Monday 10 August 2009 DAY 29
We left the Kununurra caravan park to find a mechanic to alter the timing on the Landcruiser and after the third mechanic we finally found one who was able to do the job for us. They were all too busy but the one we found would do it but he said it would cost - and it did - but we couldn't go on without it fixed so we were grateful to get it done as he stopped his other work for us.
The workshops of all the repairers were overflowing with 4 WD, cars, caravans, motorhomes and campervans. We left Kununurra at about 11 am and drove on to Turkey Creek and refuelled here at 1.09 cpl for LPG. We will be having another night at a roadside stop as its too far for the next caravan park.
We got to Leycester's Rest area which was very shady and by the Ord River but unfortunately there was no water in the Ord here at this time of the year, but it was still a very pretty place and by sunset the rest area was full of caravans and motorhomes and campertrailers.
The dry Ord River
Tuesday 11 August 2009 DAY 30
After a cool night we had breakfast outside and enjoyed the early morning and decided to take our time before moving on. The road to Halls Creek was a slow trip as there were a lot of roadworks and stoppages but we got fuel at Halls Creek LPG 96.9 cpl. Halls Creek is a neat place with lots of green grassed areas and trees, it was much better than the reports we had of the town. Our next stop was Mary Pool, another roadside stop, and again a very pretty area but again no water in the river.We set ourselves up and went for a walk in the riverbed and found a small waterhole with quite a few birds enjoying the water and got some photos. Later in the afternoon we had some of the locals visit - some cattle wandered around the campsite just checking up on the nomads!
Wednesday 12 August 2009 DAY 31
Drove to Fitzroy Crossing for LPG at 99 cpl. Went to the Visitor Centre for some information on the boat cruise in Geikie Gorge but no times available but just to go there and see. At the Visitor Centre we left some of our books there for them to sell to raise money for injured wildlife, and we bought one from them as Ron had run out of reading material and it doesn't take long to read the New Idea that I had bought last week. We got to Geikie Gorge at about 11.15am only to find that the boat had left 15 mins. previously and they had cancelled the 1 pm trip so we walked around the water for some of the way but decided that it was too hot to wait till 3 pm so Geikie Gorge will have to wait for when we come again. Drove on towards Derby and thought we might stop at a roadside rest area but both were quite full and not much shade so continued on to Derby. We booked in for 2 nights as we needed to charge all the batteries etc. and have a look around. The sunset was magnificent here as we have nothing in front of us at all so the views are uninterrupted.
Thursday 13 August 2009 DAY 32
We went to the wharf at Derby and had a look around, then off to the Boab Prison tree and then the Mowanjum Aboriginal Art & Culture Centre and then back to town to check out an interesting cafe for lunch. We had a look in the Information Centre and found the tide times so will go down to the wharf at sunset for another look. We were approached by one of the locals who was selling a carved boab so we had a chat to him and bought his artwork for a good price - and he went back to his friends and off to the pub as he kept asking me what the time was, now I know why!!
Friday 14 August 2009 DAY 33
Left the Kimberley Entrance Caravan Park in Derby after enjoying another beautiful sunset on the wharf in Derby last night. We are on the road to Broome and have been delayed a bit by roadworks and of course the water truck had just been through so our van and Cruiser are covered in RED MUD!! After getting set up at the caravan park we drove down to Cable Beach as it comes highly recommended - and we now know why. It is such a beautiful stretch of beach with a few restaurants too so we had a drink and enjoyed a walk around. We then went into Broome itself, which is a kilometre or two inland and had a walk around ChinaTown and the old area which was really interesting too, and of course we had to have another drink at "The Roey", this time we sampled their local ginger beer on tap which was pretty good after our wanderings here in the heat.
Saturday 15 August 2009 DAY 34
Another day in paradise - well, not quite, but it beats the red dust that we've got in everything and its good to see the ocean again. Went to the markets this morning to see some local art and craft and then we went to Gantheaume Point hoping to see the dinosaur footprints but the tide was in and so we were out of luck unless we felt like swimming, but it was a lovely view looking back to Cable Beach and we were lucky to see a nest on the old lighthouse with 2 osprey squawking away on top. Decided to have a night out and went to dinner at one of the restaurants on Cable Beach and of course another beautiful sunset.
