Thursday 30th June 2011
Day 91 - Fitzroy Crossing to Halls Creek - 290 kms.

  • Weather: A mild night, cool first thing then warms up. It reached 25.7°s at 1:30pm as it was overcast for most of the day.
  • Wind: 0 - 30kph.
  • Daily distance travelled with fiver: 290 kms. Total towed this trip: 9,630 kms.
  • Next G Mobile reception at Halls Creek: Yes.
  • Next G 'Blue Toaster' reception with or without external aerial: Yes. With and without aerial.
  • Telstra WiFi (MF-30) modem: Yes.
I got up about 6am and slowly started packing up, we left the Fitzroy River Lodge at 7:57am.

It was an uneventful drive, not much traffic heading North, but heaps coming south. Our first stop was at the Ngumban Cliff Lookout, this overlooks a gorge. Our next stop was at Mary Pool rest area, we arrived at 10:15am and the joint was chockers. We continued onto Halls Creek CP, arriving at 11:58am and chose our site. I wanted to see the 'China Wall', this is a vertical wall of quartz protruding out of the ground, it is about 7 kms from town and is very weird to look at. It appears like someone has stacked quartz blocks on top of each other and built a wall about 4 feet wide and upto 15 feet high. Check the photos. The rest of the day, we spent back at camp, I had a nanna nap during the afternoon. It was a quiet night watching TV.

Tomorrow, we are driving to Warnum (Turkey Creek) for 2 nights.

Ngumban Cliff Lookout Rest area.

Ngumban Cliff Lookout Rest area.

Mary Pool Rest area.

The China Wall.

The China Wall.

The China Wall.

Mary Pool RA was chockers.

The China Wall just outside Halls Creek. Very weird.

Friday 1st July 2011
Day 92 - Halls Creek to Warmun (Turkey Creek) - 162 kms.

  • Weather: A very mild night, even warm at dawn, due to all the cloud cover. It was 26°s at 9am at Warmun.
  • Wind: Calm.
  • Daily distance travelled with fiver: 162 kms. Total towed this trip: 9,792 kms.
  • Next G Mobile reception at Warmun (Turkey Creek): Yes.
  • Next G 'Blue Toaster' reception with or without external aerial: Yes. Without aerial.
  • Telstra WiFi (MF-30) modem: Yes.
I got up about 6am and slowly started packing up, we left the Halls Creek Caravan Park at 8:40am.

It was again, an uneventful drive, not much traffic heading North, but heaps coming south. Our first stop was at a Rest area at 9:27am. We then drove non-stop to Warmun, arriving at 10:38am. At the Roadhouse CP, there were 3 other vans, we assumed that they were doing Bungle Bungles as their tow vehicle was there and their vans look to locked up. We setup camp on site 2, there are probably about 20 sites.

We spent most of the afternoon, just sitting in the shade, trying to chill out. No Tv for us, as I couldn't be bothered setting up the dish as we are surrounded by trees. No major drama.

Tomorrow, we are being picked up from the Roadhouse at 6:30am and driven, I assume in a 4WD vehicle to the Bungle Bungles, then flown back to Warmun International Airport about 4pm. You will have to wait until tomorrow for an update. If there is no update, then Marg and I may have crashed and burned somewhere. I do hope not.

Warmun Roadhouse CP.

Our site no. 2.

Warmun Roadhouse.

Saturday 2nd July
Day 93 - Bungle Bungle tour.

  • Weather: Down to 17.7° at 6am and upto 28.5°s at 3pm.
  • Wind: Calm.
It was a warm night, only had a sheet on and slept well.

