Days 81 to 89

Trip Start Mar 28, 2010
Trip End Jul 28, 2010

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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Friday, June 25, 2010

Firstly sorry for not having updated the blog for about 9 days but we have been out of range on the Gibb River Road, but here it is!!!!!!

Day 81: Today was just a general catch up on some washing, groceries, etc.  The kids have also been a bit sick so we have decided to spend a couple of days without much to do to help them get over it. Nothing too much exciting, just hanging out around the caravan park, letting the kids have some fun.  However this arvo Bel & I decided we needed some retail therapy & so hit Chinatown in Broome & did quite well for ourselves I must add, it was a nice break.

Day 82: We have had yet another quiet one, did the rest of the mountain of washing this morning & then headed off to the beach for a swim in the crystal water.  The kids had so much fun at the beach, running off a bit of energy.  We then went to a local pub called “Lustre” for lunch with Bel, Mark & the kids.  This arvo Steve took the kids in the pool for a swim, the water is freezing in there but they had fun anyway.  We also drove down to Cable Beach for our final sunset over the water. The rest of the arvo is purely resting time before heading off tomorrow along   the Gibb River Road.

Day 83: We were sad to leave beautiful beachside Broome & Cable Beach as it marks then end of a great journey up the WA coast but we were anticipating the adventure ahead of us as we set off for Gibb River Road and the 4wd trek through the Kimberley.  On the way we pulled into Derby for a morning tea stop, we didn’t miss much by not staying at Derby as originally planned, seems like a bit of a run down town & not much there.  So we keep going heading for our first stop of Windjana Gorge.  This is a very picturesque place, we set up camp right at the bottom of one side of the gorge with cliffs in front of us going about 50m high. We set off for an afternoon walk up through the gorge with cliffs rising on both sides. The first section took us through a narrow gap in the cliff wall and down the creek past a fossell of a squid like sea animal in the cliff wall. It seems strange to see a sea creature here however according to the sign water once flowed all the way up the cliff walls. It didn’t take us long to spot the local crocodiles swimming in the water, we were already told that these are fresh water crocs & will not attack unless provoked, needless to say though we kept our distance.  It is a very quiet spot & quite relaxing.  The night sky as usual out in these areas was just amazing & the stars twinkle bright without the city lights around.  The sunsets are also something to see with the light reflecting off of the cliffs before a orange and red glow is seen amongst the trees after the sun drops below the horizon. Tomorrow we are heading off to check out Bell Gorge.

Day 84: Left Windjana Gorge behind & headed again along the Gibb River Road.  I must say the surprisingly this road is nowhere near the bad road that I was expecting, it is corrugated & a bit bumpy but not the extreme that I thought it would be. The offshoot roads to the gorges are a bit worse with a few creek crossings and more corrugations but still they are not too difficult. The Gibb River Road winds through some spectuclar mountain ranges and across open plains. The are plenty of the native Boab trees dotting the landscape. As we travelled along the road we saw Queen Victorias Head, a rock formation that just looks like Queen Victoria, we also stopped & checked out King Leopold Range, all very beautiful with a lot of photo opportunities along the way.  We then made it to our destination for the night of Bell Gorge & Silent Grove.  Silent Grove is the campground & again very pretty nestled amongst the boab and gum trees.  Bell Gorge is about a 10km drive from the camping area & then you have a rocky walk for about 1km, which I must add that Steve & myself are extremely proud of Tahlia who walked all the way to the gorge & back by herself without complaint, rock hopping along rocky mountain sides and through dry creek beds the whole way.  We were not disappointed when we got there, the gorge was awesome, we were able to go swimming in the top part of the gorge & there was a gorgeous waterfall that just flowed into the open part of the gorge below.  It was a beautiful spot, the kids enjoyed throwing rocks into the water & watching them go kasplosh.  We enjoyed going to a nice dip in the crystal water, very refreshing.  We then headed back to camp for dinner and  while I did the dishes, Steve & the kids went on a night walk around the camp ground with their torches.  Tomorrow we will be heading off again along the Gibb River Road & wherever we get to is where we will pull up stumps again for the night.

Day 85: Today we were heading for Mt Barnett Station & Manning Gorge. We stopped at Imingi road house for fuel ($1.98 per litre) before arriving at the station for lunch. We set up camp and went to investigate the walk. Due to the severity of the walk the kids could not go on this walk so I stayed back at camp with them & we had a swim in the little lake near our campsite.  Steve went on the 3 hour return walk to check out Manning Gorge & he was not disappointed.  The walk started with a swim accross the river. The station has provided styrofoam boxes to float your shoes, camera ect over the river. The rest of the walk was fairly streneous constantly climbing up and down rocky hills and cliffs. The reward was a beautiful gorge complete with an excellent very deep swimming hole and waterfall.  There were some kids there bomb diving from the surronding cliffs into the water approx 5m below. Steve thought it would be a good idea to relive his youth and joined them in a jump. Some people had walked to the gorge early in the morning and spent the day relaxing on the rocks and swimming. We will definatly be returning when the kids are old enough so we can also spend the day here. Night fall again delivered a beautiful Kimberley sunset and starry night sky. 

