Maps and Stats

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Australia, Bungle Bungle Range, 15 – 16 August 2020

Kununurra to the Bungle Bungle Range, 2.5 hours to the turn off and then an hour and 10 minutes to cover 53 km of a fairly rough, winding dirt road to the Range itself. This is the most interesting place I have seen on this trip. I saw it from the air in 2006. I visited the Southern part, camped in the National Park Campground overnight and visited the Northern part the following morning.

 

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Australia, Kununurra, 01 – 14 August 2020

Wyndham to Kununurra, a short drive, I stopped at a few interesting places along the way.

The Afghan Cameleers – were brought from British India and worked in the bush transporting goods before the arrival of the motor vehicle.

Moochalabra Dam – Wyndham Water Supply

The Boab with a Window to its Insides

The Grotto

Kununurra – a long way from anywhere. The largest town in this area with a permanent population of 5000 but this goes up in the dry season. The weather is tropical with day/night temperatures of 30/15 and no rain at all, very pleasant. I waited here for two weeks hoping the Western Australian border would open but there are no signs of that happening anytime soon with grandstanding politicians and salivating media frightening the mob. Therefore I have had to forego visiting the Northern Territory and start on my journey back to Perth.

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Kangaroo Haven we need more people like them.

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Lake Argyle created by a Dam across the Ord River. The Durack Homestead was dismantled and moved to higher ground and is now a small museum.

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Mirima National Park and the Saturday Market

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Australia, Wyndham, 29 – 31 July 2020

Wyndham – a very small town, population 780 in need of some maintenance. It is surrounded by mudflats and five rivers Durack, Pentecost, King, Forrest and Ord which meet the sea at the Gulf of Cambridge.

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Australia, Day 3, Gibb River Road, 29 July 2020

Today I was meant to go North off the Gibb River Road onto the Kalumburu road to explore the Mitchell Plateau and the coast beyond Kalumburu but the Road was closed. All the additional emergency supplies and fuel I was carrying was mainly meant for this part of the trip. Covid flu paranoia reigns supreme, even when there is not a single case of the virus anywhere within 5,000 kms of this area.

The Politicians and the Medical Industry continue to pretend they are saving us ALL from certain death and the gullible, terrified people remain petrified with fear and submissive to their saviours.

The Green Line is the Gibb River Road, 1,055 kms from Derby to Wyndham.                    Day 1 – 373 km, Day 2 – 293 km, Day 3 – 389 km.

Mount Elizabeth to Wyndham the last leg of the GRR, after the first 30km of deep corrugations getting back onto the main road it was a good dirt road. There were a few river crossings with hardly any water in them and some magnificent views of the Cockburn Range.

Aghan Cameleers – interesting history

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Australia, Mt.Elizabeth Station, Gibb River Road, 28 July 2020

Day two on the GRR, I drove from Mount Hart (222m altitude) down to the main road and first stop was Bell Gorge, about a kilometre walk and there was a pleasant surprise a waterfall with flowing water and I also saw some water Lilies. Next stop Imintji Community Store for a Magnum ($7) and finally I topped up with the most expensive diesel of this trip ($2.05/litre) at Mt.Barnett Road House. I was carrying 2 x 20 litre containers of diesel which I added to the tank at Mount Hart. The road to Mount Elizabeth Station (579m) was atrocious, as bad as the Steep Point Road.

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Australia, Mt.Hart Station, Gibb River Road, 27 July 2020

Gibb River Road – was used as a route to transport cattle from the farms in the Kimberley to the South of the State. Now it is a tourist route and kept in good condition though the tracks leading to the Stations which offer accommodation can be quite bad with a few creek crossings. The road to Kalumburu and the Mitchell Plateau was closed and many other stops as well.

