Noosa to Broome - Day 3 & 4 (Mathison rest area & Kununurra)

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February 22nd 2016
Published: February 4th 2017
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DAY 3. Was I busting to get a move on? You bet! It was light but before sunrise, not however before the flys reappeared though. I made tracks at 0605. I was planning on smashing out a few more K’s today the theory I had before leaving the Coast was at least Katherine by night 3 and any further would be a bonus.

This was going to be about two thirds of the trip covered and I would just cruise through the remaining trip to Broome over the next 5 - 7 days.

Micro sleeps - nasty things!

The day went well. Today was a lizard day I have never had this many cross the road in front of me in any one day during my travels. 9 in total, 8 of 3 different species and 1 Thorny Devil who just kept still as I rushed by. That it appears is how they all do it. I so wanted to go back and photograph him but there was nowhere to park, bloody shame. I am yet to photograph one but my time will come.

I stopped for a little break at the Barkly Homestead and treated myself to a toasted bacon and egg sandwich. I’m not sure why it was toasted, I had actually asked for a “bacon and egg sandwich please, not toasted”. But there you go. I’ve written about The Homestead before, in hindsight it has become somewhat of a story place for me.

Feel free to read through some of my past blogs. And I definitely do not have any qualms if you are keen or interested enough to follow me.

Got to Katherine, all is good I ‘m thinking I can still get in a bit more yet before end of day. Went in to the supermarket to pick up some supplies because I wasn’t too sure of what lay ahead.

Just a bit out of Katherine I was stopped at roadworks. Two blokes working on a Sunday arvo and it’s 6pm. Go fellas, who’s pulling in the big bucks here?

Continued on my way for a bit more and decided at the next free camp (Mathison Rest Area) to stop. It was 1820 and I’d done just over 1,100 km’s.

Two other campers had already settled in for the night so I kept my distance as you do if possible and ended up near the toilets. Now can you believe someone had knocked off the rubbish bins, the plastic wheelie bin type? Strewn across the ground as well as the bags that had been in the bins was the rubbish that had been in the aforementioned bags.

So with these two circumstances combined an odour could be smelt, an odour difficult to describe. Not too unpleasant but ………lingering.

At this point I had an important decision to make. You see I don’t really prepare too much in advance for these types of trips I just go with the flow, in fact prepare is a big over exaggeration. So what was it to be? The car again or the tent?

The ground was hard and lumpy, it was going to be dark fairly soon, I was tired and thirsty. I had dinner to cook I’d bought steak, 20minutes putting the tent up, time lost in the morning putting it all away again.

Versus the car.

My previous night still vividly even intensely etched into my memory bank or is it files nowadays?

I opened all the car doors and hoped like hell it would cool down sufficiently before the mozzies moved in like bats to a cave. Nope!

The steak I unfortunately overcooked, it was on the wrong side of medium rare when of course it should be rare, it was deliciously tender though. The sunset was not bad though only viewable through lots of trees and I played around a little with some night photography.

Now I won’t call sleeping in the car again a disaster it was way way short of that but it was ….well not pleasant. A change of tact on this occasion it was windows partially down. I covered myself generously with repellent and on the numerous times I was awake I swatted at the mozzies buzzing about in the car and in particular around my ears.

I was very relieved and pleased that when I awoke in the morning I did not end up with one bite. Lucky me.

DAY 4. My plan today was to stop for the night in Kununurra. I was awake early but left at 0725.

Some of the scenery along this route is spectacular I’m sure you could spend quite a few days easily exploring the Judbarra / Gregory National Park. If by chance I return this way later in the year I would like to do just that.

On a number of occasions I deviated to check out various points of interest, many roads were still closed though as we were still in the middle of the wet season. I had had no rain since I’d left so I was very happy with that and the forecasts were looking promising but things can change quickly in these parts.

