Broome to Katherine (Via Darwin)
We left Broome and headed off east towards Fitzroy Crossing. Where we had to stopped for the night so Ali could change the Trailer wheel bearings. They were getting a bit worn after 23,000k's on the road. Mainly due to the amount of stuff we were carrying in the trailer (Ali's Beer) mixed with the amount of tracks and off roading we have done with the trailer.
Ali changing wheel bearings
We then we went to Kununarra the next day. When we got there we found that the road to Katherine was 12 meters under water, so it was closed. We may have a snorkel but even Ali did not want to risk it. So we had to sit at the camp site and relax by the pool/spa for a few days, to wait for the water to go down, as the water was over a bridge, we had to also wait for them to check the bridge to see if it was safe for us to go over it.
So we decided that we had to go and see the local sites (to keep me from talking to Ali really)
Wyndham is where we started our tours of the area, it is were all the Rivers meet, 5 in total and as you can see the whole area is covered with water. This is normally a river and as you can see it has burst its banks and the area is very flooded.
The river and flood plain
After seeing the rivers we were off to our next stop "The Boab Prison Tree". On the road to the Boab Prison Tree, we saw this rare Cockatoo.
A bit further up the road the water was high, so I was on the look out for a Salt water Crocodile for Ali and I found one.
Croc in River
On the next river crossing we saw lovely lily's. We were sat stopped in the river as this pic was taken. You have the beautiful views like this with crocs swimming around them.
Lilly's in the water
Finally we were at the Boab Tree, which was used as a prison tree for the police when they were taking Aboriginals from Broome to Katherine. The trees are hollow, so the prisoner gets put inside and as there is only on entry/exit hole there is no worry of them escaping.
The Prison Tree
The water levels around this area are still high, but Ali loves them, I get a little scared every time he see one, he gets that look of excitement in his eyes. This is the river crossing just the other side of the prison tree.
On the way back we saw the signs showing that most of the Gibb River Road was closed due to the amount of water in the area. Normally the wet season is over and the rivers are down by April. But we are now in May and the rains are still coming down. So as you can see this is why we are stuck. The season are taking a bit longer to change at the moment, but it is the same in the UK with it snowing in Kent in April
Signs at the beginning of the Gibb River Road
Even though the road was closed we were able to go to Emma Gorge, as it was before the Pentecost river (as you can see on the signs picture). So we went 120k's down the track to Emma gorge. Upon getting to the car park no one told us there was another walk to the gorge or that it would cost us $7.50 each for the 3K walk across rocks and boulders, but when we came the end we were rewarded with a lovely pool with a waterfall, so I guess that makes it all better (but we did have to walk the 3K back).
The area around the Kimberley's is famous for it Boab Trees. One of the most famous is the prison tree, but this is another one which we felt look a bit of a scary tree
The roads all around Kunuarra were blocked by the high levels of water. This crossing was supposed to be about 6 inches deep and a nice little crossing, but as you can see here it is alot deeper than 6 inches. This road remained closed even after the other roads had opened.
Finally after three days the river had gone down on the Victoria Road had gone down on the bridge enough for us to cross. So we made the journey back along the to Katherine. Which was the only way to Darwin from The Kimberley's. To see the bridge go to the videos page.
We then made our way to Darwin. South of Darwin is the Litchfield National Park. At the park it has the Termite mounds. There are big and I mean big. The termites , thank god , are not big the same size as they are everywhere. Here pics of two with Ali and me stood next to them to give you an idea of how big they really are.
Ali and me by the Termite mounds
There are also Magnetic termite mounds in this area. They are made by the termites in a North South direction. There are fields and fields of them. They are perfectly north to south. For the main reason to protect them from the sun. Which of course goes from East to West. There is a video of them in the videos page.
There are many water falls in this area at this time. as there is still alot of water in the area. The best time to see this area is just after the wet season has finished, but you have to time it well as most of the area is still flooded just after the wet season as we have found. This is the Wangi Falls. Normally swimming is allowed here. But as the flooding had bought with it crocs. We were not allowed to swim here at the moment.
The Florence Falls you can swim in at the moment, but it is along way down and as they are the only place you can swim everyone was there, so it was hard to get a space.
That night on the way back to Darwin, we saw a sign for a rodeo and as Ali had never been to one before I though we would go. It was a great night, the horses were beautiful and Vicky they only cost from $500 to $1500 for a good breed of horse, they also move so quick from left to right. They are wonderful to watch. This is manly because they are a cross with mountain horses and Arabian horses. So they have great stamina and do not need too much water . So ideal for out here. So it is cheap to buy a horse out here. Here are some of the pictures I took.
The next day we were off to Kakadu for my Birthday, it started out great but only go worst when we had to change the wheel baring on the 90's right front as the balance (wheel wobbling) was off, but this did not fix it, so we had to stop again and try to fix it by changing the tyre, but alas this did not fix it either, so as the balancing was not a big problem we though we would just get it looked at in Katherine. So Ali took me out to dinner in a lovely bar at the camp site, so the day was not a complete loss. As there was so much water around the area, there was nothing open so Kakadu was a complete bust. So returning to Katherine the next day, we go the 90 checked and they discovered that the left front wheel was buckled and that all the things Ali did the previous day was for nothing, which did not make him very happy.