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OUR BIG TRIP



DAY   102   Friday   19th  July

 

Early pack up and departure from Fitzroy Crossing by 9.30am and a stop for a cuppa in a quarry   alongside a budget camp at  Ellendale Rest Area.  Continuing to the Kimberley Entrance Caravan Park in Derby and arriving around midday.

Kay was still suffering with her dizzy problem this morning, so a trip to the local Hospital was arranged and the Kollmorgens were given royal treatment by Derek and Bruce in the siting and removal of van from car so as to get Kay to her appointment.  She has been diagnosed with Vertigo and has been prescribed some medication to help for a few days.

 We will be here for 3 or 4 days as the main group are flying out to the Horizontal Falls on Monday and Kay’s condition was considered a problem.  We are to talk to the flight people tomorrow morning to discuss this.

Derek announced on the CB that his Cruiser was showing a warning light indicating the fuel filter had collected too much water (as it was designed to do) so he took the car to a local 4X4 repairer who replaced the filter and bled the system.  Apparently it was not water, but a collection of dirt etc from the tanks after all the fill ups over the years.

We then walked to the Information Centre for our normal dose of   ”what to do and where” and also to request road condition in the Bell Gorge and Silent Grove areas.  Those people are very helpful. We also did a kind of Town Walk which has not happened for some time. We also took a walk around this camp, which is very large.  They show on their plan about 280 very large sites, so quite considerable.

Returned to the Clarks van for happy hour, followed by tea, and then bed.

 

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DAY   101     Thursday   18th   July

Oh NO!  a sick member.  Kay woke this morning with a spinning head and after a small drink and a lay down it all came back up.  She has spent the morning on the bed and the rest have taken a lay day also.  First we paid for a second night and then the work started.  Fridges were defrosted, cars were washed, vans were cleaned inside, including I noticed, some floor mats being scrubbed and hosed, now that is cleaning.  Derek had a small problem with the wiring between the car and van which turned out to be a blown fuse.  Soon fixed.

 We had intended to move out this morning to a budget camp some way off the highway but plan B will now be used.  I think plan B is to just drive direct to Derby in the morning as we are expected there anyway.  Lunch was taken and the Hales and Clarks went sightseeing around the town to Old Fitzroy Crossing and the old Inn and, of course, the Fitzroy River low and high bridges.

Kay was by mid- afternoon beginning to feel a little better, so the Kollmorgens did a similar trip as the others had done before returning for happy hour that turned into happy three hours, but who’s counting?   We were joined by a couple (Rob & Bev from Swan Hill in Victoria) from the camp and as they could see we didn’t drink much, they requested an ACC membership application.  Nice people though.

Tea was had after what turned out to be a great day.  Time for bed.

 

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Alby & Geraldine : s00037
Neill, Uncanny that Kay has the dreaded head spin. I have the same problem at the moment in Darwin. I occasionally get what is ca... Read More
Thursday, 25 July 2013 13:31
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OUR BIG TRIP



DAY   100   Wednesday     17th   July

 

Yes as the heading says, Day 100.  Slow start to the day although it did begin fairly early and noisily,   when two mustering helicopters took off and flew over our caravans at 6.00am. They arrived at the farm stay late last night and slept in quarters near the pad where their copters were parked.

We eventually got away after egg and bacon and baked bean and spaghetti and raisin loaf (not all together) in jaffles, cooked in the ashes of last nights’ fire, as breakfast.  After thanking our host for her hospitality, we headed out the drive and turned back onto the Great Northern Highway and did not stop until we had parked in the drive way of the Fitzroy River Lodge C/P in Fitzroy Crossing.

We spent some time seeking the correct three sites that suited all three couples for shade, grass, level, etc before setting up before lunch.  This finished, we visited the Info Centre for hints on locations and Geikie Gorge National Park was suggested as great place to investigate.  The rock in the hills around the place are unique in the colour, not red, yellow or brown as we have become used to, but grey with river mud off white sort of finish.  After a couple of short walks at the park we headed back to the camp via a rather dubious Inn,  but no one in our group was all that happy about venturing indoors.  Fortunately the place was not open so this helped the decision.  On arriving back in The Crossing (as it is called), fuel was purchased before all returning to camp, where Derek had to do some maintenance on the plug area of his tug.  This done, happy hour was next which usually includes “what to do tomorrow and next week meeting” and tea we all retired to our vans for bed.

All in all day 100 was not anything special but every day is certainly great thanks to Derek and Bruce for their research and planning.

 

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DAY    99     Tuesday   16th      July

It was quite a late departure from the Halls Creek C/P as we did not have a great Km trip to do.

We stopped at a photographic opportunity pull over from the Great Northern Highway for morning cuppa.  After continuing approximately 70km we turned left into Larrawa Station, a budget farm stay at $20.00 per camp per night.  Basic toilet and shower with great camp area. We enjoyed the night very much.

After the initial set up and because that heat was still with us we just had a sit and do nothing until it cooled a little and then we took a short (about 1.5 Km) through the farm to the pool that was all that is left from this year’s wet of Christmas Creek.  On our return happy hour was announced after which, the Hales and Clarks proceeded to build a fire from previously collected wood so as to enjoy a Camp Oven bake dinner.   It was very enjoyable.  Believe it or not, six grown people sitting around a fire with the temperature hovering around 25c . Still someone has to do these necessary jobs.

