Tuesday 31st May 2011
Day 61 - Carnarvon to Coral Bay - 238 kms.

  • Weather: Started off mild and finished at about 25° but overcast.
  • Wind: calm.
  • Daily distance travelled with fiver: 238 kms. Total towed this trip: 6.510 kms.
  • Next G Mobile reception at Coral Bay: Yes
  • Next G 'Blue Toaster' reception with external aerial: Yes, without external aerial.
Well today was 'B' day - Battery day, we expected a phonecall from Bob at Carnarvon Auto Electrics about 8:30am to say that the courier had delivered the batteries. Well, no phone call, so we left the 'Old Farts' CP and headed to the dump point to 'empty the shitter'. While driving to the shitter, Bob rang to say that he had 2 batteries at his factory and when can he expect us to be there. We told him after we empty the shitter, we arrived at his factory about 8:45am and he arranged to fit the batteries for us. While the batteries were being fitted, his dog came up to me and dropped a stick at my feet. After about an hour, I finished playing fetch with his dog, I think it is a kelpie type, it had endless energy and when he got buggered he would lay in the puddles, see photos. Anyway, the batteries were installed and after paying $484 for 2 AC Delco 12V 780MCA 600CCA 82AH 130RC model DCM24SMF batteries, we left Bob, I also gave Julian the guy who installed the batteries, a couple of dollars to have a drink. We left Carnarvon at 10:08am and if you ever need your batteries attended too, then call into Bob at Carnarvon Auto Electrician.
First stop was at Minlya Roadhouse about 137kms from Carvarvon for diesel, their food choices were very scarce, so we just topped up and headed to Coral Bay, arriving at 1:05pm. We setup camp on site 187 and it took me about 30 minutes to setup the Satellite dish, eventually, the dish is working after I set it up at the back of the fiver.

About 3pm, Marg and I walked down to the beach, the water is warm ish, we may not need a wetsuit, I will tell you tomorrow. At 3:30pm there was a large crowd of people on the beach, I found out that it is the 'free' fish feeding, so we walked over and saw the feed, I think that they were pink snapper, about 18" long. They were large fish.
As we walked back to camp, we checked out Coral Bay, it is not a large town, it has a resort, 2 caravan parks, about 20 houses and a Supermarhet shopping centre, generally, it is very small, there doesn't appear to be any reason to drive anywhere, so most people just walk. It was probably 400 meters from our site to the beach. Anyway, while walking back to camp, we checked out everything that is here and by the time I got back to camp, I had a ticket for Whale Shark Adventure for Thursday, Marg is having a day by herself and so am I, swimming with a Whale Shark. I can't wait, I will also receive a DVD of me swimming with a Whale Shark, so hopefully, we find a whale shark.

Bob's dog. See I told you that he was crazy.

Bob's dog. He dropped the stick.

Are we there yet? Nope.

Marg in the water. Check out the sky.

A stingray.

Fish feeding.

Wednesday 1st - Thursday 2nd June 2011
Days 62 - 63 - Having fun in Coral Bay.

Wednesday 1st June
Day 62 - Snorkelling at Coral Bay.

  • Weather: Started off beautiful and continued so far, must be 25°.
  • Wind: about 5kph W.
A mild night, I only used my ONE blanket.
Went to sleep about 8pm and woke about 6am, strange that. Tried to find a radio station but no AM or FM stations to be found. By the way, yesterday I had trouble trying to find the satellite at one stage I have given up and tried to tune in analogue Tv, but no stations found. Not to give in, I moved the satellite dish from the front to the back of the fiver and this worked, it is sort of cramped van sites for a sat dish to work.
Anyway I got sidetracked again, at 6am Marg woke and so we flicked on Sunrise and watched them until 9am. After showering in bore water, we wandered over to the surf shops, and looked at rashies. Tour-Surf shop no. 1 didn't have any in adult sizes, big help. Surf shop the price was $140 reduced from $179 I didn't get to see the sizes, the price put me off. Tour-Surf shop no. 2 had them long sleeve 2XL for $50 each, we bought a pink one and a black one. My pink one clashes something shocking with my flippers, or did Marg wear the pink one, you may never know, as I didn't take my camera to the beach, as I didn't want it flogged, consequently, no photos available, and also Coral bay do not hire underwater cameras. Bummer. You can buy a 10 shot film underwater plastic disposable Kodak camera for $25, that's no good for me, I am only warming up at 10 shots.