I awoke about 5:30am and woke Marg at 5:45am, and saw our 4WD tour bus was here at 6:20, so we walked over and the other couple (Ian and Pat) were already there. Bruce was our tour guide and like the other tour guides we have had, he was excellent. We left Warmun Roadhouse at 6:30am and arrived at the Spring Creek track turnout at 7:06am and got to the Ranger's Station at 9:28am. It 2 hours and 11 minutes to drive the 51 kms to the Ranger Station, this excluded the 11 minutes morning tea we had at Calico Springs, we counted 28 water crossings and were very happy that the mighty Navara was left back at camp. Our next stop was at the East Kimberley Tours camp, where we had a toilet break and picked up our freshly made lunches. Our next stop was at 10:42am at the Bellburn Airstrip, where we picked 9 more passengers who flew in from Kununurra. We arrived at Piccaninny Creek carpark, which is where the beehive domes are located at 11:30am. Here we parked the 4WD tour bus with 3 other tour buses and at least 20 4WDs and started walking with our lunches to the Piccaninny Creek lookout, then from there we walked over to the Cathedral Gorge, both these locations were surrounded by the Beehive domes, they were everywhere. We walked over to the Cathedral Gorge and sat under the cave and we all had lunch, which was supplied by East Kimberley tours and was bloody yumma. After lunch, we walked back to the bus and headed over to the airstrip, where we were dropped off and waited for Kyle our pilot to fly in and get us. Kyle landed and we took off about 3:30pm with 2 girls from our tour, Kyle landed his Jumbo, well a Cessna 210 at Turkey Creek and then took off with the 2 girls into the wide blue yonder. At Turkey Creek airstrip, we rang the Warmun Roadhouse and Shari drove out and picked Marg and I up and drove us back to camp. We are both absolutely buggered after a full day. I did manage to have a couple of chilled refreshers with another Wayne our neighbour, who also visited the Bungles today.

Tomorrow, we drive to Kununurra for 5 nights R & R, but first bed is calling and we are answering the call. It is 8:01pm.

River crossing.

Morning tea.

Bellburn Airstrip.

Bungles carpark.

Marg at the Bungles.

Termite mounds at the Bungles.

Heading for the lookout.

Marg again.

Still heading to the lookout.

Bungles close-up.

Bungles close-up.

More Bungles.

Going to Cathedral Gorge.

Our lunch spot. It was beautiful.

On our way to the carpark.

The Controls.

the Bungles.

More views.

More views.

That's our bus, returning to Turkey Creek.

More views.

More views.

Landing at Turkey Creek International Airport.

Our plane returning to Kununurra.

View from the Lookout.

Another view.

Our lunch spot.

Sunday 3rd July 2011
Day 94 - Warmun (Turkey Creek) to Kununurra - 198 kms.

  • Weather: A mild night, it was 17.5° at 6am and warming up, the cloud is clearing. At 3:30pm it was 30.5°
  • Wind: Calm.
  • Daily distance travelled with fiver: 198 kms. Total towed this trip: 9,990 kms.
  • Next G Mobile reception at Kununurra: Yes.
  • Next G 'Blue Toaster' reception with or without external aerial: Yes. Without aerial.
  • Telstra WiFi (MF-30) modem: Yes.
After going to bed just after 8pm, it was no surprise that we were both up by 6am and on the Internet. Currently, 7am and I am about to start packing up.
Talk later when we arrive at Kununurra.

Ok, we are at Kununurra, left Turkey Creek at 8:48am and arrived at Kununurra at 11:30am. Stopped at Doon Doon Roadhouse for a break and also at a rest area. Marg wasn't feeling flash, but she is feeling better now. Hidden Valley CP is nice and is nestled between some very nice hills. Mid afternoon we drove into downtown Kununurra and visited the Visitors centre and 'Longy' at Rockalong Stonework, where Marg bought some Zebra Rock earrings and I bought a 8 kilo chunk of Zebra Rock. I also weighed my chunk of Print stone, it weighs 18 kilos. No wonder, that it nearly killed me carrying down the mountain face. 'Longy' also gave us some fossicking areas, so over our stay here we will do some fossicking, he also said to visit Jimmy the Rock Doctor at Hidden Valley Rock Museum..

I will have to get a poster of this. I like it.

Great scenery.

Another scenery.

Monday 4th July
Day 95 - Checking out Kununurra.

