We ended up spending a little over 2 weeks in Timber Creek and in that time we saw allot more of the area than last time there and met quite a few people.For us though there’s still allot left unexplored but are leaving it for next time through.We had a good run from Timber Creek to the last rest area before the border all but minus a tail light cover off the back of the bus,it must fell off somewhere down the hwy.Happy to say this time through the border was a much better experience.Stopped at Kununurra briefly just to fuel up and grab some food plus a quick hello and goodbye to relo’s.Then we headed toward Wyndham where we pulled up at Cockburn Rest Area at the Victoria hwy junction for the night we had a great light show with the storm in the distance.
We woke up to a cooler morning! but didn’t realise that it wasn’t so much a cooler morning just a early one as our body clocks are still back on East Coast time which is 2 and half hours difference.We did the stretch from the Cockburn rest area to Halls Creek ,nice scenery through this area.We stopped a number of times along the way but the best stop was cooling off in a river at an old hwy crossing,we only went in to our shins just a bit wary of crocs!
We arrived at Halls Creek whilst still daylight and thought we’d give the one and only local caravan park a try,the bus didn’t look like it would fit and the owner/manager honestly didn’t want our bus in there,she quoted us $500 a week plus a dog bond,not worried about the dog bond but didn’t feel like paying $500 a week to someone whom didn’t want us there.So we grabbed some fuel for the generator,plenty of water left for another night so one thing less to do then we parked just out of town in a large truck bay, over the period of the night we only heard one Truckee pull in,it was a unusually quiet night.
The next morning we drove straight into Halls for a visit at the info centre,Chris the manager was a great help with the range of questions we asked him.With the current rain he suggested it wasn’t wise to venture out to Wolfe Creek meteorite crater as the chance of getting stuck out there if it rained again was high,so it looks like next time round for us! They recommend flying over it to really get a better overall look of the size of it other wise some say it’s just a large hole in the ground.The other topic we spoke about was the only one caravan park in Halls Creek,apparently that will be changing soon as they plan to open another and at least give travellers another option.We decided to stay one more night back at the truck bay as we had a hose on the bus needing to be fixed,while repairing the hose a bloke stopped by and asked if we were looking for somewhere to stay, he said we could head out to the rodeo grounds where there’s power & water etc.We thought about but were already set on moving on the next day.We have since found out after calling a couple of friends we met in Darwin a few years ago,they were the current caretakers and plan to be there a bit longer,so we were kicking ourselves that we didn’t stay on.So if you do go by Halls Creek way check out the rodeo grounds as another option for accommodation,especially if your in a big rig.
Fitzroy Crossing over night was our next stop! Before leaving Fitzroy the next day we stopped in at Dr Sawfish glass studio,his studio is tucked away in a side street of Fitzroy and is worth a look at watching him make the glass jewellery & fine art,he’s also a nice bloke and is happy to answer any questions about his work.
We missed Derby last time so this time round we made a point of turning off and taking a visit.with still a bit of daylight left we stopped in at the prison boab tree,this is one old tree with it believed to be around 1500 years old and was used as a staging point for prisoners being walked into Derby years ago.
|Sunset at the prison boab tree,Derby|
Within the same area as the prison boab is Myall’s Bore and Cattle Trough,the trough is old and huge reaching 120 metres long, apparently built back in 1917 and was able to handle 500 bullocks at one time.
|The old Derby cattle trough.|
Derby Wharf at sunset is a must! The sunsets are a awesome sight over The King Sound. The wharf is also where many locals or tourists go for a fish.We also walked the whole length of the wharf of the night and the kids were amazed at the colour of the water they thought it resembled a chocolate milk shake in colour.
|Sunset from Derby Wharf|
The next morning as the tide was going out we went for a walk under the wharf,the tides in Derby are the highest in Australia with tidal variations being as much 11 metres,be careful not to wander to far out as the tide comes back in quick!
|Low tide under The Derby Wharf.|
After a night parked near the corner of the Derby turnoff,we were happily surprised the next day by our friends The fossils whom we had met back at Adelaide River they had just come from Kununurra after spending a few weeks there and spotted us parked up on the corner,after an hour or so catch up with them we said our goodbyes and headed for Broome while they took the turnoff to Derby for a look!
|Catching up with our friends the Fossils|
Our first day back in Broome since 2007 ,accommodation for us was at the Roebuck Plains Roadhouse we were charged around $27 a night along with a dog & key bond the amenities are new along with a new pool that’s not open yet, the management & staff are fantastic.It’s not much of a drive from the roadhouse into Broome only a 68klm round trip.Apart from having a drive around town and reminiscing a little of where we stayed and the troubles we had last time round ,the only other thing we did was visit the hospital for myself as it had been 3 weeks since I came down with a virus and I was starting to get worse.I would have to say not conveniently being near a doctor or hospital or just a chemist is probably one of the harder things when travelling with a family.It was a Saturday so I expected the hospital to be quite busy with no doctors open in town but it turned out to be quite the opposite and I was seen by a doctor within half an hour and given a script for antibiotics for what he said was a ear and throat infection.