Next was shower and bed.

 

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DAY   98   Monday   15th    July

Up a little early due to some early noise in the camp, but after breakfast we headed out to look at the “Great Wall of China”.  Well the one 6 Km out of Halls Creek, WA, anyway, an interesting piece of sub-vertical quartz which remains resistant to weathering.  (I got this from the book)  At this stage of proceedings the Kollmorgens needed to return to their van to retrieve the camera battery from the charger on top of the fridge.  This done they re-joined the group and continued on to Old Halls Creek ruins.  Not bad as ruins go.  Had a cuppa at the old town notice board (I think it was a notice board) and then moved on to Palm Springs, a fresh water spring with lovely cool shade and palm trees.  We also followed the river to a small waterfall before returning to the cars, we then continued to Sawpit Gorge which is a local swimming and fishing area and is surrounded with towering rock walls which shade the entire area below.  We had our picnic lunch here in the peace and quiet.   A lovely time.

Our group then turned for home but with just one more stop.  Approximately 5 Km off the road is Caroline Pool.  This was once the favourite swimming hole for both new and old towns, but the surrounds are being ruined with each big wet that goes through.

On our return to town some went for look see, some went for groceries, some went for fuel, and some did all of the above.

Happy hour included a meeting for the weeks travel and then tea and …. You got it right   BED.

 

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More please Mr Kollmorgen. Safe travels, Ian
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 08:32
Webmaster
Yes, definitely more.
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 11:18
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OUR BIG TRIP



DAY   95 / 96 / 97     Friday / Saturday / Sunday     12th / 13th 14th    July

Friday                  ( Telstra found us again )

Awake early and packed vans for storage and cars with tent camping necessities, then towed the vans across the camp ground to the storage area.  Here we made the vans as safe as possible with the gas fridges working.  Working overtime, I might add, as the temperature will NOT abate, still around the low to mid 30’s.

Headed out for the Bungle Bungles along a fairly good road and signed in at the office.  On the way to the allocated sites we took a detour to the Kungkalanayi Lookout.  This was very pleasing on the eye and also the camera lens.  Next stop was the site area at Kurrajong Camp and finding our sites we were surprised to see huge shady trees over all three sites.  What a bonus, with the high temp’s. With the camps all organised we headed out to the north and to the Echidna Chasm.   This Chasm is truly magnificent with very high walls of solid rock in passages in places just wide enough to walk through and then to come upon great open areas that could hold up to a hundred people and the colours in the rock are truly beautiful.

On our way back to camp we called in to several more lookouts which were all the same but all individual at the same time.  Happy hour under our trees was cooling followed by a challenging dinner preparation in darkness.  Good sleeping though.

Saturday

As the sun came up early, so did we, and having finished breakfast before 8.00am we headed out from the camp site and this time turning toward the south, we explored the area around Piccaninny including the Domes, Lookout, and the piece de resistance, the Cathedral Gorge, which just has to be seen to be believed.  A huge area of solid rock, ever changing colours, and the ceiling just appears to be hanging above our heads, but what a ceiling.  A water spout would pour thousands of tons of water down into the pool below during each wet season and send the water cascading over all the rocks in the water courses we had to work so hard to negotiate on our inward journey.  This work would prove easier on our return trip due to the downhill walking.  While sitting on the sand and rocks surrounding the above mentioned pool, a tour bus driver approached us and asked if we would mind if the group who are members of St Clements Cof E from Stafford in Qld sang a Hymn as was their practice in other locations on their Australia wide tours.   This, of course, we readily agreed to and were greeted with some wonderful voices and harmony.  They were very appreciative of the applause we offered after the recital.  But what a great sound did that Cathedral give.

Moving from the Cathedral we called in to an attraction of two elephant heads in the rock beside the road and then as we neared the camp site we detoured into the other camp site, Walardi Camp, for a look see and then continued back for happy hour.  Dark tea prep’ and very early to bed.

Sunday

As people have a habit of waking early in these parts and can also with a little too noisy chatter, wake others, we were woken very early, around 5.30am.  So, we were up early and breakfast was taken before the tents were packed up and we all headed back to Bungle Bungle Caravan Park where the vans had been stored over the weekend.  I can say that the road had deteriorated quite a bit during the weekend.  On arrival we reconnected car to vans and off we went about 100 Km south   to Halls Creek where we booked into the only C/P in the town and set up our camps and the ladies began the task of removing the goods from the cars back to the vans and also the large amount of dirty clothes washing that had to be done.  Later in the afternoon we visited the Info Centre for some advice on where to go tomorrow, and also what was available in the town.  One sheet picked up did an advisory circuit of the town telling of how the town was built when it was moved from an earlier location further south of the new town.  The first gold find in WA was at Old Halls Creek which only lasted about 3 months, but an airfield was built a little north and slowly people drifted from the shanty town to build better homes and businesses nearer the airport and the old town was eventually deserted.  

Happy Hour at Hales camp before tea and after all the early mornings, well needed sleep.  