Here is this morning's description of our beach activities, I will try to paint the picture: I took towel, flippers, mask, snorkell and rashy, I wore my throngs, boardies and a T shirt, I also had a $20 note in my boardies for Ron, as in 'Later on'. Marg took towel, flippers, mask, snorkell and rashy, she wore throngs, bathers and a cheese cloth dress and smokes. We walked the 200 meters to the closest beach, then took off our throngs and walked through the water for another 200 meters, to where I saw about 10 people snorkelling. We dropped our gear and walked into the water, the tide is in, the first 50 meters was about knee depth, then the bottom drops away to approx 4 meters and the coral starts. Ohh, did I tell you that the water is crystal clear, sorry I forgot too, also did I tell you that it was WARM without a wetsuit on, sorry I forgot too. We put on our flippers etc and slowly swam towards where the coral is. The first thing that I saw underwater were the snapper from last night, they were just staring at me about a meter away, then as I got nearer to the coral the fish numbers increased. The coral is not that colourful, but its closeness to the beach made up for any lack of colour. I showed Marg a large clam about 18" wide and heaps of different shapes of coral. The fish are obviously used to humans as they kept just out of my reach, I even tried to grab a snapper, but guess what, it moved. It was just beautiful in the water. After about 2 hours, I left the water and Marg was already ashore, so we walked back to camp, showered, hung out our beach gear and had lunch. It is 2:10pm and we are going back for another snorkel about 3:30pm. The current weather is about 25°s with a light onshore breeze and some high level clouds filtering out the sun.

About 3:30pm, I went snorkelling without Marg. This time I went straight off the beach in front of the beach access path, I know that you feel for me, but the water was a bit murky, so I only stayed about 30 minutes and then went back to camp and had a chilled refresher or two.

Tomorrow, I am leaving at 8am to swim with the Whale Shark, I can't wait. Talk later if I am not eaten by the Whale Shark.

Thursday 2nd June
Day 63 - Marg cleaned the fiver and I went swimming with a Whale Shark.

  • Weather: At 4:10am it pissed rain, I had to get up to close all the hatches and windows.
  • Wind: Light SW.
I couldn't believe it about 4:10am, it fell out of the sky, I was up and closing all the hatches and all the windows, I even went outside and brought in the washing, until then it was a mild to warm night. It rained for 30 minutes and I thought that's all I need, as I was going to swim with a Whale Shark. Anyway I got up at 7am and the weather had changed to a cloudless sky with a light breeze. I left Marg to clean the fiver and I walked over the road, about 100 meters from camp, to the Coral Bay Adventures (CBA), a bit like Frostys Aussie Adventures, maybe not.
We all met at CBA and at 8am the 18 hopefuls were loaded into a mini bus and our adventure had started, we were driven to the boat harbour. We alighted from the mini bus and boarded our vessel for the day, it was probably 50ft long and 20ft wide not a catamaran, just a single hull. We left the jetty and headed north, we also slipped into our wetsuits. First stop was about 1 kilometer from the shore and the jetty, where we dropped anchor and went snorkelling and looking at coral and fish, this lasted about 45 minutes and was brilliant. I saw a turtle, a stingray and heaps of coloured fish. Back on board and we continued North, our fearless skipper said it will probably take about 1.5 to 2 hours to get to the area that a Whale Shark was seen yesterday, so we made ourselves comfortable, I went and sat on the front deck, so I could watch where we were going, there were about 8 others with me, including a 29yo Swiss chick. On our way, we saw flying fish, 2 sea snakes (I just managed to photo one) and that was it. There were 2 other Whale Shark boats with us about a kilometer in front and out to sea of us, there was also a spotter aircraft. The Tuesday tour didn't see any Whale Sharks, so the policy is that you can go again on another day, so we had 5 people from Tuesday's tour with us.

