Kimberley Trip Planning and Communications

Submitted: Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 21:26
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Hi EO'rs
We are planning our 8 week Kimberley Holiday and are planning to leave mid May. We are travelling pretty much alone but I reckon that there will be some other people up there that we might run in to at some point. Will go up to Mitchell Falls and Kalumburu and Cape Leveque and Middle Lagoon etc..... surely there will be someone up there... hahaha

We went to Cape York in 2003 and met people all along the way on the road and didn't really need any whiz bang communications stuff - one of the people we were with had a Satellite phone.

I am not convinced that we really need a Sat phone or an HF radio - I am sure that they would be nice but I don't imagine that we will really need them. I see that you can buy a Sat phone for about $800 on Ebay and I guess you can sell it after your trip if you don't still want it. An HF radio would also be nice but they seem pretty complicated for a simple mind like mine to fathom - maybe I should ask my 11 year old son......

So........do we need something......I will probably take a bit of a first aid kit - bandaids and panadol and that sort of stuff. Also what has the wet been like up there this year? Any good spots to put in our tinnie and have a fish?

Less than three months now ........ and counting down....

Andrew
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Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 22:15

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 22:15
Andrew,

A UHF is all you need but a Sat Phone would be handy if the budget will go that far.
Cape Leveque would be great to put the tinny in however in all the places that are good to go fishing you can always hire a tinnie. Just have to crunch some numbers, extra fuel, trailer breakdown wear and tear.

The road to Mitchell Falls would have to be the worst road, no it can't be called a road. The corruations to the Falls are horrendous.
You have been to Cape York, well that is nothing, from the King Edward River turn off it is about 70klm to the falls. It took us over 2hrs to go one way. Another convey took over 4hrs just to get there. The road is very winding and you just can not get the speed up to skip over the corruations.

Kalumburu is about 120klm from King Edward River turn off.
We got there at 11am paid the $35 per vehicle to enter the town. At 11-30 am the whole town shut, and I mean the whole town. The shop, the servo, everthing.The town reopens at 2-30 pm when we have to leave.
The bakery no longer runs and the Church is closed.
We went to have a look at the beaches,AKA tip, and they wanted to charge us to $5 to have a look at the beach and $25 to fish.
Make up your own mind on this one.

Cape Leveque is the place to stay, Just like Broome with out all the buildings and people. Caravans are not permited and the road is in the middle of being tared.

There are plenty of gorges to visit up there and all are worth the trip off the main road.
You will not be alone up there as this is the main time that people travel in that area, might even see you up there.

Wayne
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Follow Up By: Willem - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 22:23

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 22:23
Geez everything was free when we were there in '86. Were even told where the best fishing spots were. Times change.
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Follow Up By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 07:27

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 07:27
We would like to go there and don't mind paying but as long as you don't feel you are being ripped off. Having to pay to look at the beach or $25 to fish sounds a bit much!
Andrew
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Reply By: Willem - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 22:16

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 22:16
People like you who get bogged at their campsite need all the help they can get...hahahahahaha. Remember the Flinders in October? Never know when you need comms
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 22:21

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 22:21
I guess thay could always ring you Willem if they get bogged.

I'm sure you would love the excuse to go get them out LOL.
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Follow Up By: Willem - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 22:29

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 22:29
BUt I will be at the other end of WA at that time. They will have to rescue themselves. Could sell them a Satphone for say $750? What do you think?
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 22:41

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 22:41
Hmmm $750.00 sound like a cheap sat Phone to me.