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DAY     94    Thursday     11th      July

We, and most, of the camp were awake before 6.00am when two vans left early…  early and noisy.  We all were breakfasted and packed and out the gate before 8.30am, so we did have all the day to fill in.  Hales and Kollmorgens drove to the Victoria Highway and waited for Clarks to have a fill up at the Shell.  They arrived and we set off over the bridge which is being worked on with traffic light controlling only one lane.  We, of course, needed to stop as we had done every time we had crossed in our three visits to Kununurra.

Our convoy continued for around 45 km and did a left hand turn towards Halls Creek which is beyond our actual location of the Bungle Bungle Caravan Park in the Purnululu National Park. 

We stopped at Doon Doon Road House for a cuppa and thought long and hard about purchasing diesel, but at $ 2.113 per litre, decided to hold off and see what was available further along.  Diesel was listed at $1.990 per litre at Warmum better known Turkey Creek, good choice Derek.

We had previously booked for the Bungles at the office in Kununurra so all we needed to do was check in with the camp office and find sites to suit ourselves.  Once set up and some lunch eaten a short walk was taken around the camp for a look.  Camp is very dry as would be expected.  Happy Hour and then organized essentials for tent camping trip.   Tea and bed. 

Tomorrow we are parking the caravans up and once again heading off with the tents into the Bungle Bungles for 2 nights and some hiking.  Hope the weather is not too hot.  Because of the likelihood that Mr Telstra will not be able to locate us for those 2 to 3 days, there may not be any blog to read for a while.  

 

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DAY   93     Wednesday     10   July

The Wyndham Caravan Park was vacated shortly after 9.00am for the short 100 Km trip, with vans, back to Kununurra to collect the parts required for repairs to Clark’s van door and fridge.

Booked into the Ivanhoe Village CP and set up vans for just one night.  Bruce washed his van while waiting for the mail to be processed.  This collected, Bruce and Derek did the necessary repairs and then began planning our next few days of tent camping at Bungle Bungles.  The boys visited the Info centre for some advice regarding National Park permit necessity.  Then lunch was taken before going to the Dep’t of National Parks WA to make site bookings at the Bungle Bungle camp site.

Refilling the tucker bag was next chore to be handled, then returned to the camp. Caravans and cars were then washed as a little of the heat had gone from the day.  Happy hour, Tea, an early evening coffee, then retire for the night.

As we are visiting the Bungle Bungles over the next 4 to 5 days we may not be able to enter to this blog.  We will catch up when able.

 

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DAY   92       Tuesday    9th   July

We had a leisurely day today as we are waiting on Australia Post (again) with some items for Clark’s fridge.  After breakfast, and around 10.00am, we ventured direct to the local Wyndham Port Museum and we were all suitably impressed with the quality of their collection, both in hardware and paper, especially paper information.  Early history, war time newspaper clippings, hatched matched and despatched, stories about the meatworks that were operated here until during the 1980s, anything and everything was, I feel, there for the asking and reading.

Returning to the caravan park for lunch and siesta, we went for a look at a display of Warriu Dreamtime Statues of an Aboriginal family and some animals that they may have had for dinner. Lovely work, but the park they are displayed in was not maintained at all, so it spoilt the whole atmosphere, however still enjoyable.  It was then decided that we should again return up the big hill at the back of the town for a look in proper daylight, as when there previously at sundown, it was coming on dark and the sun in our face, so we had a much better view of the expansive mud flats and the nickel ore works that seem to operate 24/7 with trucks, loaders, conveyer belts, barges and ships all in action.

Once again, down that hill and to the fuel bowser for a tank top up and an ice cream before another siesta while waiting for Happy Hour.  As it had become dark it was decided that tea was next on the agenda and of course then, bed

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DAY       91      Monday   8th    July 

 

It was very warm overnight, but no more fireworks this morning, so we had a leisurely breakfast and set off for Diggers Rest Station and their camp area.  On the way we called in at a spillway from the Moochalabra Dam which supplies Wyndham with its water.  Continued on to the dam and while   there a water company truck arrived for the drivers daily inspection and he casually pointed out a 4 metre crocodile out for its morning dip around its pool.  “Good for the croc” I say.   Next stop was on the way back from the dam when we walked a short distance into a cliff face of solid rock and after a short climb were presented with 15 to 20 Aboriginal Rock Art paintings to photo as much as required.

Continuing on the track we then drove a further 5 Km to the good old Prison Tree.  A huge Boab which is reported to be several hundred years old…. Maybe more!  I feel for the poor souls being bundled into that little hole and left in the dark to ponder their fate.  Our last destination on this end  of town, was to the Diggers Rest Station.  The station runs cattle, horses and goats and as a sideline they have a camping area and accommodation attached with small huts to sleep plenty.

It was this property where the film crew camped during the filming of “Australia “ the movie when it was being done.  The lady we spoke to was responsible for feeding them all, and at some sittings there would be up to 40 mouths to feed.  Try doing this when suddenly 20 become 40 at 3.00 pm and the cupboard has supplies for 20.  I think she did a great job, don’t know about the movie though.

