From Katherine we drove up north to Adelaide River where we stayed for the night. On Wednesday we visited the nearby Robin Falls (where we saw numerous Cane Toads; a pest here in Australia) and continued up north to Litchfield National Park.
The National Park itself is really beautifull and well accessible by most people as there are sealed roads leading to most areas; only a few areas where only accesible by 4WD. Wednesday’s highlights in Litchfield where the magnetic termite mounds (which look like tombstones), the Buley Rockhole, florence falls and, as we drove back up to stay at a campsite at the entrance of the National Park, the huge bushfire. We had already past it entering the park, but on our way back -as the sun was setting- the fire had become much more intense and if offered a spectacular sight:
After having spent the night in a campervan smelling of smoke, we set off for the second part of Litchfield National park. That day we went to see the Tabletop Swamp, Tolmer Falls and Wangi Falls. Here are is an impression of two days of Litchfield National Park:
That night we stayed at a Big4 campsite close to Darwin, to leave for Kakadu the next day…
On Tuesday I went to see the Katherine Gorge at Nitmiluk National Park. The Gorge is located in Nitmiluk National Park and is one of the most spectacular areas in the country, winding 12 km with walls more than 70m high. The 13 wonderful gorges of Nitmiluk National Park began 23 million years ago as torrents of water pouring along tiny cracks in the earth.
I booked a 2 gorge boat cruise which offered great views of the gorge, some Aboriginal rock art and a couple of freshies (fresh water crocodiles) along the way.
In the trees surrounding the boat ramp were numerous fruit bats being lazy and hanging around in the sun, making lots of funny noises:
Today we went to see the Cutta Cutta Caves, close to Katherine (where we are staying). The cave system itself was quite small compared to other caves I have visited, but the entry was quite spectacular as we encountered a brown snake on the steps. The brown snake is one of the most poisenous and deadliest snakes in Australia, however they often tend to bite without squirting poison so you might survive a bit. But if you’re not that lucky you’ll better try to reach a hospital soon, which may be tough as everything is a long drive away.
On our way out the tour guide tried to kill te snake by hammering on it with a stick. Not really animal friendly, but as many people visit the cave it was probably the best thing to do.
From Kununurra -after a 2 hour internet stop - we set off for Pine Creek, Norther Territory. After about an hour’s drive (past the Northern entry to the Duncan Highway) we passed the Northern Territory / Western Australian border.
Just before reaching Pine Creek, we went to have a look at the Victoria River from Bradshaw Bridge. It was especially good timing as we saw a crocodile swimming in the river, and the sun was setting; creating a very dramatic sunset:
As you often see here up North, there was a green tree frog living in the toilet:
The weird Dutch girls (the ‘Muffles’) appear in a music video of a Western Australian country singer named ‘Ronni Rae Rivers’. When staying in the hostel in Perth a guy asked them to come to the pub next door to dance in a music video, and so they did. Have a laugh!
Today we went to the Zebra Rock art gallery in Kununurra, where they process the rare layered Zebra rock; only found here on the banks of Lake Argyle. They can only mine the rock in the dry season, because the mine itself is under water in the wet season. I’m sure many sculpturs would go out of their mind if they could use this rock to sculp a statue, but strange enough they only use the extrordinary rock to create kitsch touristy things here.
After visiting the Zebra Rock gallery, we went to the local Hootchery; a rum distillery. It was actually started as a farmer’s idea to diversify his bussiness, so he started a Rum distillery. After the -private- tour, we could taste some of the rum distilled there. Especially the old one ($ 115,- a bottle!) tasted really good!
Today we went to Purnululu National Park, also better known as the Bungle Bungles. The National Park is famous for its sandstone domes, unusual and visually striking with their striping in alternating orange and grey bands. The banding of the domes is due to differences in clay content and porosity of the sandstone layers: the orange bands consist of oxidised iron compounds in layers that dry out too quickly for cyanobacteria to multiply; the grey bands are composed of cyanobacteria growing on the surface of layers of sandstone where moisture accumulates.
We booked a fly in – fly out tour with Alligator Airways, and departed from Kununurra with our own Dutch (NZ born) pilot: Joris Pieper. The flight took us over Lake Argyle, Lissadell and Texas Downs Stations, the Osmond Ranges and the Bungles before landing at Bellburn Airstrip.
There we drove in a 4WD van to the Southern end of the Bungles to see the famous beehive domes, the magnificent Cathedral Gorge (where we had our lunch) and Piccaninny Creek.
It’s really a beautiful sight, all these colored domes, cliffs and gorges. We had wanted to go there from Halls Creek instead, but as you only could get in over a rough 4WD track (and we had a 2WD shaky campervan) we decided to book a flight from Kununurra instead.
On the way back we also passed the Argyle Diamond mine, a huge open pit mine.
It has been about a month now and I am (we are; I am travelling with Hilde and Jorinke from Utrecht) in Kunanurra, Western Australia.
Unfortunately there is very limited internet access here in these tiny towns (most of them not bigger than a couple of streets) so I have been unable to update my blog.
I will write blog posts for the past days and upload photos. However, I will have to prepare these posts om my laptop before posting as internet is very slow and quite expensive as well (AU $ 4,- for 30 minutes) so I’d rather copy/paste the prepared messages onto my blog instead of writing them being online.
From Halls Creek we drove to Wyndham to stay for the night. On our way there we stopped to have a look at the ‘Grotto’, a gorge with a swimming pool down below.
When we were perparing for bed at 21:00 (getting up and going to bed is a whole different thing here), a woman -with a worst-case-scenario hair coloring disaster- walked up to use and asked if she could try our Van’s door: ‘oh, so you can close it softly!’. And she walked off again. We were stunned by what just had happened… Of course we were all three on purpose not going to be quiet. What a c*nt!
The next morning, before leaving for Kunanurra, we drove up the hill to enjoy the spectacular views on the five river lookout. What a great views of these river flood plains. Too bad it was not all bright and sunny that day; would have made better photographs
From Fitzroy Crossing we drove off to Hall’s Creek, where we could finally find a bottle shop and get two carton’s of beer! Somehow getting alcohol is sometimes difficult, due to problems with the indigenous population. However, here we could get some
We stayed for one night, and then we decided to try to drive over the Duncan Road / Duncan Highway. A dirt road that stretches from Hall’s Creek all around the Bungle Bungle ranges up to the WA / NT border. Huge cattle road trains use this road for cattle transports as well. We just decided to head for a small billabong, about 40 km’s from Halls Creek.
It was a nice and red drive, passing ‘Old Halls Creek’ full of old cars and steam engines, going to Palm Springs. It was so nice, that we decided to stay for the night. Up the hill was an abandoned house / garage where we had a look at in the morning. Two rusty old cars and carparts lying around.
From Palm Spring we drove back towards Halls Creek, making a stop at the old Gold Mine, which was totally filled up with water. Literary transforming the pit in a big lake.
From there we drove back to Hall’s Creek to stay again for the night at the campsite.