Friday, September 30, 2011

When in Rome.....

The camel rides on Cable Beach were on the 'must do' list of our trip.

It is the quintessential Broome experience.

It was everyone's first 'up close and personal' experience with a camel.

They were such funny animals, each with different distinctive personalities and features.

This is Alice, she was described as the 'supermodel' of the group. Beautiful camel looks, nice little hairstyle, and lovely colouring. A gentle natured camel as well.

Ready to go...

Bindi Irwin II (aka Ella) absolutely loved it of course. She would have loved it more if they took off for  a wee trot!! 

Charlie was a little freaked out initially but relaxed on into it quite quickly.

At one point he said, 'I didn't realise they had such big teeth Mum!!'

James enjoyed his solo ride...

Frank took this great photo....

Great Broome experience!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Blue as blue.....

I said to James "how would you describe Cable Beach?"
He answered "blue"..........


After leaving the Bungle Bungles we had a big day travelling and made it to Derby which is on the coast northeast of Broome.

Interesting little place with quite a few things to visit.

Derby boasts of having the largest tides in Australia.
Tides in excess of 14 metres happen here.
We made a few visits during the day and Frank enjoyed capturing the tide change..




Not a good swimming spot! Crocodiles!
A great place to catch crabs though. ( So we were told).

Ella and James enjoyed a game of tiggy on the surrounding mudflats...

The Pioneer Cemetery was interesting.
It was very well kept and there was no sign of vandalism which was great.
A lot of people in their mid twenties died from tragic accidents back then.
A tough existence without a doubt!
No OHS!!

Some famous locals from the late 1800's rest here. An aboriginal tracker ('Larry' Kunamarra) who was honoured by the queen is buried here.

Myall's bore is about 7kms out of town. This impressive 322 metre deep bore was built in the early 1900's to provide water for cattle before they were shipped out of the Derby port.

It is 120 metres long and believed to be one of the longest troughs in the southern hemisphere..

The famous prison boab tree is nearby also.

 It is believed to be 1500 years old and was used in the 1890's by local Police to lock up Aboriginal prisoners overnight on their way to Derby for sentencing.

Frank and James found their own prison boab tree not far from the caravan park....hmmm...interesting!

Ella has discovered a hidden talent which impresses Charlie no end......

Lots of laughter as Frank and James return from another unsuccessful fishing excursion....James did however enjoy getting up close and personal with a catfish.

Next stop- Broome. 220kms down the road.......

The Bungle Bungles...

We aren't big on sports drinks but this was a 'Gatorade' type of day!!
Temperatures at midday would have been above 45 degrees.
The kids did extremely well in these difficult conditions.

To access the Bungle Bungles you need to drive through Mabel Downs Station on fairly average, corrugated dirt road with several arduous creek crossings.
Definitely not suitable for 2WD.
It took (2) hours to drive 50 kilometres on this well travelled track.
BUT it was well worth all the extra bull dust in the car.

First place we visited was Echidna Chasm (what a great name).

Another great feature which demonstrates the incredible forces of nature and time..

The following three photos are sequential as you walk through the chasm.

Where's Charlie??

We are walking on a river bed so in the wet season this would be a flowing river. 
Amazing...would be great to see..

Next up was Picininny Gorge which is surrounded by these rounded sandstone domes....

Ella and James lead the way in.....

The final discovery is a huge amphitheatre type feature with the very last remains of water...
You can see where the water pours in during the wet season...

Looking in...

Looking out......
To hot to study rocks today Charlie!!
Another tough, rough and ready day that everyone survived and enjoyed!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Unplugged at Spring Creek.....

(Post title by Frank)

After leaving Kununurra we headed further west to visit the famous Bungle Bungles.

Powered camping options are few (one) and expensive.

Much to Frank's delight it was time to go 'unplugged', save some money on caravan parks and do some 'free' camping. This means no amenities and no power.

The 12 volt shower and the shower tent came out for the first time. Spring Creek provided us with our shower water for the night. Amazing how a bucket of water can shower a family of (5)!!

We are toughening up this family of five. Extreme Bear Grills like bushwalking and two nights without air rough and tough (not!)LOL!

One of my favourite things about this stop was watching the kids play in the creek. 

Conquering nature and building a dam was on the agenda (of course).

Lots of teamwork....

Lots of discussion about dam design......

Lots of muscle building exercise....

A little bit of innocent sibling torture.......

No bickering, just having fun and getting on together for a united purpose.

Happy days!!

The best backyard in the world......

Kununurra and surrounds.....

Kununurra is quite a busy little town of 6000 people.  Rio Tinto’s  Argyle diamond mine (famous for their very rare and expensive pink diamonds) contributes to the local economy. 

Agriculture is another large aspect of life around here. Mango and Sandalwood plantations are quite prolific.  No ripe Mangoes available yet unfortunately!

We stayed in a great caravan park on the lake. The highlight being the freshwater crocodiles 5 metres from  the caravan at night . We shone our torch out on the lake and their beady eyes were lit up like little red lights.

These babies just sat there and waited patiently for some food scraps. Amazing!!

The lake during the light hours...
Beautiful Boab trees are very prevalent around the Kimberleys.

 This one in the caravan park has been carbon dated and is 2000 years old!! These wonderful trees provide homes for a myriad of Australia’s wildlife such as: bats, frogs, bees, Goannas, Magpie-Larks, and Cockatoos.

We came across this Boab at Emma Gorge with a tap coming out of it. Not really sure whether the water was actually Boab water?? We couldn’t work it out…….maybe?....perhaps?.....

On the way to Kununurra we drove off the highway to see a special historical boab who had a date carved into it’s trunk (July 2nd,1856) . It was carved by Thomas Baines who was an expedition artist.  He carved it on the day the expedition group set up camp by the edge of the Adelaide River.

Amazing how obvious the font is….

It is hard not to love these trees. I even felt inspired to do a bit of ‘Boab Art'….

We drove down some of the Gibb River Road (famous for diehard four wheel drivers) and visited Emma Gorge and El Questro Station.

 Bushwalking in hot conditions seems to be getting easier.  Mum is finally ‘manning up’ and actually enjoying the walks.  (Kylee I might be ready for Bikram Yoga when we get back)

At the end of a rocky, steepish climb in Emma Gorge we enjoyed a nice cool swim and some had a frolic in the waterfall. Very refreshing!

Socially we had a great time in Kununurra. We were able to catch up with some Brisbane friends Gordon and Lesley who work for Rio Tinto and FLY in and out of the mine everyday! Great way to travel to work guys! Thanks for a lovely meal and it was great to learn more about your life in Kununurra.

Many thanks to Darren and Janine (friends of our friends the Langes) for the invite to enjoy a cruise on the great Ord River in a lounge boat.

Quite possibly one of the best highlights for the kids was being towed behind the boat on a large tube thingy. It was funny watching them all gaining confidence and eventually standing up and ‘tube surfing’ down the Ord.

Go Girls!!

It was lovely to see the sun setting over the Ord on the way home. 

Kununurra offers some great lifestyle is a shame we only had a few days to enjoy it. Hopefully we will get a chance to come back some day.