Saturday, 30 June 2012


Derby is the first big town once you come out of the Gibb River Rd.

The stop here was just to get some fresh food and clean up.

Derby is not a beach side place for swimming.   In fact there is no beach just mudflats.

The travellers had grilled Barramundi from the fish shop on the Derby Jetty which had been suggested by several travellers who had done same. The idea is to get there early order your fish and chips then make it to the jetty to watch the sun go down.

The jetty is sort of rectangular with two entrances so the road trains full of lead and zinc concentrate can enter dump their load and drive off again.

The jetty is in a deep water part of the port when you consider that the tide rises I think it was 13 metres. Derby is where you see pictures of boats sitting on the mud after the tide went out.

A small road train leaving the jetty after dropping off his load.

Nice piece of fish and lovely sunset were the order of the day.

The port is kept open for the mines in the area with some cattle export. Derby is a town you can spend one day in and that is all.

                                            I have just had an idea!!!
That looks like that woman again???????

On the way out of town is one of the famous “prison trees” in the Kimberley region, which were used for locking up prisoners en route to the lock up. A large hollowed out Boab tree. This one at the moment has a native bee hive in it, discovered by the large number of bees coming and going.

After Derby is Broome.

Artistic stencil type of pic with the sun setting off Cable Beach.

Fine shape of one of the travellers looking at the sun set.

Look at who was wandering by when the pic was taken.     That shirt needs a good wash. So does the fellow in it.

We stopped just short of Broome due to suggestions that all the parks will be full when we get there.
Booked in and went to town to get some food and found that there were plenty of sites available.
Seems to be a common thing what some people think is the opposite for anyone that has travelled this country.    Two Government information offices were suggesting to travellers that some roads were almost impassable when it turned out just to be a little worse than the bitumen.
Commuted for the next day and saw the sun go down over Cable Beach. Some one has pulled the plug out and the water is way out.

Saturday shifted to Cable Beach camp park for the night and went to the weekend market.  Nothing exciting there apart from som BUG off Cream to ease insect bites.

Sunday we are off to Middle lagoon which is half way up Cape Leveque. Could not get to the top of the cape as it is booked out for three weeks. Half way will do. Then it is a return to Broome for maybe two days and then the long trek home with a side diversion to the painted desset just South of Coober Pedy.    Luckily we were able to get a site on return as is the first day of the staircase to the moon and many parks are full for those days.


Friday, 29 June 2012

Windjana Gorge.
The next gorge on the list of must sees on the Gibb River is the Windjana Gorge.
Set in the middle of another National Park is the gorge and associated camp ground.

Flushing toilets and running water even, right in the middle of grass and sand.
Something out of order here, this is a rock formation named "Queen Victoria's"head.  from a short distance it does look like the head on the coins of good ol' Queen Vic.

Another gorge, 7.5km return up a sandy and rocky river bed through hole in the wall and through the scrub.

Another warning sign posted at the entry to the park.   Installed to prevent the crocs eating visitors and getting sick.

Set up camp and went for a short circular pathway trip through a “Savannah trail” just across the road from the camp. The back drop was another rock face very similar to the “Organ Pipes Park” we have back in Victoria. Saw our first Croc in the wild. A fresh water variety.

The grassland surrounding the camp with a marked "Savannah Trail" running in a circle with identified trees etc for walkers.

One of the locals visiting.

Next day we trekked the 7.5 km walk. Well nearly , the last .5km is closed due to weather damage to the gorge walls from the last wet season. Lovely views along the gorge with fish swimming in the river just below the trail.

Here a Croc

There a Croc

Every where a Croc Croc

    Lots of crocs in this gorge. Looks like they gather in the waterholes between the sand banks,

Finished the trek got back to camp and had lunch all gorged out with stiff legs and hot bodies. Spent the rest of the afternoon sitting in the shade watching the bird life and resting.

Tomorrow is another day. We head to Derby and a fish and chip dinner on the pier watching the sun go down.

Home Valley Station

On the road into Home valley is our first large river crossing, the famous Penticost river.
The week before the travellers left home this water was running 750mm deep.

On the day it was about 300mm, just enough to wash the tyres of the dust.

Home Valley Station is another cattle station about 70km from El Q.
Lovely place with two huge Boabs each side of the drive.

Manicured lawns in the middle of the red dirt and dust.

The travellers opted to camp by the river, 7 Km down the track, every thing is just down the track it looked good in the pic album on the desk.