We arrived at the area where the Whale Shark was, it was just off Point Cloates (check it out that is a fair distance from Coral Bay) and about 500 meters seaside of the breaking surf on the outer reef. We were grouped into 2 groups of 9 including a guide, so 10 in total. As there are 3 tour boats in the area the 1 st boat drops their first group off and after x minutes it drops off the 2 group and picks up their 1st group, then the 2nd boat drops off their 1st group and the 1st boat picks up their 2 group, get the idea, then when all persons on the 3 boats have had a swim, we start again, we managed 4 or 5 swims each.

The skipper positions his boat in front of the Whale Shark and it swims towards us and then when we see it, we move to its side and then as its head passes us, we swim after it, sounds easy well it ain't. When it was my group's turn, we slipped into the water at the back of the boat as smoothly as possible as not to scare the Whale Shark. We swam towards our guide and then you see it. IT IS BLOODY AWESOME. My first sighting was my best it just swam straight at me, it was so magnificent, just gently swimming not too fast straight at me, I moved to its side and it just glided past me, so awesome. Have I already said that, IT WAS .... I am lost for words. Just Brilliant. So I managed another 4 swims, 3 were good, the other one the Whale Shark decided to dive so we let him. Skipper reckons that it was about 8 meters, you know, longer than our van. The Whale Shark had probably 20 sucker fish and heaps of smaller fish just swimming with it.
On our last swim, my Swiss chick called out SHARK. and sure enough, there was a reef shark swimming about 10 meters away, it does send nasty thoughts through your mind, but we all got back to the 'mother ship' some quicker than others, I think that I was first back. No, only joking.
On the way back to the jetty, we saw 2 hump back whales and some Manta rays and then close to the jetty but a different spot to the first snorkelling spot, we stopped for our 2nd snorkelling go, the tide was going out so some of the coral was very close to the surface and with the waves washing over it, the fish and I mean walls of fish were on our side. There was fish everywhere.

It was a magic day. Ohhh yes, Marg enjoyed cleaning the fiver as well.

Tomorrow, we are driving to Ningaloo Lighthouse CP in Exmouth about 160 kms.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to me standing on my head holding the aerial trying to get an Internet connections, some of the photos may not be here, BUT I will try over the next few days to complete the upload.

Video of a Whale shark swim this is the tour company that I went with, video courtesy of www.westernaustralia.com

I am 3rd from the left, near the tail.

Psyching myself up for the big day.

We are ready for action.

I certainly fill out a wetsuit. What a spunk.

A little scary as we were swimming very close to the breaking waves on the reef.

Our unexpected guests just cruised by.

Me in action. I'm too big to fit in the shot.

Friday 3rd June 2011
Day 64 - Coral Bay to Exmouth - 169 kms.

  • Weather: Started off mild and finished at about 25° but overcast.
  • Wind: calm.
  • Daily distance travelled with fiver: 169 kms. Total towed this trip: 6,679 kms.
  • Next G Mobile reception at Ningaloo CP Exmouth: No but is available at the Lighthouse.
  • Next G 'Blue Toaster' reception with or without external aerial: No but is available at the Lighthouse.
Today, we were no hurry to leave as we only had a lazy 169 kms to go, so we took our time. I was up at 6;30am showered and on the internet, I woke Marg at 7:30am and we started to pack up and also chatted to our next door neighbours, he was interested in our 5th wheeler. We left Coral Bay at 9:12am and headed the 10kms to the Minilya Exmouth Rd about 70kms north was the Burkett Rd junction, then about 107kms to Ningaloo Lighthouse CP, we stopped at a Rest Area about 30kms north of Burkett Rd and then drove non stop to Exmouth and then the extra 17 kms to the Ningaloo Lighthouse CP.
Ok, a lot of people told us to stay here, but really, it is nothing startling as a CP and its biggest drawback is that there is NO INTERNET OR NEXT G MOBILE. So Marg and I are devastated, you can get Next G reception at the Lighthouse lookout about 1 kilometer from here.