For the first time in a while the following day we stayed at the bus and didn’t go any where,it was a hot one! up in the mid 40’s again,the kids did take the doggies on a walk around the dog exercise area they have beside the caravan park and on the way back admired the refreshing looking pool that’s within the park but with a “No Entry Sign” on the gate as it is held up in the courts,so who knows how long it will take for the opening of it!
|Eurasian Hoopoe Bird living around the Roebuck Roadhouse,Broome.|
Since arriving at Roebuck Plains Roadhouse we had been wondering why groups of people had been sitting around our bus continuously everyday,they are bird enthusiasts in search of a glance at a Hoopoe Bird a very rare occasion in Australia as this is the first known visit from a Eurasian Hoopoe Bird
While in Broome there were two things we had to do,the first being vehicle inspection for the NT rego due on our van and to also purchase another air conditioner for up the front of the bus where the broken one still sat,we hadn’t been bothered with replacing it until now since we have started to get temps up around the low 40’s in the front half of the bus.
After finally finding someone who could fit us in for a van inspection,it failed ,just a few simply little things needed fixing.After fixing the things needed fixing we decided to change our rego over to wa.We also ended up purchasing a 4.5 kw aircon which pumps out the the cool air! The install was a mission the whole front half the bus looked like a bomb had hit it! new piping had to be ran which is hidden behind the cupboards.
|We now have WA rego on our van.|
|Sunset at Cable Beach,Broome.|
Today the Steddy family arrived in their bus with trailer along with four kids and dog,so now parked in a row we have The Fossils Ready Steddy Go The Gauntlet the three of us parked up here at the Roebuck Plains Roadhouse,the ones that Broome caravan parks won’t take as we all have dogs and travel in a bus with trailer.To finish the day off we sat in the park by the town beach and had dinner watching what remained of the pink sunset and enjoying the ocean breeze.Once home and not long after the younger kids had gone to bed I had to get Pete to rush me back into town only 34klms away but what seemed to take for ever,My throat had swelled up and it felt as if I couldn’t breathe.Once again the hospital was quiet and they took me straight in,With continuous fevers aches and pains sore throat and being sick now for nearly 4 weeks,the conclusion was a bad virus,a new bout of Ross River Fever,Dengue Fever or Glandular Fever,they took bloods and injected me with steroids to take down the swollen lymph nodes in the throat.
|Sitting around the dinosaur plaster casts out at Gantheaume Point.|
The following weeks we spent in Broome we visited Gantheaume Point again and also Anastasia’s Pool a chiselled-out basin in the rocks over looking the ocean it was the work of the lighthouse keeper made for his wife who suffered from arthritis.
Below the rock formations of Gantheaume Point are the original Dinosaur Footprints they can be seen at very low tide.Or if you miss them there’s the plaster cast of some Dino Prints on the walk to Anastasia’s Pool.
Also at very low tides out from Town Beach,the Flying Boat Wrecks can been seen.
In town on Dampier Terrace is the old Streeters Jetty an original jetty used by the pearl luggers of Broome.It was low tide when we went for a walk out there and sitting high & dry was the Kimberley Quest also amongst the mangroves allot crabs of all colours & shapes.
|Kimberley Quest sitting high and dry while the tide is out.|
|The Port of Broome|
One thing we all really enjoyed was a visit to “Sun Pictures” to see the movie “Red Dog” we don’t often get the chance to go to the movies and this theatre had character with it’s gecko’s on the screen the odd plane flying overhead and we all saw a shooting star,something you don’t experience in a normal cinema.It is said to be the worlds oldest operating open-air picture gardens and on display is also memorabilia and some great stories of it’s past with even the mention of the tide lapping at peoples feet whilst they watched the movie.
Sun Pictures also featured in the Australian movie “A Bran Nue Dae “
The Pearl Luggers is a interesting visit, it is free to wander through and look at the old Pearl Luggers but there is also the option of paying for a for visit to the museum that’s on site with a guide who takes you through the history of the pearling industry with even the chance to try on a old diving suit,our kids had a blast and we all learnt so much from this experience. To finish it off our kids were given a pearl shell each to take home and we also sampled Pearl Meat,what they call a delicacy of the deep.