Loverly site in shade on the bank of the Pentecost River Estuary. Toilets and showers close by and great place to fish. Saw one that was about 200mm deeper than the bucket the chap was carrying it in. He also had a small shark about 500mm long. Only thing was that the fisherman had to keep his eyes open as we were told that there were “Salties “ in the area. One chap said he had seen one there during the 3 days he had been there.

The best part of the site was a fantastic view of the “Cockburn Range”.

Like Ayres Rock the colours of the range change as the sun sets etc.

Local mountain range that features in nearly all publications about the Kimberleys.

If we had had some bait we would still be there is was that good a place. The station it self had it's own open air restaurant with a reasonable charge per meal. Would have been a great place to dine in the shade of the evening. Heaps of character.

Left Home Valley Station for another station just down the track about 100km.

This one was “Ellenbrae Station”
This was for a snack break of Scones and Jam and Cream with a cuppa..
View from our table in the diner room.

One of the local residents who came for morning tea while we were there.

Again another station cashing in on the tourists. Third generation owners with great scones in a lovely setting of lawns and gardens. Another oasis in the middle of the red dust and dirt.

Back on the road and arrived at Manning Gorge Road house camp about 3.30 to set up for tomorrow.

Come the morrow we started off to another gorge to find you had to put your things in a polystyrene box and swim it across the river to start the trek.
Got half way across the river to a rock and baulked at the rest. Could not remember to duck paddle or dog dive and with nearly $2,000.00 of electronic gear in my pack weighted down by the rest of my gear and lack of swimming for years and years, I decided to chicken out and give this gorge a miss.

One of the large Boabs in the camp ground.   We are always on the lookout for Boab nuts now and have to stop at every tree we see.

Well almost every tree.

Stayed two nights and then onwards we go.........

Wed and we arrive at EL QUESTRO.

The playground for the well off and the plebs like us who are camping in the camp ground.

Those who do not have the time to drive all the way can fly in with their LEAR jet to Kununurra and from there to El Questro by shuttle plane and stay in the deluxe lodge overhanging the ElQuestro Gorge. Cost is only $1,500 per night but you get privilidges like private use of the hot springs after the plebs are kicked out at noon each day.

We arrived to be welcomed by the local manager and assistant.

Liked a pat on the head but not on the nose. Probably the dusty travellers coming in off the dirt road are a bit on the nose.

Couple of water crossings to get in but the grounds were very well laid out with shady sites, and water nearby.
Seating outside the registration office.

Visitors book in and have to get an access pass to the “Wilderness Park” 70km must be enough to be determined a wilderness up here. Then it is $25.00 per night for which you get access to,
park, several gorges to trek through, hot springs to soak in up to lunch time, Access to the bar and restaurant come booking office come bar at different times of the day. Live entertainment twice a week and the privilege of paying $3.50 for a can of COKE.

The toilets are something special, like small ensuites on stilts. Very new and very nice.

The Organisation runs tours, horse rides, helicopter rides etc,etc depending on the size of the wallet.

As you register you get a map of the property showing all the points of interest.
The bottom line on the mud map which points out the local swimming holes in the local Pentecost River quotes 'swimming is to be undertaken where the swimmer can see the bottom of the river bed as crocodiles live in the deeper holes.


The Zebdee springs surrounded by Livingstonian Palms for the green thumbs.

Started the day with a hot soak in the “Zeberdee Springs” Water is a constant 28 to 32 Deg C..

After being water logged the travellers travelled back down the road to “EMMA GORGE”

Just part of the 1,000,000 acres that El Q own. Part resort part cattle station.

About 3 ½ hr return trek with a large pool and water fall at the end for those who want to cool off. Great place to stop and have lunch.

Lunch break while the travellers reflect on the cliff walls in the gorge.   Thats my version anyway.

For those who so desire they may dip in the refreshing waters of the gorge or climg the walls and leap into the depths below.

With lunch over and contemplation of the geography it is back to camp stiff legs and all for a cuppa and a can of coke to revive the spirits and body.

Tomorrow it's off to Home Valley Station.

Thursday, 28 June 2012


Arrived to find the parks nearly all full.

Only place we could get was at the show grounds and it turned out to be a very shady site with power and water. The show grounds are opened up to take the large rigs, that is very big caravans and caravans with pets on board. We had some pet rocks so to me that lets us in to a powered site.

