Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lake Argyle.... Diamond country

Beautiful, relaxing, stunning scenery at Lake Argyle (also home to the Lake Argyle Diamond mine)... Hard to believe you are in the East Kimberleys, looks a bit like NZ.... Here's where we are in WA... top right corner...

Lake Argyle - WA

Dam overflow area - Lake Argyle

Lake Argyle was a stopover that coincided with Rugby World Cup finals (hence we called ahead to ask if they were playing the game.... just to be safe). We stayed at Lake Argyle Caravan Park where there is power and a TV and everyone in Lake Argyle knew who was supporting the All Blacks !! By day, we spent alot of time in their infinity swimming pool - the boys have mastered freestyle...

Lake Argyle's infinity pool

Swimming lessons.... freestylin!!

We got into some great homeschooling activities... Watercolour painting, seed and boab fruit collecting and dot painting - inspired by the local indigenous artists....

Boab nut collecting

painting boab nuts in the Shearer camp

He tries everything the big boys do now...

Masterpiece... dot painting some seed pods

Sadly.... it's time to leave WA.... Its been sooooooo good travelling this amazing state of Australia, bit sad to leave really, but time to move on...

Kununurra and Gibb River Road, WA

Kununurra is our last regional town before leaving WA for the Northern Territory, so we had big plans whilst here to catch up on shopping, tax, dentist, etc. Only our littlest man spiked a fever and that pretty much changed our plans. Mumma took him up to the hospital and after a quick check (nothing serious - virus brewing) we headed to the local shops to buy fans to try to cool our little man down.

The weather is really changing now, we are starting to get some afternoon rain and thunderstorms.... The wet season build up is upon us...

Rainbow over Kununurra as we approach town

Storm clouds to go with the rainbow...

We travelled only a short way along Gibb River Road and hiked into Emma Gorge. It was another scorching hot day, so hard on the boys, but the swim at the end was so refreshing, just what we needed.

Emma gorge pool .... ahhhhhhh

Leo spotted this snake as we were walking along Emma Gorge - we believe its a yellow python

We then went into El Questro Station and visited Zeberdee Springs. The thermal pools is 28-36 degrees all year round, natural rock and tree setting, was just beautiful.

Thermal pool waterfall... boys are having a massage

swimming at Zeberdee Springs

We had a look at a few local art galleries; Zebra rock Art Gallery, Red Rock Art Gallery.... oooohhhh how I would love to make a purchase there.... we bought a lottery ticket instead at the local supermarket!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Purnululu National Park - Bungle Bungle Ranges

We dropped the caravan off in Turkey Creek and drove into Purnululu National Park (Bungle Bungles Ranges) for an overnight camp. The drive in along the Spring Creek track is about a two - three hour drive and covers only 53 kms... we had some fun on the bumpy, rocky road in...

The Bungle Bungle ranges are spectacular, famous for the striped sandstone domes. These stripes are caused by layers of sandstone; one with more clay content (darker layers) which support cyanobacteria (blue-grey algae) growing on the surface, creating a protective outer layer that prevents erosion and the second lighter-coloured layer containing less clay content, that does not support cyanobacteria, hence is exposed to "rusting", creating the beautiful orange colour.

First stop for us to see the Bungle Bungles was the Domes and the Cathedral Gorge walks.
Start of the Cathedral Gorge walk

Our first sight of the Bungle Bungles

Walking into Cathedral Gorge
Inside Cathedral Gorge.... that's mumma lucky duck in the bottom right corner

Water monitor in the gorge

Second stop was the heli-pad..... All five lucky ducks then got in a door-less helicopter and took a flight over the Bungle Bungle Ranges, Picaninny Creek, Y gorge, twin gorges... It was really exciting.

Getting ready to leave....

flying over the Bungles

aerial shot of the 'Y' Gorge

.... so beautiful

having a laugh

chatting to the pilot

aerial of Piccanninny Gorge

on our way back to base..

After all the excitement, we headed back to settle into our camping spot at Walardi Campground....

His first driving lesson...

Dry river bed we camped beside
hungry and exhausted lucky ducks.
Then came the super-duper fiveluckyducks experience, Rossco had met the principal of Purnululu Community School (Alex) in Broome whilst watching the rugby the week before. Frog Hollows is home to the school and is a closed community. Alex had invited us to the school, but as it turned out the children and teachers were also camping in the Purnululu National Park the same time as us, so we hung out with these energetic, friendly, loving children...

playing ball with the school children

Off to play with the neighbours
They were so much fun, we were invited to come along to a swimming hole with the school, all the kids swam in the river, we were blessed by the waters edge and the ladies gathered wood, threw out some fishing lines and caught some lunch. There are freshwater crocodiles in here but apparently they are more scared of us than we are of them, they must be terrified of us then!!
Boys receiving blessing to swim in the river

Mumma lucky ducks blessing

The ladies fishing for lunch

the lucky ducks learning a few fishing tricks

one of the catch

swimming in the river

the gang in the river

the gorgeous Narni

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fitzroy Crossing - Halls Creek, The Kimberleys

We left Broome, heading 400kms east for Fitzroy Crossing. We have hit crocodile country, warning signs on bridges to say no swimming, very exciting for these lucky ducks! The locals swim in the river, apparently only fresh water crocodiles here, so no real danger.

Boys doing some gardening around campsite at Fitzroy Crossing

We joined the DEC boat trip up Geike Gorge. The gorge is beautiful and we also saw a couple of crocodiles, water monitors (i.e. goannas) and lots of birds. Apparently when it's really hot the crocodiles stay in the water a lot more as they do not need to sun themselves on the rocks so much.
Geike Gorge

DEC Geike Gorge River Cruise

Reflect on the water - Geike Gorge

Bird nests that hang underneath the rock of the gorge
We also got a taste of what sort of temperatures we are going to get for the next few weeks.... Pheeewwww it's hot, like 42 degrees hot, stifling,  inside an oven kind of hot, with no coastal afternoon change, no breeze and no air conditioning...  We are surviving on cold showers and swimming pools!

For those of you who have never been to the Kimberelys, here are the beautiful Boab trees - a Kimberley icon....

When passing through Halls Creek (a further 260kms inland), we went out to the ruins of the Old Halls Creek, a gold mining town which was relocated in the 50's to where it is today. We went to see China Wall, which is a limestone ridge on the hills, making what looks a little like a very mini Great Wall of China.

This statue is of a man who pushed an injured friend 300kms for medical help... the boys are lending a helping hand

Ruins at Old Halls Creek

Hall Creek's China Wall