Friday, June 5, 2015

Kakadu to Kununurra 31 May - 3 June

As we had been to Kakadu before we decided not to revisit the rock art sites we had already seen. If you would like to see some of the photos from 2004 they are here.

We did re-visit Jabiru and Cooinda interpretive centres which gave an excellent overview of the traditional life of the aboriginal  grous of the region. We also re-visited Yellow Waters Billabong and really enjoyed viewing the birdlife from along the boardwalk. The paperbark trees were also magnificent.

The 6 seasons of Kakadu

A small kingfisher
Yellow Waters billabong
Paperbarks on Yellow Waters
Cruise boats waiting for the crowds at Yellow Waters

After Yellow Waters we headed for Maguk campground. Unfortunately we reached there too late in the day to go for a swim. It was a nice spot, but due to the rain for 2 nights and the water we had already driven through, we decided to leave early and head for Gunlom Falls. 

The boardwalk to the falls at Maguk

The result of a couple of nights of unseasonal rain. This is the road

Gunlom was a magic spot and we could have stayed longer. It was a wonderful place to swim in the pool at the bottom of the falls. We also met the Sunrise crew who were there to film from the infinity pool at the top of the falls. 

Gunlom Falls

Tropical vegetation at Gunlom

Reflections at Gunlom

Checking out the Sunrise crew's equipment

During our travels through northern Australia we have noticed lots of burning off in the bush. There is often a marked difference from one side of the road to the other. But after about 2 weeks the bush has begun to shoot again, so it looks quite dramatic.
New growth after burning off

What it would like like if it wasn't burnt

The contrast is dramatic

After Gunlom we headed towards Katherine to begin our journey to the Kimberley. We have now discovered there is practically no settlement between Katherine and Kununurra. Timber Creek is a small settlement and the only place to buy anything.

One thing we have noticed is the prevalence of groups of birds of prey, both in towns and in the bush, riding the thermals and also attending to the the road kill.
The birds are circling 

Disturbed from their roadkill

We spent the night in a roadside camp called Sullivan's Camp, along with about 10 other vans. Took a nice shot of relections in the creek, and another of really long grass, much taller than me which is typical of the growth during the wet.
Reflections at Sullivans camp

Typical tall grass of  northern Australia

There are the usual collection of monuments and memorials on the highway. The most significant is the monument to the cattle pioneers of northern Australia.
Monument to the cattle pioneers

The biggest natural monument is the massive boab tree known as Gregory's tree, named for the exlorer Charles Gregory who explored the region in 1856.

Gregory's Tree
The scenery of the Gregory National Park towards the WA  border really has the wow factor with massive red cliffs. Although I have travelled this road before I am surprised I have no recollection of its magnificence.

Red rocky ranges and a hayfield for contrast

The photos don't do the scenery justice.

We reached Kununurra around the middle of the day, having lost an hour when we crossed the border, as well as losing our much travelled firewood to the border quarantine service.

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