrived in Kununarra on the 16th after a short drive from the Bungles. We had about 6 caravan parks to choose from but when we read about the bats at the ones on the edge of town we opted for the one in town which is right behind the pub. I have a small electrical issue that I need to sort out before we tackle the Gibb River Road and we need a powered site. 


    We set up camp and then we're off the Coles to stock up which we did. We decided that we would spend the next 3 days at The Argyle River camp to rest up before the Gibb River Road part. We had an early night and next morning after filling up with fuel headed off on the drive to the Ord River Scheme. We arrived there late in the morning and got a powered site for 3 nights which was close to all the amenities including bar and bistro. What a great place. The swimming pool is perched on the edge of the cliff with views over Lake Argyle (the unofficial name for the Ord Irrigation dam) At 4.30 the resident musician sets up and sings Ballards till the sun sets. Bliss. We went down to book into the sunset cruise on the lake but Friday was booked out so opted for the Saturday afternoon sunset cruise. 


    Friday we took easy and did some exploring around the area. We visited the Durack homestead. The Durack’s moved there in the late 1870’s after driving 2,800 head of cattle from south central Queensland. They planned to take 6 months but in fact it took 2 and a half years. On the way they lost about half their heard, but arrived in the Kimberley's and set up their farm. Their original holding in now under the lake and the only thing they were able to salvage was the main homestead building which has been rebuilt in its present position from the original materials. It was the grandson Kimberley  Durack who came up withe the idea of damming the Ord River. He did all the research and cost benefit analysis and convinced both the state and federal governments to build it. Unfortunately he died just before it was finished and never saw his dream fulfilled.

    The amazing thing about this project was the speed from the decision to build to completion and the cost. Just over $23 million (about $325 million in today's money)  and 3 years to build from first sod to opening. ( they planned 5 and did it in 3) it is the largest single dam in Australia and at the moment the surface area Is 19.5 times that of Sydney Harbour.  The dam wall is small compared to similar sized dams in the world. In those days there were no EIS studies or taking into account people's wishes. While initially a success the project since has had problems but they are over now and there is an expansion under way of land under irrigation around Kununarra and also in the Northern Territory. It is the main source of melons to the Australian market. 


    We drove across the dam wall and was amazed by the evenness of the rock walls. 


    When we got back to the resort we headed for the pool. Coming from Blackheath were the temperature at this time of the year is 10 degrees on a warm days we are taking a while to acclimatise to the 35 to 37 degree days. The pool was envigorating. Being Friday night it was footy night on the big TV and the Swans playing the Cats so off to the pub we went. Well you can't have everything. The big screen was a projector withe the top half sort of in focus and the bottom half totally out of focus. At half time we had had enough and went back to the Tvan. Well wait till the morning for the scores… really the afternoon as that is when there is access to wifi.


    Next morning we took things easy as the sunset cruise starts at 2.15pm. We had lunch and set off on the cruise as planned along with 60 odd other people. The cruise gives you a better idea of the vastness of this waterway and over the whole 3 hours of cruising we only covered a small part of it. We were taken to the largest island in the lake. On it was a colony of wallaroos. Kangaroos without fur but hair instead. When the lake was being filled Harry Butler and Malcolm Douglass got together and salvaged As much wild life as they could and moved it to the island. Snakes lizards, wallaroos etc and that is why they are there today. What a legacy. No one asked them - they just did it. 


     At around five the boat was moored in the middle of the lake, the drinks and nibbles came out and those that wanted to could jump in for a swim, with a buoy decked out with beers champagne and nibbles for those in the water so they didn't miss out. The rest of us watched the fun and kept an eye on the setting sun.


    We returned to the resort at six with the sun set and everyone had had a great afternoon. Louise and I were a bit tired from all the activity so an early dinner and to bed were the order of the evening.


    On Sunday morning we packed up and set off for Kununarra again as I have mail to pick

     up and may need the services of an auto electrician. We returned to the caravan park in town and we were lucky we were early as we got the last spot in town. We left Connie(Tvan) and headed off to the Zebra Stone factory. They find a stone here that is rather unique and

     fashion it into all manner of things including jewellery. We then headed out to Wyndham which is about 100 Klms to the north. Once there we saw the ghost of a former town. This was once a thriving port, gateway to the Kimberley's but not any more. It hasn't been the same when a mine closed down in 2015 and over 2/3rds of the town was put out of work. At its peak the mines employed over 4000 indigenous workers and now all those jobs are gone. Only a few hundred people live there today and the main activity appears to be the live export of cattle to Indonesia.


    On the way out of town we went to the lookout which is about 500 metres directly above the town. What spectacular views.


