Nat, Noah, Ant, Lis, Lance & Cathy

Nat, Noah, Ant, Lis, Lance & Cathy

About Me

Joint Interests: NQ Cowboys, Fishing, Travelling, Music, Pokemon, Ninja Turtles, Sunny, Zoe & Scruff (not necessarily shared by all)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Western Australia !!!

We've Crossed the Border! (A few times for the boys - they had fun running back & forwards from NT to WA).
This is what the trip was to be all about - W.A. (mind you, a month in NT was fantastic & a major bonus!)

Bungle Bungles

Lance & Lis at the Bungle Bungle Domes (beehives). (yes, I know, fantastic "arm" photography!)
Unfortunately, we had to give El Questro a miss. We started driving up the Gibb River Road, but the road was so shocking, it felt like the vans would fall apart. So, we finally stopped to have a cuppa before turning around. Cathy accidentally put their electric kettle on the gas stove which started a small fire in their van. Mum's immediate reaction was to throw the teatowel that she'd used to put out the fire, (ie. the teatowel that was now on fire also) out of the van. Thankfully, Dad stopped her in time, otherwise another Northern Australia Bush Fire would have begun! (Dry grass for miles!) So, after all of this, needless to say, we had yucky, bad vibes towards El Questro & have given it a miss.

Instead, we enjoyed 8 restful nights at the one rest stop outside of the Bungle Bungles.

The boys made their own fishing rods & enjoyed fishing in the creek where we stayed.

The road to the Bungle Bungles was pretty full on ( although not nearly as bad as the Gibb River Road). It took us approx. 2 hours to do 50 kms into the Visitor Centre, then the same again to actually drive around to the Domes & Gorges in the Bungle Bungles. Needless to say, only did the trip once (unfortunately) - but it was well worth the effort!

Lance in the Echidna Chasm (Bungles still) at midday, when the sun starts to change the colours within the gorge. Just beautiful! Very high, very narrow & beautiful reddy orange coloured walls.

The boys both enjoyed climbing & exploring.

Like Grandfather... Like Grandson!!!

Cathedral Gorge (still Bungles) was magnificent. Just huge. We tested out the old lungs and gave Amazing Grace a whirl. (yes, we were alone).

Also, Dad made use of the opportunity to have his daily bath here ! Oh, Lance!!! (again, thankfully, yes, we were alone).

Our time here outside of the Bungles was extended from 2 nights planned originally to 8 nights. Due to: Lis hurt her back for a couple of days. Then, a guy's car had broken down on the way into the Bungles , so Lance & Ant helped them out by taking "Nick" into the closest town - 50 kms away, Turkey Creek, so that he could use a phone (yes, that's right, as usual, no phone reception). The second trip of helping Nick into the closest trip, on their return trip, Lance's new Landcruiser's engine cracked up (due to some faulty mechanical work done just before the trip). Thankfully, his mechanic's insurance was able to pay for & ship up a new engine for the car from Perth in just a few days. Thus the extension of time to 8 nights here. Mind you, none of us minded stopping at one place for such a time.

Anyway, we have stopped for 2 nights now at Fitzroy Crossing, to visit Geikie Gorge, then across to Derby. Unfortunately, our "3" Network phone has still not provided any network coverage, even in the townships we are passing through. So, that's why you haven't heard from us.

But, please know, that we are thinking of you all. Thanks for the lovely comments, we have all just enjoyed reading them. We'll send another blog or phone message as soon as we can.

Love to you all, Ant, Lis, Nat, Noah, Lance & Cathy. xxxxxx

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Gorgeous Katherine Gorge

We spent the afternoon canoeing up Katherine Gorge. It was wonderful.

The colours in all those advertisements are not enhanced. The water is a lovely clear green.