Returning to the Great Northern Highway we turned south and went to Telegraph Hill where the Coastal Wireless Station buildings are now just chimneys and stumps, but there is lots of history there as well.  Just a short distance beyond Telegraph Hill, which incidentally has some terrific panoramic views over miles of very dry flood plains, we arrived at the Marlgu Billabong where we sat and ate our picnic lunch in a bird hide where we watched a variety of birds, water lillies, and even a croc swam by watched by all the birds.  After eating we went a little further into the Nature Reserve to another caravan park where the Castles had left their van while they tent camped on the Gibb River Road for a few nights.  Back to Wyndham for some supermarket shopping and fuel before some repairs to Kollmorgens R/V camera cables by Derek and the Hales van floor washed by Gwen, and the Clarks had a swim in the camp pool.  All this before Happy Hour at the Kollmorgen’s van.  Tea followed, then the typing of this novel followed by my best part of the day.      

 

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DAY    90      Sunday    7th    July

 

Today began verrry early (5.00am to be precise) with the arrival of a car slowly down the hill on the Great Northern Highway Cockburn to stop outside a budget camp where about 30 people were still in sleepy land.  There followed a noise just like a wizzbang door, followed by the car moving off.  Thinking nothing of this until about 30 seconds later when all hell broke loose above the vans.  The b*r%steds had left behind a rather large firework and skyrocket bucket which let go with bangs and flashes and more bangs.   What a wakening, some people will do anything to show us what sort of a DH they are.

That finished, and the entire camp area awake, it became a steady procession of early leavers.  The Gippsybusters included.  Gee we were on the road at 7.45am, broke all records for a normal travel day.  Drove to the GROTTO where we all went for a walk around the top of a gorge that most definitely had the WOW factor.  Such a deep chasm and such a lot of trees and water in deep ponds.

After spending about ¾ of an hour and after a cuppa, we continued on to the Wyndham Caravan Park in Wyndham of course, where upon booking in we found we had driven into the local Sunday morning market.  Camp set up done and lots of washing was required before the ladies were allowed to go see the market stalls, but due to the early arrival they still had plenty of time.  Lunch was next and a “what next meeting” was held at the Hales camp.  As that heat was still with us, we decided that walking long distances was out of the question, so a drive tour was designed around the town and the town port.  A Port town walk was taken before a short stroll out on the pier where the breeze was nice.  We then had a look at the Iron Ore despatch plant with its long conveyor belt being fed by four trailer Road Trains and then carrying the ore out to barges that in turn carried it out to a large ship in mid river (the King).  A visit to the pioneer cemetery was quite interesting as well on our return trip.

Back into the main town for a photo session with a big crocodile that resides in the middle of the park on the main street.  It is, of course, concrete.  A visit to the Afghan camel drivers cemetery was next and one interesting point was noted.   When an Afghan died his Number one camel was buried with him, this made quite a large grave area and needed lots of rocks.  Nothing fancy, just rocks.

It was time to drive up the big hill behind the town to the Five River Lookout.  Another WOW for this place as you approach the edge and see the vista laid out under your feet, it really was fantastic.  We saw the Road Trains again and the conveyor belt and the barges, only now they are just Lego size.

The sun took a dive over the horizon at 5.15pm, and the clouds were then the main attraction for the cameras to be clicking at.   Returned to camp in the dark now, of course, and joined our Happy Hour before tea and bed.

 

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DAY    86       Wednesday    3rd      July

 

Just a little chilly when we got out of bed this morning, not yet cold, but a reminder that it could and probably will.  Breakfast done and chores finished we three headed for the Information Centre again to book flights over the Horizontal Falls in about 3 weeks.  Once again Neil won’t fly so Kay has booked just a day flight while Derek, Gwen, Virginia and Bruce have all booked overnight stays.  They are looking forward to this trip.

Leaving the Info Centre and driving to the east side of the Ivanhoe Crossing.  This is a terrific sight as thousands of litre of water cascades over a man-made weir which was originally the place where cars and trucks could cross the river, down at the water level.  This practice has now been stopped and is not allowed at all.  The current is very strong across the old road so this may be a contributing factor.

Continuing our mini tag-a-long we returned to the Victoria Highway and headed west to Valentine Springs, Middle Springs which are water holes with some water, and then finally to Black Rock Falls that we all thought would be especially spectacular in the wet with water cascading from the 100 metre sheer cliff face.  In saying this, I for one would not be in that particular area under those conditions, it would be very wet.

As we were all becoming a little hungry the next stop was at the western side of the already visited Ivanhoe Crossing.  Here we could see that the crossing has a bend before crossing a small island on its way across the water line.  The portable barbys were soon heated and a sausage sizzle was had along with a cold or hot drink.  Lovely weather also, not so hot lately, much easier to live with.

As we are on the move again tomorrow we returned to camp to start the van pack up.  Happy hour was taken and then tea before my favourite. 

Could be off line for a few days, we will get back soon.

 

DAY     87/88/89    Thursday    4th,  Friday   5th    &  Saturday    6th      July

 

I have put these three days together as they make up an excursion away from the caravans and into the tent life.  Thursday morning 8.30am, Derek needed to be at an Auto Elec’ with car and van to have wiring between the car and van through the Anderson plugs looked at as they were overheating.