This was our dilemma, how to get the internet. We can't get internet at camp, so what do we do. Marg's WiFi modem is out of money and my 'Blue Toaster' runs on 240volts. We will not take the fiver to the Lighthouse lookout that is not an option, we will not take the generator to the Lighthouse lookout and run the 'Blue Toaster' modem that is not an option, our only option is to try and get Marg's WiFi modem with some money, so we drive into Exmouth. First stop is the Tourist Info, we are trying to buy another WiFi modem the latest model is MF-60 which is the same as Marg's MF-30 but has an external aerial socket, I believe. So Tourist Centre, said try Betta Electrical, they didn't have one BUT we did buy an underwater camera. Marg always wanted one for our snorkelling, $363 later, we leave Betta Electrical. They also said try the Post Office for the modem, the post Office only had one and had sold it, so after talking to the post office chick, we bought some pre-paid for Marg's MF-30 WiFi modem. Now remembering that her modem is out of money, I asked the Post office chick, 'can you load the money onto Marg's prepaid modem? as we cannot access the internet because we have no money, Post office chick says that we can log onto Telstra using Marg's no money modem.' We didn't try because we didn't think you could. So while we were in Exmouth, we tried to get onto the internet using my mobile, problem, my mobile was nearly flat, so tried using Marg's mobile, this worked but I couldn't remember my Telstra username and password, so we drove back to our CP and I copied the URL, username and password and then we drove up to the lighthouse and spent nearly 20 minutes trying to log onto Telstra, in the end we gave up. SO... We drove back down from the lighthouse lookout and called into camp, picked up Marg's laptop and modem and drove back to Exmouth, stopping at the shop which had internet access. I paid the chick $2 for 15 minutes on their computer, I entered Telstra's info, entered the voucher number and everything appeared to work correctly, SO, we sat in the mighty Navara out the front of the shop and Marg turned on her laptop and modem, after 5 minutes, we had internet connection, SO, we checked the Telstra balance, we have $100, I am now happy. SO, we drive back the 17kms to our camp, picture this, I am driving, it is just on dusk and Marg is on the internet in the mighty Navara, playing her Facebook game until we get to approx 1km from camp, where we lose all Telstra reception. The plan now is to update the website, get all the files and photos ready to uplaod, then each morning, we will drive to the lighthouse lookout, logon the internet and upload all the relative files and check any emails that arrive. As Matty my former workmate says "It sounds like a plan".

Who said Marg and I are hooked on the internet. Well, we are. So there.

Saturday 4th - Monday 6th June 2011
Days 65 - 67 - Having fun in Cape Range NP and Exmouth.

Saturday 4th June
Day 65 - Exploring the Cape Range NP.

  • Weather: It rained overnight but was still humid. Stayed overcast for most of the day with some sunny patches. Still was comfortable in shorts and T shirt.
  • Wind: about 20kph NW along shore.
It rained overnight, so no real drama, we also had the fan on all night as it was very humid. Slept in until about 7am. I only pulled on my blanket about 4am.
As you know we do not have any Internet or mobile reception in camp, so we decided to go to the mountain, well the Ningaloo Lighthouse lookout hill and log onto the internet using Marg's WiFi moden, now that it has money on it. So we drove to the lighthouse, as we reached the top of the lookout and came to the carpark, there were about 10 cars with only 2 people physically out of their cars and looking at the view, the rest were on mobile phones, a weird scene. Well imagine when anyone walked past the mighty Navara, the 2 occupants were on laptops, even weirder. I uploaded about 110 photos of my Whale Shark swim, but when I tested the website a couple of the photos did not work, so hopefully tomorrow, I will have solved that problem.
We left the lighthouse lookout and headed for the snorkelling beaches (Lakeside, Turquiose Bay and Oyster Stacks) along the coast in Cape Range NP. After about 20kms we arrived at the Rangers station and paid $40 for a 28 day pass, as we will spend 3 days in Cape Range, then 2 days in Karijini and then a day or 2 at Bungle Bungle NPs. We drove to the Milyering Visitor Centre and got a pamphlet on the snorkelling beaches, then away we went, first stopped at Lakeside beach, it had 7 caravans staying there and with the off shore breeze, we didn't go swimming. Next stop was Turquoise Bay, the first sign displayed 'No trailers or caravans', instead they were about 20 cars in the carpark and with the offhsore breeze there was nobody swimming BUT about 200 meters away around the point there were heaps of people snorkelling and sunbaking and frolicking on the sands. We decided to check out Oyster Stacks and then onto Yardie Creek Gorge about 25kms further south. Oyster Stacks is only suited to high tide snorkelling, because it is so shallow, you could damage the coral. We continued onto Yardie Creek and walked the 1.2km return walk to the Yardie Creek Gorge, it was a small Gorge but quite impressive. We arrived back at camp about 4pm, after a top day.