  • Weather: Down to 17.7° at 6:30am and upto 31.3°s at 3:30pm.
  • Wind: 0 - 15kph variable.
It was a very warm night, had the Air Cond on all night. Slept well.

I awoke about 6:30am and Marg woke about 7am and laid in bed and watched Sunrise. About mid morning, we drove past Jimmy the Rock Doctor's house and if it was a private house with no advertising, we would not stop. In middle of his front lawn was a sign "The Rock Doctor" and above his shed was another sign "Hidden Valley Rock Museum", so we went in. bad mistake.....
There was a sign on the front door 'walk around the back I am in my shed working', so we did. We walked around the back and here was Jimmy, an elderly gent, bare feet, long beard and working amongst the rock dust. Longy did say that Jimmy enjoyed a chat. Two hours later and that is no lie, we left his residence. BUT, not before he showed us his rock collections and told us that he would take us on an Amethyst fossicking trip (Tuesday or Wednesday depending upon when he could fit us in, he would ring us tonight and tell us what was happening.) After leaving Jimmy we drove out to the WA/NT border looking for a fossicking site from a guy on the internet, we couldn't find it, so we headed back to camp, but first, we had to be searched at the Quarantine station. No dramas.
Back in downtown Kununurra we visited the Coles supermarket and while I visited the souvenir shop, Marg visited Nina's Diamonds, she spotted something nice, but the price killed it, $5,000 for a small pink Argyle diamond, at least it costs nothing to look.
It is so hot that we are drained by mid afternoon, lucky that our site at camp is under the trees. We spent an enjoyable afternoon, sitting outside in the shade and around dinner time, Jimmy rang, we agreed to pick him up from his house at 6am. Bloody 6am. So a quiet, early night.

Tomorrow, we are going Amethyst hunting with Jimmy.

Our camp at Hidden Valley CP.

Our camp at Hidden Valley CP.

Tuesday 5th July
Day 96 - Amethyst fossicking with Jimmy - The Rock Doctor.

  • Weather: Down to 16.5° at 4:30am and upto 31.2°s at 3pm.
  • Wind: 0 - 30kph mainly Easterley.
It was a very warm night, had the Air Cond on all night. Slept well. This is a pattern.

Set the alarm for 5am, it was still dark. Got up and we were out the front of Jimmy's house at 5:50am and Jimmy was ready. A casual drive of 116kms, we headed off along the highway into NT and turned right into Duncan Road at 6:30am (thanks Harry) and proceeded for 44.6kms and then turned left into the Waterloo Station 'driveway' and went a further 10kms, past their quarantine yards and through numerous gates. By the way, Jimmy rang the manager last night to get his permission for us to go there. We finally arrived at the area that he wants to investigate, because he wasn't visited this area since this year's wet. We are walking around and following Jimmy like a lost dog, he is showing us what to look for in rock formations and there is heaps of amethyst around BUT the majority has been bleached by the sun and is white. Jimmy says that is crap, Marg and I like it and are placing bits in our buckets, so our buckets are full and Jimmy has about 3 pieces, he is so fussy. SO, back to the mighty Navara to empty our buckets and then Jimmy wants move about 100 meters further down the dry creek bed. So we do.

By this stage it is getting quite warm, so we park under a tree and set up Marg's chair up, as she is playing with the rocks which we have just found, while Jimmy and I have a scratch around the new location. Jimmy calls me over to a bit of rock jutting out of the creekbed and proceeded to give me instructions on how to dig it out, without breaking it into a million pieces. As we are unearthing this rock, Jimmy is getting extraordinarily excited, after at least 30 minutes of painstakingly digging around the rock, by me and with Jimmy supervisoring beautifully, we uncovered a magnificent chunk of amethyst, so large and good quality that we allowed Jimmy to take what he wanted and we keep the rest, which included the big chunks seen in the photos. After this find, we were so excited and happy with what we found, that we called it a day and headed back to Kununurra.

