Normanton #3

Settling into the life of ‘freight managers’ here at Normanton, life is very busy the majority of the time which is good especially during this ‘corona thingie’ – but now that we get every 2nd week-end off it is great to get away & do something. The ‘KK’ has been awesome we are very happy with her, I started a vege patch into some tyres & also a couple of pods, the young couple next door were keen too but ‘have no idea – their words’, so they put in heaps of seed as well -I looking after it. It is going okay except the pumpkin beetle just about demolished the pumpkin seedlings ( I still not sure if they are going to recover – its a waiting game).

We drove to Karumba about amonth ago, got most awesome fish & chips so yum, took them to a different beach than last time – beautiful spot, we even took a rod & threw a few lures – no joy, so we walked up the beach to a rocky area, while there we were greeted by the local police – You should not be here, even though I had proof we drove to Karumba for work, they said you not allowed on beach & DEFINATELY no fishing. Karumba has not been very friendly for us but as of last weekend we can now drove 5ooklms so we might try Karumba again in the near future………hahaha

We took a drive up river again a little way & it is rather lovely, caught no fish but had an enjoyable time. The lillies are amazing.

Our ‘KK’ is our home in Normanton, the beginnings of our vege garden on the right hand side with “mr moon” watching over us.
Decorations inside our KK – supposed to assist with bug control, we don’t have mosies inside BUT we do have stink bugs, apparently everyone has them here, so weare not special…….
Our vege patch is progressing, sunflowers growing really well.
Poor old pumpkin seedlings getting demolished by the pumpkin beetle.
The pumpkin seedlings prior to their demolition (background)
Happy hour while the sun going down at camp, doesn’t happen too often usually still working.
I had a friend in the shower with me.
Karumba, such a beautiful spot.
So love my pelicans – such a graceful,beautiful bird.
Heaps of bait fish around.
This hermit crab had no intentions of leaving his home while I was holding the camera.
On the way back to Normanton, we saw quite a few families of brolga’s, these chicks nearly as big as Mum & Dad.

This family of brolgas were not very photogenic, they bolted.

I know they are a weed but they looked pretty.

Different parts of the Norman River – quite beautiful but have to be very watchful of the ‘happy snappers’, they are rather large up this way.

Normanton #2

WOW! we have the weekend off.

Went for a drive along the Gulf Development rd, the only sealed road linking Cairns & Normanton, to Glenore Weir (on the Norman River) which is only 23klms away & half of that we took a short cut on a gravel road – quite an interesting spot. I have never seen a ‘concrete fish ladder’ before, it was approximately 60m long & it looked like there was at least 3 resonably sized stingrays stranded in a few sections there, hopefully they will eventually find a way out. We did throw a few lures but didn’t manage to catch anything other than a little mossy weed. On our way back we drove past ‘Beards Access’ & what a delightful sign they had, although it was closed there were a few ‘happy campers’ set up there, maybe they were self isolating….. Just down the road from this spot was a cute little lane to the river & what a sign they had..haha. We drove down & threw a few lures with out any outcome of fish. Before heading home we took a dirt track off ‘old croydon road’ (there are lotz of tracks off to the river) & instead of crossing the railway we followed it for quite a while & came across Clarina Railway Station – it was next door to a beautiful lagoon full of lilies & a few broken dtry own old benches & tables, was obviously something useful a few years ago. We headed home but on way way decided to our luck with some parliment house pots to see if we could get any cheribin, so we put them in the river & we will collect them tomorrow.

One of the guys we work with, does the Karumba drop offs & pick ups 3days a week, he brought 3 mudcrabs back with him & decided he didn’t want them & gave them to us……..yummo, all I had to do was cook them & eat them – 🙂

We even played upwords too last night!

Today we went collected our pots – not a real good result a couple of cheribin)(but we will use them for bait, I did catch a resonable size catfish in a pot too but we released him. We took a drive just outside of town on the Karumba rd then took a left towards Shady Lagoon Station – saw so many beautiful liles.

Glenore Weir. (I think the weir raising project is finished as there was no signs of anything going to happen in the near future).

The fish ladder – quite amazing.

2 stingrays trying to find a way out in this section

This fellow was next door trying to find an exit.

Bottom part of the weir.

This is a recreational & camping site which has closed signs on both entries, but the sign was cute.
What clever signage for this street.

