Auvergne Station is approximately 4200sq kilometers, it located 50klm west of Timber Creek(NT) & 137klm east of Kununurra(WA), shares a border with Bullo River & Newry Stations & the Winan Aboriginal Land Trust. It boasts many beautiful Boab trees throughout the property as well as along the driveway. Ben lives in a small but nice dongha with his own ablutions & washing machine, all his meals are taken in the kitchen unless he takes lunch out on the runs which happens quite often. He is a bore runner, fence fixer, truck driver – MR FIXIT & he is very good at it. We were lucky enough to spend 4 nights with him & go out 2 days on the bore runs (lotz of them travelling lotz klms). Repairing of fences around the water area’s is constant & the bores are checked twice a week at present, that could change if the weather warms up more, like most stations they look forward to the wet season & hope they get a good rainfall. The cattle look good, they are currently doing some mustering & sending quite a few trucks with 3 double trailers away.
While out driving with Ben, he took us up a very steep incline which leads to the border between Auvergne & Bullo Downs Station, the track going up the incline is a one lane bitumen road, the trucks can only take one trailer up at a time – this track is the road entry to Bullo Downs, it had a great view. It is a beautiful property & it was great to spend time with Ben & assist in a small way with his jobs.
We packed up & left Thursday 4th August, Ben was going on leave for just over a week on a fishing trip with some friends to Lorella Springs & we were headed east then south onto the Binns Track & come out at Dunmarra Roadhouse.
Thankx Ben, it was awesome to spend time with you. xxx
Our great friends Sonja & Barry collected us from the plane, on our Darwin trips from Milikapiti we have stayed in our camper which we had parked up in Barry’s shed as well as leaving our ute inside a locked fence – we were very lucky to be able to do this for the 11 months we were on Melville Island thankyou so much Barry & Sonja – Early Tuesday morning we went out with them to their bush camp for 5 days, Barry runs buffalo hunting safaris for trophy buffalo. Their camp is approximately 8 – 9 hours south west of Darwin, you drive out on the Central Arnhem Highway through Beswick community & turn off just before Bulman community to the camp.
Barry & Sonja set up an amazing camp, they put in a lot of hard work & many hours to present it – WOW! it is ‘glamping’ at its best. It was quite dry out there & there have been a lot of fires around so the food supply for the buffalo, donkeys & horses is a bit sparse but you can still find them. The solar lights provide a great guide around the camps at night, howling dingoes, donkeys bellowing & barking owls were conversing every night & then the dawn breaks with the cockatoo’s & blue wing kookaburra’s squawking.
We went for a drive to Gulun gulun, it was an operating as a buffalo hunting complex for quite a few years then approximately 5 years ago it was abandoned – a lovely highset house with sheds, trucks & lotz of gear, it has been ransacked quite often since.
Thankx Barry & Sonja for sharing your amazing camp with us. 🙂
Met Lady GaGa & Arthur on my walk, Lady Ga Ga has been around since before we first came here, Arthur is a new addition & follows her everywhere, they are always together these days. The sun just coming up – what a beautiful time of the day. Peter enjoyed his last walk at Milikapiti, Thursday 21st July, we did a circuit walk & came out just after the barge landing so we had a few hundred metres of beach walking. I walked Friday & Saturday morning then donated my walking shoes as I had glued them several times & they weren’t happy… Saturday I walked down towards Tim Ram Boo, a popular fishing spot for the locals, overlooking Snake Bay, it was lovely.
We spent the last few days cleaning & packing up as well as working but it was exciting to know that we would soon be on the road again.
We flew out Sunday 24th July on a charter flight, Peter had to sit in the front seat next to the pilot, the flight took about 30 minutes, Snake Bay to Darwin. While we were boarding our plane a rather large helicopter was parked up on the apron of the landing strip – rather a large thing, apparently it is used for taking people in & out from the drilling rigs.
Had a great time here at Milikapiti but the time has come.