Maybe they could at least phone you for advise, Like "Where do I attach the snatch strap " LOL
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Follow Up By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 07:27

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 07:27
Attach a wot?
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Reply By: jenkie - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 22:19

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 22:19
Hi
Looking roward to responses. We are in the same boat as you. Will be travelling to Wa from south to north leaving Brisbane in April and Returning in JUly. Travelling with a boat on top of a Trackabout Camper Trailer behind a Nissan GU Patrol. Hope to see you on the road.
Our thoughts are do we really need in car aerial for the CDMA phone, do we need a GPS, a new UHF receiver as we have the old Cb. Although we have been told it is great to have an in car one and a hands free one so that when we hook up the trailer u use the hand held one to tell the driver where to go to hook up to the off road hitch which can be a pain in the a... to hook up. What type of folding boat trailer to take so that we can launch the boat easier in croc rivers. Really hated launching the boat from the top of the car and fitting the motor ect at the rivers edge back then.
We travelled in the northern parts of Austustria from 1990 to 1994 without these items with no problems but alas that was 10- 15 years ago. Gee its great when the kids finish high school and leave home so that u can travel again.
Our trip less than 8 weeks with heaps of plannign still to be done
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Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 22:43

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 22:43
Jenkie,

A good UHF in the vehicle is really the way to go. As for backing the vehicle to hitch up the trailer, a cheap $25 would do. The person who is doing the guiding uses the hand held while the driver has the in car unit to listen to.

If the CDMA can get a signal then a car aerial will not be required. You will not get that much more range.

Wayne
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Follow Up By: tessa_51 - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 08:13

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 08:13
Jenkie
I have to disagree with Wayne. I travelled down the West Coast and across the Nullabor last year with a guy who had a CDMA with external aerial. His coverage was phenomenal. Had a signal virtually from Kununurra to Perth. Across the Nullabor there was about 120km's where he had no signal. What brought it home to me was the number of local vehicles in country areas which now have CDMA aerials in place of HF aerials. Hardly saw a HF aerial from Broken Hill to Dubbo, everyone is using CDMA.
Tessa
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Follow Up By: Willem - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 18:30

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 18:30
Yes Tessa, CDMA is quite good on highways and some byways if you have a very good antenna connected, but in remote places it is worth nothing. Try making a CDMA call from Mitchell Falls, Sandy Blight Junction, Purnie Bore or Mungerannie Pub and about ten thousand other places in between.

Maybe if Telstra were to connect the CDMA network through a satellite then things would chance and the use of HF and the like will become obsolete. This of course may still happen in the future. Who knows?

For the time being I will keep my HF and Satphone, and the CDMA :o)
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Follow Up By: tessa_51 - Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 08:22

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 08:22
Willem
Yes I agree with what you are saying. I was simply making the point that a good cdma aerial can dramatically increase your coverage.

Tessa
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Reply By: Kimberly Kruiser - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 22:37

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 22:37
Communications, well thats really up to what you feel comfortable with. As a bare minimum I would have at least a good UHF set.
First Aid Kit I would suggest that you have something a bit better than basic and the knowledge to use it. Just remember that from where you intend to travel there will be times that you will be a long way from immediate medical assistance and without sounding pesamistic there is lots of things that can happen, specially when tempting my old mate Murphy.
Wet season. Well we haven't had a wet yet this year (Kununurra area) just enough moisture to green things up but not restrictive to bush activities as yet. That might or might not change before the tourist season. There's always somewhere to put a tinnie in and have a fish but the dry is not the most opportune time to guarantee any fish action.(Thats why we like the build up, wet season. Plenty of fish and few tourists as opposed to plenty of tourists and few fish).
Have a good trip and I'm sure you will love the adventure and landscape.

Regards WAL
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 22:45

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 22:45
Wal first Aid experience may be a problem for Andrew, especially if someone need brain surgery. LOL.
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Follow Up By: Willem - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 22:48

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 22:48
The fella posting this thread is in the medical game(he can explain it better) but a novice at most things. Quite a likeable bloke though :o)

We spent a while in Kununurra working at Kona CP circa 1982. I remember March being particularly hot and sultry with little rain. Enjoyed our time there.
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Follow Up By: Kimberly Kruiser - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 23:02

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 23:02
John/Willem
You can probably tell I'm quite good at opening my mouth to change feet. Also my luck would dictate that he was in the vehicle 10km in front of me instead of 10km behind if I needed medical assistance in the scrub. (Murphy is a close aquaintance of mine).