Clarina Railway Station

They even had a bench seat for possible passengers….
But they did have a beautiful lagoon right next door.
A vege patch hopefully.

Yummo – mudcrabs for dinner.

We sometimes get to play upwords – ?????stress relief….hahaha

Our catch from the cheribin pots.
Alway such beautiful little spots along the way.

The lilies are beautiful & so abundant in all the lagoons & small water holes in the area.
This fellow was quite happy too amongst the lilies.

Normanton #1

We are now entering our 3rd week at Normanton, a small country town located on the Norman River in the Gulf country of NW QLD, approx 2090 klms NW of Brisbane, 850klm W of Cairns & Townsville & approx 400klms N of Cloncurry. In the main street of Normanton there is a full scale model of a crocodile that was shot in 1957 just downstream from the town centre, it was measured at 8 .63mts -WOW! I hope we don’t see any of his relatives while we are here.

We drove here from Kununurra, managed to cross all the state borders before they closed but we were travelling to job. We both working for Hawkins Transport (a very large company) & working lotz, we do deliveries to Karumba 5 days a week as well as many deliveries to Normanton from Carirns, Townsville, Brisbane & Mt.Isa numerous times a week.

We were told we had what a few people call a ‘morning glory’ sky – a certain type of cloud formation which if you have 3 in a row – it rains. Well……..I don’t know if we had 3 days of morning glory but we did get rain, approx 20mls, drizzled all day – beautiful (that was my thought anyway).

A few days ago when Peter & I finished work 2pm, we drove to Karumba in our ute, the police pulled us up 5klms out of Karumba, made Peter blow in the bag & wanted to know WHY we were driving around, we said that as the new freight managers in Normanton I needed to know where the deliveries were made in Karumba – all good, it was true. We also managed to buy some awesome fish & chips which we devoured at the beach – WOW! fantastic feed & beautiful vista.

On our drive to Karumba, the wetlands which are still wet are filled with amazing birdlife, hopefully we will get the opportunity to check this out a bit better when we have more time.

To me, Karumba is a fishing village with several prawn, fish & crab companies plus of course the tourism part which at the moment is non-existant but I found it to be a very picturesque place & they make beautiful fish & chips. The golf course was overrun with wallabies but they were masses of them along the roadside as well in the early morning along the roadside.

On the drive back to Normanton we stopped briefly at Walkers Crk, has a causeway which was the old highway, apparently its quite a popular fishing spot, we may have to check it out in the future.

Muttonhole Wetlands are approx 5klms out of Normanton, still has some water at this stage. but the LILIES are so beautiful & they are in all the water courses from here to town.

We finished lunch time today so we went for a drive down ‘old croydon road’, to try our luck at fishing, no joy with fish but it was lovely, saw some cute moo’s. We will try again with the fishing as there are many tracks off the road which all head to the river.

Sun trying to rise.
It rained.
Was definately a bit wet.
The bird life is quite amazing in the wetlands on the way to Karumba, east of Normanton.
The wetlands were quite specky.
The sign says it all.
Golf course was busy this morning…..
The beach – WOW! was pretty awesome.
Keeping the eyes on the road………….
These 2 fellows were trying to hide amongst the trees.
Saw a few of my favourites.
Walkers Creek
High side of the causeway.
Looking at the causeway from the main road.
Familiar sign posts along the road between Normanton & Karumba.
Still some water in these wetlands althoughthe level is definately dropping
Pied Heron – he was rather cute.
Lily country – WOW!
Even had some magpie geese not far from the lilies.
Saw this cutie on the ‘old croydon road’.
This girl was a little shy…..

Driving Kununurra to Normanton

Flew into Kununurra Sunday 22March, drove out Tuesday 24th early morning heading to QLD before all the borders closing due to the corona virus, we are starting a new job at Normanton in the gulf of QLD.

