Sunday, 29 May 2011

Cape Keraudron

Now officially in croc territory we we were advised not to swim at the beach here. Instead we went for a walk up the beach and were consequently squirted with ink by a squid! Didn't see any crocs nor sharks but the tide was so far out it was not worth the walk out. Some campers from Melbourne saw pity on us and invited us over for a beer by the campfire. It was only a xxxx but a beer all the same.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

De Grey River

80 km's east of Port Hedland we stayed at a 24 hour rest spot. It was actually really nice and we obviously weren't the only ones thinking that as other people had set up camp for days, even weeks at this spot! It was a relief to be somewhere quiet after the previous night at Port Hedland. Mark got a $10 haircut from another camper...

Old railway bridge over the river

Our camp spot by the river

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Port Hedland

What to say about Port Hedland. Not the most charming place in the world that's for sure. Stayed there for one night at the noisiest campground ever. It was a battle of noise between airplanes, trains and trucks! We caught up with an old friend from Perth who now works there. The rent here is exorbitant - $2500 a week for a 4bdr home, even just flat sharing will set you back $450 pw for a room!
The road between Karratha and Port Hedland was full of roadtrains carrying mostly dongers or mining equipment. We had to pull over several times to let some of these wide loads pass.

The port at Port Hedland

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Millstream-Chichester National Park

After a couple of hundred km's of excellent dirt road we arrived at Millsteam-Chichester. Set up camp right next to a river and went upsteam in a canoe. They had had some big floods here so there were quite a few river crossings to conquer. The first ones on the trip and the first ones for Sanne. Good to get some practice in before the Gibb River Road.

 Sanne after one of the longer crossings
Sanne riding through a river crossing (apologies for the bad quality - filmed with iPod)
Going upstream in a canoe we borrowed from the ranger

Our camp spot by the river

Water lillies

Date palms - they used to have a date plantation here

The scenery


Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Bush camp in Hammersley Ranges

Went down a little track not far from Hammersley Gorge and camped in the bush for the night. There was not a soul around, not surprising as we had ridden quite a few km's away from the road. So nestled in amongst the Hammersley Ranges we set up camp and of course had a camp fire. Luckily we both enjoy 'going bush' and getting as far away from civilisation as possible. Ah the serenity!

One of the most picturesque sunsets...
Mark took this photo with the iPod. Notice the skull in the fire...

Monday, 23 May 2011

Hammersley Gorge

Hammersley Gorge was beautiful and provided amazing examples of "rock folding". 


Tucked in amongst the Hammersley Ranges lies a little ghost town called Wittenoom. It is an old asbestos mining town and most of the residents have either died from cancer or have moved away. We didn't see a single soul there but you could tell a few of the houses were still inhabited. All of the roads were in a poor state and nature was taking over the buildings that once were. Officially you are not meant to go there for safety reasons (asbestos dust) but we did it anyway so hopefully we'll be OK!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

The Dixons

While camp hosting in Cape Range NP we met a fantastic family - The Dixons from Victoria.
Donna and Anthony were travelling around Oz with their five (FIVE!) kids Eva, Mimi, Meg, Ollie and little Jerry. They were such good company and the kids were awesome!
We caught up with them once again in Karijini NP and were greeted with hugs from the kiddies!
It was excellent to see them all again and we hope to catch up with them again in the future.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Karijini National Park - Weano and Hancock Gorges

These pictures truly do not do Karijini justice. It is impossible to capture the beauty of the place. This part of the park was even more spectacular. Tiny crevasses snaked their way through the gorges and lead us to stunning rock pools. 
There was unexpected drama as I lost my sunglasses into Kermit Pool's freezing water but Mark, ever the gentleman, promptly ran all the way out of the gorge, got his goggles, ran all the way down again, climbed on rocks to finally dive in and fetch them. He is very useful sometimes.

Handrail Pool

Kermit Pool - Sanne looking for her sunnies

Karijini National Park - Dales Gorge

The Aboriginals believe Karijini's gorges were created in the Dream Time when the land was soft and magical beings wandered the Earth. They say huge serpents lived here and that the winding gorges are the tracks of their passing... Serpents or not, you definitely feel some magical presence as you walk through the gorges and swim in the rock pools. We both felt a strong sense of connection to the place and will no doubt come back in the future. Karijini is a very spiritual place indeed.

Dales Gorge

Circular Pool (stunning but freeeezing!)

Fortescue Falls

Fern Pool

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Barradale 24hr rest stop

Halfway in between Exmouth and Tom Price we stayed at Barradale - a 24-hour reststop. There are quite a few of these scattered all over the north of WA and they are all pretty basic but some of them are nicer than others. This one was one of the nicer ones. Camped next to a river and had our first fire in a long time. 

Mark trying to start a fire...with mental power alone!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Ranger Phil

Introducing Ranger Phil! While working at Cape Range we struck up a friendship with the ranger. This came in handy when our tent blew down on our second-last night there! He had already offered for us to stay at the ranger house in the park after we finished as hosts and this became a godsend when we all of a sudden found ourselves without a roof over our heads. We stayed with him a couple of nights before heading off on new adventures. He was very hospitable and cooked an awesome veggie roast! We envied him his real estate - very few people get to live within a national park. Had a great time with him - thanks Phil!

Phil in his veggie garden

Rangers residence

Monday, 9 May 2011

Whale Sharks

Our dream of swimming with whale sharks finally became reality while in Exmouth. 
Had an awesome day out on the water. Because of the influx of red bell jellyfish at the time, it tends to drive the whale sharks away, so there was only one shark who RSVP'd for our swim. Nonetheless - it was amazing! When you first jump in the water you can't see anything and you're just told to look out for the shark and when you see it - just swim like mad and hopefully it is not coming right in your direction with a mouth big enough to swallow you whole. Sanne was so mesmerized by the shark that she almost swam into it!