Amburla Station NT. #3

Irrigation washouts, poly pipe splitting probably from old age & various other leaks happening – repair of these is a common & popular job to be undertaken – Peter loves these jobs…… Watering the grass & gardens is a regular job also but quite enjoyable. Since the cattle have starting to arrive at the station Peter has been busy checking waters & fence lines – he is really enjoying this.

We assisted the manager & his worker with one mob in branding & tagging of any cattle/weiners that required it, it was very dusty but quite enjoyable. Took lotz of pics.

One of the many blowouts Peter has repaired.
Checking the water level in the tank.
Starting generator for the bore pump.
So many doves & finches at all of the water bores.
Alan the station manager riding one of his ponies & his dogs working the cattle.
Dinner time.
Lotz of ‘stuff’ around the station.
Dot, she is young pup but showing potential.
Ice, she is mainly used for mustering& herding the bulls.
One of the calves, a real cutie.
Peter & Chris (station hand) holding down a weiner to be branded.
Road train unloading another mob of mixed cattle from Sandover Station (Sandover Hwy, NT)
Working dogs in action.

Amburla Station NT. #2

Life at the station is rather nice, we are kept reasonabley busy especially now as the bosses have gone back to Darwin & we have to water & maintain 3 homesteads. The calcium content in the bore water is quite high so we have some interesting moments with the irrigation…..hahaha. We had a few roadtrains arriving with heifers & will be getting some more in the next few weeks, they are coming from a station on the Plenty Highway (NT)& also Barcaldine (QLD). Peter is enjoying driving around the boundaries checking the fences & keeping an eye on the bores.

The new manager of Hamilton Downs has quite a few working dogs, working horses & uses them with the cattle. The birdlife at the bores is plentiful mainly finches & budgies.

It has been getting quite cool but the inside fire in the house is awesome.

Some of heifers brought to Amburla Station
Dusty, one of the manager’s (Alan) dogs, he is a growing puppy.
Ant nests – big black ants.
Zebra finches enjoying the water near the cattle water troughs.
They are cute…..
Mickey birds have a bath in the bird bath.
There are so many budgies in the dessert.
Magpies at sunset.
The hills not far from us, these are on the inside of the McDonnel ranges.
We have a lot of Pee wees.
Ring necked parrots are in abundance at the moment.
Great mates – Gary & Rae from Bagara came for a visit- Anzac Hill overlooking the Alice Springs township.
We have had a few of these critters too – hopefully no more…..hahaha
Sun rising at Amburla.

Amburla Station, Northern Territory.

Our home for the next few months- Amburla is 1 of 2 stations owned by Tony & Pam Davis, Hamilton Downs shares boundries with Amburla, Milton Park is an outstation of Amburla, Hamilton Downs is the only station currently with stock. Due to the lack of rainfall over the last few years there was no grass so no stock. There are 3 homesteads, 1 at Hamilton which now has managers running it & is currently being restocked (also the Davis’s have a cottage there & live there when not in Darwin), 1 at Milton Park which is undergoing renovations in July & Amburla, a 4 bedroom, rather large house that we live in. There is an abundance of bore water available & its very good. Our duties include watering the gardens, grass & trees, also the repair of any leaks in water pipes which there has been a few already, house & yard maintenence here at Amburla & also at the outstation Milton Park.

Peter & I went for a drive & found a few bores, the budgies, doves & zebra finches were in abundance at these waterholes.

Our driveway.
Back entrance of house.
Front of house.
Lotz of fruit on trees.
1 of the leaks Peter has repaired.
So nice to have a fire inside.
Peter checking out the yards at one of the bores.
Lotz of budgies & doves at the bore dams.
Zebra finches everywhere, the thorny Acacia is a great protective bush(weed).
Ptilotus exaltaus – pussy tail/lamb’s tail
Guernsey fleabane
Silverleaf nightshade (toxic to horses)

Our journey towards the Northern Territory.

Spent a night at Cardwell with great mates Mandy & Raymond, while there, the Battle of the Coral Sea Commemorative ceremony took place, every year on the 1st Sunday of May they march down Coral Sea Drive followed by a ceremony at the Memorial Park. It was wonderful to watch, people living along this road hang Australians flags in their front yard & off their balconies.

Camped up at Porcupine Gorge National Park for the night (you have to book online these days to stay the night at NP – but well worth it). We had a great camp, went for a walk down into the gorge & had a quick paddle, once your shoulders were under it was lovely…..