We left the area at 9:38am (thanks Harry) and retraced our tracks back to camp, BUT at 8.9kms from the Victoria hwy at the Matilda creek crossing, we came across a 4WD with trailer on the crossing missing its rear left wheel. The nuts of the rear left wheel had all fallen off together and consequently, his wheel had fallen over, he had found the nuts and was having big trouble raising his 4B high enough to get his whell on, so with our help we spent 35 minutes and he was back on his way. We still cannot believe how all the wheelnuts can fall off at the same time, but whatever happened, we got him going again.
At the WA/NT border quarantine, while I was breathanalysed and the car checked, Jimmy who knows all the staff including the police that were in attendance, was having a quiet chat. As there were no other cars there, we actually stayed longer than we had too and chatted to the officials.
Back at Jimmy's place, we divved up the spoils of the day, Jimmy was very happy with what he got and so were we. We thanksed jimmy for a magic day and headed back to camp, and spent the afternoon, looking at and washing our amethyst and other rocks that we found. Another very quiet night and early to bed.

Tomorrow, not much.

The Amethyst ground.

Marg and Jimmy - The Rock Doctor.

These young calves had fun for about 100 meters.

This dude broke down.

We helped him.

All fixed and ready to go. again.

Wednesday 6th July
Day 97 - Checking out Kununurra.

  • Weather: Down to 14.6° at 6:13am and upto 30.7°s at 2:30pm.
  • Wind: 0 - 30kph mainly Easterley. Starts calm then windy to mid afternoon then drops to calm again.
It was a very warm night, had the Air Cond on all night. Slept well. This is a pattern.

Slept in until 7am, I was buggered after yesterday's fossicking trip. We went over to Jimmys, Marg wanted him to name some of the rocks that we have collected on this trip and wanted to give him some of our agate. He told us what we asked and he was very grateful for the agate that Marg offered him.
We finally left Jimmys and went to the Tourist Centre, we are now booked on the Ord river sunset cruise for tomorrow night. From there we went fossicking around the 'beach' on the Ord river and from there we visited the Zebra Rock gallery and had lunch there and checked out all their Zebra Rock. Finally, we visited the Sandalwood factory, Marg bought some stuff and then we arrived back at camp. We spent the rest of the afternoon, playing with rocks and relaxing.

Tomorrow, not much except for the Sunset Cruise.

Zebra Rock gallery.

Elephant Rock viewed from the Zebra Rock gallery gardens.

Diversion dam.

Thursday 7th July
Day 98 - Sunset cruise on the Ord River.

  • Weather: Down to 15.3° at 3:30am and upto 31.1°s at 2pm.
  • Wind: 0 - 30kph mainly Easterley. Starts calm then windy to mid afternoon then drops to calm again.
It was a very warm night, had the Air Cond on all night. Slept well. This is a pattern.

Slept in until 7am. We started packing up slowly for our departure tomorrow. About mid morning we went and annoyed Jimmy again, we had some extra rocks which he would like and he did, in return, he gave us some black amethyst. We finally left Jimmy when another couple arrived, said our goodbyes and thanked him again for a great day of fossicking.
On the way back to camp, we did some food shopping at Coles, Marg visited the other diamond shop, thankfully didn't buy anything, as it was BLOODY expensive, and topped up with fuel. Spent till 2:30pm just packing up and then at 2:45pm walked to the office and was picked up for our Sunset Cruise.

The tour bus arrived and picked up 8 from our caravan park and then did the rounds of caravan parks and hotels and finally 20 of us were on the boat. We motored up Lake Kununurra into a couple of inlets and it was just beautiful, finally headed back towards the Diversion dam and watched and photographed the sunset over Lake Kununurra. It was a beautiful cruise with heaps of nibbles.
A very quiet night is expected with an earlish departure in the morning, as we drive to Victoria River RH about 320kms from Kununurra.

It is our last day in Western Australia and we will definitely return.

He was about 20 meters from our dock.

The Jesus bird - he walks on water.

Marg enjoying the scenery.

George was watching us.

Stairway to the sunset in Kununurra.

This is what we came to see.