Australia 2006

London Court – Perth

Perth is a nice place and the town centre is pedestrianised. There is not a much better way to enjoy a full english breakfast than in the sunny open air outside of London court Perth.

Margaret River

This is the famous Margaret River, where the wine comes from. It doesn’t actually come from the river.. well..you know what I mean

Using this town as a base, we stuck out to visit the vinyards, and to spend a day whale-watching at Cape Nauraliste. We saw a few whales, spouting, a mile offshore. Exhilarating, but frustratingly out of camera shot.

The Nullarbor

The Nullarbor

The Nullarbor, famous for the railway journey. Also famous for its sparsness, Nullarbor means ’empty of trees’

and it is. We did see a couple of road-kill camels, which was very unusual this far south, and the locals further up the road, wanted confirmation before setting off the get the meat. ‘It’s a five hour drive mate’ I said. ‘GREAT, we thought it was much further’ . then they set off, at last orders.

I dont know if you can see the bullet holes in the sign. Most outback signs are ‘air conditioned’

Desert Burrow

Desert Burrow

This burrow is in the Nullarbor. I was going to stick my hand down it, to see what lived there, but I chickened out.  Walking through the scrub is slightly risky, there are webs everywhere, and the spiders are not quite so friendly as the English ones.

Coober Pedy - The Outback

Travelling up through the outback. Coober Pedy is an Opal mining district and its like a luna landscape. The town gets its name from the Aboriginal ‘White man who lives underground’

It gets so hot, that the first settlers slept in burrows to keep cool. We had it worse, we had to stay in an airconditioned car. ‘Coober Hyundai’

Alice Springs

This is an example of some of the wall art in Alice Springs. I have a confession – of all of the exotic places I ever wanted to visit, Alice Springs tops the poll.

Not only remote , isolated but it always sounded ‘nice’. And it was.  We checked into the Elkira, in a cheap room, then learned it was flooded. So we were upgraded to the only remaining room which was an executive suite fitted with a whirlpool jackuzi. So while the missus spent two days having the desert sands being  whirled off, I was relegated to to the bar at Bo Jangles. Thats a fair swop.

This  is Simpsons gap, west of Alice Springs.

Simpsons Gap
Simpsons Gap

Simpsons Gap

A real oasis in the middle of the West MacDonnell mountain range, in the Tanami desert. If you were to carry on down the  Larrapinta road for a few hunfred kilometers, you would arrive at Ayres rock

There are supposed to rock wallabies living on the sides of

Simpsons Gap
Simpsons Gap

this canyon, but we didn’t see any sign of them.

This has to be the most beautiful sight to a thirsty traveller, hiking through the desert.

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Behind the bar , Bo Jangles Alice Springs

 Bo Jangles has an interesting legend. It contains a suit of body armour, supposed to be Ned Kellys. They fill it full of monkey nuts, and you get them by lifting up the front armour plate. The nuts are free, but only on one condition – the shells must be thrown onto the floor. One of the staff comes around every hour with a massive brush to sweep them all away.

Free monkey nuts

Ned Kellys nuts

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klk

Next stop after Alice Springs was Katherine.

Ow. You nearly had his eye out there.

Then on to Broome. We are three quarters of the way round now, so its time to stop for a rest and some cocktails.

There are three fine Bronze statues in Broome, of the early explorers, and an airport that has been built on a mangrove swamp. It’s a nice place to stop and visit the various attractions. Cable beach at sunset is spectacular, but the Staircase to the Moon at Town beach, together with the lighting storm out in the Indian Ocean and the market, was even better.

Cable beach , Broome

Sunset over the Indian Ocean

After Broome, it was the last lap, down past 90 mile beach, Useless loop and Kalbari

We decided it was such a nice spot, we would come back here one day, maybe buy a bit of land here and do some whale watching.

We had a close encounter with a Western Brown, fourth most poisonous snake in the world, and an even closer encounter with an outback dunny.

I’m still not sure which was the most scary.

Outback dunny, Peters creek , Western Australia

Poisonous snake, Geraldton ,WA

Back to civilisation. Perth WA

Legs –

1. Perth – Margaret River 343 km

2. Gibson Soak 994/1337 km

3. Border Town 878/2215 km

4.  Port Augusta 925/3140 km

5. Alice Springs 1193/4333 km

6.  Katherine 1148/5481 km

7. Halls Creek 848/6329 km

8. Broome 667/6996 km

9. Karrabatha 843/7839 km

10. Carnarvon 625/8464 km

11. Geraldton 904/9368 km

12 Perth 415/9783 km