Posts Tagged With: Goombaragin

Flashback to Cape Levique

As the weather deteriorates here in Sydney, with the arrival of winter imminent, our thoughts returned to those warmer places we visited last year as the temperatures started dropping. One of our favourites was a small eco-resort called Goombaragin, where we camped for a few days with two other families we had met on the road. Our hosts Cathy and John were very welcoming, showing us some of the local ways and putting on a communal campfire in the evenings for everyone. The area is magnificent to explore, and it is even safe to swim here from the beach. Heed the crocodile signs in this area though, particularly around the rivers and mangroves. It’s a rugged road from Broome but still relatively accessible if you drive carefully.

Look out for the Ardi festival around June, when many local artists from across the peninsula display their talents.

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Categories: 4WD, Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Beach, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Natural World, Offroad, Photography, Road trip, Travel, Travel Adventure, WA, West Australia | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Ten of the Fifty Toes gives a 5 minute trip summary (#3) – Navigator’s perspective

What were your three favourite places and why?”

  1. “Hot Springs anywhere, Zebedee Springs in El Questro (WA) , Bitter Springs near Mataranka(NT), Katherine Hot Springs(NT) and Berry Hot Springs (NT), as I hate cold water and I could spend hours in these after a hot dusty drive”
  2. “Cape Range National Park because the campsite was beautifully located just above the beach on the Ningaloo Reef. The snorkelling was excellent there and the Whale Shark excursion was just offshore (though departing from Exmouth) and that was a bucket list trip. The experience with Cyclone Quang added some excitement here too.”
  3. “Broome and Cape Levique. The town of Broome surprised me with great markets and our arrival coincided with the staircase to the moon on Roebuck Bay that we saw with good friends. Fishing off the jetty was impressive to watch – seeing people catch large fish and sharks circling below. Goombaragin in Cape Levique was a great spot run by Kathleen a local indigenous lady who showed us bush tucker, how to make clapping sticks, and with her husband John shared many stories around the evening fireplace. We knew two other families with kids there so a great time was had by all. The colour of the cliffs were a gorgeous red, and we loved Middle Lagoon, a trip up to One Arm Point and the inaugural Ardi Festival.”
“What was the best thing you took on the trip?”
“My iPhone was a very useful tool doubling as camera, source of knowledge for apps such as WikiCamps that was used a lot, weather forecasts, and emails”
“What did you miss most, or just couldn’t take with you?”
“I missed all my luxuries from home, like dishwasher, washing machine (the Fifty Toes Walkabout home-made patented model just didn’t cut it) and having a bit more space would have been nice. Apart from this I really missed a regular shower. We were carrying 160 litres of water in the trailer and many of the places we visited were very dry so a shower was not a luxury we could afford. Everyone else jumped in the rivers, lakes and sea but it wasn’t very often warm enough for me”
“Would you do it again?”
“Maybe in different circumstances as the kids schooling complicated things and wasn’t easy. Maybe when they have left home or are self-sufficient that they can stay at home”
“How did schooling on the road go?”
“Difficult. We have high expectations of our kids and they just wanted to finish their work as quickly as possible without putting 100 percent effort in. A lot of friction resulted when quality control was applied and we made them redo sloppy work. Hannah had to do her Naplan test at a roadside stop with dogs sniffing around her legs, far from ideal. Due to a lack of wifi for much of the time we couldn’t access much of the online content available to us. The libraries however were an awesome resource to use when we found them.”
Categories: Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, National Park, Photography, Road trip, Travel, Travel Adventure | Tags: | 1 Comment

Essence of Ardi festival, Lombadina

Coinciding with our visit to the Dampier Peninsula was the inaugural Essence of Ardi festival. We moved up to the resort at Kooljaman in Cape Leveque to be close enough to attend. Local musicians, artists and dancers, some from all over the country, were scheduled for 5 hours of celebration.

Cygnet Bay pearl farm were present selling delicious pearl oyster sushi, our friends from Goombaragin had a stall promoting not only their accommodation options but also demonstrating how to make clapping sticks. Amanda had a go but found that it wasn’t as easy as it looks, especially with a blunt hatchet. There were community stalls, some for alcohol and drug abuse, others with more positive stories highlighting how communities are getting better representation with social and corporate matters. One of the favourites with the kids was the Bardi Jawi Rangers stall that had videos of their involvement with catching and tagging dugongs in the Middle East. They gave the kids Ranger patches and were very keen to talk about their work with the local environment, and posters on their display highlighted some ambitious but important objectives over the next few years. Displays of local artwork were particularly eye-catching, especially a nautilus made from mother of pearl and ebony. Another local man displayed his ability in spear making, turning the shafts in the fire, and catering to two types, a fishing spear and a crocodile repellent / dugong hunting variety. A few food stalls were busy selling everything from bread loaves, cooked at the local bakery, to chilli mud crab, frozen ice blocks and lolly bags! Local celebrity, Stephen “Baamba” Albert acted as master of ceremonies, reeling off jokes and stories between acts. He played a part in the 2009 movie Bran Nue Dae. A local dance group kicked the entertainment off, the small group of schoolgirls performing a number of combined traditional and contemporary dances. Then the local bands were introduced, representing young and older generations. Albert Wiggins, who grew up at One Arm Point sang about his father and growing up in the area, and as with most of the acts had political songs for, or about, the prime minister, clearly showing their discontent with the way they have been treated. The Bardi Traditional Dance Troup came on later with three men tapping boomerangs and chanting songs (no didgeridoos in this region – just clapping sticks and boomerangs for music) as the dancers with painted bodies performed. Each dance to the uninitiated seemed similar in terms of steps, but the dancers held different patterned shields, obviously symbolic for each song. The last dance involved a hilarious character dancing at thrice the speed scaring children who had strayed onto the dance floor. The last act was Kerrianne Cox, from nearby Beagle Bay, a passionate and talented indigenous singer who worked hard on the youngsters in the crowd instilling pride in their heritage. As an inaugural event it seemed to be a great success, and the number attending would have pleased the organisers. Fifty Toes loved it and gave it full marks!

