Kununurra and Surrounds

On the Corner of Great Northern and Victoria Hwy, just outside of Kununurra is another 24hr free camp. When we arrived there were only a few other campers, but it quickly filled up and continued to be a noisy stop. There was also no running water for the dump point so keep that in mind if you are looking to empty out the cassette. Esther enjoyed a little outdoor bath, we picked it up at the op shop in Broome, she loves it, it saves on water, and emptying it helps flush the waste when trying to empty the cassette at the dry dump point!!

We stayed in Kununurra for a good week. Exploring some of the local sites, getting a heap of cooking and shopping done as well as taking the plunge and taking Esther’s beloved dummy off her to see if that would improve her sleeping at night. It took the longest 25 mins for her to go to sleep the first night without it, constantly patting her, but after night 2 it seemed she didn’t miss it. We stayed at the Kimberleyland Waterfront Holiday Park, it was great. They had a movie night on the lakeshore, live music. We had a great time. We got a kit from Toadbusters to help eliminate some of the pesky cane toads. Dan found more information about the Beebe’s of the Northern Territory when he found something in the museum which had been donated by them. We also had a local Aboriginal man carve a boab tree onto a boab nut for us which we have on our bookshelf at home now. We tried fishing at Ivanhoe Crossing, resulting in a few snagged lines. A day trip out to Molly Springs waterhole which was very secluded and a refreshing dip, as well as a trip out to El Questro.

Lake Kununurra
Amazing views from Lake Kununurra Kimberleyland Waterfront Holiday Park

Molly Springs

El Questro Wilderness Park

On the drive into El Questro we saw a couple riding their bikes. We stopped and said hello when we realised who they were. Back track 13 days prior, we had been driving back to Derby along the Gibb River Road after a day trip out to the gorges when we saw a couple riding their bicycles, in the dust and top end heat. We had plenty of cold water in our car freezer so we pulled over and offered them a bottle of icy water. They gratefully accepted and told us they were riding the whole way along the Gibb River Road, after some more pleasantries we left them to continue! So although a bit slimmer than when we last saw them they had all but completed their journey when we saw them heading out of El Questro, what a feat.

El Questro Station is approximately 83 km West of Kununurra, approx 25km from the East end of the Gibb River Road. It was so green and lush, the horses kicked up a dust storm and made for beautiful photo’s with the sun streaming through.

We had dinner at the swinging arms, one of the restaurants there, watched cane toads hop across the grass and enjoyed the live music, it was an awesome atmosphere.

El Questro Station
Dan’s favourite photo!

Mirima National Park

On our way East we stopped at this national park. It has a beautiful wildflower walk through the park, with views from the top over the town of Kununurra.

Derby to Halls Creek

It was hard to leave Broome, we had become quite cosy there and accustomed to the beautiful weather and surrounds, the chilled out pace and the time we were having together as a family. After finally leaving Broome… we headed to Derby to explore some of the sites on the Gibb River Road. Even though our caravan was “semi-off road” we weren’t keen to take it off road, so we parked up in Derby and took a day trip to Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek. (June 2017)

Tunnel Creek (Dimalurru), King Leopold Ranges

There are freshwater crocodiles here and some shallow water to walk through at times in order to get to the other side.

Windjana Gorge

Spot the croc!

Derby

We found Derby to be a clean little town with ageing infrastructure, once the hub of the Kimberley until Broome established the Regional Hospital. At night the salt flats (opposite the caravan park) attracted the local hoons. In all our travels around Australia this was the first time we were kicked out of a caravan park at 10:00am, without any wriggle room. The owner came around on his bicycle at 09:00 reminding us of this!

The Boab Prison Tree – 1500 years old.
120m long cattle trough, one of the longest in the Southern Hemisphere.

Geike Gorge – out of Fitzroy Crossing

Do you like hiking in soft sand? This is what I remember about this walk, the pain of walking across soft sand, my least favourite thing to do. There is also a track but it begins after the soft sand ha ha. Lots of wildflowers and birds on the walk too.

Larrawa Station Nature Stay & Laarri Gallery

Larrawa Nature stay and Bush Camp is between Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek, it was the perfect overnight stay, from memory about $10 pp/pn. They have flushing toilets and hot showers, bush style. Dan will always take the opportunity to make use of available facilities and convinced me to have a shower there. It was so good, it felt like I was having a hot bush shower, with the corrugated iron shelter starting a foot off the ground and partially uncovered to the sky it was really refreshing in more ways than one. Super clean and peaceful. There is a small walk to a lake, which I took with Esther at dusk. We made custard and facetimed family on the phone.

The next morning we saw a sign to an art gallery so decided to pull off, caravan in tow to check it out. It was a 5km unsealed road into what turned out to be a community and school with an art gallery at the back. It was awesome… although we found some leftover custard dripping out of the fridge and across the floor of the caravan, turns out glad wrap isn’t sufficient to keep custard in when falling horizontal in the fridge while driving on an unsealed road.

We bought a beautiful piece of Art from the gallery which we now have framed in our home.

Halls Creek & Wolf Creek Crater

We arrived into Halls Creek late afternoon so we found this free camp called Caroline Pool just out of town to stay at before heading into town the next morning, parking up and making the long drive out to Wolf Creek Crater.

I was a little frustrated Dan wouldn’t take our semi-offroad caravan down this small hill to the below camping area, where other people (albeit with off road camper trailers) were already set up. But not too long after we set up a couple arrived and took their caravan down and got bogged. Sometimes I’m glad Dan puts his foot down and doesn’t listen to me.

Wolfe Creek Crater

What a drive! 150km from Halls Creek on the unsealed corrugated Tanami Road. Looking back I don’t know how we managed so much driving with a youngen. We remember passing backpackers on the road in a Preggio Van, we wondered if they would make it but sure enough as we were leaving they arrived.

This was a bucket list item, which is now ticked so not sure we would go again. The landscape is amazing and as you can see below the meteorite definitely left it’s mark. There were beautiful wildflowers, large eagles eating dead sheep on the side of the road, broken down cars and even a dead caravan!

The drive back to Halls Creek….. Oh dear!