The first 130km from Derby is a good paved road upto the Windjana Gorge / Tunnel Creek turnoff, after that it is a dirt road with paved sections at certain points when going up or down a hill. The main criteria for travelling on this or any other dirt road is good quality,  All Terrain tyres with a thick layer of tread and strong sidewalls as the gravel used to surface parts of these roads has many sharp stones which can puncture your tyres. After my puncture in Tom Price I fitted 4 new Cooper AT3 tyres, not the cheapest but if they saved me even one puncture they paid for the difference between cheap and good quality tyres. While it was easy to buy tyres at Tom Price, a puncture on this road could turn out to be very expensive due to the fact that it is 660 km long and help is far away. I was also carrying two spare tyres as further insurance.

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Australia, Derby, 24 – 26 July 2020

Cygnet Bay to Derby 417 km in 4:20 hrs, as you get closer to Derby you start noticing the appearance of many Termite mounds and Boab trees. This means you are now officially in the Kimberley region.

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Derby’s claim to fame is having the highest tides (11.8m) in Australia, population 3,500 with about half of Aboriginal descent. It’s also the Western end of the Gibb River Road.

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Australia, Cygnet Bay, 21 – 23 July 2020

Cygnet Bay, Cape Leveque – is a Pearl Farm not a town, it has a Restaurant, Pool, Caravan Park and runs tours, very professional and organised. It is on the Dampier Peninsula north of Broome. There are a number of Aboriginal communities on this Peninsula but they are all closed due to the deadly virus. We should call it the Stealth virus because some people who have it don’t even know they have it hahaha. Only two places are open, the Pearl Farm and Kooljaman Community, not sure why? I was planning to spend more time here but with all the closures not possible.

It’s about a 215 km drive from Broome with 63 km of dirt road which is in the process of being paved and should be completed by the end of the year.

Day trip to Kooljaman Community, beautiful beaches and views.

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Australia, Horizontal Falls & Cockatoo Island Tour, 20 July 2020

Horizontal Falls and Cockatoo Island Tour – at $843 it’s not the cheapest tour I have been on but it’s the cheapest way to get anywhere near this region of Australia. It starts with arriving at the airport at 0625, a short briefing and then 13 passengers and one pilot get on the Cessna Caravan, we left at 0705 . Seats are allocated based on your weight and if you weigh over 120 kg you cannot do this tour. They only run these tours when the tide is at least six metres or the water rushing through the gaps will not be very forceful. This week has the highest tides of the month so tours are on every day.

One hour flight and we landed on a dirt strip at the very top of Cockatoo Island (population 7). Off the plane and onto a small 4wd bus to drive to the beach and board a boat for a 70 km trip to the Horizontal Falls which took two hours. The journey took us through Buccaneer Archipelago which has around 800 islands, we saw a crocodile and had brief sightings of dolphins and turtles in the mangroves, a very scenic journey.

Don life jackets and then we were taken through the first gap which is 20m wide and back again several times a bumpy ride which I think would be similar to the rapids in a river. There is a noticeable difference between the water levels on both side of the gap but its not huge. The second gap is only 12m wide and the current is too strong for the boat to get through plus the way the boat get pushed around going through might just mean we crash into the walls and go for an unscheduled swim.

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On the way back we stopped in the Mangroves for lunch on the boat and then a small beach on one of the islands. Finally a beer at the Iron Bar on Cockatoo Island and the flight home which took us over the Falls for a view from the air arriving back in Broome at 1700.

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Australia, Broome, 13 – 19 July 2020

Broome – population 15,000 off season, 45,000 during the Tourist season but not so many this year because the state borders are closed and people from Sydney, Melbourne and overseas cannot visit. I heard one travel agent say the place is a Ghost town. I would not like to be here when things get back to normal hahaha.

The weather is perfect, sunny skies, 30c during the day and cool 18c nights. White sand beaches though you need to look out for crocodiles, the authorities shoo them away from the popular beaches so check before you go for a swim. The water is too cold at this time of the year for the deadly Box Jellyfish. It is an expensive place to visit like any other tourist hot spot.