11/7/2017 Lichfield National Park NT

We headed into Lichfield NP hoping to get a camping spot at Wangi Falls, fortunately we arrive early and set up camp ($6.60 pp pn) there is solar showers and flushing toilets, even a cafe is open during the day down at the falls. I suggest you get here early as most spots go fast this time of year and by lunch (if not earlier) all spots are gone, people kept coming in even as late as 8 o’clock with no luck and headed off to find a spot somewhere else.

The wildlife we seen just sitting at our campsite was quite amazing, a wild pig, kangaroos, bandicoot and many birds and bats.

Wangi Falls 

A great swimming spot with large Falls, in the middle is a sandbar allowing you to stand.

Lost City

Is located 10km off the main road and is a group of sandstone blocks reminiscent of a lost civilisation 

Florence Falls

These are a spectacular twin waterfalls and accessible by a pathway with 160 steps down, the swimming spot while smaller than Wangi Falls it is still great but is easily overcrowded.

Bluey Rockhole

This is a series of small waterfalls and rock holes, which was extremely popular with teenagers as many where climbing the rocks doing bombees. These continue in many spots and can also be found on the walkway to Florence Falls.

Bamboo Creek Tin Mine

This is the reminates of a 1950’s tin mine, a good look back on how hard things must have been.

Termite Mounds

These are a series of termite mounds standing up to two meters in height in a north-south orientation, this acts as a built in temperature control mechanism.

6/7/2017 Douglas Hot Springs & Adelaide River NT

We moved onto the Douglas Hot Springs , these are located about 90km from Pine Creek (40km off Stuart Highway, the last 10km is dirt track). The camp ground here is located at the springs and is good value at $6.60 pp pn with flushing toilets and drinking water. There is a seperate location allocated for generators but we parked in the no generator area.

Our camp spot
The hot springs are just a short walk away and can be extremely hot in certain locations reportedly around the 60 Celsius mark. In a variety of locations the water can be seen bubbling out the ground and these flow downstream and merge with cool water flowing from another stream and the ideal location to sit is between these two stream getting both hot then cold water flows, it is easy to lay there for an hour or more. This bubbling and merging happens in at least three different spots and possibly more.

Douglas Hot Springs
After one night there and an early morning dip we traveled to Adelaide River, here we booked into the caravan park ($28 pn with power) for two night to do some washing and recharge the batteries. 

Our camp spot

The pool

While here we ventured to the Adelaide River War Cemetery, this place is a credit to those involved and if passing please make an effort to stop and admire. There is no charge and the information plaques and short documentary are very informative.

War cemetery 
Adelaide River is also famous for being the home of the Crocodile Dundee Water Buffalo (Charlie), he is now located (stuffed) in the towns pubs main bar and just outside is a stuffed crocodile named Jock, he is huge. 

Charlie the Water Buffalo 

This town while very small is a real hub of activity in tourist season and the vans are continually coming and going, while out watching even the Ghan Train went past on its way to Adelaide.

Ghan Train
Tomorrow we set off to somewhere in the Litchfield National Park

3/7/2017 Katherine and surrounds NT

After our enjoyable stay at Lake Argyle we made our way to Katherine, staying one night at an overnight roadstop on the way. We booked into the Big 4 Caravan for 3 night as it had good reviews , the unusual thing about here was that it’s only $3 difference between powered and unpowered . We had to go unpowered $40.50 pn with discount, as there were no sites left, the park is good with large grounds and new facilities and a nice pool.

Leaving WA, entering NTOur campsite at Big 4 Katherine 
The next day we did the Timeless Land 3 Gorge Cruise $129, this is at the Nitmiluk George located approx 30km from Katherine. The 3 Gorge tour is exactly that and you have to swap and walk to a new boat at each Gorge. While I found this spectacular it was slightly a let down from some of the other gorges we had seen, but it was nice to cruise up the river and not have to hike for a change. The third Gorge is the shortest by far but you do get to do a small hike up to a plunge pool.

Karen swimming at the plunge poolThe second Gorge I think was the most spectacular 

Over 9000 bats inhibit the Katherine Gorges most of these are near were you hop on to the ferry, and these stink and are extremely noisy but are needed for pollination of plants.

The next day we walked down to the Katherine hot springs located about 2km from our park, these were at a just nice temperature and the water was crystal clear. The walk from the park also took us through Low Level Nature Reserve this has the Katherine River flowing through.

Katherine Hot Springs
Low Level Nature Reserve

Old vehicles washed down by floods on the Katherine River
After our 3 nights at Katherine, the last being Northern Territory Day which allows for anyone to buy and set off firecrackers and we heard these going off well into the night, we headed off to Edith Falls. These are part of the Nitmiluk National Parks and you can camp here on a first in basis for $12 pp pn. Great spot with flushing toilets, showers, BBQs and drinking water, we stayed here two nights. Located about 100m from our camp spot was the first swimming spot a large area with about a 5m fall, this had easy access and tourist buses frequented this location because of this.