    Back to town, we topped up the shopping. Coming out of the supermarket there was an aboriginal woman doing the most intickate of calving on a boab nut with a butter knife. She had almost finished it so I bought it after she calved her name on the back and the date. You'll see a photo of it in the gallery. Back at camp it was again another early night. Jeez we are getting boring in our old age.


    Monday we were up early, one of the benefits of an early night. Louise is cooking today to replenish our store of frozen meals for the next leg of our adventure. I got some parts I needed and was able to sort out the electrical problems so we should be right for the next leg of our trip.



    Again it will be early to bed and then off to El Questro tomorrow for three of four days of riverside bush camping.

  • FullSizeRender

    10th to 13th Days

    Aug 16, 2017, 9:50:17 PM

    Saturday 12 August to Tuesday 15 August 2017





    We were up early, but I had a few things to do- first of all was to try and repair the water pump. I pulled it apart, found the cause of the leak and fixed it. And all the other leaks that I found.  However, the hand pump still didn't work but the electric pump now worked without leaking.

    Next I checked the wheel bearings on the van and the noises I had heard the previous day were gone. Seems it was dust in the brake area. We topped up the water tank, got some supplies and headed off to the Bungle Bungle ranges (Purnululu) where we are spending four days. 

    We arrived at the turn off after a little only 200 Klms and two hours driving. Only 50klms to go , and what a 50 Klms it was. It took about 2 and a half hours with numerous twists and turns and plenty of water crossing. Plus we came across a dingo on the side of the road who quickly disappeared when we made eye contact. We got to the Rangers Hut and paid 4 nights camping fees and set off to find a site. We found one and it is one of the best sites we have used in a National Park. Private and plenty of space. It also has views across the northern Bungle Bungle range.We set up camp, which wore us out because of the heat, so had a rest with plans to photograph the setting sun over the Bungles from a nearby look out.

    We took off at 5pm because the sun sets at 5.30 but alas was too late. Because of the ranges, the sun goes behind the Hills at 5:00pm. As we drove along we could see the brilliant red hughs of the Bungles but were not in a position to photograph it. We’ll come back tomorrow so proceeded to the lookout to check vantage points.


    The next morning we decided to visit Echidna Gorge  which is a walk up the valley floor then through a rock cavern to the gorge. To get the best colour you need to be there between 10 and midday. The walk up the valley had little shade and the sun here is unrelenting . There is no cloud cover whatsoever, and with 30 to 35 degree temperatures little wind and 0 humidity it saps your energy very quickly and dehydration can become an issue. The walk as about 2 k return and I drank all of the water I had with me being 1.6 litres and really it was not enough. Without water you would not last long in this country.


    The gorge was spectacular. We reached the end and sat there for about an hour and watched the sun gradually descend and light up the gorge and reveal the colours. Fantastic. We walked back out and did another short walk then headed back to camp for a late lunch.


    (Today I met one of the local aboriginal rangers and he explained that the dreaming story for this area related to the palm trees that grow out of the rocks in this area. It is to do with a long time ago echidnas burrowing under the Bungles and their spikes are the palm trees. He also told me he has never seen an echidna in the area in his life except a dead one.)


    After the echidna walk we went back to camp had lunch and decide to rest up and the head up to the lookout for the sunset shot. We got there in time but there was a lot of smoke haze and not as clear as the night before. We got some good shots and lamented on what it could have been. As that famous Australian philosopher Tony Abbott said a few years ago “shit happens”. It's the only slogan he has used that most probably has some truth to it, but it is only 2 words.


    Monday we were up early and decided to explore the southern area of Purnululu. This is where the famous beehive domes are and about 50 Klms from our camp. Again spectacular, but the walks here have no shade at all. We did the Dome walk and then scouted some vantage points to do a sunrise shoot the next morning. We got back to camp at 4pm with me buggered again. 10 years ago I would have done it all before breakfast and then more in the afternoon, but I am quickly coming to the conclusion that at 75 those days are over. While I rested Louise did some scouting about and found a new vantage point for sunset shoots that was very close to our camp.


    This morning we were up real early (4am) and headed out to get the sunrise shots, however, in the dark could not find the vantage points we had picked. That's ok we just played it by ear, found a few spots and got some hopefully stunning shots. Once the sun had risen we had breakfast  and the headed off for several walks, the first being the Cathedral Gorge walk. The walk in was fairly easy as the sun was not fully up and the huge domes provide some relief. We got to the end of the gorge to find this huge cavern like cathedral and just sat there in silence and soaked up the atmosphere. We had beaten the crowds so could really get the feel of the place. Majestic, spiritual, grand are all words you could use to describe it but none suffice. While the photos are great they don't do it justice either. Just with the whole of Purnululu you have to visit, soak it in to  get the full experience.