We were allowed to pull up on the sandy beach areas for a picnic and swim.
However, we were not allowed on the sandy beaches marked: "Crocodile Nesting Area", as the crocs eggs were up there. Only Freshwater crocs inhabited these waters.
We were also told to avoid the Crocodile Traps, as they can be a bit dangerous - they were just there for safety!
Well, that's all for now. We have finally been able to access the net again.
We are about to head West now - (the main reason for this trip) and we should cross the border into Western Australia in a few days time. Then, we hope to explore heaps of the gorges across the top of Western Australia.
All the best to everyone, our family and friends. We wish all of Nat and Noah's friends and cousins heaps of fun back at school next week - the boys miss you all.
Lance and Cathy send their love to all the family and friends too. (I'm sure Dad would like to say that he misses everyone, but I can assure you, Retirement is suiting him well and he is not missing working!)
Lis & Ant send their love to all also. Thanks heaps for your comments and Text messages (when we do actually have reception). They mean a lot to us. We know where home is.
God bless you all richly. (It may be a while before the next blog again). Love to you all.


We have entered Kakadu - how special.
We have camped by a Billabong, with a Jabiru walking past us.

We visited the Bowali Visitor Centre, with heaps of great displays of life up here - & Lis in particular enjoyed the Tourist Souvenir Shop! Thankfully, not everything was "Made in China", but designed by Locals.

On Tuesday, we visited Nourlangie Rock and enjoyed the aboriginal paintings on the rock a great climb and wonderful views.

Finally, we went for a BoardWalk on a metal grate over the Yellow Water Billabong. It was only a short walk, but it was absolutely wonderful. We walked over the wetlands, and saw another 3 crocs. Man, the crocs are everywhere!

As Poppy had already taken us out for a couple of extensive boat rides at Corroboree Billabong, we decided to save the $240 for a boat ride along this billabong.

Just Another Bushfire!

Technologically Advanced ! (or challenged??)

Ant & I are feeling a little bit technologically advanced, as we ended up setting up for the day at the Dripstone Cliffs, Darwin. We set up both lap tops, the generator, networked the computers, accessed the internet via wireless connection. Oohh!! (& all the while, the kids were happy playing in the shallow pool below us!) What a beautiful day.

Sorry to leave the last page unfinished. Yes, of course, we have survived that little bush fire.

Every Visitor centre we go to, starts with a heading of "Bush Fires are a Natural Way of Life Here".

But you still don't know if it was a purposely set fire or accidental fire. As it turned out, when we were driving away, 3 fire engines & the police all arrived! I guess it was not a planned fire.

Continuing on from the previous blog though ...

Corroboree Billabong

Poppy & Gran have offered to save us the cost of a boat ride in Kakadu, by taking us out in Pop's tinny here in Corroboree. (Oh, and Pop got to troll a lure behind the boat on this cruise!!!)

After only 2 minutes, we came across our first croc -sunbaking!

After only another minute, we passed our first jabiru (national bird of NT).

We spent a couple of hours, enjoying the billabong (& Lance enjoying the fishing). (We lost count of the crocs after about 20 or so!)

The second day here, Pop took us out again, with Nat & Lis. We travelled down the other direction of the billabong (a couple of km's). This time we couldn't believe what we were seeing - 3 crocs all sitting on the bank in the same area!

Poppy was kind enough to cut the engine, and let us drift in towards the bank, so that the boat was steady enough for Lis to take some photos.

However, by the time Lis had clicked this photo, we realised that another 3 crocs were surfacing, we decided to get the boat going and back out. (Can you spot all 6 crocs?)

Unfortunately, we had drifted too close, and were now in the thick weeds. Lance tried starting the outboard, but it was too wrapped in weeds and wouldn't start!

Then, we realised another croc had surfaced only 4-5 metres from the boat. He didn't seem too worried by us, but slowly started swimming towards us.

You will notice that there are no more photos from here on in this boat ride!

Dad yelled, "Just grab an ore and start paddling backwards! Don't hang anything over the side of the boat!"

(I remember at the time, thinking, "well, how am I going to paddle backwards?"

Then he yelled, "Just paddle backwards & don't stop - no matter what happens?"

("What was going to happen that would stop us from paddling backwards?" I wondered.)

We got far enough out of the weeds, that Dad tried the Outboard again. As soon as he got it going, we were out of there! Or so we thought. The outboard spluttered, stawled, started again, stawled again, and finally started, and yes, we were definately out of there.