Our camp spot
Edith Falls , lower level 
The second day we ventured up to the Upper pool which is a 2.6 km hike. The upper pool is magnificent with a variety of swimming pools with one of these having a 10m waterfall, we swam up to the waterfall but didn’t venture underneath it.

Upper Edith Falls
The camping at Edith Falls is accessible by bitumen, but to camp here you need to arrive early (9am the shop opens for bookings), but thoroughly believe it’s worth the effort.

27/06/2017 Lake Argyle WA

We returned to Kununurra after Wyndham and stayed two nights at Kimberlyland Caravan Park and three days at Julie and Guy’s (Karen’s step sister) and lucky for us we did. We were about to leave for Lake Argyle when I noticed the oil catchment can in the Landcruiser had Brocken mounting bolts. Guy is very handy in fabricating stuff and quickly manufactured a new bracket which was much stronger and located in a better spot.

Lake Argyle is located 70km from Kununurra (35km on highway then 35km inland) and is a man made lake created to sustain water to irrigate crops. The caravan park is $35 pn no power and about $10 extra for power, we elected no power as we had been informed these had the best spots. The pool here is an infinity pool with amazing views over the lake

Our camp site, no one next to us as we had the fire hydrant 
Infinity pool, cold but real nice
We did the sunset cruise on the lake ($95 pp), this is about a 3 hour trip and covers a variety of points of interest including wildlife,fish, crocodiles, the vastness of the dam, a swim and general information.

Rock Wallaby 

Sunbathing freshwater crocodile 
Croc coming for a look

In for a swim plus a few alcoholic refreshments sunset from the boat
We ventured out to the relocated Durack Homestead, this was removed before building the dam unfortunately they never removed lots of other gear as the water engulfed most of it before they could remove it. We could have drove but decided to take the hiking trail which is not far about 4km return.

Durack Homestead 
We really enjoyed our time here and treated it like a holiday spending most afternoons lounging by the pool. We originally had booked for 3 nights but added an extra night and can advise it’s definitely worth the drive in.

19/06/2017 Wyndham- Parry’s Lagoon Farmstay

After departing El Questro we decided to stay a few days checking out Wyndham and we were recommended Parry’s Lagoon Farmstay.this is about 10km before Wyndham and 5km inland on a good gravel road. The cost is $35 pn for a powered site, the park is really just an old paddock with power and water but for price ok. It does have a bar and cafe for meals and we did venture up one night. We had a few drinks as they advertised a happy hour but even happy hour prices were dearer than El Questro.

Parry Lagoon Farmstay
Not far from Parry’s is a billabong that is renowned for birdwatching and we ventured out about 7.30 and there was a good 10 other people there. I don’t think we are made of the same stuff as we were hoping to see a croc eat a bird, also our pocket zoom camera was a little underdone compared to all the SLR cameras with huge zooms there. 

Bird watching near Farmstay 
We then ventured into Wyndham, I would say this town is struggling to survive but we did venture around and can recommend the coffee shop. While there we went to the five river Lookout this is well worth the drive and would be even more spectacular in the wet season.

Unfortunately we didn’t stop at the museum (we were later told how good it is) and headed back out onto the highway and took a detour down the Old Junmunjie road this is a track that eventually lead back to the Gibb River road but our plan was to see the towns water supply dam and some Aboriginal artwork. While it was a venture nothing I would bother to do again, the dam is fenced off with very little view points and the art work is hard to find and barely recognisable.
Nice creek crossing near Aboriginal Artwork

17/6/2017 Kununurra and El Questro (Gibb River Road) WA

Well we ventured into Kununurra after our trip into the Bungle Bungles. We stayed at the Kimberly Land Top Tourist Caravan Park and found this park of high quality, the price after member discount was $43 on. We had a good site with lake views not far. While in Kununurra we did the local tourist stuff, visiting Hoochery Distillery, Sandlewood shop, Ivanhoe crossing (closed) and caught up with Karen’s step sister (Julie) and her family and also had tea at Cheech (ex Dongra) and his family.

Ivanhoe Crossing

El Questro
We then headed off to El Questro which is at the start of the Gibb River, it is bitumen most of the way except for the last 19km. This part of the road was meant to be good and was in most parts but had large sections of corrugated road and also 3 water crossings. No real problems as we had lowered the tyres pressure and the deepest part was only to the sidesteps of the cruiser. We did get a bit of water into the side storage boxes on the van, but these are an aftermarket item and only stored item that weren’t affected by the water

Last River Crossing on way to El Questro 

We originally booked in for 4 nights at a non powered site at $22 pp pn plus $20 pp wilderness pass(7 days), being a 4 night stay you then receive a 20% discount. We then extended the stay on two seperate occasions totalling 6 nights but on the last occasion they gave us two extra nights at a cost of $8.80 ( we didn’t complain).

We were lucky enough to get a riverside site and gathered wood for a nightly fire.

Our campsite 

Emma Gorge

This Gorge is about 3.2 km return and takes about 2 hours with out stoppages. This Gorge is a very popular with large volumes of people. It has a swimming spot about 200m from Emma’s Gorge.

