A Travellerspoint blog

At Kununurra

sunny 37 °C

Day 46
We went for a drive out through the irrigation area and first stop was at Ivanhoe Crossing. This was the original road from Wyndham to Darwin before the Diversion Dam was built at Kununurra.
Next stop was at the Kununurra Hoochery which makes rum and other spirits. Far too expensive for us.
We visited the factory which manufactures products using the Indian Sandalwood which is now the main crop in the irrigation area.
Back to the vans for lunch then a restful afternoon before a trip out to Kelly’s Knob for a sunset viewing. Unfortunately whilst the sun going down did look spectacular, the sunset itself wasn’t that colourful.

Went to the local markets this morning but didn’t buy anything. Filled the car with fuel. Bought Bread and a few groceries before returning to the vans.
Spent the afternoon resting.
Later, when it had cooled down a little we went to have a look at “Hidden Valley”. Some of the scenery was amazing.
I have only one complaint about this trip – I arranged everything else but left the weather to Pommy Bob and I’m afraid he has let us down. It has been stinking hot for the past week or more and we have just about had enough.
We’ll be leaving Kununurra tomorrow morning and don’t know when we will have internet access again so you will just have to hang on a wait for further instalments

Posted by Hiroes 03:25 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Days 42 to 44 Pine Creek to Katherine, Timber Creek, Victor

Day 42
We left Pine Creek really early this morning and after a good run we arrived at Katherine before 10 am so did some grocery shopping the had morning tea.
We walked the main street and had a look at some Aboriginal paintings then drove onto the Victoria Highway heading west, stopping at the Katherine Hot Springs for a swim. The water temperature was just right and we stayed in for about an hour or so.
We had lunch and then continued out journey westward. We called into a couple of rest areas but it was too early to stop so we kept going until we reached Matheson Rest Area. Not very level ground here but we are staying for the night nevertheless. The sunset tonight was spectacular.

Day 43
We left our nights stop over site and very soon down the road the scenery changed dramatically from the flat grasslands to very picturesque hills and rock outcrops.
First stop today was at the Victoria River Road House which is “Under New Ownership –cross out the Ownership and replace with New Wife”
We walked across the new bridge over the Victoria River which was opened in 2009 and back across the old bridge which is considerably lower and was want to flood during the wet season each year. The scenes from on the bridges were great.
We returned to the vans and had morning tea then before departing, took some photos of the escarpment at the back of the Roadhouse. Magnificent views.
We returned to the vans and had morning tea then before departing, took some photos of the escarpment at the back of the Roadhouse. Magnificent views.
On then to Timber Creek where we didn’t stop too long before driving out to Big Horse Creek Campground. It was stinking hot here and no shade so we decided to continue on to East Baines Rest Area where luckily there are some trees providing some shade and we will stay here for the night.
The sunset tonight was beautiful.

Day 44
Got away from our overnight spot fairly early and drove just a short way till we reached Saddle Creek Rest Area where we called in to check it out – a bit dusty but the scenery both on the way here and at the rest area was magnificent.
We drove on till we reached the Northern Territory-Western Australian border where we had a quarantine check. We lost one tomato, a lot of food scraps in our bin and Hiroe lost her much loved cardboard box and it had once held “Fresh Produce”. So, nothing disastrous.
We turned off the highway and drove about 35 km to Lake Argyle and had a look at the old Argyle Homestead which was taken apart and moved to higher ground before flooding of the dam.
We booked in to a sunset cruise on the Lake which started at 2.15 and lasted till just after 6.00 pm. It was absolutely great with the guide giving us a tremendous amount of information on the building of the dam 1969-71.
The dam is 55 km long and 40 km wide and is the largest fresh water lake in Australia.
Afternoon tea was provided and we saw many fresh water crocodiles, wallabies and birds.
At sunset the boat was stopped and many of the passengers went for a swim while nibbles and wine and beer were served.
We had a wonderful afternoon.
We drove out of town in the dark to a bush track we have used before to spend the night – it’s right near Matchbox creek.

