On our trip up to Cape York we went through the Daintree Rainforest. We stopped at a place along the road where they had walking bridges that went higher and higher as you went along. They gave us an audio guide that was shaped like a telephone, that as you went along the bridge there were numbers on the railings that you typed into the audio guide and it told you facts about the interesting things that you could see in that spot. There was also a big tower with four levels that was twenty-three metres high! The top platform was right up in the treetops and you could hear and see more birds chirping and flying around. The audio guide told us that the leaves higher up were smaller and the leaves near the bottom were bigger, because the leaves need sunlight so it would be harder for the ones near the bottom to get sunlight because there is shade on them from the other trees. After going up on to the tower we went down on the path on the ground and saw a massive golden orb spider that had made a gigantic web between two trees about two metres from the path. We passed some big, moving, fake dinosaurs that roared, moved their heads and shook their tails as you passed them. They put them there because the Daintree Rainforest was there when the dinosaurs were alive which makes it the oldest rainforest in the world! Even older than the Amazon Rainforest. Even though we didn’t see a cassowary, the walk was still really fun and interesting.
Soon after arriving in Cairns we found a caravan park right on a lovely beach named Ellis Beach. We were very lucky because there was one beachfront site available that was in a perfect spot just on the back of the beach! Ellis beach had lovely warm water that reached up to 26 degrees in September, (which was when we were there) and the average temperature was about 25 degrees! There was a row of tropical palm trees in front of us that were giving us some nice shade in the hot days. There was a big island named Double Island that was about 2 kilometres out to sea from where we were camping. Double Island was named that way because it had two humps on either side of the island, and it was low down in the middle, in between the two humps. It was awesome because instead of having dirt, dried out grass or hard concrete on the ground we had a thin, soft layer of sand. We had a lovely view of the beach and the sunrises over the water and Double Island were amazing! We planned to stay here for about three weeks!
We played cricket, rugby, frisbee, catches with a tennis ball and lots of other fun games, and when we got hot, we ran into the warm ocean. We also bought five bodyboards because our friends Coby (11) and Ayden (8) were coming to visit us for a week, which meant there were going to be five kids.
Today we went on a walk through a rainforest to a crater. On the way we saw a very colourful cassowary, its very long neck had a nice bright purplish blue clolour, dangling down from its chin was a long red flap of skin which is called a wattle. We think it was guarding its nest because it was standing still and staring at us. The crater was made by a meteorite that came crashing down from space. The walk to the crater went right through a beautiful rainforest. The crater was 50 metres deep until it turned into water, and the water was around 70 metres deep! We threw some sticks down from the viewing platform, and after nearly 10 seconds we saw the splash as it hit the murky green water. After the crater walk we camped at Ravenshoe (pronounced Ravens-hoe) which is the highest town in Queensland. It is around 1,200 metres above sea level! In the morning we visited a wind farm where we heard actually how loud wind turbines are. After learning all about wind turbines we drove on a very bendy road through a tropical rainforest. After a few hours of driving through the rainforest we finally arrived in Cairns!
In the morning we celebrated my Dad's birthday and we also realised that it was the 100th day of our trip! In the afternoon we arrived in Kurumba. Kurumba is one of the only few towns on the Gulf of Carpentaria. That night we went to the Sunset Tavern where we watched the amazing sunset, then we had the best fish and chips for dinner that we had ever had! The fish was a barramundi and it was caught there in Kurumba that day!
Two days later, we got up early because we were going on a fishing charter and the fishing was better early in the morning. We went out onto the reef first and I caught a 25cm brim, but the ocean was too rough so we went closer in to shore. After a few minutes my brother caught a 50cm blue threadfin salmon! Then my dad caught an even bigger blue threadfin salmon which was about 60cm! One of the other passengers soon caught a baby reef shark! Just when we were about to go back to shore we got a big bite, when we finally managed to get it onto the boat, we realised that it was a massive shovel-nosed shark! After that we wound our lines in and went back to shore. We were sad that it was finished but very happy that we had caught so many big fish and would try them in the next few nights.