We are on count down less than 2 weeks to go til we go on a one way ticket out of the Tiwi Islands, since we have no boat anymore we spend our days taking drives to different places. Last Sunday 10th July, we drove to Pirlangimpi, the other community on Melville Island, as we were driving around the community we found Connie, she used to work at the club in Milikapiti but now lives in Pirlie. She took us to ‘her country’, a 30 minute drive from town – WOW! what a beautiful spot, she has a 3 bedroom holiday house that overlooks the water(Timor Sea), lotx of fish & crocodiles but still a very beautiful area. There are 3 houses here with generated & solar power, water & septic – bit sad that no one lives here permanently but they do get utilised at times. When we got back to Connie’s place her pet pig ‘Christmas’ was playing with the dogs, Christmas should have a long life, they not going to eat him.
The next day we drove to the south eastern side of Melville, it was an interesting drive, the first part of the drive was easy as the road had been graded recently, the last part was much more fun. We saw quite a few buffalo but once they saw & heard our vehicle they took off, lotz of people hunt in this area so I imagine the buffalo are learning. Getting closer to the beach we came across another critter, a goanna was sunbaking on part of the track, there was lotz of buffalo tracks especially noticeable in the low tide sections also their trade mark – their tower like poop….
The beach was amazing, so very beautiful, the tide was low but on the rise. We went for a walk up the beach & found quite a few turtle tracks, even saw a few holes they dug up to lay their eggs. Lotz of soldier crabs running around as well as the hermit crabs. Walking on the rocks I saw quite a few bait fish & several crabs in the rock pools, the mangrove forests are very interesting especially at low tide, their roots are a majestic maze.
Just before we got back to Milikapiti we came across a group of horses, it was ‘old sway back’s’ mob – I am not sure how to describe her.
4th July, we went for a drive to southern part of Melville Island – Pitijmirra, the Tiwi College is located down here as well as a few outstations (a handful of people SOMETIMES live at outstations but usually use them as a holiday house), we drove through the outskirts of the college property to the beach eventually. They have a pretty good setup at the college, its for high school aged children who live in Milikapiti, they are collected on Mondays & are returned to the community on Fridays, the college is well staffed & caters for the kids while in their care. There is a freshwater creek(Takamprimili Ck) on the outskirts of the college which is a very popular swimming hole for the school & residents, although they have recently set up a crocodile trap slightly upstream as there was a siting of a croc, this creek runs all the way to the ocean.
Drove on a few interesting tracks to find the beach. The beach was quite lovely, very windy & definately did not have a swimming invitation. We actually found some cotton growing on the sand at the beach!!!
There has been quite a few fires around but the regrowth is putting on a show. Came across a few small mobs of horses, at the moment they are still in reasonable condition.
Monday 3rd July, 2022 – 3 weeks today we fly out of Milikapiti, Tiwi Islands for the last time – WOW!
Last weekend we caught the Sealink ferry to Cullen Bay, Darwin, it took about 2 1/2 hours, was a little bit blowy but all good. We flew back to Milikapiti Tuesday morning, one stop at Pirlangimpi(the other community on Melville Island), as we were getting closer to the Tiwi Islands you could see the fires/smoke on Melville Island. On the runway at Pirlangimpi our pilot had a change of plan, instead of taking off we taxied up & down the runway a few times before take-off but this was due to a bird hazard, there was a flock of parrots feeding next to the runway.
July 1st – cracker night in the Northern Territory, the locals obviously managed to get some fireworks to set off, it went on for quite a few hours.
During my walks I came across quite a few beautiful flowers, at present the Grevillea pteridifolia (orange) is flowering perfusely as well as the Kapok, the swamp tea tree has just about finished but there are a few still flowering, in the burnt out areas the bright green cycads are springing up everywhere. The green ants are building houses everywhere.
WOW! I finally found an orchid – Phillippine ground orchid – its gorgeous.