Day 45
This morning we woke up at our normal time – it had got light but we discovered that since we had crossed the border into Western Australia, it was only 5.30 am.
We drove into Kununurra and after visiting the Info Centre, we booked into a caravan park and were lucky enough to get waterfront sites next to the lake.
We sat around and had lunch then went for a drive to try to obtain some local fresh fruit and vegetables. Not much luck now in Kununurra as most farms are now growing sandlewood and I can’t blame them with the returns they are getting.
We did some shopping at a supermarket before returning to the vans for afternoon tea. It is VERY hot here today. Luckily only 33 deg C in the van.
Took a photo of some rocks called The Sleeping Buddha from our caravan over the lake.
And then Bob and Hiroe getting ready for "Happy Hour"

Posted by Hiroes 02:48 Comments (2)

Days 40 and 41. Darwin to Litchfield National Park and Pine

sunny 36 °C

Day 40
We left Darwin this morning fairly early – First stop was at berry Springs where we all went for a swim. The water was wonderfully warm, especially under the small falls. We stayed here for about an hour. It was nice and quiet when we arrived but as time went on it became quite busy.
We continued south till Batchelor where we had lunch and a look at the miniature castle.
Onwards into Litchfield National Park and to look at some Magnetic Termite Mounds. The termites built their nest to minimise the effects of the sun by having the faces of the mounds showing the least exposure.
We continued on to Wangi Falls campground where we set up then went for a swim. The water was cooler here but since the weather had turned out very hot, it was quite a relief to cool off.
We had dinner tonight in a nice green grassed picnic area and cooked our meat on the free BBQ.

Day 41
We left Wangi Falls quite early since we wanted to do the walk to look at Tolmer Falls before it got TOO hot. The view from the top of the falls was very good and even though it was early, the walk back to the vans was a little uncomfortable.
The next stop was at Florence Falls. We had a look at them from the viewing platform then someone (I won’t mention any names, but he is an Englishman), suggested that we go all the way to the bottom and the Plunge Pool. It was OK going down – it was the coming back up that really counted. There were some youngish folk having a swim in the pool – it was spectacular. (the pool that is, not the young folk).120132012_Aug_2..e_Falls.jpg12012_Aug_2..e_Falls.jpg2012_Aug_2..ge_Pool.jpg2012_Aug_2..e_Falls.jpg12012_Aug_2..ge_Pool.jpg120132012_Aug_2..ge_Pool.jpg1201320132012_Aug_2..e_Falls.jpg
After we managed to climb back up to the top, we had morning tea before driving on to Adelaide River where we pulled up opposite the War Cemetery for a look around this very quiet and well cared for site where the casualties from the bombing of Darwin in Feb 1942 and subsequent bombings have been laid to rest.
We continued on till we reached Pine Creek and we decided to stop in the same caravan park as the one we stopped in on the way up to Kakadu and Darwin.

Posted by Hiroes 23:30 Archived in Australia Comments (3)

Days 36, 37, 38 and 39 in Darwin

sunny 34 °C

Day 36
Pommy Bob had a day to himself today – He went to have a round of golf.
We did some shopping and had lunch in the Casuarina Centre. We also visited Lee Point Beach (?). Like just about all of northern Australian beaches – it is a mud flat. Not very attractive, unless you are a crocodile and can hide in the mud. In a way it’s just as well they are not nice sandy beaches otherwise more folk might be tempted to go for a swim and become croc bait.

