May - June 2017
  • Day44

    Nitmiluk National Park

    June 20, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    The former Katherine National Park / Gorge has been renamed Nitmiluk, the name used by the traditional custodians the Jawoyn and Dagomen people.The river was the foundation to their culture as it provided an abundance of food and water.
    The gorge is located 30km from the township of Katherine and consists of 13 natural gorges carved through sandstone by the river, with rocks and boulders separating each gorge. We took a 2 hour boat trip through the lower gorges where we learned about the history of Nitmiluk National Park which wasn't returned to its traditional custodians till 1989.
    The traditional custodians have allowed a large area to be leased by national parks but there are areas of the land that have significant cultural importance and remain not open to the public.
    One large rock face was used in a movie that stared the first indigenous actor . The film was was called Jeddah ( pic attached )
    We saw freshwater crocodiles sunning themselves. ( pic attached ) We were shown some magnificent indigenous art on a rock face ( pic attached )
    There were areas of the rock face that were covered with plants -the modern day vertical garden. This is truly a magnificent place.
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  • Day41

    El Questro Gorge

    June 17, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    We visited the famous and touristy El Questro Station with our favourite part being our walk into El Questro Gorge. This walk took several hours and at times a level 4 walk, lots of walking over and around rocks, boulders and water pools. There were a few lovely pools to take a refreshing dip in. There wasn't the volume of tourists here as the road in required a high clearance vehicle due to a deep creek crossing.Read more

  • Day40

    Kimberley Specials.

    June 16, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Kimberley moon rise -magic !
    Kimberley VERY used car-just left at the roadside.
    Kimberley VERY big saltwater crocodile.
    Kimberley big red dirt termite mound.
    Kimberley put another steak on the barbie -
    Brahman Bull - roadside on the Gibb River road.
    Kimberley cyclone warning road notice.
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  • Day39

    Geikie Gorge , Darngku

    June 15, 2017 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 13 °C

    After 100 years plans are currently underway to change Geikie Gorge to its traditional name of Darngku. Colonists named the gorge Geikie , after a Scottish geologist. At that time the traditional owners the Bunaba people , were still living there - their homeland. It is also a place of historical tragedy for the traditional owners, who were attacked by the colonists in the late 19th century. It is claimed by some that their remains are still hidden in the caves where they were shot and burnt.
    The Dept. of Conservation and Land Management ,
    together with the local Aboriginal cooperative respecting the traditional owners , run a tour to see and learn about Darngku. The flood waters of the massive Fitzroy River have carved the 30 meters deep gorge through the limestone at the junction of the Oscar and Geikie Rangers. The limestone ranges, formed the ancient barrier reef, wind across the country between 69 to 100 meters above the surrounding plains, in much the same way that a reef would have reared above the Devonian sea floor. Layers of fossils and limestone strata of an ancient reef are a crisscross section, showing glimpses of life in the Devonian period before reptiles and mammals evolved. The gorge is home to the freshwater Barramundi , Leichhard's sawfish and Coachwip stingray. It is also the home of freshwater crocodiles of which we saw several sunning themselves.
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  • Day39

    Lake Argyle - Ord River

    June 15, 2017 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

    We spent several days in the wonderful town of Kununurra, an attractive town on Lake Kununurra on the Ord River. It is near the vast man made lake - Lake Argyle. Kununuarra is the Kimberley's gateway to the east. The word Kununurra is an Aboriginal name meaning 'the meeting of big waters' , and boy are there some big waters' here. The Ord River was damed in 1971 to form a storage reservoir supplying water to one of Australia's largest and most ambitious irrigation schemes. ' Argyle Downs', a one million acre cattle station, was flooded to create a vast and beautiful lake, the biggest man-made lake in Australia. It was a dream of pioneer pastoralist Kimberley Durack that led to its infancy which was later fully established. We took a full day tour which included a morning of spectacular cruising on the Ord River from Kununurra to Ord River dam. We had fantastic commentary from the skipper, of course his name was Grant. He not only gave us a history lesson, maths lesson -heaps of figures in regard the actual water storage , he was constantly spotting so many different birds, our favourite would have to be the magnificent sea eagles. Also fresh water crocs, wallabies and other wildlife. We then joined an afternoon cruise/ sunset / swim on Lake Argyle -and yes you guessed it another fabulous sunset watched whilst consuming wine and cheese. Lake Argyle covers a massive area approx 75 km long, 40 km wide and if you decided to take a walk around it, you would cover nearly 900 km, that's a decent morning's walk ! At capacity it holds approximately 20 times the size of Sydney Harbour - it is currently well above capacity. The entire system works on gravitational flow, which terminates into the farming irrigation channels. Some of the crops grown are , mangos, bananas, Chia, sandalwood, pawpaw, vegetables to name a few. there is a camp ground and resort at the small village town of Argyle, which boasts quite an amazing infinity pool. Some of the other attractions we visited whilst in Kununurra were , a sandalwood farm / shop, the Hoochery distillery-serving samples of their award winning rum. We drove north to look at Wyndham, geographically the northern most town of The West and visited the very touristy El Questro. As you would know the area is home to the Argyle diamond mine, home to the famous Argyle pink diamonds-Duncan was always a little too busy to go diamond shopping ! Kununurra and the surrounding region is such a beautiful and still relatively untouched land-we loved it.Read more

  • Day37

    Purnululu National Park -Bungle Bungles

    June 13, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Purnululu National Park is 304km from Kununurra. It covers an area of 239,723ha and has an adjacent conservation reserve. The Bungle Bungle Range, which includes the banded domes, covers 45,000ha of the park. Prior to the mid 1980's, the existence of the domes was known only to the local aborigines and very few whites, mostly stockmen. In 2003 this national park was World Heritage listed for two main features- the area's incredible natural beauty and its outstanding geological value.
    The Bungle Bungle Range is renowned for its amazing banded domes that make a striking sight rising up to 200 meters above the plain and giving way to reveal hidden gorges and pools. The orange and black beehive shaped domes are made of sandstone deposited about 360 million years ago. Erosion by creeks, rivers and weathering in the past 20 million years has carved out these domes, along with spectacular chasms and gorges, creating a surreal landscape.
    The dome's striking orange and grey bands are caused by the presence or absence of cyanobacteria. Dark bands indicate the presence of the cyanobacteria, which grows on layers of sandstone where moisture accumulates. The orange bands are oxidized iron compounds that have dried out too quickly for the cyanobacteria.
    Two of Purnululu's most stunning attractions - Cathedral George, aptly named due to its immense and inspiring circular amphitheatre is surrounded by towering cliffs and honeycomb type rock, and Echidna Chasm , which is a palm-fringed narrow gorge , Both are accessible by foot only.
    A definite bucket list tick off for us !
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  • Day35

    Bell Gorge

    June 11, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 30 °C

    After a long trip over corrugated road with creek crossings we stopped at picturesque Bell Gorge. We walked along a stoney path lined with gums, boabs, and pandanus. After some rock hopping over small water ways we were greeted by the falls , and the magnificent displays of rock formations and color.Read more