A Travellerspoint blog

Sunday 16th July - Fitzroy Crossing to Derby WA.

sunny 32 °C

Sunday 16th July - Fitzroy Crossing to Derby WA

We didn't have a very big day of travel today with only 257kms to Derby. So after breakfast we checked out of our very expensive accommodation, and went for a look at Gieke Gorge Nat Park. Only 20 kms from Fitzroy Crossing, we did a 1 hr walk along the Fitzroy river spotting large wallabies, archer fish in the still waters and about 6 small freshwater crocs. One was even stalking a mob of spoonbills on the shore. Unfortunately, you can't do a walking trail along the Gorge. You have to PAY for that experience on a boat cruise. We gave it a miss.


After a quick refuel, we turned the bikes out onto the Great Northern Hwy and north to Derby. I stopped for a pic of a giant Boab tree, then another stop at Myall's Bore, which is on one of the stock routes into Derby. There is also the Boab Prison Tree, which was a rest stop for troopers with prisoners and blackbirders with kidnapped aboriginal men. There is also the longest water trough in the Southern Hemisphere. It's said to be able to water 500 bullocks at a time and is 120m long.
Then into Derby where we got a good shady campsite at a van park.
Booked a table at the Wharf Cafe for dinner as it is busy tourist season. I did a bit of fishing off the Wharf while chatting to an old speedway rider from Townsville. It's amazing the people you connect with on the road.
No .... no fish again!
Back to camp by 8:30pm for a red or two, then .......


Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 17:53 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Saturday 15th July - Kununurra to Fitzroy Crossing.

sunny 31 °C

Saturday 15th July - Kununurra to Fitzroy Crossing.

As we had a big day on the bikes, (650kms) we were up before the sun to pack up. But we still weren't on the road until 9:00am. Fuelled up and turned the bikes ever westerly. 1st stop was at Doon Doon Roadhouse only 105kms from Kununurra. But it was a fuel requirement to get to Halls Creek. It seems the WA govt is intent on stopping the westerly march of the cane toads from Qld. They go to all sorts of measures to erradicate them.


Then through Warmun and on to Halls Creek. Lots of wild horses in this area with huge amounts of dung along the roadside. We only saw 3 brumbies though. The countryside is in great condition due to the record wet season earlier in the year. Another refuel at Halls Creek and we noticed the countryside was getting harder with the native grasses giving way to spinifex country. The leg from Halls Creek to Fitzroy Crossing was 288 kms with no fuel in between. We did it in one stint and arrived in Fitzroy Crossing at 4:15pm. Checked into our digs, a cabin in a van park for $190/nt. (ouch) then we went down to The Crossing Inn for dinner. The bar reminded me of the "Snake Pit" in Mt Isa from the 80s, but we were directed to the restaurant which was quite nice with a great outdoor garden area where we ordered dinner. Food was good as we chatted to some locals.
Back at our cabin, I caught up on my blog and then an early night.


Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 06:29 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Friday 14th July - cruising Lake Argyle.

sunny 32 °C

Friday 14th July - Cruising Lake Argyle

We had booked a cruise for today. A cruise on Lake Argyle aboard the Kimberley Cat, a 50 ft sailing catamaran. We were picked up by bus from the Ivanhoe van park at 10:30am, and travelled the 70kms to Lake Argyle. Then a surprise with a stop at the Durack Homestead.


The Durack family were the pioneers of the East Kimberley region when they drove thousands of head of cattle from central Queensland to the Kimberley and established themselves in one of the remotest parts of the Australian continent. Have a read of the classic Australian story, "Kings in Grass Castles" written by Mary Durack. The Homestead is now a museum and was relocated from its original site on Argyle Station, which now lies below Lake Argyle. The stone Homestead was dismantled stone by stone, all numbered, and then rebuilt in detail on its present site. Fascinating history.

We then crossed the Argyle Dam wall, which is a clay and rock wall. It is surprisingly small considering it holds back over 1000 sq.kms of water in Lake Argyle. We boarded the Kimberley Cat and set off for a relaxing day cruising the waters of the lake. We got lucky as there were only 10 guests aboard, which made the day very comfortable with plenty of room for everyone to spread out.


Spectacular scenery with the red rocky hills framing the lake. It was a perfectly calm day with a mirror finish on the water. Lunch was served on board and then we stopped for a swim, spotted some wildlife, including freshies (freshwater crocodiles) and some kangaroos on the shore. Also egrets, darters and pelicans. Late in the afternoon we watched a beautiful sunset from the yacht as the sun sank behind the red hills. We again boarded our bus for the 1 hr trip back to Kununurra. A great day out.
In camp, we had a light dinner of whatever we could find in the tucker box. Andrew hit the sack early and our next door neighbour (Brian) came over and had a few drinks with me. The Kununurra show was on just over the road and we watched the fireworks from the comfort of our camp chairs.
Late to bed after too many reds with Brian.


Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 05:56 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Thursday 13th July - A day in Kununurra

sunny 33 °C

Thursday 13th July - A day in Kununurra

We had to do a tyre change on our bikes today. Clint had arranged a motorcycle dealer where we could use their workshop and have new Dunlops fitted. Had a lazy start and went to the Dealer at 10:00am. Mick, the owner was a great bloke and gave us the run of his workshop. Then fitted the new tyres for us. I only had to do a front as I had changed the rear in Darwin. Andrew did both. We did some shopping and then had a lazy arvo around camp. Cooked some burgers for dinner on the park BBQ. Listened to some music 'till late and then.......


Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 05:51 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Wednesday 12th July - Kununurra & Wyndham area.

sunny 34 °C

Wednesday 12th July - Kununurra and Wyndham.

Didn't have to get up early, but I did. Set up my fishing gear and headed out to the Dunham River, just 6kms west of Kununurra. Tossed lures for an hour or so for no result again. Watched the sunrise on the river which is always nice. I then went to Ivanhoe Crossing, a concrete causeway across the ORD River. It's a hot spot for Barra fishermen. There was one bloke standing in 70cms of fast water on the crossing and had landed a 80cm Barra that morning. But not for me, as there's too many crocs in this river. Back at camp fo brekkie, and Andrew and I decided to go to Wyndham. Headed north along the Great Northern Hwy, turned off onto the Gibb River Rd to try and get to Emma Gorge. Good bitumen to the turn off but the dirt road in was a bit rough, so we turned around. Getting hot too, with the temp in the low 30s. Got to Wyndham for a look around. Checked out the port area. Wyndham has always been the main port for the East Kimberley region with the main export being beef and live cattle. There was once a huge meatworks in Wyndham as well. It's now a pretty sleepy little town with the main activity being tourism. Had some lunch at the Rusty Shed cafe. A great little cafe with great food. Got some great views and photos from the 5 Rivers Lookout, then headed back the 100kms to Kununurra.
A bit of grocery shopping, some grog shopping and we later walked into town for dinner and to watch the State of Origin footy match. A free sausage sizzle at the pub made it a cheap night. Queensland smashed the Blues to clinch the series 2 games to 1. "Go you Queenslanders".
A great night after a 300km day on the bikes.


Posted by PETERnHILAIRE 07:17 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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