He was back very quick with new swaged plugs and we then all packed up and left the Ivanhoe Village Van Park and after refuelling headed for the infamous Gibb River Road after dropping the vans at the Zebra Rock Studio,  repacking the 4X4’s for a tent camp for a couple of days at Home Valley Station.  On arrival the tents were set up with professional speed  (NOT) and not many arguments were heard, a very enjoyable time was had by all.  Explorations during the three days included Binboola Falls, Nyarli Lagoon and the Home Valley Station River Camp, enjoyed an evening of songs by a vocal / guitarist, Corey.  Some early rock for all ages to remember and enjoy.

Friday was the day to explore the area in and around the Home Valley and some terrific places were found down some rutted worn awful tracks, but well worth the effort.  Some huge gorges where the rocks above the valley are cracked and suggest that a huge block of rock could suddenly fall away into the water below.

The Gibb was not in bad condition as the grader had been through recently and only a very few patches of corrugations and sand to contend with.  Of course, this was made easy by the lack of caravan behind.  Saturday morning was the first day of West Australian school holidays so about 5.30am the kids started in the play area about 5 inches from our camp area.  What a racket, worse than the crows in the tree above the camp.

Sleeping in a tent with very little mattress under was an experience long ago forgotten but sleep was very easy to come by as these new materials can make a silk purse at any rate.  Saturday, due to all the children’s noise we were all up early and began the task of clean and pack up the tents and stoves ready for our return trip.   After leaving the Home Valley Camp we turned right from the Gibb River Road into El Questro .  A very up-market caravan / camping / park has been made a sideline of the usual cattle raising property of years ago.  During investigations into this part of our trip we were advised that El Questro prices are a little high, this being backed up by reports of a site for two with no power or attached water was costing about $60.00 to $80.00 per night.  We on the other hand paid $34.00 for the same deal at Home Valley, for, I believe a camp with better facilities.

Returning to Kununurra for food shopping, fuel and picnic lunch at the Celebrity Tree Park, we then called at a near- by van park to say ‘Hi’ to Brian and Maria Minchin  and others from the  ACC  Swan River Rovers,  WA branch.  Spent an hour or so with them and then collected the vans from Zebra Rock, headed for a budget camp at Cockburn, west of Kununurra on our way to Wyndham, our next stop.  Happy hour after vans had been sorted out from the tent weekend and then tea before sitting down to type this, then bed.

 

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DAY    86       Wednesday    3rd      July

 

Just a little chilly when we got out of bed this morning, not yet cold, but a reminder that it could and probably will.  Breakfast done and chores finished we three headed for the Information Centre again to book flights over the Horizontal Falls in about 3 weeks.  Once again Neil won’t fly so Kay has booked just a day flight while Derek, Gwen, Virginia and Bruce have all booked overnight stays.  They are looking forward to this trip.

Leaving the Info Centre and driving to the east side of the Ivanhoe Crossing.  This is a terrific sight as thousands of litre of water cascades over a man-made weir which was originally the place where cars and trucks could cross the river, down at the water level.  This practice has now been stopped and is not allowed at all.  The current is very strong across the old road so this may be a contributing factor.

Continuing our mini tag-a-long we returned to the Victoria Highway and headed west to Valentine Springs, Middle Springs which are water holes with some water, and then finally to Black Rock Falls that we all thought would be especially spectacular in the wet with water cascading from the 100 metre sheer cliff face.  In saying this, I for one would not be in that particular area under those conditions, it would be very wet.

As we were all becoming a little hungry the next stop was at the western side of the already visited Ivanhoe Crossing.  Here we could see that the crossing has a bend before crossing a small island on its way across the water line.  The portable barbys were soon heated and a sausage sizzle was had along with a cold or hot drink.  Lovely weather also, not so hot lately, much easier to live with.

As we are on the move again tomorrow we returned to camp to start the van pack up.  Happy hour was taken and then tea before my favourite. 

Could be off line for a few days,  will get back soon.

 

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DAY     85       Tuesday      2nd    July

 

Seven thirty saw the Kollmorgens at the UHF service shop and by 8.00 am back at camp with a clean bill of health.  No more problems with the radio (hope).  After breakfast we all went to Mirima National Park known locally as Hidden Valley, not far from the camp, and climbed a couple of tracks to some great viewing platforms to be able to see most of the Kununurra area,  lovely spot.

We then returned to the town Celebrity Tree Park for a cuppa and a walk through.  This park, which is set up to have a tree planted by any visiting celebrity or special person who comes to the town, was very well designed and looked after.  The next stop was the camp to have lunch and for 5 of the group to prepare for a flight over Lake Argyle and the Bungle Bungles.

Neil will not fly with the group because Neil will not fly, but the five walked to the caravan park gate where a bus collected them, along with two others from the camp, and delivered them all to the Lake Kununurra where the float plane for the trip was waiting.  The group flew down the Ord River to Lake Argyle where a landing was done and two extra passengers were taken aboard.  Another take off and headed up the Lake and on to the Bungles which all on board agreed were absolutely terrific from the air.  On the return flight the Cessna float plane flew over the Argyle Diamond Mine and back to Lake Argyle to a remote island (Mary Durack) where the plane again landed for High Tea, would you believe Cake and Coffee.  Again they became air-born and flew to the mooring area at Lake Argyle to return the two passengers to their lodgings.  Again the plane with the 7 original passengers headed for the sky and home to Lake Kununurra.  It was agreed a great time had been had by all and that the scenery was magnificent.

