WOW! We have been here at Milikapiti on Melville Island, Tiwi Islands 90klms north of Darwin for 3 months. We have had a few storms, the majority of them consisting only of noise but we have had some ‘wet’ stuff. The colours of the skies are amazing most days late in the afternoon especially with some clouds around.
We have a garden area in the centre area of the accommodation setup, mainly ferns, palm trees & a few hibiscus plants – the hibiscus has been flowering & the white one produced a beautiful flower with 2 of the petals pink – wow!
We went out fishing last weekend, Sunday & Monday, Sunday we put the crabs pots out & caught a nice fingermark bream for dinner, we caught several more & released them. Monday morning we were out on the water at daybreak – a beautiful time of day, the colours of the skies constantly changing. We caught a few nice fish but kept only one, a spangled emperor, he swallowed the hook & was not going to survive but he did make a nice meal, we collected the crab pots on the way home – YEA, mud crabs on the menu. We had a pretty good day. 🙂
Some of the locals here at Milikapiti, first up Lady GaGa(she was brought up by a local family) & just wanders around the community, one day while we were cleaning fish she came up to us on the other side of the fence, I hosed her & she loved it, just stood there & lapped it up. There are quite a few horses here, no one rides them or does anything with them, one girl has a sway back, something you don’t see too often these days. There is quite a few of blue-wing kookaburra’s here, they do lots of squawking early in the morning, no laughing…hahah . There have been lots of black cockatoo’s around the 3 weeks but not within photo range.
We try to go out fishing Sundays & Mondays, its quite beautiful out on the water, we put the boat in at the creek & away we go, have managed to find a few good spots & having lotz of fun, chased the birds & caught a few nice mackeral (there was so many) but we only took 2, 1 for us & 1 for our neighbours, have only caught 4 muddies so far(quite yummy) but we will keep trying….
We had our 1st 2 day trip to Darwin from Milikapiti, was good to catch up with a friend at the Ski club, we flew out Sunday after lunch & arrived back at Milikapiti Tuesday morning.
Went for a drive towards the eastern side of the island, after a couple of hours on a gravel road that did have quite a few corrugations, pot-holes & trees, we turned off another track & found ourselves at an entry point of Goose Creek, it is possible to launch a boat here & then go out to the coast. There was a few camps set up & it is utilised by the locals quite often especially during the magpie geese season. We then went back to main road & drove to Cache Point, quite a beautiful spot, it was low tide when we were there, there is a naval survey point located here. Back tracked a little & found our way to Lethbridge Bay & the mouth of Jessie River – looks like a good camping spot.
We drove to Purrampunarli (Maatern van Deft Coastal Reserve) which is approx 10klm drive from Milikapiti (the community), from here we were able to walk(only at low tide) across to Carslake Island – this is quite a popular spot with the locals, they collect oysters, crabs, long bums(a cone like shell with tucker inside), we didn’t find any of the above but we didn’t spend too much time looking, once the tide turns you don’t really want to be too slow in getting back to the mainland.
We are coming up to 4 weeks here at Milikapiti on Melville Island on Thursday 23rd Sept, time is flying. The first few pics are of where we live at the accommodation area, there are 9 other donga rooms which are let out to govt workers, contractors or whoever comes up with the $. They are all single rooms (although some have double beds) except ours, we have a 2 bedroom, lounge, kitchen/dining & bathroom – which is quite comfortable & the air con works well.
Put the boat in at Mirikauyunga Creek, took a spin up to the mouth, too windy & rough so we didn’t venture any further so we fished not far from where we put the boat in & caught some nice fingermark(golden snapper) & quite a nice size cod & 1 small catfish.
Went walking on our next days off, up past the barge landing & followed the beach as far as we could go – came across a creek, a little too deep to cross & there are ‘happy snappers’ around, back home, got quite windy on the way back but was an enjoyable jaunt.
On one of our drives around Melville Island we arrived at where the ferry goes across to Bathurst Island(the 2nd island which makes up the Tiwi Islands), a small ferry that travels across between the islands, the day we were there a large ferry from Darwin was at the jetty.
Come across some nice flowers on way back.
It’s raining, bit of thunder & the skies opened, 10 minutes later all gone. (monday 13th sept).
WOW! We have finally arrived at our new job destination.
Jumped on a charter plane, single engine, 6 seater in Darwin Thursday 26th August & flew to Snake Bay (Melville Island) – a 30 minute flight, it was quite good no big drops & a smooth landing. Our boat arrived the next day early in the morning on the barge from Darwin – it was a beautiful morning, there were several horses wandering around.
