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Published: September 16th 2016
Leaving Darwin and the good friends we have made there was so sad and especially saying farewell to our daughter Tessa. Working at the Northern Territory Wildlife Park, I know that she loves her job so that did make it a little easier for Pete and me.
Our first stop was at some hot springs in the middle of the bush and it was not only relaxing but amazing to just soak in this warm water in the middle of a river, chatting to other campers there. We were so lucky to spot a Jabaroo stork flying above us and not too lucky to spot a black snake exiting the water and up the bank only metres away from us!
We have been on the road five days now and slowly making our way south to Bunbury which is two hours drive south of Perth. We had forgotten how wonderful it is to be on the road and stopping whenever or where-ever we end up. There are apparently 85,000 people traveling around Australia in caravans and motorhomes etc and we certainly have seen quite a few on the road so far so these remote petrol stations and roadhouses certainly
won’t go out of business anytime soon.
Kununurra was our first stop west of Katherine where we climbed the local lookout and viewed the town from above and definitely worth the hike. At Derby we splurged on a rather expensive float plane ride to the Buccaneer archipelago to view as many as a 1000 small islands surrounded by turquoise blue water which was absolutely stunning. Landing on the water was a first for us and we then pulled up beside a huge pontoon in one of the bays where we snorkeled close to nursery sharks (with a glass window between us) before being taken out on a jet boat to view “The Horizontal Fall” where the ocean rushes between two narrow land points that the sheer volume of water creates at times a waterfall up to 5 metres in depth. It certainly was amazing going over the falls in a boat and there were many a ladies scream to be heard! The scenery up there is just spectacular and so so peaceful with just the odd croc lazily cruising around the mangroves.
Yesterday we splurged again and took an Aboriginal guided tour of Windjama gorge and Tunnel Creek
which involved many many kilometres of dirt road only possible by 4 wheel drive, ruling out our motorhome. It was a full day adventure and our guides were full of knowledge about the local area and what to show us. The gorge was amazing with at least 60 fresh water crocodiles swimming around the shallow river there only metres from out party. “Freshies” as they call them are not particularly aggressive so we felt fairly safe but still did not venture too close!
Tunnel Creek was the biggest cave I have ever been in requiring torches for most of the way, being one kilometre from end to end and required wading through thigh deep water in places. There were plenty of bats screeching from the ceiling and even a fresh water croc laying on the sand in the middle of the track at one stage but luckily there was ample room to walk around it. At the other end was a large opening so after relaxing for a while we then had to return the same way but this time not knowing whether there were other crocs in the water! I felt rather brave and also relieved when we
finally saw the light once again at the main entrance but it certainly was an adventure and not to be missed.
From there on we took the inland road south stopping a Karajini National Park to do some day hikes inside some amazing canyons there and came across some beautiful swimming spots where Pete was quick to spot the female German back packers bathing topless!
We took a tour around Tom Price Iron Ore mine with its huge trucks and machinery and massive open mine pits. We learned some amazing facts such as the truck tyres cost $46.000 each and the train drivers earn over $200,000 per annum plus the train pulls 367 carts of ore each time with an estimated value of up to $2,000,000!
The last couple of days we drove through millions of wild flowers scattered on either side of the road stretching inland for miles. The colours were stunning and we were so glad that we chose spring to traverse this long stretch of WA.
We are now in Bunbury and looking forward to living in a house instead of a motorhome for a while and also to help Kylie renovate her
house. Our next travel plans are to explore New Zealand in Feb/March 2017.
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