OK, now to complete the rest of our day but before we do we wanted to show you a very unique Australian institution. We took this photo whilst walking home from the chippy last night.
Yeap, it is indeed a Drive Through Bottlo (Bottle Shop). Wait till we get to New Zealand and show you how you supply grog at a party!!
So, who guessed what ……
this was? Traffic lights!!! Yeap, Version101.
Landing into Darwin the temperature was 30c which is bearable.
As you can see, it is very flat.
It also has quite the skyline and is Australia’s most northern city. It was devasted back in the 1970’s by Cyclone Tracy with loss of life. It was also bombed by the Japanese in WWII as it is strategically located plus they wanted to take Australia. Not sure if they realized just how big an expanse of nothingness they would acquire.
After an hour flight to the southwest we landed at Kununurra where the temperature was 38c. This is what we are looking at weather wise whilst we are in the Kununurra/Punalulu area for the next week……….
Fraser’s sister Amanda met us and took us for a tour of Kununurra. The town has a population of about 5,000 people and was built in the 1960’s to accommodate people during the building of the Lake Argyle dam and the Ord River Scheme. A little on that later.
Our first port of call was Lake Kununurra which is down stream from Lake Argyle on the Kununurra River. This is indeed an oasis except maybe this sign doesn’t indicate quite so.
Amanda told us there were no salties in this area. What is a saltie you ask.
Yeap, one of these big buggers. Actually, it is about now we need to edumacate you on the two different crocs that live in Australia. You have the Johnson and the Saltie. The Johnson is the fresh water croc and is the friendlier of the two and upon meeting him he is more likely to just rough you up a bit and rip off the odd limb. That’s not to say he won’t kill you. Now the Saltie, well he is on the other end of the spectrum. He is more coastal and like the Johnson loves mangroves but he is into the death roll. He will stalk you over a number of days and watch your daily routine and when not expecting it he will greet you, grab you, roll you over until you drown and then drag you to his lair which often is under water and put you there until you start to fester and rot. Sometimes he will gobble you at once but usually he likes his meat well cured.
So this is the habitat that is most conducive for spotting a croc.
Sorry, we got a little side lined with all the croc stuff and forgot to mention that we were in the state (not called provinces here) of Victoria when in Melbourne; then flew to the Northern Territory where Darwin is and then into West Australia where Kununurra is. On this trip we will be visiting all the states and territories bar Tasmania.
We drove up a noll to take in a view of Kununurra. It is still amazingly green.
At present we are at the end of what they call the dry season otherwise called winter. We are now getting the build up for the wet season with lots of evening storms and lightening. They often say the build up to the wet season is more oppressive than the wet season itself and this is where the phrase “going troppo” comes from.
Now this place is littered with these most amazing trees.
This is the Boab tree. It has a nut type fruit that you can eat in a squeeze but the nuts are used more for decorative carving by the Aboriginals. These photos do not do it justice so will try to get a few more. Sometimes you see small forests of them and they are something out of science fiction movie.
On our way out of town we bumped into this little fella. He is called a road train.
No much fun getting stuck behind one of these. We counted 70 tyres so odds on the driver is going to be changing one fairly frequently.
So we are off to Lake Argyle now to spend the night.
Our accommodation is what the Aussies call a “donga” which is a air conditioned metal box complete with two bedrooms, efficiency kitchen, ablution facilities and is more than satisfactory for our needs.
We are staying at the Lake Argyle resort and camping ground and we were told it has a pool. Well, one does not think you could have a pool with a view any better than this. WOOOOOWWW!!!!!
In the background is the man made Lake Argyle. The capacity of the lake is equivalent to 21 Sydney Harbours. Sorry, not sure how to compare that to any of the Great Lakes.
They made the lake by damming the Ord River and when you see the construction that was needed to create this water body it was very simple. Probably one of the easiest and most simple geological formations to work with. It just involved building a small dam at the entrance to a gorge. This was done back in 1972.
The purpose of creating this large water mass was to turn this area of the Kimberly into a bread bowl by providing an irrigation system to the dry barren land. Well, it worked only they chose the wrong crops. They put in cotton and rice which are very heavy water users but local pests decided they were not going to allow this to happen. So they swapped those crops out and they put in Mango trees, Sandalwood Trees and nuts trees but not quite sure what kind of nut trees. Will do some further research on that for us all.
Lots of spinifex which camouflages lots of not so nice wiggly and poisonous things. This guy is either brave or stuuuupid.
So, that is our first day in the Kimberley’s. We do have access to the internet but on a sporadic basis through Armanda’s school out at Frog Hollow. We need to rely on the principals kindness to allow us to use it providing we are not cruising for illicit websites, we are told.