Sunday 19th/Monday 20th June- time to go fishing. The weather is looking much better than last weekend when our friends the Brincau’s were visiting. We went out into the bay, it was a little bumpy but still very fishable. The breath taking colours make me wish I could draw or paint but I will settle for the real thing & photos.
WOW! We didn’t fish for long, no need, 2 big beautiful Golden Snappers (fingermark), the we put the crab pots in & went home.
Up early next morning & back out into the bay again, caught a variety of smallish fish – no keepers except for one ‘goldie’ who swallowed the hook & wouldn’t of survived (pan size). Then it happened – Peter’s line went off, took him a while but he eventually landed a 130cm jew fish – WOW! A beautiful creature, we released him & went & collected the crab pots, 1 keeper, the crocs had some fun with 2 pots.
A great way to end our fishing days here on Melville Island, as we have sold the boat & the new owners wanted to collect the boat the same afternoon.
While out walking next morning I discovered quite a few of the Blackwood (acacia family) still flowering – so beautiful.
We had visitors again- Darren & Jenelle, the ‘Brincows’ arrived from Darwin on the Sealink ferry then crossed the channel to Paru on the car ferry where we collected them & drove back to Milikapiti. It was great to have them here with us.
12th June, Sunday morning, we launched the boat, a little windy, we will go out into the bay & see how we go but first of all we put the crab pots in. It was a little fresh but this is the ‘dry’ season. We got out to one of the reef areas we fish but the wind was not pretty, the swell not nice & quite choppy so back into the creek. Darren started of with a smallish Golden Snapper with a ‘happy snapper’ watching him near by. Jenelle soon started catching a few too.
Early next morning back down to the creek, skies were beautiful. 2 dingoes were interested in what was happening & got quite close. The weather forecast hasn’t changed so we staying in the creek fishing again, even the creek was a little bouncy…….haha. I caught a small shark but he caused a bit of havoc with our lines. We had another ‘happy snappy’ closing in on us today, one poor unfortunate small fish that swallowed the hook, his survival not good, the happy snappy wanted more……We collected the crab pots with 3 keepers which were enjoyable.
Went for a few drives, one out to ‘pretty flower’ & Karslake – so nice.
The ‘burn offs’ / fires have being going for the last month, not sure if they are all proper burns but that is how it is.
Saw some black cockies on my early morning walk, don’t see them very often.
0700hrs Monday 23rd May, Peter, Rob( relief manager for 2 weeks) & I went down to the creek, they both went out in the boat & I walked back home, they returned just after lunch with a few Golden Snapper. On my walk home I came across a few beauties, the wattles are flowering profusely at the moment – so beautiful.
The following weekend Peter & I put the crab pots in & caught a few jacks for dinner on the Sunday, next day up early & back out in the boat – WOW, such a beautiful time of day, it was a little cloudy but the sunrise was still awesome, just watching the different times of the sun rising makes the boat outing worth it. It was a little bumpy while going out to the bay but the end result was worth it. We caught heaps of fish & released the majority of them, had loads of fun, we collected the crab pots, 6 crabs, 3 keepers. Amongst the trees at one of the spots where we had a crab pot, there was hundreds of bats, you could smell & hear them from quite a distance.
I passed a few ponies on my morning walk, they not too friendly but I did manage to get a pic.
We got up early the next day & out in the boat again, it was so foggy, never seen fog like this here before, actually we have never seen fog here period. But it was interesting especially when the sun was trying to shine through. We had 2 keepers, Danny caught both of them. We collected the crab pots & managed to keep 4 crabs, they were yummy. We took Danny & Julie over Karslake for a drive, a very popular camping spot for the locals & very lovely, during spring tides at low tide you can walk over to Karslake Island.
Took Julie & Danny back to Paru, they caught the car ferry across the channel to Bathurst Island then jumped on the Sealink ferry to take them back to Darwin. Along the way we passed many flowering wattles, they look awesome.