Tomorrow, we hope to snorkel at Turquoise Bay, if all the planets align.

We are truly mad. At the Lighthouse lookout using the Internet.

Marg at the Yardie Creek Gorge.

Creek crossing at Yardie Creek. We didn't cross the creek.

Taken from the lighthouse.

Taken from the lighthouse.

Me at Lakeside beach.

Sunday 5th June
Day 66 - Snorkelling at Turquoise Bay.

  • Weather: About 3am, the heavens opened and continued until 8:45am ish. Currently, there are blue patches appearing.
  • Wind: Calm.
It rained overnight, and is very humid. We laid in bed to watched the satellite TV, until we lost reception due to the heavy rain clouds, so I tuned in the analogue TV and watched that until it died, because it is re-transmitted from a satellite system.
We are about to drive up to the Lighthouse lookout, so we can connect to the internet. If you are reading this then it worked. Maybe.

Well, we went to the mountain, as the mountain won't come to us. We spent about an hour at the Lighthouse lookout, I was uploading files and checking emails etc, Marg was checking emails and playing her facebook game. We then drove to Turquoise Bay and went snorkelling for 1.5 hours, it was great, the water was a little murky but it was not cold. I only had on my boardies and rashy and once you were under, you didn't notice the temperature at all. I tried out Marg's new underwater camera with a lazy 135 photos. The general consensus of Marg's new camera is, it is bloody great. It takes panoramic photos and we can use it underwater, so we are rapt.

It is now 4pm, it hasn't rained since 11am and as I am finishing this update, we are off again to the mountain to use the internet. See, we are both loonies.

A pink mermaid. Ohh no, it's only Marg.

A large fish.

A colourful fish.

Monday 6th June
Day 67 - Shopping in Exmouth and snorkelling at Turquoise Bay.

  • Weather: Most of the night, we had light, intermittent rain, nothing heavy. Thank God
  • Wind: Calm.
Marg and I are over the rain, as I write this (6:55am) it has increased to the official term of 'pissing down'.
In reality, the rain hasn't stopped us doing things, as it has mainly rained overnight and by the time that we have organised ourselves in the morning, it has nearly stopped.

Today, our plan of attack is to drive the 17kms into Exmouth, do some shopping, this will include some food and I want to buy 'Wally', you will have to wait and see, what Wally is. hehehehehehe. We will then go back to camp and unpack the shopping and then head up to the Lighthouse lookout, so we can connect to the internet, after we have our 'internet fix', we will probably drive the 44km to Turquoise Bay and even if it is still raining, we will probably go snorkelling.
With the rain, the cloud cover has interferred with the satellite TV signal, as I said the other day, even the local TV is a re-transmitted Satellite signal, so the rain cloud cover interfers with the broadcast. BUT, I have a backup, we have started watching ALL the Family Guy episodes, which I have on my Western Digital (WD) 2TB HDD playing through my WD TV media player. We have managed quiet a few chuckles watching this series.

Well, it is STILL raining and we are now pissed off (another technical term). We drove into Exmouth and shopped and while we were there, it fell out of the sky. Even the local Exmouthians are saying that they haven't seen rain like that for years. Typical.
We spent the afternoon in the fiver watching taped shows, we will not be going to Turquoise Bay, as it is TOO WET.

Latest update as at 4:40pm, it has rained all day, some of the roads are flooded but passable, come hell or high water, well hopefully not high water, we are leaving tomorrow even if I have to ford a raging torrent or drive through a little water, we're out of here. This afternoon, Marg had a nanna nap, I laid on the bed and listened to the 'Rhythm of the Rain by the Cascades', but it wasn't the Cascades it was Send it down Huey and his all Stars. About 3:45pm, we could lay in bed and do the above or go back to the 'Lighthouse Lookout' and get on the internet. G'day World, we are on the internet.

