Kimberley Trip Week 4

Sunday, Jul 20, 2008 at 21:30

Member - Hayjude (NSW)

Week 4:

Day 24: Monday 14 July 2008

Slept in – 6am. Coffee and stripped bed and did 3 loads of washing. 4 machines in the amenities block. Very clean caravan park with a swimming pool. Largest boab tree located in the caravan park. Donkey roaming around munching on the grass, very friendly. $25 per night. Diesel is only $1.88 per litre. Servo at the information centre is pretty well stocked and very friendly people. Drove around and had a look at the old Port.5 Rivers Lookout is very impressive and we will go up again tonight to watch the sunset. Thought we would have lunch at the Community Centre but apparently they don’t open on Mondays. Jordan rang while we were there to say he had to put his dog Max down. Stocked up on beer and ice and went to the pub at the Port. Very pricey meals so decided to go back to camp and have a sandwich. Had a look through the Museum and it was worth it. Very interesting. Went for a walk down the old Jetty and there were 6 little aboriginal kids naked playing near the water having a mud fight. Headed up to the 5 Rivers lookout at 5.15 to watch the sunset. Lovely view. Met a couple from Karratha Joel and Michelle and their two young boys. They were staying at the same park as us so came and had a chat and a few drinks. Early to bed. We had had tea from the burger bar based at the Caravan Park the night before and it was huge.

Day 25: Tuesday 15 July 2008

Packed up and had a shower and called into the Bakery for coffee and a home made pie. Lovely. On the road by 7.30am. Took the back road to Kununnara on Parry’s Lagoon Road. Mamba’s boat ramp was very good. Right on the Ord River. Huge. 3 campers parked on the bank. 4 gates to go through and came upon a couple who had shredded their rear tyre. Helped them and were on our way. Got to the Ivanhoe Crossing and went through the small crossing and the gate was shut on the other side and about 8 cars watching. Turned around and took the Valentine Springs road into Kununnara. Booked into the Big 4 Ivanhoe Crossing Caravan Park for 3 nights. Went to Zebra Rock Gallery and it’s a remarkable place. Then had to go the Top End Auto Electrics to get the Anderson Plug replaced as it had disappeared on the trip over. Thanks to Dave and Luke who had it replaced in less than ½ hour and a reasonable price. Back to town and had a look at the shops and bought souvenirs. Went to the Kununnara Hotel where we met a couple from Byron Bay who are on their way to Broome to visit their daughter for a week. Trevor and Chris own a butchers shop. Had a few drinks with them and got ice at the BP. Deb had rang earlier in the day and they were at Tennant Creek. PB is crook with food poisoning. Laid up in the Caravan Park. He rang while we were at the servo and he is not too bad now. Back to the Caravan Park for a shower and see if we can get tea at the Kununnara Hotel. Completely booked out as Darryl Braithwaite and Adam Brand were performing there that night. Ended up at Gulliver’s Carvery (very well priced) outdoor eating area but still can’t get in with thongs after 6pm. Met Brad there who had been staying at the Wyndham Caravan Park with his blue heeler traveling around. He said the Hotel wasn’t that good for food anyway. Later that night you could hear the music from the Caravan Park.

Day 26: Wednesday 16 July 2008

2 washing machines broken down so I walked to the other end of the Park only to discover they took a $2 coin so back again to scrounge around for change. Facilities are very clean and they have music playing in the amenities block. Very soothing. Went to Ivanhoe Crossing and Hayd got his jollies going across while I stayed ashore and took photos and video. Reluctantly I went for a ride for a second go. Old Squizzy rang and said to call in to his workplace to say hello. Did that and he was flat out. Gave us his home number to ring tonight as he was going to download some maps for us. No worries. Did some shopping for essentials and grabbed a couple of rolls and cold meat and went for a drive to have a look at Point Springs as per Ron and Viv Moon’s Kimberley Book. We headed off and ended up in NT at Legune Station boundary in which you can’t go any further. Marralum community looks as though it is deserted. There was some burning off of side on the road and as we got closer there were hundreds of hawks and crows on the road and in the trees. Must have been waiting for a feed. Reminded me of a scene from the movie ‘The Birds’. Hayd walked across Keep River and we then drove across and had lunch under a tree on the other side. Didn’t see any crocs and the water was fresh even though it seemed not far from Keep River Mouth. Still and all a lovely drive. Road was great except for the odd sharp stone and scenery through Pincombe Ranges was lovely. Got back just on dark and tried to ring Old Squizzy but the phone just rang out so he was probably till working. Hopefully will catch up with him another time. Cooked tea at the camp kitchen.

