Monday, 24 June 2019

Kimberleys Trip 24 June 2019

We were very snug and warm in bed, and the temperature was 6oC outside. Keen to get going we were off home before 8am. At some points we were driving directly into the sun as we were driving east. We took a Fuel & toilet break at Emerald. 

"The Sunflowers" in Emerald

An Emu was in the paddock right on the edge of Blackwater. We stopped at Bluff for morning tea, and just after Dingo, (the town), a Bustard was walking towards the road. 

Minions beside the road

Unfortunately, with only 123km to go and we got a big hit on the windscreen as a truck went past, but luckily only got a star. As we were coming into Rocky there were clouds which looked as though there might be a shower. Once again it was lovely to be away, but even better to get home!

A bit of the red dust we 'collected' on the took days of cleaning and I'm pretty sure we still haven't got it all out!

We travelled 12,611km in total. 

The most stunning things on the trip, for me, were:
Goosses Bluff - biggest crater in Australia from a comet
Uluru & the Olgas. 
The Devil's Marbles
The Bungle Bungles - Echidna Chasm & Beehives - helicopter flight
Seeing a Thorny Devil
Tunnel Gorge
Winjana Gorge

 To see all photos and videos click here
To see all photos and videos click here

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Kimberleys Trip 23 June 2019

My thermometer said it was -1.6oC! But at least there was no wind. Darryl didn't believe me about the temperature but we spoke to a truckie who pulled up and he said it was -1oC in Winton. We packed up pretty early and left by 8:10am, seeing our first sheep after the jump-ups about 60km north of Winton. 

Roly-poly grass caught on the fenceposts

Dead flat out here

Flocks of finches were warming themselves on the road, a pair of Bustards were looking around, and we also saw Grey storks in a waterhole, Pelicans in a dam, and a sole Emu in a flat paddock. There were lots and lots of dead roos and wallabies, but we did see one live one sheltering under a tree. Pair of grey brolgas on a red fire-break looked stunning. We set up camp at Drummond Range lookout. 

A few other trucks and a van came in but they were only looking at the lookout and we ended up being the only ones at the spot. We were able to have a fire which was enjoyable.

Saturday, 22 June 2019

Kimberleys Trip 22 June 2019

We woke up to a cold morning of 4.2oC and 5.4oC by the time we got out of bed. The wind had died down a bit by morning, but it was hard to get going. Darryl used the metho stove for our coffee, and water for the thermos, but had a hard time getting it going. We decided to head straight home, but it was still 1588km to go. The shrubby wattle were in bloom beside the road on the road to Mt Isa. 

We stopped for a break at WWII Airfield rest stop. The scenery was gorgeous with lovely purple wildflowers, white grasses and yellow wattle against red cliffs. 

Mt Isa

The house with the big fence is where we lived, but you can't even see the house now

We were definitely on the lookout for huge cattle which eat cars

Fountain Springs Rest Area (half-way between Mt Isa & Cloncurry), looked interesting, (there is some sort of mining trail there I have never seen before), and might be worth looking at on another trip. I had forgotten how colourful the hills around Mt Isa/Cloncurry area look. 

We stopped at Kynuna Rest area, with 1010km to Rocky. 

Friday, 21 June 2019

Kimberleys Trip 21 June 2019

The morning was 15.4oC but it felt colder than the previous day due to the cold wind. I didn't have a very good night's sleep as there was a long hill and the trucks roared past all night, the wind flapped the canvas, then at around 9pm a car came in with dogs. They spent a long time parking, (one neighbour told us an hour!), then at some time in the middle of the night they let their dogs go and they came around us fighting, growling & barking. The owners packed up really early and left before anyone could say anything to them, but we weren't the only ones annoyed by their rudeness. We later saw there was a better place to stop on the southern side, on the east off the road but would have had no toilet or bins. 

One property had interesting fence strainers with several pickets, wire and filled with rocks. It made sense as there were rocks everywhere. We got fuel at 3-Ways and had an early lunch. Birdlife included 2 huge wedgetail eagles and later an emu. 

For our night camp we stopped at Avon Downs Rest Area. This was quite interesting as there is no town, but a police station across the road. The rest areas on the Barkly Highway were no-where near as busy as those on the Stuart Highway. We parked at the opposite end to the toilet, so it was a long hike, and the toilet needed a lot of maintenance. As we were out of gas Darryl started a fire to cook dinner. A van came in and a man called Jan came over for a chat by the fire. The wind was cold and buffeting. Interestingly, the Noisy Miners here have a lot more yellow colouring to what we have on the east coast.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Kimberleys Trip 20 June 2019

It was back down to 12oC, and we had a late-ish start at 9:30am, but were chatting to other neighbouring camper-trailer owners, Les & his wife from Victoria. We have travelled 10,000km in 4 weeks and 5 days. We encountered a few big flocks of galahs. Then we turned in to Mataranka Thermal Pools for a fantastic soak, while chatting to some tourists from Victoria, followed by morning tea. 

This shows how long the road-trains are out here

Daly Waters was our stop for fuel and a late lunch, and we made it to Newcastle Waters rest area for the night. It was pretty full, but we found a spot.

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Kimberleys Trip 19 June 2019

We had a lovely cool night, and the morning temperature was back down to about 18oC. There were very healthy looking cattle on the road, and we saw big flocks of Corellas. 

Darryl recovered his planted honey at Gregory Tree. I saw a saltwater croc on the Victoria River bank, and then a snake (a Tree snake I think), reared up high on the road. Darryl went to the right of him and he turned and went off the road. We stopped at Timber Creek for morning tea. The area is picturesque with impressive red layers of rock in the hills around it. The picnic area also has lots of bowerbirds. We travelled for a while with some of the vehicles from the Moscow Circus. Coming into Katherine we got our spot at Riverview Tourist Village and immediately went down to the Hot Springs to soak and relax. We have been at this park before, and it was only a short walk down to the river. I found out after going to bed that cousins Lynette & John were also in Katherine, but at a different van park. Our timetable unfortunately didn't allow a catch-up.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Kimberleys Trip 18 June 2019

It had been quite hot during the night, especially when we went to bed, and was 23.4oC in the morning. Darryl did some repairs then we packed up and went for a lovely stroll through the rock formations. 

A type of giant spinifex


A native bees nest, but it was too far away to see if there were any bees

This was a really enjoyable walk, and the formations were stunning, in fact some of the best we have seen. We visited Cockatoo Billabong but it was very dry. The Ranger said he thought it would dry up completely this year as the state it is in is what normally happens about November before the rains hit. I loved that the Ranger was so passionate about 'his' park. 

Cockatoos arrived as we were having morning tea under a shady tree, and there were spoonbills near the windmill, and a pelican. As we were coming to the highway I saw a man walking near his car and recognised Ian from Mackay. Darryl spoke to him and they were camping at Zebra Rock Mine which is where we were heading. It was 10km down the road then 5.5km in, and we were able to have hot bore-water showers which were wonderful. The story of this type of rock is amazing and the owners of the mining lease are very passionate about the rock, which as you can see is stunning. 

Apparently, it is the only place in the world that it is found, and all is found within 4km of this location. Staying here we are official fossickers, and it is encouraged down in the creek so I went down and found a few the evening we took our meal and wine up and sat around the communal fire chatting to other travellers. Ruth's daughter, Opal, showed me her pet blue-tongued lizard, which seemed completely oblivious to her generous affections. They also have a magificent black-headed python.