Tomorrow, we head for Tom Price and Karijini NP with an overnighter at Nanutarra RH. I know everyone says don't buy fuel there.

Another rain squall approaching.

Getting closer.

The radio towers were covered in rain clouds.

Tuesday 7th June 2011
Day 68 - Ningaloo Lighthouse CP to Tom Price - 653 kms.

  • Weather: Started off mild and overcast and stayed cloudy all day. Got to about 25°.
  • Wind: calm.
  • Daily distance travelled with fiver: 653 kms. Total towed this trip: 7,332 kms.
  • Next G Mobile reception at Tom Price: Yes.
  • Next G 'Blue Toaster' reception with or without external aerial: Yes
  • without aerial. Beautiful Internet is available.
Today, we are planning to drive to Nanutarra Roadhouse which is approx 300kms away, then drive into Tom Price tomorrow.
The rain has eased overnight and when we woke it had stopped, so without the interent we were packed and ready to leave by 8:20am. On the way to Exmouth we could see where the water covered the road, but by now, it had subsided considerably and was no danger at all. We drove the 107kms to the Burkett Rd turnoff then 75 kms eastwards to the North West Coastal Hwy then 110kms to the Nanutarra Roadhouse. When we arrived at the Nanutarra Roadhouse, we filled up with fuel and I asked if they had internet reception, which they didn't. So, we decided to stop at the 24hr rest area about 50kms further on. When we got there it was a bog due to the rain over the previous days, so we thought 'Bugger it' we will drive to Tom Price, so we did. Stopping a few times to take photos of the scenery, it was awesome. We arrived at Tom Price Tourist Park about 5:30pm. Today we drove 653kms which is a daily record for Marg and I. As it is now dark, we only setup the fiver with power and will finish setting it up tomorrow. As we were both tired and couldn't be bothered cooking dinner, we drove into downtown Tom Price and had Thai for dinner from the Red Breeze restaurant. It was Yumma.
I had an early night.

Wednesday 8th - Saturday 11th June 2011
Days 69 - 72 - Checking out Tom Price and Karijini NP.

Wednesday 8th June
Day 69 - Clean up day in Tom Price.

  • Weather: It was cool overnight with a heavy dew. Today it got to 21°, still shorts and T shirt weather.
  • Wind: about 15kph S.
When I went to bed last night,it was cold and dewwy, so I broke out my sleepingbag, by about 1am, I was too warm, so I threw off my sleepingbag and went back to my blankets, I slept until 7am.
Today was BIG washing day, as we haven't done clothes washing for 8 days, as Coral Bay and Exmouth's water is not suitable for washing, so we had built up a big pile of dirty clothes to wash. As we were doing wash after wash, I finished setting up the fiver, this time, the awning is open and I tuned in the satellite dish. By lunchtime, the fiver was all setup and Marg and I went into downtown Tom Price and I filled up with fuel as the empty light came on last night as I turned into the CP, next port of call was the Tourist Centre, on leaving the tourist centre, we are booked on tomorrow's all day Karijini NP tour $150 each and then on Friday we are on the 9am Tom Price Mine tour $28 each.
While at the Tourist Centre, we spoke to Anne about where to find 'pretty rocks', I also asked where can we found Hermatite (this contains iron ore), she said everywhere, so driving back to camp, we went up a 4WD drive and found hermatite the size of a house brick, we also found banded hermatite, some jasper, some quartz, and on Saturday we 'maybe' off to check out some creek beds. My problem is that the tray of the mighty Navara is filling up with heaps of 'pretty rocks' at least 100kgs so far.