It was time for Happy Hour on the return of the five aviators, so that was taken and as the Clarks and Hales were both doing Camp Oven roasts we all took our leave for tea and bed.  Tomorrow is another day.     

 

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DAY       84         Monday    1st   July

 

Well another new month to fill up,  should be fun.    Kolls Prado was booked into the Kununurra Toyota for a 40,000 service and Derek was having a problem with his wiring to the van, so Neil and Derek left camp at 7.15am to deliver cars for necessary work.  We returned to camp for breakfast before we went back into the Info centre in town to enquire regarding our next couple of stops across to the west.  Whilst there Rita and Martin Castles came in after setting up camp with us at the Ivanhoe Village.

The group then did a town walk, something we have not done for some time, before heading back to the camp for lunch.  This finished, the Clarks and Hales drove out to the Sandalwood factory and Hoochery Distillery for a look see, while the Kollmorgens continued to wait in close proximity to the Toyota dealership for a phone call.  Eventually collected the finished car and went looking for a UHF radio repairer as the radio in the Kolls car cannot be heard properly. The car is due to be looked at tomorrow morning early.  Next stop was at the Kelly Knob Lookout which provides a wonderful panorama of the entire town and quite a large hunk of the surrounds.  While here the other two couples arrived and we then headed back to camp for happy hour.  A friend of Hales living in Kununarra and his parents joined us for this hour.  Good to hear some stories of the town from the inside, also some valuable information regarding future camp spots.  Tea was had and dare I say it,  BED

 

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DAY     83      Sunday      30   June

 

Departed the camp at Lake Argyle and travelled to Kununurra where we set up camp at the Ivanhoe Village Caravan Resort and then went out to do some long overdue shopping as none has been done   since before we came through the Quarantine station with bare necessities.

After some lunch we went looking for the Info office, and upon finding it, found it was shut for the day.  Kollmorgens went exploring the local area including the Zebra Rock Shop full of some great pieces of jewellery and smart assortment of different household accessories.  Next stop was to view the Diversion Dam and Lake Kununurra which is, of course, the Ord River and watched two of the canoes we saw yesterday on this same river arrive at their destination, about 40 kms from where we last saw them, not a bad effort for one day.  Just a short walk took us to the ramp for the float plane on the lake where the plane that will probably be used on Tuesday is housed.

On returning to the camp we found that the Clarks had washed their car and the Hales had spent time with home affairs, as we had been off line for best part of a week this was necessary.  Both Hales and Clarks then did a similar look around trip as the Kolls’ had done earlier, before returning for happy hour and tea.  Gwen Hale is said to have stated that her husband, Derek, has received      10 out of 10 for, of all things, Pizza making.     I do wonder at times    Where is that snake?   

 

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Banjo : v00029
Ahrrrrrr Kununurra, one of our favourite spots. Check out the litte Bungle Bungles and the Sunset BBQ boat cruise, if it's still o... Read More
Tuesday, 02 July 2013 02:51
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OUR BIG TRIP



DAY    78    Tuesday     25th   June

 

Hi all.       Sorry there will not be any entries to my Blog for a few days, Telstra can’t find me.

Today we were to be spoken to by a camp ranger and then a possible walk up to the lookout on the escarpment above the Gorge and store/centre, to explain some of the scenery.  However, on arriving we found the ranger had left on the lookout walk, so we headed back to the vans and began to pack up camps to begin our trip towards Western Australia.

Left Nitmiluk National Park around 11.00 am and went into Katherine for some food shopping, fuel, and a dump point.  This done we started out for Gregory National Park, had lunch in a road side stop and finally stopped the night at a budget camp called Sullivan Camp.  A very quiet camp with nice surrounds.

Happy Hour, then tea after which Bruce built a fire and group sat around till bed.  Lovely evening.

 

 

DAY     79        Wednesday      26th   June

Today celebrates our 3rd month on the road and it was spent driving on the road.  Starting just after 9.00am and first stop was at Victoria River Road House.  This was where the Castles had been staying so we said hello and goodbye at the gate as they left the camp.  We had hoped to have a gas bottle refill, but they did not have anybody who could fill it, so we just went for a walk around the caravan park and also down to the Victoria River where some photos of the new and old bridge were taken.  Continuing after this we drove to Joes Creek car park which is the beginning of a walk to the top of the surrounding rock formations.  We decided that as my old mate the temperature was beginning to rise that a walk of almost 2 hours was not on for us old fXXts, so we continued our drive to Timber Creek where we had lunch and did another top up of fuel before heading off.  While having lunch the Castles once again wondered if we were following them.  Also while eating a familiar spare wheel cover with ACC and map of Oz passed by on a Jayco with ROB and  ? SUE?  on the rear.  Did you fill up with fuel in Timber Creek at around one o’clock pmon Wednesday 26 June?   If so, “Hi from the Gippsybusters.”