Yeah theres been plenty of !loody hot and sultry weather with little rain all season and getting a little beyond being funny.

Regards WAL
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Follow Up By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 07:36

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 07:36
Hi Kimberly Kruiser - we do have a good UHF set and my first aid kit is pretty good and I know how to use it. Though if you have a serious accident it would be good to communicate with someone - or if you get bogged in camp (Willie has a long memory!!).

Would love to come up there in the wet though I hate sleeping in hot and humid weather though I can cope with it during the day. Plenty of tourists and few fish does not sound the best odds though we will have a great time even if no fish.

Thanks for your advice WAL. Hopefully you will get some rain soon.

Andrew
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Reply By: Des Lexic - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 23:02

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 23:02
G'day Doc Holliday, If your passage to the NorthWest is via the Tanami Rd then down to Broome and onwards and upwards along the Gibb River Rd, up to Mitchell Plateau then back to Kunnannurra etc or vica versa, I don't think you will need a Sat phone or UHF. (You could always hire same anyway) There should be sufficient traffic to render assistance if required and if Jen dons the bikini and flags down a passing local whileyou and the kids are hiding in the bush, you will get the car fixed really well.
Have a great trip you lucky bugger.
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Follow Up By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 07:37

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 07:37
Now you are going away too aren't you?? I assume you are talking about HF - we have a good in car UHF.

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Des Lexic - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 09:45

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 09:45
OK OK OK You know i'm deslexic and you know I meant HF
The other spot can accommadate 3 or 4 vehicles
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Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 23:18

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 23:18
Andrew,

Just thought of a couple of more things.

Which way do you plan to go?

From the south via Broome, from the east Katherine or from Alice Springs?

How much do you want too see,
The Bungles,
Kununurra,
Lake Argyle,
Zebra Rock Gallery,
El Questro,
Gibb River Road,
Drysdale River Station,
King Edward River and the Aboriginal burial sites,
Mitchell Falls,
Kalumburu,
Manning Gorge,
Bell Gorge,
Windjana Gorge,
Derby,
Broom,
Cable Beach,
Cape Leveque,
Beagle Bay,
Fitzroy Crossing,
Geike Gorge,
Old Halls Creek.

Wayne
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Follow Up By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 07:46

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 07:46
Hi Wayne

Good list of things to see and most are on our list though will have to have a look up about Zebra Rock Gallery. We are going up the Tanami from Alice and then doing the GRR from East to West and then we are going to fly home from Broome and my parents are going to drive back to Darwin and then down the centre and home over about 8 weeks.

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 16:16

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 16:16
Hi Wayne,

Why did you leave Walcott Inlet off your list?

Also someone told me there is a place up there where you can collect crayfish at low tide - is this a myth or so dam good that people die if told the location. Anyone know where this is?

Be up there August/Sept

Kind regards
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Follow Up By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 16:22

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 16:22
Gosh Beatit, if anyone tells me a place where I can walk along the beach and collect crayfish at low tide, I would be ready to lay down and die with a smile on my dial.
Andrew
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Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 16:32

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 16:32
G'day Andrew,

Yeah I know it sounds sus but it came from a friend of a friend who spent considerable time as a guide up there - so it seemingly had some credebility.

I'm trying to nail this guy down and being a suspicious sort of person I guess it might be a closely guarded secret because both you and I and probably some others (half the country) may take up permanent residence at the spot.

Kind regards
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Reply By: Member Eric - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 07:36

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 07:36
Hi guys , How long are you going for ? If your going to be back before 20th of June , your welcome to borrow my sat phone. It just sits in the cubord and collects dust when I am not on trips . Let me know if you want it and ill drop it off for you .
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Follow Up By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 07:43

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 07:43
We will be away from 14th May to 9th July so unfortunately sounds like it will not be a goer. Where are you off too then? Birdsville? Thanks for the offer though!

