Lawn Hill gorge
Swimming down the gorge
In the north western corner of Queensland, a short distance south of the Gulf of Carpentaria, and close to the border with Northern Territory, lies a gorgeous oasis known as Lawn Hill gorge, located in the Boodjamulla National Park. The waters are safe to swim in, teeming with fish and birds aggregate around the water source in abundance. Indarri falls are a short bush walk away, and a beautiful place to cool off in the midday heat. The more adventurous can swim back to camp, or float back as we did on noodles and inner tubes.
Nearby in the surrounding dry savanna bush you can find one of the richest mammal fossil deposits in the world, at Riversleigh.
It is remote and a long trek in, but worth staying a few days to take in some of the walks, enjoy a swim, hire a kayak, or just relax and enjoy the views
It closes for the wet season around early November.
Categories: 4WD, Adventure, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, National Park, Offroad, QLD, Queensland, Travel, Travel Adventure
Tags: Boodjamulla National Park, Lawn Hill gorge
After a hard day’s dusty driving a deep drive through scrubby creek brings you to one of many oases just off the Old Telegraph Track in Cape York.
Eliot and Twin Falls are barely 50m apart, offering a crocodile free area to swim, or just relax and wash the grime off the skin. Don’t use soap though as it kills the fish and other inhabitants in the river. The campsite is within the National Park and must be booked before arrival, but worth a stop for a day or two.
Categories: 4WD, Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, National Park, Offroad, Queensland, Road trip, Travel
Tags: Eliot Falls, Old Telegraph Track, Twin Falls
As is so often the case the ocean presents wonderful things for us to see. This is the shell of a type of “hairy” sea urchin, sometimes called a sea mouse, that lives concealed in sand. They are extremely fragile, yet the ocean has treated this one kindly so that we may wonder at its beauty.
When an asteroid that weighs an estimated 50,000 tonnes hits the Earth it must have had a cataclysmic impact on the surroundings, but several hundred thousand years later it makes quite an interesting visit. Accessible from the Tanami Road along a very corrugated dirt track, its size is quite breathtaking, the crater walls pushed up from a very flat surrounding area. Walking around the rim gives a very different perspective than the centre of the crater, and the flora present is quite varied in both areas.
Categories: Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore, Explore Australia, Natural World, Offroad, Road trip, Travel, Travel Adventure
Tags: Wolfe Creek
Kings Canyon is a spectacle that is best appreciated from the edge of the sheer cliffs on either side. Take the rim walk, start as early in the day as you can, as it can get very hot here during the day. Take plenty of water, and enjoy the 6km walk in Watarrka National park. The steps that climb the sides of the canyon at the start are guaranteed to get the heart pumping. Make sure you stop for a swim in the Garden of Eden to cool down, though it can be icy cold at this time of year. The “Lost city” domes half way around reminded us of the Bungle Bungles, but the precipitous cliffs on both sides take your breath away as you stand on their edge gazing down the tree-lined canyon floor, some hundred metres below.
Categories: 4WD, Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, National Park, NT, Photography, Road trip
Tags: Watarrka National Park
Fifty Toes at South Point
We made it!
We did it – the final compass point extremity of mainland Australia
Hannah and friend at Lucky Bay
Tick infested shingleback
Xavier dives in!
Tassie Devil at Trial Harbour
Just before we took off, our friends got equally excited with our plans and started giving us challenges to do. The straight forward ones were to visit the compass points of the mainland, swim in the coldest water (Lake St.Clair), climb the highest mountain, etc. Then the kids started getting more from their friends, things like catch a fish in every state, spotting different animals (e.g. Tassie Devils), learning to tie different knots, sending pictures of patting a safe native animal, and the list went on.
It gave them something to focus on, kept them in touch with their school friends back home, and made them think about where they were at any time, adding to their education, as well as ticking off the lists.
What does everyone else out there do to keep the kids occupied and interested as you move around?
Categories: 4WD, Adventure, Animal Action, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Challenges, Discover Australia, Explore, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Road trip, Travel, Travel Adventure
Seadragons washed up on the beach
Chambered nautilus shells
Shark and ray egg cases
Eighty Mile Beach
Dead seal skull
Gantheaume Point dinosaur footprint
Shell Christmas Tree
Hooded Plover Eggs
Turtle embryo in shell
Tasmanian Devil tracks
Humpy town in Cape York
Dead crocodile on the beach
Beach artist at work
With three inquisitive young children there’s nothing better to keep them occupied that a few hours beachcombing on a remote beach.
The excitement of finding some fascinating creatures in rock pools, animal tracks on the sand, sea-bird eggs concealed immaculately by their coloured camouflage alone, would find us relentlessly exploring one beach after another. Sometimes we would find a sad carcass abandoned by the ocean, seals, crocodiles, turtles, sea-dragons, even a dolphin, but more often a treasure would left for us to marvel at, the chambered nautilus shells, colourful starfish, shark’s eggs and shipwrecks.
Unknown objects often had to be researched and extended the education process.
Collections were often converted into natural works of art too, a sea-shell Christmas tree, kids art projects for school, or just random creations.
Categories: australia, Australian Outback, Beach, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Natural World, Road trip, Travel, Travel Adventure
Pink Lake, Port Gregory
The brilliance of the Pink Lake, also known as Hutt Lagoon, near Port Gregory in WA grabs your attention as you drive past. We had to stop for a closer look.
The colouration is caused by an algae that tolerates high salinity and produces carotenoids that give it the pink hue that changes dramatically depending upon the light.
Categories: Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Natural World, Road trip, West Australia
Tags: Hutt Lagoon, Pink Lake, Port Gregory
Algebuckina Bridge with 1948 FJ Holden
This rusting monument to the Victorian era spans the Neales River, an area prone to flooding, and the impressive engineering still dominates its surroundings 125 years after its official opening. Long disused three graves lie nearby, and a rusty 1948 FJ Holden that was hit by a train as it tried to cross the bridge in a flood
With a total length of 580m long, built in the remote heat of an area west of Lake Eyre and near the southern reaches of the Simpson desert, its worth a stop, if only to cool off in the river.
Categories: 4WD, Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Offroad, Photography, Photos, Road trip, South Australia, Travel, Travel Adventure
Tags: Algebuckina, Canon
As a kid growing up in the UK, the picture books I had of Australia displayed magnificent photos of places with magnificent rock formations like Uluru, Kata Tjuta, and Wave Rock. When you actually visit these places the impact is often greater, particularly spiritual places like Uluru and Kata Tjuta, but despite not being in a rush I felt I had waited long enough and was drawn directly to Hyden, and Wave Rock at the western end of the Nullarbor. When many folk reach the township of Norsemen they usually head north towards Kalgoorlie, or south to Esperance. Our map found what turned out to be a beautiful dirt road heading straight for Hyden so off we went. Along the way we found pristine quiet campsites by the side of mountains, and one called the breakaways with gorgeous rock colourations, even a “mini” wave rock (yes, there are more than one).
The rock itself did not disappoint from sheer height alone, and despite being a busy tourist spot, it was clean and never seemed overcrowded. The kids tried out their best surfing stances on the rock face, and with a lifelong dream met we sat and contemplated where to go next.
Categories: Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Natural World, Road trip, West Australia
Tags: Canon EOS, Hyden, Wave Rock