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 .

1/6/2017 Derby WA and surrounds

Well we finally left Deep Water Point after 5 weeks (25/5/17), we really chilled out and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The drive out took approx 4 hours and the Cape Leveque road was worse then when we ventured in, but this was to be expected. The only minor hick up was some of the jar lids in the fridge vibrated off causing a mess for Karen to clean up, we believed this was caused by the fridge being mainly empty and things being able to move around.

28/5/17 Roebuck Plains Roadhouse Caravan Park

We spent the next 3 night here, doing a day trip into Broome to replenish our supplies and to also wash the car and van. This park is quite small with also very small bays as we could only fit the van and car and not enough room to have the awning out. But at $33 on with power and a swimming pool it was good value compared to Broome.
29/5/2017 Derby

We then travel to Derby hoping to venture into the western section of the Gibb but unfortunately the main sight seeing area were all closed and after two days here no definable date was at hand for the opening of these. There was talk of it opening in a couple of days but we decided not wait in case this date was pushed back. While in Derby we did check out a few sights like the Boab Trees

30/5/17 Ngumban Cliff

We drove off heading towards Fitzroy Crossing and while there we visited Geike Gorge we did one of the hikes trail and were fortunate to spot 4 crocodiles on the far bank, really notice how much smaller the fresh crocodiles were compared to the salt water ones we had seen at Cape Leveque.

We then decided to continue on our way and arrived at Ngumban Cliff, this is an overnight stay with excellent view and good clean toilets. The views and sunset was a highlight.

1/6/2017 Mary Pool

Our next stop was Mary Pool only approx 80km down the road, this also is a great location with good facilities and we decided to stay two night here. On our first night there would have been approx 40 other campers but there is plenty of room and we had prime location on the river foreshore.

10/5/2017 Deep Water Point, Cape Leveque WA

Well we have been here for three weeks now and are enjoying our time here. We had a few windy days caused mainly by an offshore cyclone which we monitored very closely but locals informed us very unlikely to come inland because of the cool night temperatures (21 is not cool for us ).

After some local advice we started to fish off the rocky point on the western side of the Point on low tide and Karen had instant success catching a Gummy shark and then on other days a Bluebone and Bream. Karen also caught a Black Tip shark but we released this one. What about me you might say well not much luck so far lots of big bites and the loss off wire traces and lures but it will come to those that wait. We really only have one rod and reel set up for sharks as such, but they keep taking the bait in front of the other fish so using the lighter line and rod has proved difficult.

Black Tip shark that we released

Karen’s Bluebone , very nice tasting
Karen’s 1m long Gummy shark
We went out for an adventure last Friday exploring the sites of Cape Leveque, it’s a 35 minute drive just to get to the Cape Leveque Road and from there we first went to Middle Lagoon. This is like a caravan Park costing $20 pp per night water, showers and toilets but no power but you can use your generator here if you have one. While this was in a nice location and the beaches had sand it did highlight what a good deal we have.

Middle Lagoon , looking from beach to caravan park.

From there we continued on wanting to see other places unfortunately we had to miss a few places as some were closed due to the season not yet being in full swing. We drove out back to the CL Road and down to  Beagle Bay. This is a indigenous community and has a very small bakery, a small general store and school and church, the town appears well kept.we visited the bakery not much left as it was about to close (1pm) but got a loaf of bread, we then checked out the General Store not bad but very expensive as we expected but bought a couple of things like fly spray, fishing hooks. After this we visited the church as we had been informed it was quite a tourist attraction due to the inside being decorated with shells. This was a $5 donation.

Karen preaching, but nobody listened
Beagle Bay Shell church
From there we heading back and and up towards the Cape stopping at what appear to be a servo of sorts, they sell fuel some takeaways and the odd general food supplies. We purchased $100 of diesel at $1.95 p/l and you pay up front before they come out to the bowsers about 40m in front of the shop.

From there we visited the Lombadina Community situated about 2km behind the servo, here you pay $10 to be allowed to drive through the Community and visit the Craft Shop (not open due to early in the season) and the wooden church. From there you can drive down to the Beach but they don’t want you going exploring due to many tracks leading to sacred areas, the beach was at low tide when we were there and was fantastic.

Thatched roof on wooden church
Wooden Church

Lombadina Beach

We then headed back to CL Road and headed up to Kooljaman at the top of Cape Leveque, unfortunately we got here a bit late in the day to start exploring and everything came at a cost to walk a trail $5 to drive down the beach $25. It appear to have a top class restaurant and camping facilities $50 pn no power. We would have liked to have gone and checked out the lighthouse but didn’t want to be heading back in the dark. They also have a small aircraft airport here that they use for joy flights. We did treat ourselves to ice creams before heading home.