We did daily temperatures(which were all good) in case we got pulled up by police. Crossing over to the NT not a problem as they were closing the border after we got through, 1st night we stayed at Renner Springs (NT), quite a nice little spot – lotz of mossies. Next night found us in Mt Isa, got into QLD a few hours before they shut down, the army & police were on the border checking NT bound vehicles. Did a little shopping, not many people in caravan park & the managers said they would be closing down in the near future. Drove to Flinders River (approx 60klms south of Normanton) & camped the night – lovely, didn’t catch any fish but was enjoyable. Arrived at Normanton Friday morning just after smoko & set up our new home for the next few months or so. Start work Monday. 🙂

Fueling up in Kununurra.
The WA/NT border – 8 hours before border checks heading east.
We took our temperatures daily & documented them just in case there was an issues regarding our travels.
Flowering grasses all along the roads.
Drove through a storm prior to Elliot (NT), very beautiful rainbows & very heavy rain.
Our camp at Renner Springs.
Along the Barkly Highway, good to see some green grass.
Driving towards the NT/QLD border – police & army stopping NT bound vehicles but waved us through, QLD closing border tonight at midnight.
Welcome to QLD. Cows kissing cars………..
Visitors at our camp at Mt Isa.
Flinders River – a lovely camp spot.
A red Frangipani – beautiful, found in the main street of Normanton.

Quick ‘grandie’ trip to QLD

Had a quick trip to Brissy & spent time with ‘Harrison’, my Harry – he is so cute & a great bub. I finished work 1.30pm on the Tuesday & flew out 3pm same day, few hours in Darwin then flew to Brissy & trained to Ipswich. Was good to see sister Les & Alan & spend time with Harry, Jenna & Mike.

Jenna & I did a few walks with Harry, very enjoyable.

The views from the planes weren’t too bad but visibility didn’t always last very long.

Corona made an entrance just before I left Brissy so there was quite a few unoccupied seats on the train to the airport, then on the flight Bris to Drw & also on the Drw to Knx flight – 1.5m social isolation on all the travel was not a problem.

Views over Kununurra as we took off then the clouds took over.
Bromelaid at Lesley’s place – quite beautiful.
Harry & his Dad Mike.
Harry – what a cutie……
On one of our walks, Jenna & I passed this wheelbarrow!
I’m gonna miss Harry………..
One of Jenna’s resident Kookaburra’s – such a cute bird.
Flying out of Brisbane
WOW! so many houses……
Flying back into Kununurra, Ivanhoe Crossing is visible.
Following the Ord River around, Riverfarm Rd households on the Ord – centre. That’s where we are living.

The Beauty of Kununurra after rain.

February 2020.

Yes, we have had more rain which is awesome especially for the adventurous locals & the early tourists this year. But will definitely be nice to get some more follow-up rain. Went out boating with Ben & Bec, end February, up Lake Kununurra towards Lake Argyle met Fritz & Matt (broken down) along the way so they jumped in with us. Had an awesome afternoon, walked up to Harry’s Hideaway – great walk & quite interesting.

WOW! the waterfalls are truly magnificent & lotz of fun, photo’s do not do them justice, the river water was a bit discoloured but still enjoyable for a quick dip, we did see a few freshies but all was good.

Top End – ‘wet season’

Yea, the wet season has begun, we just hope it continues for a bit longer. The storms, light shows & rain has been awesome & of course a bit troublesome too when we lose power for hours at a time but you get that.

We went up river towards Lake Arygle but stopped about half way up for a picnic & also lotz of swim stops on the way up & the return trip, there was only a couple waterfalls running that we could see but I expect we need more rain.

Peter & I have now purchased our’dream’ trailer’, so we thought we would take it for a spin. Left Kununurra & headed east towards Katherine, camped at a free camp & tried out the generator & air con – awesome :-). Drove to Darwin the next day & saw this pretty pony – he was pretty awesome also. Next day headed east again out on the Arnhem Highway towards Jabiru, entered Kakadu National Park for quite a few klms, we didn’t do any site seeing or adventures as we had time restraints but we will visit this area again & exploit the area. Got to Jabiru & took the Kakadu Highway back west towards the Stuart Hwy, camped at Pine Creek caravan park, Peter utilised his cooking skills for dinner & breaky quite successfully, after breaky we were inundated with flying foxes flying above us, obviously someone had upset them. Back to Kununurra, a beautiful storm, lost power for 10 hours (not so nice). The desert roses flowering lotz & the boga’s (which cousin Ros planted) just starting. A friend of mine is growing dragon fruit which are quite yummy managed to take a photo of the flower which is unusual as it only flowers at nite, the bloom turns into the fruit in 15 days – quite amazing & what a beautiful flower.