We began the last section of todays’ drive by calling in at Gregory’s Tree.  A very old Boab Tree that  took the interest of Augustus Gregory on his Northern Australian exploration leaving carvings of the dates on the trunk from June of 1885 and still very readable in the old bark.  Next and last stop for the day was at a budget camp about 70 Km from the NT / WA border.  There ended up being about 20 camps in the circle and really nice and quiet considering the closeness of the highway.  Happy hour after set up followed by tea in the dark and bed.

 

DAY    80   Thursday    27th   June

Up fairly early as we had a few Km to go to Lake Argyle where we were unable to pre-book the required 3 sites, so we were advised to be at the park early and line up.  This was made easily by the 1.5 hour time change which put us well ahead by arriving at NT time in WA.  Three sites were arranged and caravans were set up before we had a walk around the camp with cameras clicking overtime at the beautiful mountain ranges all around this park.  Virginia, Bruce and Kay had a swim in the pool before lunch.  We had been advised by the girls at the counter at book in to decide what lake cruises we wanted to participate in and to get them booked as soon as possible.   After lunch we went back to the office and spent a fortune on tickets for not only two boat trips on the lake, one on Friday morning and a second on Saturday morning on the Ord River from the dam wall out, and also float plane seats from Kununarra over the Bungle Bungles, Ord River, Lake Argyle and the Argyle Diamond Mine set down for Tuesday of next week.

The Hales and Clarks filled their afternoon in with photo editing and activity brochure looking while the Kollmorgens did a quick drive around the dam area and to a couple of look out locations and watched some workers check the outlets of the power station turbo used water.  All came together again for happy hour and tea.  Next was bed as most were tired due to time difference from NT.

 

DAY      81    Friday          28th   June

 

This morning began with a bus trip from the camp office to a landing area on the other side of the lake from the camp. We then all spent a magnificent morning on the Kimberley Durack, a terrific design of twin hull boat with very low draught and lots of power a great views.  Pilot and tour guide, Graeme, was at the wheel and explained every aspect of the boat and the trip we were doing.  This was a great trip with such a lot of rocky mountains all around and water and crocodiles and birds and fish feeding and water that seemed to go on forever.  Lake Argyle is 70Km by 40Km so has quite a lot of water to see.

On our return trip we were overtaken by a float plane which put down on the water approximately 50 metre away and as soon as it hit the water it accelerated and took off again.  Just another thrill for us all on board.

On return the Castles had booked into the camp, so we packed a barby lunch and went looking at the views around the area.  The look outs again, the spillway, then we had our lunch in a lovely cool park with lots of shade, the dam wall and then some 4 WD’ing to find a secondary spill way almost lost in the bush.   Returning to the park for some cool down swimming before happy hour and then tea before bed.  

 

DAY    82    Saturday        29th     June

 

If we all spent a magnificent morning on the lake yesterday?  Well you ain’t seen nuthin yet. This morning we were once again collected from the park office by a different bus and driven to the base of the dam wall and loaded on an equally impressive twin hull boat, but a boat equipped with 3 X 350 H/P outboard motors that gave the boat 1050 H/P which did indeed push it through, and above the water.   The acceleration was unbelievable.  Enough of that.   The boat did what is was designed to do, take up to 50 passengers from point A to point B and back with as much excitement as they could handle in a short period of time.  This included a snack and drink at a picnic spot purpose built near a water fall that no longer falls.  A rescue of a man in difficulties, his partner also having problems, who had had a problem with a canoe and ended up in the water flowing at 12 knots.  (Close call this one was) and a near collision with a big white bellied sea eagle that almost zigged when it should have zagged.  However all ended well and it continued to fly.

On returning to the camp the Hales and Clarks went into the camp office and shop to watch a short DVD on how the dam wall had been made in 1972, quite interesting apparently. The Kollmorgens, meantime had returned to their van for lunch.

Lunch finished and we 3 pairs set out to see the Durack homestead which was pulled down and carefully rebuilt on a higher site, before the dam wall was built and the home became a diving site. Unfortunately the lake filled far quicker than expected (two wet seasons) so the kitchen, stables and other farm buildings were not emptied or removed. A great job has been done on the restoration project though.

Next outing was to a hilltop overlooking the lake and the mountains where as usual, the sun went down, casting all sorts of colours and shapes onto the mountains behind.  Back to camp for happy hour and tea before bed.  Cannot get used to it being dark at 5.30pm and light at 5.30am.

 

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DAY     77   Monday   24th    June

 

Well, to those of you who have waited with baited breath regarding the python, so are we. Nothing has changed as far as can be seen, so it may be gone, or it may not be gone.  Tomorrow we move on, so moving the car may bring about some change ???

An early breakfast as we had booked a boat cruise on the Katherine Gorge.  This was due to leave at 9.00am and do 3 gorges taking 4 hours.  Lovely scenery all the way out where we finished the first of the gorges and left the boat tied to moorings and walked about 400metres to the next gorge where a boat was waiting to carry on the second gorge. This stage of the trip was my favourite with huge  rock walls towering to almost reach the blue sky.  Absolutely wonderful scenery.  The third gorge went about the same format and at the end a short walk was done to a swimming hole where a good number of the 50+ people, plus our Derek and Bruce, participated.

A reversal of the format brought us back to the starting pier at the National park / Caravan Park.       A commentary had been given by the boat “Captain” along the way.  He was an Aboriginal from the local community and certainly knew the history, folklore, bush tucker and medicine plants of the people and area who had inhabited here for thousands of years.     