Kooljaman Beach

26/04/2017 Deep Water Point, Cape Leveque WA

Well we have scored a non paid Caretakers jobs at an old pearling station at Deep water Point. They were looking for a long term Caretakers and we have agreed to stay at least a month. It appears the New Managers of this property have agreed to provide Caretakers whenever possible and we were fortunate to score the position. 

We did a reconnaissance mission with out the van on the on the 17th April to check out the road and track out there as well as meet the Manager who was out there for the Easter break. We drove out with the van out on the 20th to start our duties (holiday really)

Deep point is about 2.5 hours by 4×4 from Broome and took us 4 hours towing (200km)

We are definatley here by ourselves at the nearest people contact would be an hours drive. Fortunately we have reasonable phone and internet reception.

Cape Leveque Road – Muddy in sections and quite badly corrugated in sections. At times we were travelling at 30km per hour

First section of track into Deep Water pointRocky section of track about 1.5km long 
Front gate
Our viewUs all set up
Main Homestead
Small Point HomesteadInside Point Homestead

Point Homestead ShowerOut house at Point Homestead (with a view of the ocean)

 6 Foot plus crocodile swam straight past our camp site about 30 meters out we followed around the Point to the other side of the Point. Keep in mind the point were we are camped is maybe 60 meters in width. I’m informed there is another one about 4m in another bay not far from here.
We were already cautious swimming mainly because of irukandi stingers recently reported to have been in Broome but now we definatley won’t venture to far from the shore. The water temp is very warm you don’t feel any cold whatsoever.

Part of our duties is to monitor who has keys as from history the few odd keys had been given out and before changing locks they want to know who it may affect. The site has an excellent place to launch boats, due to this we had a request from a local resident to launch his boat. Sounds like he knows the local police and they had borrowed him the key to the gate. After checking with the Manager I gave him the ok on this occasion and after a day and night fishing he was kind enough to give us a Fingermark fish. This we had for tea and I must say was an excellent tasting fish.

Karen with the fish we didn’t catch, sorry for my FB friends that presumed we did
Sunsets, spectacular views
Diesel Generator just for our needs (diesel supplied)Water tanks replenished by bore if required. Gravity fed to compound and van, water is excellent no problems drinking.
Old tennis courtsMess and workers accomodation, some of this has been affected by White ants. There is also flushing toilets here that we use.Machinery sheds

19/04/2017 Cable Beach, Broome WA

Have just spent the last week at the Cable Beach Carvan Park, for the 7 nights the cost was about $310 for the two of us at a powered site. The park has about 500 sites and was reasonably quite with about 50 sites being used. This was over the Easter and school holiday period

The park has a large pool and good facilities and was really nice but I don’t know about when it’s full. We had a site near the pool and was under full shade most of the day. The weather was quite humid and warm but nothing to bad that a swim didn’t fix.

Blake, Flick and kids were up for a wedding they stayed at the Pearl Resort next door with there good friends Ben , Dom and kids and Bens mom Michael. We visited them frequently as they had a private pool and it was a good chance to have a last catch up for a while.

Broome itself we quite liked and had most things in shops that we needed and we visited the Markets, Sunset at Cable Beach, Blake and Jayden went camel riding, Matso Brewery for tea.

While here we drove out to Cape Leveque to explore a caretaker roll that we were interested in, but you will here more about that in our next post. This stay will be at least a stay of a month and the road trip in the van could be very slow but we believe worthwhile.

Pool at Cable Beach Caravan Park
Our site a Cable Beach Caravan Park

Sunset Cable Beach
Sunset camel rides, reflections at low tide
Blake and Jayden camel riding 

Sunset BarLow tide Cable Beach 
Blake and Flicks private pool at the Pearl Resort

12/4/2017 80 Mile Beach

Well we’re finally on the road, from now everything further north will be new to us as Pt Hedland had been previously our most northern destination. 80 Mile Beach Caravan Park is located 10km off the highway via a gravel road which had just been recently graded. We elected a power site ($45) which turned out being a good idea as the days were quite hot. Unfortunately we got a site that copped the afternoon sun but all good with air conditioning. The sites are quite large being able to park the vehicle in line with the van.

The beach has a high and low tide of over 100 m which is unbelievable to watch. The fishing they tell me is great we only attempted this on one occasion but had rod issues and caught nothing. Steve and Barb friends from Tom Price  caught a White Samon and there friend caught 2 Black Tip Sharks around the 500mm mark.

We didn’t go swimming as the first 20-40 meters is very murky , beyond that clear but I like to be able to see what I’m treading on at least a little bit.

Sunset and low tide

Sunken dual cab exposed at low tide
On the beach set up to fish
Our camp site

Fishing carts used by long term stayers, these are towed by 4×4 motor bikes and they take these down the beach to go fishing