Friday, July 31, 2009


The view from Gantheaume Point with those wonderful red cliffs above the white sand - they refer to this as pindan. Cable Beach is in the background.

Camels at sunset on Cable Beach. We were not tempted, as we had tried this in Morocco.

Broome Saturday market.

Fishing at Gantheaume Point at the end of Reddell Beach.
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Geckie Gorge, Fitzroy River, WA

We did a one hour boat cruise on the Geckie Gorge on the Fitzroy River. Not as spectacular or narrow as some other gorges we saw but it was still very nice, with interesting colouration in the limestone cliffs. Our tour guide was AJ, a verbally remarkable indigenous young man who was ceaslessly entertaining.

The colour contrast shows well here.

Yet another view.
This bit of the cliff looks remarkably like Richard Nixon in profile don't you agree?
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

For the animal lovers

A couple of turtles having fun.

A frilled lizard I think.

I rather liked this shot taken on the Yellow River with the reflection of the bird on the water next to the crocodile.
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Snakes we have seen

This is a lovely little brightly coloured python that we saw in Katherine in the gorge area.

Thsi little black python crossed our path at Edith Falls.

And for those who may not have seen our photos of our visit to Hartley's in Qld, this is a larger python Andrew was assisting with at the snake exhibition. The show included a demo on what to do with snake bites, Andrew volunteered to be the patient and it went on from there........
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Bungle Bungle - continued

A network of narrow gorges run through the massive domes, creating a seemingly endless series of twists and turns through a city of rock high rises.

Cathedral Gorge is in the shape of a cavernous sort of amphitheatre which sits on a vertical joint line where undercutting of soft sandstone has taken place beneath a waterfall. There is a sort of echoing effect as you walk and your footsteps can be heard on the other side of the open cave. It is impossible to capture the size and feel of this impressive half open cavern with our sort of camera but here is an attempt.

The Cathedral cavern again.

The Echidna Chasm is a spectacular long narrow chasm, which yields striking colour variations depending on the angle of the sun beaming into the chasm. Unfortunately, later in the day when light penetrates the chasm is better for taking photos as it is too dark in the chasm earlier and we chose our walks early in the mornings. So we don’t have anything that really captures the wonder of this place.

This photo is actually of the Mini Plams Gorge which is not quite as spectacular as Echidnma Chasm but the photo tunred out better.

This is Andrew’s fourth visit to the Bungle Bungle and Nikki’s first. She loved it but at her age and with so much of the world to see, as well as the rest of Australia, she is unlikely to be back so often.
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Bungle Bungle (note no s)

The mighty Bungle Bungle at last. Its Aboriginal title is Purnululu National Park. It is a 56 kms 4WD in to the Visitors Centre and then it is a matter of finding a campsite at either of the two bush campsites in the NP – expensive at $10 per person with only a single toilet (but very clean) and bore water (not potable). On top of that, one is required to purchase a monthly or an annual WA national parks pass, otherwise it is more expensive. Gone are the easy and inexpensive Qld and NT national parks.

But the scenery is just breathtaking. There are 6 major walks including the beehive domes, Cathedral Gorge, Echidna Chasm, Mini Palms Gorge, Piccaninny Creek walk and also several lookouts where the sunset is the thing to watch in particular with the reflection of the setting sun on the sandstone rock formations which make the Bungle Bungle so unique.

The various rock formations change colour all through the day as the sun progresses across the sky, from brown to red, orange and gold. With the unseasonably hot weather at the moment 35C, we choose to walk only early in the mornings. We set off at 6.00amish and walk until 9.00 am at the latest. Echidna Chasm is a little different because it is very cool in there not letting too much sun in.

The beehive domes with their layers of orange and grey bands are the characteristic ethereal rock formations of the Bungle Bungle. They form a maze of striped formations which soar up to 250 metres above the surrounding plains. The dark grey bands indicate the presence of cynobacteria that grows on the sandstone layers with higher clay levels and an ability to hold moisture, conducive to the growth of bacteria. The orange bands are evidence of sandstone with lower clay content and higher porosity which makes the stone dry out quicker and without the bacteria the sandstone surface is left bare and the stone oxides to form the rusty orange colour.