Next day drove through Mt.Isa although we did stop for some supplies, we camped up about 60klms east of Camooweal for the night, crossed the QLD/NT border next morning & called into Avon Downs rest stop & made some breakfast – very yum. The flowering lemon scented gums lined the Barkly & Stuart Highways – they were beautiful, we stayed at the Devils Marbles Hotel with more great mates, Sonja & Barry from Tasmania, we were very luck to catch up with them & enjoyed a lovely dinner & lotx of chatting.

The next day was our last day of travelling for a while, we actually had a few showers of rain which managed to settle the dust, we turned down the Tanami Highway (20klms north of Alice Springs) to Amburla Station – our home for the next……….months.

The Battle of the Coral Sea marchpast.
This critter was munching on a plant of Mandys, quite a pretty fellow.
Yea – we on our way to the NT.
Going over the range from Innisfail to Milla Milla came across this charming waterfall.
Looking back over the range – the fog was amazing.
Great camp (#22) in the National Park – Porcupine Gorge.
A nice 1.2klm walk down hill then returned uphill to camp.
The morning sun.
Not far out of Mt. Isa
Lemon scented gum, so many along the Stuart Highway – full of flowers
Devils Marbles
Cute little place – was originally known as the Wauchope Hotel
Barrow Creek
Just another windmill opposite Barrow Creek….
We are in the NT – Taylors Creek rest stop – luv the windmillls

Cairns then Brisbane

After arriving in Cairns from Lockhart River (Cape York Peninsula), we stayed at a caravan park for a few days, there was quite a few of these beautiful yellow flowering trees giving a great show throughout the park & the city.

We took our boat down to Peter’s nephews near Mission Beach, he has a beautifil property with lotz of flowering trees & shrubs – thankx Ash & Ben. We also stayed at Mirriwini again with Julie & Danny (cousins) always a fun time playing cards – thankx guys. Back to Cairns to Peter & Paulines at Machans Beach – a beautiful spot with great friends – thankx Peter & Pauline. Pauline & I did an early morning walk along the esplanade – wow! very nice.

Flew to Brisbane, caught up with family & friends briefly & attended my brotherinlaws funeral. The sunrise & cloud formation from the plane was lovely.

Had a wonderful walk & picnic lunch at O’Reillys – Lamington National Park with Amy & family, Catherine & family – thankx guys for a lovely day.

I went down to Parklands on the Gold Coast with Jenna, Mike & Harry for a few hours – a great family outing, so many paths & playgrounds & the Sea hibiscus for blooming everywhere.

Golden penda
Surinamese stickpea
Ombu also known as the Umbra tree
False bird of paradise
Parrots beak also known as Parakeet heliconia
Chinese hibiscus/ Rose mallows
Spider lily
Bush clockvine
Walking along Machans Beach as the sun was rising.
Flying Cairns to Brisbane, the dawn colours & clouds were quite specki.
Peter got to meet Georgia – his new granddaughter – what a bundle of joy.
Sister, Lesley got cuddles also from Georgia.
me too.
O’Reilly’s – tree top walk.
Harry, I got to spend a little time with my grandson too.
Parklands on the broadwater at the Gold Coast.
Harry & dad Mike relaxing.
Mum, Jenna & Harry.
Harry with his new haircut 🙂
Lotz of these critters hanging around.
Sea hibiscus.

Lockhart River #15

The Palm cockies have been hanging around for the last few months, obviously nesting nearby, they are a beautiful bird but a little camera shy……..haha

WOW! We are finally leaving Lockhart River, as long as we get across the Pascoe River, today Saturday 27th March will be our best chance as they are predicting more rain & the river levels will rise again, they have been going up & down but 3 of the locals got through yesterday afternoon & the river did not rise over night.

Yea – we made it, but it was quite hairy, wouldn’t like to have to repeat that experience. There was lotz of water crossings & major washouts in places but we just went along nice & steady. The Wenlock River was running quite fast but not as deep as the Pascoe & not as wide. Once we got to the Peninsula Development Rd (PRD) & crossed over the Archer River, the hardest part was over, but the road was washed out in many places & lotz more water crossings – but we just toddled along. It was quite lovely, gave us lotz of time to smell the roses along the way. We camped overnite ‘somewhere’ between Coen & Musgrove Station – it was a nice spot, 4 small ponds, gravel base & plenty of fire wood – our biggest problem being it started to rain & didn’t stop, hahah. Breakfast was awesome.