By now it was after 1.00pm and tummies were rumbling, so walked back to the vans for lunch.     This finished, Martin and Rita paid us a flying visit and filled us in on their up-coming activities.  It was then decided that as we were weary that a lay afternoon would be called.  This was easy!    Happy hour was had at 5.00 and then tea.                     No sign of Monty Python.

 

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DAY    76    23rd    June

 

Sunday is egg and bacon breakfast day.  (I think it has been mentioned previous) So after breakfast  we six set out to walk to Pat’s Lookout via Baruwei Lop Walk . This walk was fine until we arrived at the hill, I mean HILL.  It was OK I guess but I think the plans of a full loop were changed very quickly to a shortened circuit.  From 8 km to around 3 km in the heat that was beginning was good enough for us.

The track was very good to walk apart from a section with some large and small rocks that moved under the feet, and after we had climbed to the summit and were persuaded to come look at this, only to find a palm tree growing from a rock.  Thanks Derek.  Our track then started downhill, which was easier, to the lookout we were looking for.  Terrific view across a Gorge with passenger boats and lots of canoes, being paddled by energetic fools, below us.  Quite a view for the camera.

On the return from the lookout we used a stairway that was complete with a hand rail.  Without that rail, up or down, would be a task for one to maintain balance at times.

We came back to the vans to re-hydrate and pack a barby lunch and drove to Katherine Hot Springs where Derek, Virginia, and of course, Bruce swam in the warm water.  This was followed by a sausage sizzle at a picnic table in the park.  Our next move was to check out the old Katherine Railway Station which is a museum but not open to the public on Sundays.

Next came, just for a change, a “Town Drive”, instead of the walk, as we were becoming weary and hot.  Next stop was the Springvale Homestead about 7 km out of Katherine.  This house has been around since mid 1870’s when Alfred Giles made an epic overland journey with 12000 sheep and 2000 cattle to stock the property.  This journey took 2 years from South Australia.  The house has seen many hardships including fire and floods.  The 1998 flood had water to the ceilings right through the buildings.  It has been restored beautifully.

Back to the camp for Happy Hour before tea.   With tea finished a call from next door to the Kollmorgen’s  van of  “come see the Python”.   Well the poor snake was so photographed it became camera shy and climbed up into the Kolmorgen’s Prado chassis area and promptly disappeared.  What a dilemma has this left for Neil and Kay in the morning.  It has been said that when the night quietens down it will continue its search for food knowing that Prados are not very tasty for a snake.

I will advise all in tomorrows edition.

 

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DAY     74      Friday    21st      June

 

We were all clear of the camp by 9.30am and first stop was the Adelaide River 1888 Railway Station Precinct which included the only refreshment rooms on the Pine Creek to Darwin section of the rail, just across the river from the town. This also included lots of history from the early telegraph station for the overland telegraph.  This was a very interesting read and some of the machinery was a marvel to be in the good condition it still is.

A short drive to Robin Falls followed and a difficult walk over rocks gave us a terrific scene of water cascading over three falls into a pool and then running back along the track we had worked our way into the falls on.  The scenery route into Hayes Creek was selected as our next adventure and this trip took us through a lot of Km before we re- joined the Highway at Hayes Creek and found a shady picnic table for lunch before heading for camp.  During this return trip our day leader, Bruce, got a sniff of a watering hole and turned to the right for about 20 Km passing a couple of mines and eventually arriving at the Grove Hill Historic Hotel which is Heritage Listed, established  in 1935 and never once been dusted.  We managed to drag some members of our group away and again headed for the Mount Bundy station. 

On our arrival and during Happy Hour, we were all approached by a mounted horseman who advised that a short display of horsemanship and duck mustering would be demonstrated in the home paddock.  Well that horse, dog, ducks, and an assortment of whips accompanied by some bush poetry had us all in tears with laughter.  I am still laughing at a particular brown dog on being startled by the first crack of a whip, turned tail and ran for his dear life down the farm track to the main road and out of sight, all of half a km.  Never to be seen.  

After this impromptu gathering the fire was again alight and camp oven baked dinners were cooking. Clean up and dishes before bed.   Tomorrow we move on.

 

 

DAY    75     Saturday       22nd   June

 

Nine 0 five evacuation from Mt Bundy Station Caravan camp and with the Castles doing their own thing, as they have been this way previous and need to look for  different adventures, we were on the road heading south.  Some road work with traffic lights split the group some but we stopped to re-group at a road side stop at Emerald Springs and had smoko.  Continuing toward Katherine we again struck a red road work traffic light and again the split up happened, same rig, but it was decided to go on as Bruce decided he needed fuel and stopped at Pine Creek for this.

Hales and Kollmorgens continued on to Katherine and stopped for some shopping and lunch. This was, of course, where the Clarks caught up again and we all set off for Nitmiluk National Park about 30 Km east of Katherine.  After booking in, setting up and cooling off a little we had a short walk around the area and booked a 3 Gorge boat tour for Monday morning.  Sure to be enjoyable.

Happy Hour, tea and dishes followed in that order, then Bed.  (My favourite activity)      

 

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