Started work Friday in the canteen at the Milikapiti Sports & Social Club, Peter is maintaining the money handling/til – he is doing well. I am looking after the cooking part which is consistent, the canteen is open from 4.30pm to 7.30pm(Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday), we have a 3 hr window of go go go, prepping prior & cleaning afterwards of course as well.
We managed to get the boat up to Dunmarra (320klms south of Katherine) then drove back to Banka Banka Station (255klms south of Dunmarra) & spent the night in the camper. Banka Banka is a beautiful camping spot, natural spring water, very clean ablutions, grassed camp areas, happy hour every night from 6-8pm, they have a bar available & camp fire. Its a great meet & greet spot.
Some of the locals are really quite cute.
Next day found us packing up camp & driving to Katherine, we camped up for the night then drove to Darwin the next day (Sunday 15th Aug) to our good mates Sonja & Barry’s place at Palmerstone. Next day Monday 16th Aug at 12 noon, Darwin & Katherine were put on a 3 day snap lockdown…….hahaha
WOW! we have been at Amburla for just over 3 months, we drove out for the last time on Saturday 5th August, the new couple that was overtaking from us arrived early, Friday 4th, so off we went. We decided to go down the Sandover Highway which is a dirt/gravel road (not far off Stuart Hwy going east towards Mt Isa), the road is quite good really, we spent 2 nights camping out along the way & arrived at Camooweal Monday mid-morning. Our plan was to park the camper up & drive to Cairns, spend some time with good mates Pauline & Peter, then down to Cardwell more good mates Mandy & Raymond then to El Airsh( Peter’s nephews place) to collect the boat & drive back to Camooweal BUT once we got there & were in phone service area we had a few messages – Cairns was in lockdown & our new prospective boss on the Tiwi Islands was worried we might not get back into the Northern Territory – we changed our plans slightly, booked camper into c/park for few nights then headed east, we kept driving til 0200hrs & swagged it for 4 hours just north of Townsville, then drive to El Arish & collected boat, swagged it again at 0100hrs just west of Mt Isa, got up early drove across border(no problems with border passes) & booked boat into Barkly homestead for 2 nights then drove back to Camooweal collected camper back across the QLD/NT & pulled up at a free camp just on dark to camp for the night.
Our last trip into Alice Springs, I came across this beauty – WOW! The grevillea’s have only been flowering for a few weeks but they are very nice.
We had our good mate Trevor spend a few nights with us, so while Peter did the watering at Milton Park, Trev & I walked up to the telstra tower & kept going along the ridge line, it was great, (hay Mary I’m sure you & I could have done it too) – it took us a few hours to get back to the homestead but it was an enjoyable trek. We came across this weird but quite striking coloured rock, it was the only one with this colouring that we saw. The views were awesome & there was a breeze which made it very enjoyable, the only downfall being spinifix but we managed not to get too many spikes in us.
When the bosses are away we go to Hamilton Downs homestead & attend to the watering of the various plants & gardens. Hamilton Downs was the original place that we were supposed to be based at but plans changed just before we arrived, so we ended up at Amburla Station (which we are very happy about). Our bosses (Tony & Pam Davis) live in a cottage at Hamilton Downs when here, the manager lives in the main house & his worker lives in outside quarters – there are numerous sheds & buildings around with lotz of ‘stuff’. There is an old building which was the original hometead here, it now houses old saddle pads & harness yolks with some odds & ends. There are many old artefacts here at Hamilton which they are starting to try & preserve.
We have had Margaret (Peter’s Mum) & Mary (one of Peter’s sisters) visit for a week, it has been awesome. Everyday we have been going out driving around Hamilton Downs, Amburla & Milton Park & still have NOT managed to see it all, but having a very enjoyable time, its wonderful to have family visit us.
We decided to walk up this hill at Milton Park, it is a Telstra communication tower, it has an elvation 750mts & 1klm from bottom to top – so it gave us a good cardio workout. The track was a bit rough in places & I don’t think any telstra people have driven up there for a while.
The view on the way up was great & improved the higher up we got, we could just see where the Amburla homestead was (approx 16klms).
Once we were at the top – WOW! the views in every direction were amazing, the landscape just keeps going & going & going. Since our 1st walk, we have repeated the experience & have decided to walk up the hill twice a week – good for our heart………..:-)
While driving around the other day we found the new lot of bullocks & steers that arrived from Sandover Highway station, they weren’t the friendliest but seem to be settling in. We saw some camels, about 9 of them, they weren’t real friendly either but you get that.