We finally got to Cairns, Sunday night in the pouring rain.

Palm Cockatoo’s were frequent visitors for the last few months.
Goodbye Iron Range Research Station, Lockhart River.

The mighty Pascoe River
Lotz of water crossings & washouts.
Highland Tamarind – Acacia/wattle family
The grass trees (black boys) are thriving after being burnt out then the rain.
The mighty Wenlock River
Some good washouts to go through.
We are headed to Cairns via Coen.
The Archer River, it was 200mls over the causeway, anything over 400mls is not advisable.
These 2 fellows weren’t bothered about anything.
This particular washout was a lot worse than it looks in this pic.
These 2 weren’t real friendly but quite pretty.
Trying to keep some coals happening so we can have a cup a coffee with our cake – thats dinner for tonight.
Our bed for the night.
Making some toast – thanks to Neil Weier for making our utensil.
Breakfast – yea. 🙂
Common Camas – wild hyacinth – beautiful.
Packed up & on the road again – the sun is shining tooooooo.
Lotz of these critters but not easy to get a pic.
Grevillia’s just starting to flower.
Kennedy River
Kennedy River flood debris.
Severe bitumen damage between Musgrove Station & Laura.

Lockhart River #14

WOW! its nearly the end of March, 2021. Time is flying but life is good. 🙂

We have gradually been packing up our gear & boat, last minute cleaning, whipper nipping etc just waiting for the water levels to drop. Our main problem crossing being the Pasco River, its too deep & the current is a lttle too strong to try & take the boat across at this depth. But the levels are dropping & rising a little at times, but overall dropping & as long as there is no rain in the catchment area we may get out this weekend. We took a drive along Portmans Rd last Monday (this is the road that will take us to the Peninsula Development Rd which goes to the right to Weipa & south to Cairns), it was an interesting drive, lotz of erosion & in some places not much road left & a far amount of water to negotiate but overall the road not too bad considering all the rain that has fallen. We got as far as the Pascoe river (about an hours drive from Lockhart River) & got no further, the water too high & the current too quick, even the locals weren’t driving through….But it gave us an idea on the water levels when checking them out on the bom site. So we are sitting tight just waiting……….

We have had lotz of melamy’s the last few months & while we were packing found a mumma & her bubs. But there are lotz of critters up here, some nice, some not so nice.

The last pic is of Erman, a backpacker from Chile who was at Lockhart River for 3 months, he has just left & is going to Doomadgee, another indigenous community not far from the QLD/NT border – it will be an interesting experience for him. He was a great worker & a nice fellow, we got on well, we worked in the community store together, he was in the store & I was in the cafe.

Don’t know what this is but it came from a milk thistle like plant.
White turmeric.
Mumma Melomy & 2 big bubs.
Lotz of erosion but the road still pretty good.
Lotz of water crossings.
Just have to stay aware.
This one a bit deceptive, lotz of sand & quite deep in spots.
The water was so clear & inviting but nooooooooooooooooooooooo.
Pascoe River crossing, too deep for us today but hopefully soon.
These beauties were all along the road, we just had to stop once……
Ermon, a ‘chilean’ backpacker

Lockhart River #13

Peter & I went out fishing into Lloyd Bay, the water was like glass (my type of fishing waters), it was really amazing. We stopped at the sand bar just before we went out, to see if we could get some live bait, we did, but there was a previous visitor to the sand bare before us, glad we didn’t run into him, we didn’t stay long. hahaha

The water was so clear, we went out to a place called Jackson Rock & you could actually see fish swimming around obviously they weren’t too hungry but you get that. Peter did catch a few nice fish, we kept 1 pinky (nannygai), they are very yum. Saw lotx of turtles, luckily none of them tried to jump on our lines – it was a great day. Back to the Claudi River, hopefully we won’t have too wait too long for the tide to rise so we can get the boat our of the water. We will collect the crab pots, throw a few lures & go home.

The butterflys at Iron Range(where we live) are beautiful but not very photogenic (not for me anyway) but I did manage to get a pic of one.

The weather seems to be changing a bit lately, less humidity & definately cooling down also quite breezy at times & we haven’t had as much rain. We are hoping to drive out soon, there are still a few rivers that are a bit too high for us so we will just wait & see.