This is the escarpment at sunset with the sun setting behind us throwing the pinky light on the cliffs in the photo.

Another typical Bungle Bungle sight. Looks a bit like an elephant hide doesn't it?
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kimberleys - Western Australia

As soon as we crossed into WA and adjusted our watches back 1 ½ hours, both the landscape and the temperature changed quite dramatically. It is very much hotter in WA and the days are so different with daylight at 5.30am and it is dark by about 5.30pm. Andrew now has his wish and I get up at 6.00am (he would prefer 5.30am) in order to escape the heat of the day on our walks etc and also to escape the flies. These infernally irritating creatures work to rule, not coming out till the first heat of the day about 8.00am and disappearing at about dusk. The rest of the time they are relentlessly bothering one. I have to admit that it is better to rise early in these circumstances. The heat is very noticeable and it is also unseasonably hot here in the Kimberleys.

The above photo was taken from a climb Andrew did just south of Lake Argyle looking down on our fee camping. There are Max and Priscilla at the bottom.

Our walk in Mirima (Hidden Valley) National Park.

The landscape here is like a minitature of the Bungle Bungles, I gather.

The view looking down at Kununurra
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Last views of NT

These are termite mounds. Looks like a cemetery doesn't it?

The Victoria River crossing where we had a last night of free camping in the NT before crossing over to WA. It was a very nice spot. The river itself is not swimable with crocodiles but this shallow part with rocks was fine and we could not swim exactly but waddle in the heat of the day.

Aboriginal rock art on our walk at Joe's Creek.

Nikki sitting on a big rock on the same walk.

Goodbye NT - we enjoyed it all.
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Litchfield National Park

Lovely Lichfield Park right on Darwin’s doorstep 120kms, is a miniature Kakadu wonderland. We spent 3 days there and explored all waterfalls bar one. Viewers of the blog may tolerate two more shots of waterfalls we visited.
The above photo shows Wangi Falls which are lovely but always always full of tourists. Because of its easy accessibility, unlike other waterfalls, I was told that the total number of tourists visiting Wangi Falls annaully are equal to the total annual visitors to Kakadu as a whole.

The Lost City. This impressive site is known as that and reminiscent of the ruins of an ancient civilisation. But no, it is a formation of sandstone blocks and majestic pillars formed and weathered by the elemtns not humans.

Andrew insisted on driving into Surprise Creek which is on 20 kms of 4WD dirt road. Photo shows the two lovely waterholes below the waterfalls.

There were numerous water crossings with the deepest one 700millimetres – photo shows. I just can't resist taking a photo of these crossings. We had separated Max and Priscilla especially for this occasion.
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Mindil Beach Markets - Darwin

Going to Mindil Beach Markets and watching the sunset on Thursday and/or Sunday afternoon/evening is du rigeur in Darwin. There are stalls selling craft, clothing and a multitude of items, as well as yummie food stalls of all ethnicities and performance art such as the a phenomenal twosome of drums and didjeridoo. Mindil Markets together with Parap Market on Saturday morning and Rapid Creek Market on Sunday morning are all Darwin institutions.
The above photo is of two people on stilts at the market. Brought back memories of Venice :-)
The sunset on the beach - the primary reason for being there.

And to prove we were.
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Friday, July 17, 2009

Darwin - a fun, buzzy city

This is the new harbourside development in Darwin. It is all on reclaimed land and it is full of nicely proportioned, modern buildings on a harbourside setting.

This is the wave pool on the same development, situated just to the left of the first photo. It costs $5 for half a day and $10 for a full day. The waves are run every fifteen minutes, lasting 20 minutes.
Large palstic tubes are freely available and great use is made of these.

Below is the Deckchair Cinema. There is a showing each evening at 7.30pm. I could not capture both the seating and the lovely view of sea on the left hand side.

Parliament House, Darwin. I believe it is the second most expensive Parliament House after the one in Canberra.
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