Pale Pink Alpinia
Took a nice boat ride up the river.
A few waterfalls starting to flow.
Yea – our new, 2nd hand trailer.
Such a handsome critter.
Beautiful wetlands.
South Alligator River
Love the signage.
Peter cooking breakfast on the new camper. Was quite yummy.
Just after we finished breaky someone must have upset the local bat colony – there was 1000’s.
Raining – thankyou.
Desert Rose
Bougainvillea popping out with the river in the background.
Crown of Thorns
Pitaya-‘dragon fruit’ flower.

Return to Kununurra.

We arrived back in Kununurra in early November, the sunflowers were blooming – WOW! so nice. The magpie geese are growing in numbers as the mangoes are ripening.

I flew back to Brisbane late November to spend some time with my grandson & his parents – how could I be so blessed & lucky, thankx Jenna & Mike. Harrison Colin Parker – what a joy he is and he has so many different expressions. Most mornings Jenna, Harrison & I went working usually with Harrison in the baby carrier which kept him snug & checked out peoples gardens, found a few cute cacti’s. One morning we drove to Alexander Clarke Park on the Logan River, they have amazing walking tracks & bbq facilities. We found some interesting flowers too.

Ziggy the cat loves his window sleeping pad.

Got back to Kununurra mid December to discover the boabs in full flower – they are awesome, have a beautiful scent but don’t last too long. We have had an amazing couple of dust storms lately followed by rain storms. The lightening shows are pretty cool.

2 very proud parents.
Harrison loves his bath.
2 cute succulents we spotted in someones yard.
A bromeliad flowering at sister Lesley’s house.

Boabs flowering in Kununurra.

Amazing dust storm heading towards us.
Followed by rain storm.
Awesome light show near the sleeping buddha.

Back in Sydney

After disembarking from the cruise, Shell, Ric, Peter & I booked into our accommodation, we have 2 nights in Sydney. We spent time walking around Darling Harbour, the Chinese gardens, lunched along the waterside, Shell & Ric took a ferry to Manly, Peter & I took a train to Redfern to lunch with Peter’s sister Carole & Costa, they have a amazing home & the lunch was awesome – thankx guys.

We dined that night with mates Jennelle & Darren who we worked with & met in Tasmania, always great to catch up with these guys somewhere in Australia. Had 4 days in Brissy before heading back to Darwin & Kununurra. Was really good to share a dinner with Peter’s girls unfortunately no Lisa but she is always in our heart & thoughts. Peter got to spend a little time with his grandies which is always a great experience for him, I spent time with my older, smaller sister Lesley & Al (her honeybun) & also my Jenna who is very pregnant & beautiful.

They have brolga’s in Sydney town.
Having lunch over looking Darling Harbour.
The Chinese Garden of Friendship located in Darling Harbour.
This critter was sunbaking on a rock.
Found lotz of critters in these beautiful gardens.
There are ‘dump’ birds (ibis) everywhere.
While walking around we passed many beautiful flowers.
Walked up a small hill & Peter decided to rest for a few minutes .
The Young Endeavour parked up at present.
Took a ferry from darling Harbour to Circular Quay.
Saw this Kangaroo Paw in someones front garden as we walked to Carole & Costa’s in Redfern
Carole ( Peter’s sister) at her beautiful home.
Costa sharing a beer with Peter.
Had dinner in Darling Harbour with great mates Darren & Jennelle – we met & worked together in Tasmania.
Shared a great dinner with Catherine & Greg.
Also Amy & Pat.
& of course the ‘grandies’ – Abigail & Tommy.
Common cactus flower – quite lovely, found in Jenna’s garden.

Island stop at New Caledonia

One our stops on the cruise was New Caledonia, Noumea – a tropical island in the Pacific. We were very lucky to have a wonderful friend ‘Martine’ who lives there, Martine collected the 4 of us & showed us some parts of her beautiful country. We shared some light refreshments at her home which was awesome – Martine we will be back :-).

Our wonderful friend Martine & Peter.
This was one of the guns used in World War II against the Japanese.
We had a lovely cup of coffee at a resort next to the sea.
And of course there was a penguin.
The Cultural Centre.
Awesome views.
Our beautiful friend Martine.
Martine was a fantastic tour guide, full of information about her country.
This cow was made out of spam cans which came from the spam factory that is no longer working in New Caledonia.
Many woven items made out of grassess.
Lotz of wooden carvings – they were magnificent.
Quick rest stop.
This creation was made out of leaves.
refreshments on Martines balcony.
This tree was near a beach, an amazing amount of roots, a ficus taking over the trunk of a palm tree.