Here is a photo of Wally, he is a stuffed Whale Shark, now Wally is the second stuffed toy that I have bought since I have been married. The first stuffed toy was 'Fred Bear' he was a 5 foot BLUE and white bear, at the time, late 70s, we had a multiple shades of blue bedspread and when I saw Fred at the CBC Bank staff shop, I had to buy him. Marg had to drive into Melbourne CBD to pick Fred and me up, because I couldn't take him home on the train. When I walked through the Banking chamber carrying a 5 foot stuffed Blue and while bear, Marg nearly died, because Fred was PURPLE and white and totally unsuitable for sitting on our bedspread, these are the joys of being colourblind. hehhehehehe

Tomorrow, we are doing the Karijini Gorges tour.

No photos for today.

Thursday 9th June
Day 70 - Karijini National Park - day tour.

  • Weather: Started cold with clear blue sky. Stayed cloudless all day and reached about 25°s. Beautiful.
  • Wind: Calm.
We set the alarm for 6am as Chris our tour guide/driver dogs body was picking us up from the caravan park at 7:30am, so we had to ready. We were. There were only 6 of us and all from the caravan park (Ian and Val, Peter and Margaret (as against Marg), Marg and me) and Chris the tour guide. I also took Harry Hema with us, so we left camp at 7:39am and arrived at Weano Gorge and Oxer lookout at 8:48am. The views from the lookout were magic, we stayed until 9:21am when we drove back to Weano Gorge carpark and had a cuppa. Left at 9:43 and headed to Joffre Falls again the view was awesome, but the falls were a bit light on with water, we watched 2 people climb down to the floor, good on them, not for this little black duck. Stayed here for 18 minutes and then headed to Knox Gorge, I am sick of saying magic, awesome etc, so just believe me all the gorges were spectacular. Next stop was Kalamina Falls, this is where we walked to the bottom of the Gorge to see the falls and then walk about 600 meters downstream to view the gorge, rock formations and all the views. Sorry, I couldn't resist it, but it was bloody brilliant. You could also swim here, we brought our togs with us, but the water was freezing, so Marg and I and none of our group went in the water. Marg and Val didn't venture down to the gorge floor, they stayed at the picnic area and guarded the picnic table with their lives. They were successful, so after we arrived back from the walk, we had lunch supplied by the tour. It was yumma. The walk and lunch stop took 1 hour 32 minutes (thanks Harry Hema).

After lunch, we visited the Karijini Visitor Centre for 33 minutes, they had the luxury for flushing toilets, as against the long drops at the lookouts. Just for something different, I bought a stubby holder at the Visitors Centre, I now have at least 20 on this trip. Marg loves them, the way they collect dust at home.
Next stop was at Circular Falls, here the terrain is very different to all the others gorges, the other gorges was unreal layered rock structures, where here it looks like dirt. After 23 minutes we drove a short distance to the Fortescue Falls, here we again walked to the Falls and when we arrived there were some overseas visitors swimming, so naturally I took some scenery shots. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. We were here for 62 minutes. That was our tour, we now headed back to camp, it took 1 hour 16 minutes.
It was a great tour, the 6 of us from our CP and Chris all jelled beautifully and really had fun. To fill in the 75 minutes going to and from Karijini, Chris had made a tape of a lot of info which he played on the way to, and on the way home, we listened to his comedy tapes and we all pissed ourselves, so Chris had a messy bus to cleanup after us. The price was $155 each and well worth it.

We were buggered when we arrived back at camp bang on 4:30pm, but we still had some energy to down a couple of chilled refreshers.
David and Lenice, who we camped beside at Coral Bay, had arrived and were 2 vans from us, so we wander over there to drink. About 5 minutes after we arrived, Louise interrupts our conversation, by talking to Marg.
Another small world moment, Lousie just happens to work at the same school as Marg and she heard her voice and came to see if it was Marg. It was. Louise and her husband Gary had left Melbourne about 3 weeks ago via Alice and the Great Central road. Unbelieveable that we had actually met up along the track, it appears that they are arriving in Broome the day before we are leaving and also staying at the Cable Beach CP with us, so we will meet again.

What a top day, now for an early night.

The Adventurers.

A lovely Waterfall.

I love my rocks.

It was beautiful.

and again.

A lonely tree.

Friday 10th June
Day 71 - Tom Price Mine tour, Rock Hunting and Mt Nameless lookout.

