Today is canoe day (3klm return trip), they have several canoes going out for 2 hour stints & this happens 3 times a day as well as the boat cruise. We actually followed the cruise boat for a while but they were slower than us, it was truly beautiful on the water, the cliff faces were lined with different plants but the pandanus dominated the creek banks. You paddle upstream & let the spectacular orange sandstone walls of the Middle gorge guide you to the Indarri Falls, there are 2 small waterfalls, apparently there is a rather large freshwater crocodile residing behind the larger of the 2 falls, we didn’t see it but other people have. We had a few swims & a snack here, the archer fish & sooty grunter were everywhere (they are used to being fed), but you are not to fish in the National Park. Paddled back to the start, jumped in our ute & drove back to Adels Grove, its 10klms from Adels Grove to Boodjamulla National Park.
Next day, we drove back to the National Park & walked a few different tracks, due to flood damage access to these tracks meant crossing the creek – interesting. We walked down the ‘wild dog dreaming track’ to the lower gorge lookout then back around to climb up to the Island Stack, quite steep but worth it, the Island Stack track was a 1.5klm circuit track with many different panoramic views. To finish our walk once we reached the bottom of the ‘stack’ climb we continued along the Botanical walk & then returned to the creek crossing. Quite a delightful day.
After leaving Miyumba bush camp we drove to Adels Grove – WOW!
Not sure why but the camp was not even one quarter full, but we were very happy with our camp spot. Its a lovely place, there are no powered sites but ample camping areas, fires allowed, cabins, lots of ablution blocks, rubbish removal, awesome swimming in the Lawn Hill Creek, fresh but beautiful, free washing machines & water for your tanks in trailers/car, a small restaurant & bar open for a few hours, canoe & push bike hire. So we did all of the walks over 2 days & hired a canoe for a few hours another day – we had a great time, some of the tracks were quite challenging at times but we got there….
We waddled in the Lawn Hill creek everyday, sometimes twice, it was very refreshing & deep.
We spent a few days in Mt Isa, shopping etc getting ready for next jaunt.
Leaving Mt Isa along Barkly Hwy, the roadsides were filled with these beautiful Pink mulla mulla – so nice. Approximately 70klms east of Camooweal we turned north onto Yelvertoft/Thorntonia Rd then later onto Gregory Downs/Camooweal Rd then left onto Riverslea rd. Not sure why but we see heaps of vehicles ‘parked up’…….hahaha. Peter deflated the tyre pressure on ute & trailer to ensure less damage/easier ride. Just after Riveslea Station homestead we crossed over 2 water crossings & then ‘Miyumba Bush Camp’ appears, it is a part of the Boodjamulla National Park – we camped here for a few days, a nice spot, only 6 camp spots available. Over the few days we walked the river banks, upstream we came across a goanna on a mission & saw quite a few wallabies, downstream we saw a barra but caught 2 very nice sooty grunter(black bream), each day we had a waddle in our ‘spa’, very refreshing but nice. A few people camped but no more than 4 counting us while we were there.
After spending a few days in Mt Isa we drove approximately 60klms east towards Cloncurry (14/8/22)& headed to the Clem Walton Park & Corella Dam, it is a lovely spot & well used by lotz of people. Clem Walton Park is on lower side of dam wall & very nice, we actually camped on Corella Dam on small headland (only suitable for 1 camper) which was awesome. It was very easy to launch the little boat & was quite scenic.
We have been trying a new recipe with or fish – flour, egg, salt & smashed vinegar chips- very yum. I did some mushrooms as well – it worked out well. We have had an amazing time here & its great.
This is an awesome camp spot . I thoroughly recommend.
Leaving Dunmarra we travelled approx 20klms south along the Stuart Hwy then headed east along the Barkly stock route road, first part being bitumen then gravel but very good. We camped along the road but a good distance off the road, we hadn’t seen a vehicle since being on this road). There was heaps of flowering grevillea, my plant app calls them a Red silky oak but I am not sure BUT they look beautiful. We bought a fire pit & this was the first time we used it – WOW! it worked really well & we cooked on it. On the road again, passed through on the outskirts of Doomadgee & found a rather large gravel pit with a rather large pond of water. Set up camp & noticed a lot of smoke but it did not reach us. Got up early & found a few critters around the pond of water, the colours were very nice. After breakfast we set off & further into Queensland….Called into Hells Gate for fuel….but it is a very nice place in the middle of nowhere! Next stop Burketown, a local told me the population is about 400, it looks really nice, we drove out to the boat ramp -WOW, it is awesome.
We kept driving, called into Burke & Wills roadhouse & fueled up again then drove down the Wills Development road towards Julia Creek, found a over camp spot & set up for the night. Not a bad camp, got a great fire happening, cooked dinner & bed. The magpies woke me early with their melodious conversations so I investigated – magical time of day, the bird life & colours were beautiful. Not far down the road on route to Cloncurry we came across a few emu’s – they weren’t real friendly.
Judbarra National Park here we come, we turned right & Ben kept going straight ahead on the Victoria Hwy towards Katherine, then onto Lorella Springs. Our plan is to go to the Humbert track turnoff, go through Top Springs & head to Dunmarra on the Stuart Hwy. The yellow marking on map below shows our track out to Top Springs & beyond.
We called into Bullita Homestead, quite a lot of history & interesting stuff, a massive big boab steals the show. We camped up at Humbert Top Yards not far from the turnoff. It took us approx 4.5 hours to go 48klms so it was a slow & scenic drive, the boab tree markers along the way were cute and we did see a few critters along the way. Next morning we left the National park & drove through Humbert Station & over the Humbert River, I managed to get a pic of a wallaby having a drink. Saw quite a few wedgetails along the way, such an amazing bird, I do feel sorry for their morsels but at least is is usually road kill.
Got to Dunmarra roadhouse/caravan park, we stayed 2 nights, did some cleaning & washing etc, the guy who owns this place is a friend of Ben’s & we were able to leave our boat here for 5 days last year on route to Tiwi Islands so we make an effort to stay here when passing through, it is also very reasonably priced & quiet although very busy.
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.