Friday, August 21, 2009

Day 69-71 Katherine to Kununurra – 16-18 Aug 2009

11380 kms, 34 degrees C

We reluctantly left Nitmiluk and returned to Katherine for the third time, for packing, refuelling, restocking, plus the obligatory dip in the thermal pools and a large steak at the stonegrill restaurant.

Then it was off West to Gregory National Park where we stayed at Timber Creek. We had time to run around a few local attractions including Gregory’s Boab tree. The Boab is a bit of a feature of WA, but the first few we saw were still just inside NT. Augustus Gregory stopped at Timber Creek in 1853 to fix up his boat, the Tom Tough, hence the town’s name. He set up camp by the Victoria River and etched the date plus into a Boab, which was probably hundreds of years old at the time, and is now another 150 years older.

The campsite fed the local freshwater crocs at 5pm – the creek looked small an innocuous, like many others, but when the bloke with the feed showed up so too did a dozen or so freshies. We did not need any reminder of the no swimming policy!

Wed 19th August saw us head West once more, and over the WA border to Kununurra. We were greeted by Quarantine inspectors, who checked both cars for cane toads, fruit, veg, nuts and honey, none of which is allowed into WA, especially the toads. We then needed to put our watches back 90 mins (and some would say another 40 years) – this meant that sunrise was 5.30am, sunset 5.30pm. Crazy, but the time zone is set to suit Perth, which is a long way West of us (as WA is by some margin the largest of Australia’s States and Territories), around 3000km by road.

After setting up camp we had time to hoon around to Lake Argyle to see the earth dam and do the lake cruise. It is an amazing place – the jury is still out as to whether the project was viable in the late 60s, but the result is stunning in terms of scenery and wildlife. The tour ended with a dip in the lake and yet another sunset, of course.

And finally, with Nicko in the car we have had to put everything surplus to requirements on the roof of the car, and that includes Stuart! And thanks to the mysterious car sticker dudes (er John and Mimi).


Rosie said...

Hello all

Looks amazing, hope you're all well and not suffering too many sand fly bites!! Keep us updated.
Love to all

Anthony and Rosie

Honora said...

Fantastic scenery again and wildlife. As you are about to go "off line" for a while, sending good wishes for your 19th wedding anniversary on the 25th. No chance of a candlelit dinner and flowers this year Nic! Love to you both

Honora said...

.......... and England have regained the Ashes!!!

sheena said...

and north melbourne beat St Kilda

Michelle said...

Back in Melbourne - "gutted !" - cold, storms, LOTS OF PEOPLE. Journey back interesting with stops every 120 km or so! Victoria River Road House has NO info on Gregory NP - Britz gas stove nearly blew up Katherine camp site - and very welcome mug of tea (sic) in Pine Creek more expensive than RCH latte.. Sunset dinner in Darwin at "Chars" provided suitable end to amazing time sharing part of your trip! THANK YOU.
PS Stuart's mum: Justin - as in just in case we don't see another one (resident fresh water croc in Katherine gorge - seems to be tour guide's mascot!)

Stuart Riley said...

Rosie, Nick here, thanks for your message - great to hear from you. Amazing that I ma sending this from on top of a promontory in the middle of nowhere in East Kimberley having manged to get a signal. You will not believe the picture I have taken of the 'office' using a red rock as a desk. Hi to Anthony - speak soon. Nick

Stuart Riley said...

Sheena, yes remarkable! Bet your house was black!!

Michelle, we are missing you heaps. No dried apple, no soya treats, we are starved of good company and nibbles!! C u in Melbourne soon