Nat's words were, "Yes, I think it's time to go home again."

Mind you, when we got back, pulled the boat up onto the bank, and started walking back to camp, what should be between us and the bank? But this little fella!
He was only a bit over a metre long. We couldn't tell if he was freshwater or saltwater, and didn't want to take too many chances with him. (But still managed to get a few metres from him for a good photo) Then he just grunted and walked away!
Noah will tell you that "The Saltwaters are the very dangerous crocs".
I think Nat has seen enough crocs for a while.
The next morning, Lis woke up with her elbow leaning against the mozzie screen on the side of our bed. A sudden, sharp stinging woke her, and when she looked over, she realised that a dozen, fat mozzies were sitting on the outside of the screen licking their lips! Youch!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Litchfield National Park

We have split up from Gran & Poppy, as they have the dogs, and cannot enter the National Park (as sprung by a Ranger!). They instead, have stayed a couple of nights at Fennis River -very pretty, but very hot!

What a Beautiful National Park! Lissa especially feels drawn to this place.

Wangi Falls

Ant, Lis, Nat & Noah have camped at Wangi Falls. Unfortunately, after we have just paid for the accomodation, we find out that it is closed for Swimming! Wangi Falls are beautiful. But instead of just sitting around, we went for a drive to Florence Falls (back 25 kms).

Florence Falls

After 1,000 or so steps down to the falls, it was well worth the walk.

The Falls are beautiful. The water is refreshingly cool (but no, not freezing) and lovely & clear with heaps of fish.

We went for a walk through the park & it was the best part. We would stop at each creek crossing & Nat would hop in for another swim.

Back at Wangi Falls ...

Would you believe that the next day they openned up Wangi Falls for swimming again. So, we spent most of the day down there swimming & reading & swimming & eating & swimming. Wonderful!

Anyway, a fire has just started up in the scrub across the road from where I am entering this blog, and the ash is starting to come onto Dad's computer & we're not sure if we are going to get the car and van out of this area, so I had better go.

There's no photos here, cos I'm entering this blog on the beach at Darwin, and the connection obviously isn't strong enough (although, it's still better than at Mataranka).

(I have now put some photos in, as we are in Katherine for a night - the hub of Northern Territory! Enjoye!)

Love to everyone & thanks heaps for your comments - they have been a wonderful way of feeling in connection with all of our family & friends. God Bless. (I'll try to put photos on again later).

Douglas Hot Springs

Amazingly, there is a sign up as we walk into the Springs, saying:

CAUTION: Water extremely hot temperatures & QuickSand !
Deaths and Extreme Injuries Have Occured!

So, we walked further up to the other entrance.

Where we first entered the water, the temperature felt quite cold. But a few
metres away is another stream coming straight down from one of the Natural Springs, and is so hot, that Noah couldn't handle walking through it. But the rest of us oldies enjoyed the hot spa-like water temperature. Once we were warm enough, we would have a quick dip into the Cold Stream again, then back to the warm water.

Mum, Dad & some other oldies hogged the place where the 2 streams came together - Not to Hot, Not to Cold, Just Right for the Old Aching Bodies!

This is another of God's Beautiful Oasis Creations in the midst of the surrounding Desert Like Landscapes.

Our Families Reunite the middle of nowhere

Mary River Roadhouse

Well, in the middle of nowhere, (ie. Mary River Roadhouse, southern entrance to Kakadu), we have met up with Mum & Dad.

The place doesn't look like much from the front, but around the back, there's hardly any vans, except ours, there's shade, there's sprinklers going to green up the grass, there's a pool, there's power, and there's our folks!

We snuck up to Mum & Dad's van, but of course Mum was on the lookout for us & caught us!

Dad, being so excited & looking forward to seeing us so much, had gone fishing!

Anyway, we had a relaxing couple of days here, and just enjoyed seeing Gran & Poppy (after not seeing them since Christmas!) We didn't even travel anywhere.
Each evening, we enjoyed sitting around the campfire, and even enjoyed some of Lissa's guitar "practising" (aka. torture)!