Day 27: Thursday 17 July 2008

Pay week so the natives were restless last night . Went to the Information Centre to see about a flight and drive through the Bungle. Can’t do flight and walk. Went to Kelly’s Knob Lookout. Lovely view. Coffee and morning tea/lunch at the Mall. Waited for the bus at the front of the Caravan Park. Dave our coach driver is from Bourke. Very informative. Running late because some people turned up late. So 10 mins at Argyle Station, 10 mins at the Village and 10 mins at the Lookout. The leafless trees with the yellow flowers and fruit like pods are Kapoka. They used to take the stuffing out of the pods to fill pillows and mattresses in the old days. Purple flowering grevillea are called Kimberley Heather. Arygyle Station was very interesting. They dismantled it stone by stone and numbered them and reassembled it higher up. The water came up too quick and had covered everything within two days. The kitchen, saddlery and machinery shed is now at the bottom of Lake Argyle complete with everything in it. Grave sites in the garden and two bower birds nests just outside the front door under a tree.
Onto the boat for a great trip down the Ord and Lake Kununnara. So much water, Geoff out boat captain was very informative also. Cost us $145 ea from 11.30 to 5.30, pick up and dropped off from our Caravan Park. Pumpkin scones, apple muffins, fruit and tea and coffee and cold drinks at their little camp site about 4pm. Very nice set up. Off up a couple of little creeks. Then watched the sun set on Lake Kununnura. Bit hard to get good photos as everyone kept standing up and going to the front. Dropped off at the Caravan Park and went and visited Steve and Anna who were staying at Kununnura as well. They saw our Exploroz sticker and made themselves known. Lovely friendly people and enjoyed an evening with them.

Day 28: Friday 18 July 2008

Up early and packed up, had a shower and headed off. We weren’t even to the town centre and could hear air coming from the rear tyre. Split in the tyre wall. Changed the tyre and went to Bridgestone. The spare tyre under the car was brand new so we put that and the new tyre on the steer. Thanks to Tony Barker at Bridgestone for his prompt service in getting us back on the road as quick as possible. Went to the BP for coffee as Hayd needed calming down but alas their coffee machine was broken down so we opted for an ordinary coffee, but the jug tripped everything out so because we were so far behind time we didn’t worry about it. (which made Hayd even happier)
Came across half a dozen old Chamberlain 9G tractors towing caravans. They are traveling around Australia. They are in excellent condition and good luck to the drivers.

Called into Turkey Creek to see if we could get a helicopter flight over the Bungles, too expensive ($465 each) for just the two of us and no one else on the books, so we decided against it. Pulled up at the turnoff to the Bungles and spoke to a couple who had just come out. They said the road was OK so as it was only midday we went in. Few corrugations, 2 bulldust patches and a few creek crossings. (Compared to Mitchell Falls it was a highway and no worries for a camper trailer but just take your time and it took us roughly two hours to get to the Information Centre.) $10 each and $10 for camping fees and headed straight to the airstrip. Booked an 18 minute flight at 3.30pm.Young bloke from Heliworks took us and it was great. Nice time of the day for spectacular views especially when the helicopter is flying sideways. This cost $185 each. Well worth every cent. Drove to Walardi camp and it was chockas and then we saw Steve and Anna from last night. They offered to share their campsite so we set up camp and we to the lookout about 2 kms from the camp to watch the reflection of the sun setting on the bungles. I couldn’t believe the amount of people sitting in their chairs reading a bloody book while the rocks changed colours. Go to a Library. Extra bonus was the full moon coming up over the rocks approximately 5 mins after the sun set. STUNNING. Went back to camp and had a few beers, laughs, nibblies and tea with Steve and Anna. In bed by 9.30. Another very enjoyable evening again.

Day 29: Saturday 19 July 2008

Packed up and ready to go by 6.15am. Said goodbye to Steve (Anna still asleep) (when you read this Steve and Anna, drive safe and have a great holiday) and realized we had left the car keys in the pocket near the bed in the camper. Luckily I had a spare set because we didn’t want to unpack everything again. Saw a few roos and lovely green parrot with red underwings. Don’t know what they are but if anyone can enlighten us please do so.
Road works on the road to Hall’s Creek, no major dramas though. Message from PB and Deb saying they arrived home at 6.30pm last night. Fuel at Hall’s Creek has gone up 8 cents per litre since we came through 4 weeks ago. Road was good. Had a look at Palm Springs on the Duncan Road then turned off onto the Buntine Highway. Saw donkeys on the road and flocks of lovely little green lorikeets. Thought we would stay at Kalkaringi but when we got there we changed our mind. Didn’t see one person, 1 dog and the Police Station had a sign saying No Access, Police Vehicles only. About 2 kms out of town there were 2 girls walking along the side of the road and about 5kms later there were 2 men walking and then about 10kms there were about 4-5 more. Hit the alcohol exclusion zone and you could have built a house out of the VB cans scattered around. One track bitumen road (good road though), passed 3 cars along the way, one was a ute with 3 in the front and 5 in the back. Very scary. Got to Top Springs as it was just on dark decided to get a room. Bungalow rooms, 2 single beds, $60 night. Didn’t care. Had a hot shower and it was good. Few beers in the bar and tea. AND WHAT A TEA. Huge steaks and plate overflowing with salad. Great value. Noisy night and MOZZIES, MOZZIES, MOZZIES. Had to put the air conditioner on just after midnight just to keep them at bay.

Alcohol may be man's worst enemy but the bible says love your enemy
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