First to rest and recover then shop for essentials and on the Tuesday we took a sort trip up the road to Lake Argle. BIG,, like about 50 Eildons'

From the lookout above the dam wall

Official plaque of opening

The swimming pool where all the local campers gather at hoon with their glasses and bottles. Pity about the view???

Then on the road back we stopped at the Zebra Rock Gallery. Xebra rock is a multi layered rock with different colours in the layers. Mined over the border in the NT it is carved and ground and polished for jewellery decorative nic nacs etc. 

Even got some samples to bring home and play with.
These are not the samples  !

To finish off the day we had a mango smoothie from local mangoes and a cold milk shake.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Day 13 or 14 loosing track of time and days
Rolling again and this time ended the trek up the Tanami road into WA and the small town of Halls Creek. Hot day when we arrived and just set up camp before we went on a shopping trip to the supermarket to refill the larder. Being honest travellers we dumped a small amount of fruit and veggies in the quarantine bins just outside the town. Good place to dump all our rubbish as we left nothing behind, only footprints.
Good place to dump empty cans as well as vegetable peelings etc. in the quarantine bins. Too lazy to segregate the rubbish.

Halls Creek is a place you would like to miss, although they did have some good fish and chips.

Booked into the Bungle, Bungles for the next two nights. I had received an email saying they would not take anybody that did not give them 48 hours notice of staying, which caused a bit of an issue as we do not want to stay here two days waiting before can get in.
Contacted the ranger diurect and they let us in with no question about prior notice.
Both our phones are useless here so the sat phone came out of it's case and the lady booked us in there and then. Not sure of why she wanted to know if I has a pension card or not, maybe they give preference or discounts to the nomads.

Thursday 14th.

Said good bye to our travelling companions for the past few days as they are heading for 7 days at Broome and Cable Beach. Good to have another vehicle to travel with through the nearly 900 km of Tanami desert.

Left Halls Creek after replacing my UHF aerial which snapped off towards the end of the Tanami road. Also taped up the brake cable under the trailer which had been patched before. Cable ties useless, good ol duct tape saved the day. Bitumen all the way up the Great Victoria highway to the Purnululu (Bungle Bungles) turn off.

Just under two hours to do the 52km on the road from the highway to the park.
Once inside the park it is four wheel drive on all the time according to the sign at entry.

Registered at the rangers station and off to follow the map to our campsite.

Good road surface but for the unwary a few surprises. Sudden crests, blind corners and three or four water crossings. Walked the first as it looked a bit deep in the middle and did not want a bath so early in the day.

Lovely grassed campsite all mowed and trees around. Fireplaces and toilet available for comfort but we do not need the extra heat today.

Walked the ten minutes to a lookout for sunset. Nothing marvelous but great sight. Long escarpment of red rock to our rear catching some of the sun as it went down and to our front a wide expanse of beautiful flat grassed Australian country. As Jenny from NMIT said after she travelled the same country last year, “This is a beautiful country, why would anyone want to go overseas”

                                           Starting out among the domes the first day.

                                           The Cathederal  often used for publicity pics.

                   Here a Bungle, there a Bungle everywhere a Bungle Bungle
                                               Along the mini pines trail

Not all just solid treking up the river beds  here we had to squeeze between huge bolders of conglomerate to get to the end of this trail.   A lot of the trails are along river beds  made up of round pebbles ranging from sand up to bigger than a football so you have to really keep an idea on where you put your feet.

Another squeeze through 200 metre cliffs

One of the locals coming to say good bye as we left Bungle Bungles.
Many more pics taken but too time consuming to sort, shrink and insert to add here.

Left the Bungles and arrived Kununurra .   Had trouble finding a powered site as all the parks are nearly full.   Went to the Agricultural showgrounds and the chap there let us poor travellers in for 3 nights.   He is supposed to only let in the BIG Rigs, that is the really big caravans and travellers with pets.   We have some pet rocks that have been gathered  so I think that counts.

Filling up with food etc and doing a side trip tomorrow Ready to hit the Gibb River Road Wednesday all going well.   Had to fix a bullseye chip in the windscreen where a rock the size of a semi hit right in the middle of the passerger side of the windscreen.     Well it was big when it hit.

Probably out of touch for 5 to 8 or more days while on the Gibb but will take pics if there is anything to look at.   Hopefully some huge Barramundi if the crocs let me get near the water.