Sunday 16 August 2009 DAY 35
Had a lazy morning and then wandered down to China Town but almost everything is closed here as its Sunday but had a look through the Pearl Luggers museum and back down to Cable Beach for a walk. On our way back there were a few weddings on the beach and as the sun was setting the camel tour came by so I got a few photos. Tomorrow we will leave Broome so will get the van packed and organised for the road.
Monday 17 August 2009 DAY 36
We left Broome by 8.30 am and are heading for 80 mile beach. On way we stopped at Sandfire Roadhouse but no LPG there so we will be on ULP till we can get our gas. 80 Mile Beach is a very popular camping/caravan park and it seems that everyone is racing to get there as we have had everyone passing us this morning. The road in to the beach is a shocker with corrugations all the way and on arrival we are unable to get a powered site so will be using our generator if necessary. We haven't had to use it much so far as our batteries are going strong. A bit of a dusty camp/caravan area but we are close to the beach and everyone here is very friendly. Saw some lovely little wallabies with stripey faces came right down near our van which was great. The beach is even better than Cable Beach and there are lots of shells, so many that you can't walk without crunching them underfoot.
Tuesday 18 August 2009 DAY 37
Went for a morning walk this morning on the beach and then back to the van for a rest!! Its a tough life here and I'm getting used to it!! Drove onto beach this afternoon but the sand got a bit soft and we decided to come back before we got bogged. There were quite a few people fishing off the sand but not many catching anything - its not a swimming beach as they get a few sharks around here.
Wednesday 19 August 2009 DAY 38
We left 80 Mile Beach and will head down towards Port Hedland. On the road out of 80 Mile Beach we came across a burnt out caravan - not a pretty sight but don't know any details and nothing left but the aluminium awning. Fuel at Pardoo was LPG 1.235 cpl. We stopped over night at Peawah River West rest area.
Thursday 20 August 2009 DAY 39
On the road again and our first stop was Whim Creek but no fuel here and the pub was closed, doesn't open till 3 pm. Decided to stay the night in Roebourne, a very small place but a few things to see around here. It is a very old town with a museum and gaol that they have restored and with some interesting photos and artefacts. Just up the road from Roebourne is another historic village of Cossack, most of which was destroyed by a cyclone in the early 1900's but worth a look around and at Settlers Beach we went for a walk. Fuel at Roebourne LPG 99.9 cpl. We drove out to Harding Dam which we thought was going to be a small "hole in the ground" but to our surprise it was a huge dam and was a real gem in such a dry and rugged place.
Friday 21 August 2009 DAY 40
Today we drove to Karratha and then on to Dampier. We are not staying in either town as they are not far from Roebourne. Ron wants to do an oil change on the Landcruiser so he bought the oil and filter and will do that later today. Karratha and Dampier are definitely mining towns with not much for the tourist, and we decided not to do a mine tour as they have to be booked ahead and are quite long.
Saturday 22 August 2009 DAY 41
We left Roebourne and heading back towards Port Hedland as we have to turn off to Karijini National Park south of Pt Hedland. Stopped at Auski Roadhouse for fuel LPG 119.5 cpl and then on to Tognolini Lookout. We decided to stay here the night along with a few other vans as it is such a beautiful spot. We parked our van overlooking the gorge and it was a really lovely area with gravel not red dirt which makes a pleasant change.
Sunday 23 August 2009 DAY 42
Got in early to Karijini NP and were directed by the volunteer host to Cockatoo Loop in Dales Gorge. A nice spot for a few nights. Got ourselves set up and decided to do the walk to Fortescue Falls. The first part of the walk was relatively easy and from the falls we walked to Fern Pool which was a beautiful swimming hole. We then thought we would walk back along through the gorge and back up the other end. We asked a few people who were coming back and they said it wasn't too hard so we set off. The first part was down through the waterfall and over the rocks which were very slippery and then quite a good walk through the gorge with lovely waterholes and smaller waterfalls. The we discovered the part they didn't tell us about. An almost perpendicular "climb" up the cliff face scrambling and clinging to the rocks and at the last a ladder going straight up. I didn't think I could make it but I had no choice but to keep going and with a fair bit of encouragement from Ron, I got to the top only to find we had about a 1.5 km walk to the carpark. The rest of the day was ...... resting!!