    We walked out and I was finding the going a bit difficult because of the heat so missed the other two walks we had planned. It was just too hot.


    We returned to camp where I had a sleep for about 3 hours.


    While having lunch two aboriginal rangers came by. I went over to them and asked if this was their country and when he replied yes and why there was there was no information at all of aboriginal heritage for the area despite aboriginal association to this land for over 20000 years.


    I should have guessed. Politics. It appears that the language groups in the Kimberley's did not mix in the past. Governments being what they are choose the easiest solution and appears that the group in the area would not work with the  yes minister group from further north ( just as they haven't for over 20000 years). So they have been totally cut out of the process and aren't even part of the Kimberley Land Council. Because of the politics, government has decided just to ignore their history as if it didn't exist. They also have the longest running native land title claim which has been going for over 30 years. So the rich history of the people of this area including massacres, rich rock art and rock peckings is being lost unless something changes real soon. (Pecking said are where the person chipped the outline of the drawing and then filled in the middle by chipping out more rock. They are only found in Mutawintji National Park north of Broken Hill and those have been carbon dated to over 40,000 years old and we have privaliged to see them. The only other place you find them in Australia is here.)  To lose that history in my book is sacrilege and government should fix it. To exclude a group because they don't follow the yes men is not the way to do it.


    The last thing I should mention here is the dust. As I said before there is absolutely no moisture in the air. If you huff on your glasses to clean them nothing happens. So the dust permeates everything, every nook and cranny and ends up in places I'll let your imagination think about the possibilities. Normally coiffured  and spotless Louise looks like she's been rolling in the dirt with the local station dogs.



    We are up early in the morning for the trip to Kunanarra and a long hot shower. After 4 days we need it.

    we are staying in Kununarra tonight and then tomorrow going out to Lake Argyle for 3 nights and more than likely be off air for that time. Until the next blog.

  • These blogs will follow our progress as we leave Scone in NSW and head to the Kimberelys in northern Western Australia for a bucket list photographic tour. We will visit the Kimbereleys, Pilbara and hopefully the wild flower regions of WA then head home across...

  • Day 8 and 9.

    Aug 11, 2017, 7:54:00 PM

    Thursday and Friday 10 , and 11. August 2017 




    Got away from Tilmouth Wells at about 8.30m for the long hall to Halls Creek, although we know we won’t make it in one day and will have to bush camp along the way. We might make Wolfe Creek but I doubt 



    The road out of Tilmouth is sealed for about 80klms so the first part was easy going. After that it is dirt and corrugations but when we got to the dirt bit  it was in fairly good condition and we were able to sit on 80klms an hour. We stopped at the settlement at Yuendumu. To have a look at the cultural centre and art work. Unfortunately it was closed. This town is home of the Bush  Mechanics made famous by the ABC show. I believe they have made a new series but it hasn't aired yet. The town also had mobile phone coverage so I was able to update our position on exploroz’s map tracking site and check in on Facebook.



    Returning to the Tanamai we dropped our tyre pressures down to make the ride easier over the corrugations.


    The rest of the day was uneventful and the scenery is not much to write home about. At about 4pm we decide we had better start  looking for a spot to camp 



    then I noticed the sun was still high in the sky.   We crossed the border and gained 1 1/2 hours. At about then 599 Klms mark we found a little layback that's had been used to gather gravel for the road so drove in and set up. Also emptying our jerry cans into the tank. 


    It was a lovely peaceful camp but as soon as we had dinner we were into bed as we had been on the road for 9 hours. 




    Well early to bed early to rise and we were on the road at 7.30am. Again fairly uninteresting scenery, more of the same. However there was a highlight when we had to give way to a big brown snake crossing the road. The amazing thing about these creatures is how quickly it turned when it sensed the movement of our vehicle. We then arrived at the turnoff to Wolfe Creek. Turning in it was 18klms to the crater. Very stunning but when you have been to the Breakaways it can be a bit ho hum but something else to tick off the bucket list. 

    Today as Louise is driving I was able to pair through Airdrop the iPad and iPhone so I can place photos in the blog. These are iPhone photos so not hi resolution. To night when are at Halls  Creek I hope to down load the photos (some 600) from the Nikon’s.


    One thing we have noticed is how much warmer it has become. Last night it was sheet only and a blanket pulled up in the early hours. Today is very warm most probably around 35 degrees so I think for the next few weeks it will shorts tee shirts and thongs. We don't miss Bleakheath.


    After booking into the caravan park we went out to the China Wall. It is a quartz rock structure made by nature. The photo below will give you an idea why it is called that.


     Act really posting this I have found that the blog does not allOw photos so I will upload them onto the websits and you can have a look in there. The gallery will be called th e Kimberley's.