Where are we now?

Where are we now?
Where are we now? Tahmoor, NSW. Updated 7th December 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day 161. Kununurra to Victoria River Roadhouse

Goodbye Western Australia! Hello Northern Territory!

Wow! I can’t believe we have finally left WA! I just checked, and we ended up spending 121 out of our 161 days travelling around this great big land in Australia’s west. I know, I know; it’s a big place, but to tell the truth, WA has so many amazing landscapes and interesting places to see and visit, that we wouldn’t be doing the place justice if we just whizzed by and didn’t see what this great state has to offer. I can highly recommend a visit to the west for anyone interested in doing an extended road trip!

You'll never never know, if you never never go...

Just as we were leaving Kununurra, Bec received an interesting text on her phone from one of her best friends’ parents. Lynda (Bec’s friend), informed us a while ago that her parents were also on the road up north, and that we should try and meet up with them if the chance ever presented itself. Well Otto and Irene sent us a message this morning informing us on where they would be staying tonight; and although we were going to pass this point mid morning, it couldn’t hurt to drop in on the off chance that we might catch up.

Otto, Irene, Scarlett and Rebecca
 'catching up' in the middle of nowhere
We arrived at ‘Saddle Creek’ Rest Area at just after 11:30am, and as we pulled up who should knock on my driver’s door even before I had a chance to turn off the engine – but Otto! We soon discovered that they arrived only 5 minutes before we pulled in; and Bec was overjoyed to see them! There were hugs and smiles all around, and we soon sat down over a hot cuppa and caught up on what each other had been up to over the last 6 months. Needless to say that the cuppa soon turned into lunch, and before we knew it 2 hours had flown by. Unfortunately it was time to be on our way again; so we said goodbye and continued our journey east, deeper into the Northern Territory.

One road sign we noticed as we drove along the Hwy was “Bullo Station”. This property was made famous by a book of the same name; written by Sara Henderson. It’s about the hardships on the land from a women’s perspective. It won a number of awards, and it’s a great read if you’re interested about Australian life on the land.

Bradshaw Bridge

We stopped off at ‘Bradshaw Bridge’, which is located 10km west of Timber Creek. This bridge leads into the ADF Bradshaw Training Area – a live firing area used by the Australian Defence Force for training. It’s also an area both Bec and I have been linked to in some form or another, due to our jobs working in Defence. I have visited the area a couple of times in the past; most recently for the construction and surveying of the Knackeroo Airfield. This was a joint project undertaken by both Australian and American defence personnel and I was involved with this a few years ago, where a dirt airstrip was constructed from scratch in less than 60 days. The area is made up mainly of iron ore, sandstone escarpments and scrub, and it was a major victory for all involved. A project like this has not been undertaken by either country since World War II. To commission the airfield, 2 x C-17 Heavy Lift Support Aircraft landed immediately after completion; one Australian, and one American.

Bec’s link to this airfield is that she works for HALSPO (Heavy Air Lift Systems Program Office), a major supporting element of the C-17 aircraft. A photo of the C-17 landing at Knackeroo Airfield adorns her office wall back at RAAF Base Amberley, and all her work mates would be impressed to hear that she visited this area, with it’s link back to her beloved C-17 and workmates! (PS: G’day HALSPO! We haven’t forgotten you).

We also passed ‘Coolibah Station’, a property made famous from the TV show “Keeping up with the Joneses”. Their helicopter does scenic tours out over the Victoria River Basin and adjoining properties, from here at the Victoria River Roadhouse. It’s approx 5kms from Coolibah Station, where we have stopped and made camp for tonight!
Bec went for a walk this afternoon down to the river, and watched people fishing from the old bridge. There were tell tale signs of crocs on the banks below, so she dragged Scarlett and I down there this evening for some ‘spot lighting’. On the way down, we saw and quickly disposed of a number of Cane Toads. Scarlett was back in her element, she whacked, and bashed a number of Toads, and sent them on their merry way to ‘heaven’ just like she used to do of an evening back home in Brisbane.

Our camp at Victoria River Roadhouse
Unfortunately there was no clear view of any crocs, but I must admit that as we walked out on the bridge and focused our torches on the water below; there was a lot of splashing as ‘something’ left the river bank and made a quick and noisy retreat into the water. We don’t think it was a fish, and it certainly wasn’t a goanna; which only lets the imagination go crazy! Was it a "Saltie"? If so, we were ‘this close’ to spotting our first salt water croc!

Victoria River - looking south from the bridge...

So close, yet so far…..

... and this is the view looking north of the bridge.

posted by Shane

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