Swimming spot about 200m from Emma Gorge

Emma Gorge

Pentecost River and Hove Valley Station

We drove out to Home Valley Station after completing Emma Gorge, to get there you must drive through the Pentecost River. I must admit I was expecting this River to be a bit higher and more difficult and might have even been more shallower than the entry to El Questro. Home Valley is 9km past here and is similar to El Questro but not as many attractions nearby.

​Pentecost River Crossing

Amelia Gorge

This Gorge is 3.4 km return and has a nice swimming spot at the end and around the half way point.The second half of this Gorge is a little more challenging than some of the others with some walks on cliff edges and some rock climbing , it is also the place we had a near miss with a small snake. On the way back we were crossing the water using stepping stones Karen was in front and was in the motion of stepping onto the next stone she saw a snake ( baby about 30cm long) there but was committed to the landing the snake wrapped around Karen’s shoe. Luckily it was trying to get away as much as Karen was trying to flick it off and it swam away. For me it was like slow motion to far back to do anything but I saw it hanging there and heard Karen’s scream and even thought about getting the camera out but I was to slow. I must say we packed a compression bandage for future hikes.

Zebedee Springs

This is only a short 1km return through dense palm to small thermal pools. These are only open from 7am until 12 and are extremely popular. We visited these twice on the second occasion we arrived early to make most of the warm waters.

Zebedee Springs

El Questro Gorge

This Gorge is 6.8km return or 2.6 return at the half way mark, we only completed the halfway mark as the second half required swimming with your gear and then climbing from the water wedging yourself up to the top of 3 meters rocks. Then we were told it was even harder behind that and not want to risk injury we piked out. This Gorge I found to be the most picturesque from nearly the start until the finish.

Half way poolLook how clear the water is, look hard to see the fish
Explosion Gorge and Brankos Lookout

This is a 4×4 drive of 34km and is well worth the drive, Explosion Gorge is on the Chamberlain River and Brankos Lookout is a steep drive overlooking gorges further downstream. To do this trip you must cross the Chambelain River which takes about 5 minutes in low range crossing over large rocks.

Chamberlain River Crossing
Explosions Gorge
View from a Broncos Lookout
The view from Bronkos Lookout at the very private El Questro Homestead ($2000 pn)
Pidgeon Hole Lookout 

This Lookout is located past the private camping sites and overlooks the Pentecost River

Saddleback Ridge Lookout

Is located 6km from our campsite and gives a 360 view of the whole area. The access is extremely steep and rocky and is completed in low range 4×4. They say you can walk it but why would you.

Saddleback Ridge Lookout
Jackaroo Waterhole

We stopped off here to try out the new fishing reel and lures, unfortunately we didn’t have any luck

We can thoroughly recommend El Questro for a visit and well worth 4 days (we stayed 7), they have live music most nights and a happy hour. We went up one night and enjoyed pizza night and most nights they had a good crowds.

On our last night we had the Posty Bike Gibb River group camp next to us, this was over 30 bikes and is used to raise funds for charity.

Posty Bike Run

6/6/2017 Bungle Bungle WA

We booked into the Bungle Bungle caravan park ($50pn powered site, $35pn unpowered & $20pn for storage) for one night unpowered then 2 night storage then another night unpowered. This would enable us to spend 2 nights at the Purnululu National Park which includes the Bungle Bungles. The park is really a working farm that has been partially transformed into a bush caravan park to cater for the tourist.

Bungle Bungle Caravan Park
We left early Saturday morning for the drive into the park which is 53km on corrugated track with lots of small creek crossings this took about 90 minutes nothing to hard but it was a good thing to leave the van behind.

​The largest creek crossing the remainder were much smaller
At the entrance we dropped into the information centre and also obtained our camping passes that we had booked online. We had booked one night at each campsite ($12pp pn)

We started our first hike at echidna this is a 2km track with narrow chasm and varying hues, the colour of the sunlight was great.
Echidna Chasm
Next was a quick look out at Osmand Lookout

Then we moved to the Mini Palms hike at 4.4 km it covers a wide range of scenery with some steep slopes and large fallen rocks but nothing to hard

Mini Palms
We then set up camp at Kurrajong campground, this is a largest campground.

Kurrajong Campground 
The second day we packed up early and headed south to tackle the Southern walks which was about 12km in total, these tracks all lead off the major walk to Whip Snake Gorge . We decided to walk there first and check out the Window,Cathedral Gorge and the Domes on the way back. Glad we left early as we completed about 1pm and the temperature coming off the rocks was noticeable 

Bungle Bungles

Whip Snake Gorge
The Window
Part of the trail out
Cathedral Gorge
We then left to set up camp at Walardi Campground and to sit back and have a well deserved rest

Walardi Campground
The next day after packing up we set off for our Helicopter ride, this was a treat and was something on our hit list. We decided to do the 18min ride at a cost of $289 each this gave us a great aerial view of the area we has covered the day before.

This has so far been the highlight of our trip and we suggest that if your in the area you take time out to visit .