Day 37
After a slow start today, we had lunch then went to visit Fanny Bay Gaol.
For about a century, Fannie Bay Gaol was the premiere detention centre or jail in Darwin. This correctional institution was built in 1882 and it depicts the most important social histories of Northern Territory. It is also known to be the former Labour Prison and Her Majesty's Gaol in the city from September 1883 to September 1979.
The original architecture of this historical gaol composes two blocks with 16 stone cells, a washhouse and a dirty kitchen. However, during the late 1920's, there came a need for a particular cell for women prisoners and so a structure for this purpose was built. Soon after, another area was established for the purpose of keeping Aboriginal detainees. Furthermore, a remand section, a watch tower and maximum security wings were erected in the 1950s.
It was only in 1887 when the infirmary at the Fannie Bay Gaol was constructed. This area was, in 1952, devoted to final execution activities. Two Romanian immigrants, namely Jonus Nopoty and Jerry Coci, were executed here because they were found guilty murdering a local taxi driver.
Now a Museum
Today, one can freely visit the gaol for it now operates as a museum. Fannie Bay Gaol discontinued its operation in 1979 because the detainees were sent to the penal institution at Berrimah.
The gaol also had a centre to house children.
We then went to see the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre which is one of the major aviation museums in Australia. The Centre has an impressive presentation of aircraft and displays depicting the Territory’s involvement in aviation, both civil and military, from the early pioneers and record breakers through World War II and the jet age.
The major display item is a massive B-52 bomber on permanent loan from the United States Air Force and is one of only two on public display in the world outside the USA.
Next stop was at the new Darwin Rail Passenger terminal where the Ghan train arrives. This station is quite a way out of the city.

Day 38
Spent the morning having the car serviced and visiting Bunnings Hardware.
After lunch we drove Pommy Bob to the Auto Service Centre to pick up his car and then to the shopping centre so that Hiroe could have her hair cut. Looks good.
We went to Mindil markets late afternoon where we walked around the many stalls and had our evening meal there – Bob was amazed at the number of people and stalls.
There were quite a lot of people on the beach for sunset. We missed the actual event.
The last thing we did there was watch a performance of a didgeridoo player who attracted some local indigenous young folk who danced like you wouldn’t believe. It was wonderful to watch.
It was a great night out.

Day 39
This morning we spent relaxing around the campsite then after lunch we went back into Darwin and visited the Art Gallery and Museum.
There is an excellent collection of Aboriginal paintings here and well worth a look at. There was also an exhibition (TELSTRA) of Indigenous and Torres Straight work.
An exhibition of digital photography based on China was absolutely great. It must have taken quite a long time to compile and manipulate these photos which were huge, maybe 3 metres by 2 metres.
The Ships and boat collection hasn’t changed but we had a look anyway.
We had afternoon tea overlooking the sea before returning to the vans to finish tidying up before we leave here tomorrow morning.

Posted by Hiroes 01:52 Archived in Australia Tagged at - darwin days 39 26 Comments (0)

Days 33, 34 & 35 Adelaide River to Darwin for the next week

sunny 32 °C

Day 33
Last night the sunset was quite brilliant. There was quite a bit of smoke about from the winter burnoffs. Unfortunately most of the photos didn’t come out very well. It was difficult to focus.
This morning however, the smoke had cleared considerably.
We drove into Darwin this morning and booked into the Lee Point Van Park. After setting up we had lunch and then went shopping (seem to be doing a lot of that but when space in the caravan is limited and the fridge only holds so much and the beer has to take priority there that’s the way it is).
As well as food, we bought some shoes for Bob (the ones he was wearing were showing his toes at the side), and a TV mount for the van.
The Blog entries while we are in Darwin may be a bit sparse. We will just have to see what transpires.
Stay with us.

Day 34
Washed the car and the front of the caravan – they were rather filthy.
We went to Darwin today to have a look around the Stokes Wharf area and then to see Government House and Parliament House.
We went into Darwin City in the evening to see a Chinese exhibition and show as part of Darwin Festival. It wasn’t very good. We had dinner at a chicken shop before returning back to the vans.

Day 35
Cleaned the toilet gear and then visited a caravan spares shop to purchase some lower tank blue chemical and a hockie strp to go around the TV set when travelling now that it is mounted on a bracket. The shop we visited was amazing – they have just about everything you can think of for caravan use.
In the afternoon we went to have a look at East Point Reserve where the Military Museum is. We spent a couple of hours here. The displays were great and an audio/visual of the bombing of Darwin on the 19th February 1942 was absolutely fabulous.
We tried to get into see Fanny bay Gaol but it was closed so we continued on into Darwin City so that Pommy Bob could see through the WW2 Fuel Installation tunnels but they were closed as well.

Posted by Hiroes 02:30 Archived in Australia Comments (3)

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