Keep smiling. 🙂

Stopped at this sand bank to get some bait, its under water at high tide.
Just happened to notice there had been an earlier visitor, quite large by the look of the foot prints, approx 800mm between feet.
The water was like glass, so beautiful.
Didn’t take long & Peter was onto it.
A nice GT, we released him so he was one happy fish.
Peter also caught a nice size nannygai(pinky) – snapper family, we kept him.
We were not far from the shipping channel but far enough to stay out of their way.
Back to the Claudi River, very low tide, we will have to wait for a while before we are able to take boat out of the river.
Run off water coming down in quite a few places which should be a good feeding area for the bara.
We had to collect the crab pots which was good as it enabled us to have mud crab as an entree for dinner.
Amazing butterflys up here but very few stay still for photo’s.
This fellow was strolling into the under cover area just as I was going to work.
Another bloom on this beautiful orchid.

Lockhart River #12

We have been out fishing a few times, most of the time we always go home with a feed which is good. We haven’t put the crab pots in much as there usually isn’t many crabs around but since the rain the crabs have been moving – yah.

While we are out walking we usually find some weird & wonderful things, the red fungi is really going beserk at the moment. Lotz of butterflys, some very beautiful but too quick for me & the camera. Found a rather large caterpillar quite hairy so we didn’t get too close.

Peter has gone out fishing with a friend & they have had some fun, 1st time they got 6 mackeral, next time they went to another spot & caught an eski full of nannygai – very yum (they are in the snapper family).

Went to Chilli beach & collected some coconuts, they yum also, its our snack food.

Lotz of flowering happening up here still which is lovely. The rain has been pretty constant so everything is growing madly. We are waiting for the rain to stop for a while so the river levels will drop enabling us to drive out but not sure when that is going to happen at this stage. Oh well! more time for fishing….:-)

This fellow very unlucky, we were stopped on a sand bank to get some live bait & he just happened to be strolling along, bad for him, good for us.
We caught his mate in a crab pot.
While out walking we have found quite a lot of red fungi – amazing stuff.
One of these fellows was tired so he getting a ride from another butterfly…..
Don’t know what it is called but we weren’t touching him.
Grunter/Javelin fish – WOW! he was awesome.
More crabs, yummo.
Peter went out with a friend – this was 1 of 6 mackeral he caught.
Nannygai magic. 🙂
This is actually a ‘palm cockatoo’, they were feeding not far from us, no camera just ph.
This is some weird fungi…..
WOW! they are so beautiful & flowering everywhere still -chinese hibiscus (1 of their many names)
Chilli beach, low tide.
coconuts galore.
Pandanus full of flower at Chilli Beach.
Lotz of these critters around, they are quite colourful.
I think this turkey is eying off my coconuts.
Crimson catteya – flowering again, so nice.
Nina, waiting for some banana.
Golden guinea tree/red beech – so amazing.

Lockhart River #11

WOW! Mid February already. Time does fly when your having fun.

We have been out fishing a few times, only once when we have been out did we come back with no keepers (we did catch some sharks but didn’t keep any).

For the month of January we had 730mls rain – not a bad drop & so far this month we have had 200mls & its raining now, all roads are closed so no driving in or out of Lockhart River, the Peninsula Development Rd that runs from Lakelands to the tip of ‘oz’ is under water in many of the river crossing – so not a lot of traffic anywhere up here at present.

We have had lotz of critters visiting & the birds chatter a lot, many different languages but great sounds.

Keep smiling. 🙂

A fruit dove, not real clever when building a nest.
This specimen didn’t last too long after a storm we had, no sign of egg anymore.
Chilli Beach – tide going out
The high tide covers the whole beach.
I think Chilli Beach is known as the ‘thong’ kingdom.

On way back from Chilli beach, got a bit damper & very slippery.
Yep – more rain.
Had quite a few Rhinoceros beetles fly in, they hiss at you….
‘Nina’ the house pet bat, visits most nights for banana.
Don’t know the name but he had lovely wings.
I think he’s checking out my water bottle, getting ready for a walk maybe?????
Had to get a new hat as he donated the other one to the fish…haha
Lotz of fresh water running into the Claudie River from the rains. (a good hang out for bara)
Got to watch out for these rocks when going out the river, all under water at high tide.
People park their boats in funny positions up here.
Heaps of these critters around, this girl finishing Nina’s left over banana.
What a cutie, haven’t discovered their name yet but they building a nest near by.
so cute & beautiful
Indian cucumber root, so my app says. Cute little moth visiting.