In places plenty of water still lay on the roadway so I imagine they’d had pretty good rainfall during the night. In some places the grass was over 2 metres tall and was growing right on the edge of the road I’d had one roo jump out in front of me so I had to remain vigilant.

When I stopped for fuel at Timber Creek located on the banks of the Victoria River I was a bit peckish so I went 2 fried dimmers and a vanilla milkshake, I don’t know why but I was really craving one and it was a beauty.

So at long last I entered Western Australia (for the first time in my life) and The Kimberley Region I was a happy man. I had been wanting to get to this part of Australia for a long long time. A couple of quick questions from old mate at the border regarding food items and plant stuff and I was on my way.

A little over 400 km’s and 6 hours driving I arrived in Kununurra. It was very pleasing to have such an easy day, I was starting to get a bit weary due to the lack of sleep and long days on the road. I needed the chance to recharge and now I felt I could start to enjoy my holiday.

It’s an interesting town and it was hot, the humidity was certainly on the rise. I drove around to check things out and called in to the Visitor Centre that’s where you get all the info, right? Well (now I believe I’m a reasonably patient man) after two minutes of trying to make eye contact, walking and browsing around the VC I figured that the 2 girls whose eyes had not deviated from their computer screens were either:-

(1) Just too busy to help.

(2) Just not interested in helping.

(3) Well I can’t think of a third reason. In

In customer service a simple acknowledgement particularly if you are busy goes a long way. The option I chose which I always choose under these circumstances was to leave. I’ll just figure it out myself.

Just across the road I spied a large camping store and immediately upon entering was greeted with a warm and friendly welcome – see it’s just not that hard. I quizzed him on accommodation and other bits ‘n bobs and despite the store being particularly well stocked after ten minutes I was on my way full of info but empty handed.

I checked in to the Town Caravan Park and again nothing was too much trouble. The manager whose name escapes me was very helpful we had a good chat about life on the road. She recommended the Kununurra Hotel which was right behind the park as a decent place for dinner.

Tonight I would be back sleeping on my inflatable mattress I sure was not going to miss the front seat of my car. Yep it’s the ideal place to drive a motor vehicle but not so ideal for a good night sleep.

By the time I’d set up my tent etc it was stinking hot so it was off to the pool for a refreshing dip and that it was. Loads of double barred finches playing and flittering about made it all the more pleasant. Sun shades protected the pool from the blazing sun so the water did not get too warm.

Some ominous grey clouds moved about overhead around mid afternoon but disappeared a short while later. After an hour they quickly reformed and a few large drops began to hit the tent, that’s ok I thought so I rolled down the window covers and didn’t see the need to zip them closed.

I went over to the camp kitchen 15 metres away and waited for it to quickly pass. Wrong! The wind came from nowhere and blew like buggery as the rain started belting down like there was no tomorrow. The flaps were flapping and the torrential rain was inundating my tent, in the short time it took me to zip everything up good and proper I was well and truly drenched!

And so was the interior of my tent.

Turns out we had 1mm of rain every minute for 14 minutes and then it was gone. Sure I had a wet sheet and the mattress and floor had puddles on them but that was quickly tidied up and all was back to normal.

I did go to the pub for dinner and had a chicken schnitty. I was a hungry man and it satisfied me. The night was warm with no breeze but gee it was nice being able to stretch out on my mattress, I got some much needed sleep.

Take care travel safe and remember it’s nice to be important but it’s important to be nice.

Additional photos below
Photos: 20, Displayed: 20


6th February 2017
Mathison Rest area

Mathison Rest Area
A place set aside in Oz as a place to encourage drivers to stop and take a break is usually just a toilet stop or to stretch your legs with the slogan, "Stop Revive Survive". This pic shows it can also be a "final resting place". Pity about the rubbish strewn instead of in a garbage bin. Great Pic, Bernie!
7th February 2017
Mathison Rest area

Thanks Dave. I have experienced them all from the good, the bad and the ugly. At the end of a long day behind the wheel they are welcome - regardless, Take care.

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