  • Weather: Started cold with clear blue sky. Stayed cloudless all day and reached about 25°s. Beautiful. Same as yesterday and the day before.
  • Wind: Calm.
We set the alarm for 7am as we had to be at the Tom Price Visitor Centre by 9am to catch the Lestock Tour bus for the Tom Price Mine tour. Bob was the owner/driver, he talked non stop for over 90 minutes, he was brilliant. We left the Visitors Centre at 9am and drove along town and then through the various stages of Tom Price's building stages, as in 60s, 70s etc, then onto the Mine site. We drove pass the maintenance area and then upto the lookout, which showed the open cut and while there we saw many BIG dump trucks come and go down into the pit. Over to the conveyor belt area, showing where they sort the iron ore into various percentages, then past the train filling area. Each train has approx 240 trucks and upto 5 diesels pulling and pushing the trucks. It was a great tour and only $28 each, booked at the Visitor Centre.

Back at camp to make some lunch and then off to the Hamersley Ranges, to look for some Zebra Rock. It was 70kms from camp, 20kms along the sealed road, then 50 kms along a gravel road. We drove up a track and walked along a dried creekbed and found some pretty rocks, but I was here on a mission to find a chunk of 'Zebra Rock', so we parked closer to the mountain, here I packed my backpack with a pick, cold chisel (not the group) and a small sledge hammer and also a long handle spade and I set off on my journey for the 'holy grail', the first thing I noticed was the kangaroo about 20 feet away, looked at me and then just bounded away. First obstacle was a 20 foot high rocky ridge which I had to overcome to get to the next obstacle that was to climb about 100 meter up the side of a steep shaly hill. I was told roughly that the rock was 2/3 the way up the hill on the right hand side. So away I go and bugger me if I don't find some. There were 2 bits and then I dug up a 3rd bit measuring 19" long x 12" wide x 4" high, a decent chunk of rock, I reckon that it weighed about 30 kgs. It was too heavy for my back pack, so I carried it under one arm and my long handled spade in the other, and started to go down the mountain, well, hill anyway, on the way down I had to change arms many times, because the rock waas bloody heavy. I finally made it back to Marg, who had taken photos of me on the mountain. Back at the mighty Navara, we admired my rock and then proceeded back to camp.

We arrived back at camp about 3pm and picked up David and Lenice as we were driving uo to the summit of Mt Nameless which overlooks Tom Price, it is a 4WD access only and by Christ, I could seewhy, it was up and down the mountain in Low Range 1st and 2nd gears only. Shit, It was steep, but the mighty Navara took it in its stride, I don't know about its occupants. Got to the top and the views were stunning, drove down the hill, got back to camp and had some well deserved chilled refreshers, Thanks David, he gave me a couple for taking Lenice and himself with us.
Tomorrow, everyone is leaving us and it is our last day in Tom Price.

A Big Dump Truck.

Our group at the Tom Price Lookout overlooking the open cut.

That digger weighs 360 tonne.

Only one ridge to go. Can I make it?

I am a show off.

That rock is so BLOODY heavy.

A brilliant view.

Tom Price mine.

Hamersley Range.

The view was magic.

Saturday 11th June
Day 72 - Rest day after all our previous activities.

  • Weather: Isn't this boring. Started cold with clear blue sky. Stayed cloudless all day and reached about 25°s. Beautiful. Same for everyday that we have been in Tom Price.
  • Wind: Calm.
We were up to say 'Goodbye' to Gary and Louise, David and Lenice, Dennis and his wife, Paul and his wife, sorry I forgot your names, they were all going to Dales Campground at Karijini NP. So as Marg and I were deserted we had a very easy day, went into downtown Tom Price to do some shopping, pumped up the tyres and then back to camp for the rest of the day. I slowly packed up all our gear in readiness for tomorrow's departure, I also washed the mighty Navara. During the afternoon, we just sat outside in the magnificent sunshine. I may have said this somewhere before but "Isn't Life Tough'.
Tomorrow, we head for Point Samson, via Karijini Drive and then left on the Great Northern hwy, then left onto North West Coastal hwy to Point Samson. We plan to do a free camping overnight, but not sure where.

No Photos for today.