Categories: 4WD, Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Photography, Photos, Travel, Travel Adventure, West Australia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

To Broome and the Dampier peninsula

The next stop was Eighty Mile Beach, a short diversion off the main  road. Everyone hit the beach looking for the perfect sand dollar shell. With no shortage of sand dollars and other shells, everyone started wandering up the beach, then Roving Reeves appeared on a fishing mission. We had a quick catch up, watched the line of fishermen along the beach catching nothing, then mid afternoon bade farewells and headed off again.

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The overnight stop was at Stanley rest area where Hannah did her Naplan tests and we met up with 110AroundOz, another couple from Sydney with three girls almost matching our kids ages and all with Sydney Distance Education too.

The following day was a relatively quick trip into Broome for fuel and supplies, but we decided to press on to the Dampier peninsula, Middle Lagoon and Goombaragin Eco-Resort.

Four nights at Middle Lagoon was a pleasant relaxation after the dirt road in. The camp site above the beach commanded gorgeous views of the bay, which was crocodile free according to the locals. 5km to the north and south were plenty of warning signs and how the crocs knew not to go in the middle I have no idea. We spent much time in the water, snorkelling, and fishing was rewarded with a 56cm Golden Trevally.

We then moved to Goombaragin run by Kathleen and John, a very friendly couple and a small private property with glamping style tents and a couple of camping spots. They both spend time with visitors, and despite other commitments Kathleen found time to show the kids various bush tucker plants, bush passion fruit, bush chewing gum(sugar-free), and how to make clapping sticks. There were lots of new birds to spot, including great bower birds, double barred and long tail finches, mistletoe birds and plenty of others.

 

Categories: Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Natural World, Photography, Photos, Travel, Travel Adventure, West Australia | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Dampier peninsula

The Dampier peninsula is nowhere near the town of the same name. Often referred to as Cape Leveque, it was a place we were really keen to visit, and after a long dusty road from Broome we arrived half way up the peninsula at Nature’s Hideaway, Middle Lagoon. We managed to sustain a stone chip “bullet hole” on the windscreen on the way up, but that wasn’t about to dampen our spirits. We camped on the Ridge overlooking the beach and marvelled every day at the glorious sunsets. By day we snorkelled over the reefs, swam and fished, even catching dinner one day. Lots of new birds flourished amongst the trees on the property and there wasn’t a crocodile to be seen! Five kilometres north and south there were warning signs at water holes, creeks or beaches but apparently they don’t frequent Middle Lagoon!

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Our next stop was further east, where we managed to book a few nights at Goombaragin, a much smaller, friendly setup with two campsites, several “glamping” tents run by Kathleen, John and his son Jack. Located in Pender Bay with access to land up to Bells Point this is a more private place than Middle Harbour, with beaches safe for swimming too. The red jagged cliffs make a stunning sunset and we were lucky enough to meet up with our friends Nathan and Bloss, the “Grismacs” and Simon and Hillary, “110 around Oz”, also staying there. Between them the eight kids had a ball, and our hosts found time to show them bush tucker (bush passion fruit, the chewing gum berry, and more), the great bower bird nest, how to carve trochus shells, the pet stensons python, and much more. I snorkelled with Nathan “Grismac” and Jack as they went spearfishing, and saw plenty of marine life from turtles to corals and plenty of fish.

Simon and I took the cars down to explore the track down to Bells Point at sunset and made the most of the photo opportunities. On our last night there Oscar spotted a wild Stensons python so we picked it up. It took a serious dislike to Amanda, only settling when put in my hands, even striking at her when she walked past.

Time flew by relaxing there and before we knew it we had to decamp and head up to Cape Leveque for the Ardi festival. We visited One Arm Point and witnessed the terrific tidal currents that race past the point at up to 22 knots.

Kooljaman was a disappointment for us after the first two places where we had been spolied. The campsite was crowded, with minimal privacy, overly expensive, but provided more than adequate facilities. We stayed only for the Essence of Ardi then popped in to Beagle Bay to see the famous church, adorned with mother of pearl. The church was built in 1917, with aboriginal help, by three pioneering monks, and the mother of pearl decorations throughout took two years to complete.

Ten days in the peninsula was not enough and this is a place for a future visit.

Categories: Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Natural World, Photography, Travel, Travel Adventure, West Australia | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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