Day 86: Todays destination is El Questro Wilderness Park, the road from Manning Gorge to El Questro was a bit rougher than the first few days, however there were a couple of things to see along the way.  We had to cross the Pentecost River, Tahlia gets so excited about river crossing that she always asks if we can go back & cross them again.  So when we came to the Pentecost we crossed once, I jumped out on the other side, Steve drove back & then back again so we could get some photos of this crossing.  Tahlia was very pleased & Noah is impressed too.  We kept driving & todays drive ended up being 6 hours, we also had our first tyre blow & would you believe it, we were just 25 km from our destination, so Steve got out in the hot sun & changed the tyre.  When we got to El Questro we were lucky enough to meet up with Jayne, Greg, Ava & Remi, a family that we have met up with a few times on our travels, we decided to share a camp site area so the kids could have fun together & we could catch up for a couple of days. We just  had a quiet arvo after such a big driving day.

Day 87: We got up this morning & we all set off for Zebedee Springs, these are permanent hot natural springs surrounded by livistona palms, the water temp ranges from 28 to 32 degrees Celsius all year.  They were so relaxing & warm, just like a warm bath.  There was also a waterfall running down that was like having a warm massage wash across your back, this place is definitely on the come back & see again list.  We then returned to camp & decided to check out the steakhouse for lunch, the food is not to be missed, very yummy.  We then went on a river cruise up through Chamberlain Gorge, it runs approx 150km long & the cliffs are 300ft high.  There was a commentary on board giving you a run down about the gorge itself, the local crocs & the abundance of fish & birdlife that live there.  We were able to hand feed some fish that spit water at you when they want you to drop their food, needless to say everyone got wet from the spitting fish.  They also served us with fresh fruit & wine on the way back.  The cruise was great except Noah was a little bit on the fussy side & cracked a few tantrums along the way, most people were sympathetic to us with Noahs screaming except for one woman who had no tolerance, needless to say I let her know my thoughts!!!  We came back to camp & it was time for happy hour at the bar, we decided to head up there along with Jayne, Greg & family.  About 6.30pm there was a live band playing, they were really good so we decided to hang out there for a while as the kids were enjoying the music & dancing along with it, they also had a large campfire which was keeping us all warm as it has been a little cold here at night.  After the kids were in bed, we continued on with the party until after midnight, a great night was had by all.

Day 88: Today we woke to another beautiful weather day, nice & warm & sunny.  Steve decided to head off & hike up Emma Gorge, as this was a difficult walk the kids could not go on I decided to stay back at camp & let the kids have a last play with Ava & Remi before they headed off.  The walk up the gorge was not too difficult, with most time spent rock hopping on dry river beds and climbing along the base of the cliff walls.  The gorge at  the end was awesome with a waterfall falling from about 120m into a huge clear pool. Steve went for a swim under the falls which he describes as an exhilarating experience even though the water was freezing cold. The Kimberley has a huge amount of gorges like this and we will definitely be back when the kids are older so they can experience it for themselves.  Meanwhile back at camp Jayne & Greg decided to have lunch at the steakhouse & I joined them with the kids.  This afternoon when steve got back I went for a swim in the local spring area in El Questro, the water was a little chilly but well worth the refreshing dip, I then had a little nap in the banana lounges that are on the bank of the spring while Steve took the kids to cool off with some ice cream treats.  Tomorrow we head off to Kununurra.

Day 89: We got up this morning & packed up for the last time on the Gibb River Road, today we’re off to Kununurra.  We set off for a short trip, less than 100km day.  When we got to the end of the Gibb River Road we stopped to re-pump the tyres up & we met a lovely couple that asked us if they could take a photo of our car.  Let me explain why, on the roof rack of the car, Steve has strapped Noahs ride on trike & it seems that everyone thinks it looks really cool on the top of the car.  So we seem impressed that people are noticing our little mans set of wheels.  It does look really special.  When we arrived in Kununurra we caught up again with Jayne, Greg, Ava & Remi.  We did a bit of groceries, got the tyre fixed from the flat on the Gibb & then did 3 loads of washing (I still have more to go after all the dust on the Gibb River Road.
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scott and michelle on

What a beautiful part of australia. I must say Noah's trike does look pretty cool. Next it will be a harley trip around australia for Noah!

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