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Member Eric - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 07:59

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 07:59
shame about the cross over in dates , yes doing a Simpson crossing West East , including Coober Pedy and then the usuall stops . leaving the 24th (school holidays )
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Follow Up By: Willem - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 18:33

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 18:33
I should be back from WA by the 24th June, Eric.

So if you lend Andrew your Satphone, you can borrow mine on the way past to Coober.
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Follow Up By: Member Eric - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 22:14

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 22:14
No problems there Willem , sounds like a plan . Let me know Andrew
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Follow Up By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 07:02

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 07:02
There are some gorgeous beautiful people out there.... just so spunky looking ....Eric, Willem (I have photos to prove it) and two other guys. The other folks offered us their Satphone too and they don't need it for the time that they are away so will likely take up there offer and save you and Willem exchanging etc.... just so lovely all of you .... a tear is welling up........
Andrew
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Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 20:19

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 20:19
Awwww shucks Andrew

Just as well that you have another offer as I got my dates mixed up a bit. We are including the EO meet at Birdsville and will only be home by mid July
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Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 07:44

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 07:44
Burke and Wills didn't have pooncey satphones, UHF, HF, GPS, epirb or a car for that matter - they seemed to manage OK.
AnswerID: 99441

Follow Up By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 07:49

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 07:49
Yep that is right Bob - we were going to walk and take camels but Jen reckoned that it was a bit far for 8 weeks. We also would like to come back so will stick with the car. Agree that they did manage very well apart from death!

Get that tongue out of your cheek!!

Andrew
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Follow Up By: Willem - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 18:19

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 18:19
And if, by some slim chance, they had been driving a Landrover....................who knows what their fate might have been....hahahahaha
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Reply By: Squizzy - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 08:04

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 08:04
We will also be up there along with half of the forum by the sounds of it.

We will be in Kununurra around end of April to commence the WA part of our trip.
Maybe we'll run into some of you people up there.
We will be doing most of the areas on the previous replies.

Geoff.
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Reply By: Member - Andrew R (VIC) - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 08:29

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 08:29
Two tin cans and a piece of string works OK for me.
You'll be right Mate!
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Follow Up By: Big Kidz (Andrew & Jen) - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 09:57

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 09:57
Back on the tools son.....
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew R (VIC) - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 10:23

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 10:23
Sorry Boss!
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Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 16:25

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 16:25
G'day,

I'm surprised that no one mentioned an EPIRB.

I am reminded of those poor folk (or croc - he ended up dead) at Cape Melville, what saved them was an EPIRB and off course the GLOCK didn't go astray. Can't beat one of these in a real medical emergency though.

Plan on taking mine when I go in July, much like you will take the tinnie and be running all over the place figured a hand held GPS might also help get me back to camp and a hand held UHF to call camp.

Kind regards
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Reply By: GOB & denny vic member - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 17:46

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 17:46
goodday people
my recomendation is to take some form of long distance communication after hiring a hf set before we went i bought a 2nd hand 1 (2xs hire rate more than 2nd hand unit) it can also double as a form of evening entertainment but there are some very lonely places out there and just a reassuring voice sometimes is a help and if you have a problem hf can sometimes get you a hand not to far away

steve
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Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 20:50

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 20:50
Andrew,

The Zebra Rock Gallery is located just outside Kununurra, there are plenty of signs.

The rock is mined in Lake Argyle and is thousands of years old. It get it's name from the different colour strips that are on the clay base rock. The colour strips range from a light tan to a almost black stripe on a white base. This is the only place in the world that it is found.

Because it is a clay it can be machined and polished and made into a lot of different shapes.

Well worth the stop, we spend at least a hour there.

Wayne
AnswerID: 99556

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