We left Darwin for the last time to head towards the east coast. First stop was Gorrie where we camped at a World War 2 abandoned air strip. Then we went on to Borroloola and started driving on the shortcut to Cairns which was a very rough gravel road, but the road too rough so we turned around and went the long way. Next stop was Camooweal where we stayed at a free camp beside a river. After Camooweal we drove to Mount Isa. We walked up a very steep hill and up the top was a lookout where you can see all of Mount Isa! Mount Isa is well known for mining, because they mine lots of copper, zinc, led and silver. After seeing Mount Isa we went to Cloncurry. In Cloncurry we went to the RFDS (Royal Flying Doctor Service) museum. The RFDS fly to injured people where big planes can't get to. After the museum we went to the original QANTAS hangar which was the destination of the first QANTAS flight from longreach.
In Darwin today we went to a museum with photos and information of Cyclone Tracy. There was a dark sound booth room with sound affects of what it would have been like to be there when the cyclone hit Darwin. We also saw a sculpture of one the longest, most aggressive and deadliest crocodiles ever to be caught in Australia. The croc was named 'sweetheart' and was 5.1 metres long, and weighed at 780kg!
That night we went to the Mindel Beach Markets where we watched the amazing sunset, watched a fire show then I had a go of a whip, and the man who was running the show taught me how to crack it. It was so much fun, so I decided to buy my own whip.
The next day we went to a free water park in Darwin. There was a water play park, a toddler splash pool and three big water slides. One of the water slides was 103 metres the next one was 105 metres and the longest one was 125 metres and it was pitch black. When you went on the longest one you had to go on a big inflatable thing with one other person. After the slides we went to the water play park and went underneath the big bucket which splashed loads of water on us. We had so much fun!
After a very windy, bumpy gravel road with lots and lots of short but deep river crossings that went up to our doors, we finally arrived at Purnululu (the Bungle Bungles). The Bungle Bungles are big dome shaped rocks that look like gigantic bee hives! Some of them have thick black and yellow stripes on them and the other ones are an orange or red colour. There were lots of very scenic walks that we did, that went right through the odd looking domes! That night we went to an amazing lookout where we watched the bright orange sunset reflect onto the big, red, lumpy rocks.
This is a time lapse of the Bungle Bungles.
This morning we left Broome and drove on a rough dirt road to Kooljiman, Cape Leveque. We were staying in a beach shelter right beside the Cape Leveque East Beach. As soon as we got there we started swimming in the warm aqua water. After a few hours of swimming, we walked to the West Beach for the amazing sunset. For these few days since we had a warm, cozy, shady beach shelter that was right beside the lovely, warm beach, we only slept with a sleeping bag and a mat on the sand.
The next day we went swimming, exploring, fishing and relaxing all day.
Today was our last day at Cape Leveque, so first thing in the morning we went exploring and running up and down the beach. At about midday we got ready for our plane ride. The plane that we were flying in was a small one and could only fit 6 people including the pilot, which fit our family with no spare seats. The runway was short and was made of gravel. On the plane we saw the aqua ocean, the small lislands, the Horizontal Falls, the whirlpools in the ocean and lots of gigantic whales. We each had a headset so our pilot Liam could tell us facts about the area. We got an awesome view of Horizontal Falls' gushing white wash water, and we saw 9 whales in total. After the flight we left Kooljaman and went to the Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm where we did a tour and they showed us how they make the pearls.
- First they find the pinctada maxima oyster from the bottom of the sea.
- Then they crack it slightly open and put a little ball of mother of pearl inside the oyster. (Which is the shiny inside part of the oyster that the pearl comes from.)
- Next they put the oysters into a small net and back in the ocean where the oyster puts a very shiny layer of pearl around the little ball.
- Two years later they crack the oyster open to get the pearl out.
- Now they weigh the pearl and price the pearl, judging it by the size, weight, shape, clearness, colour and any other imperfections.
- They put the pearl in their shop and sell it.
We left our caravan in a campsite in Kununurra and started our trip on the GIBB RIVER ROAD! The Gibb River Road is a very rough gravel road in Western Australia that goes from Kununurra to Derby for 600 kilometres, this area of Western Australia is called the Kimberly. After taking some photos of the Gibb River Road sign we set off for Emma Gorge on El Questro station. When we had finished swimming we drove a little bit further to the El Questro campsite next to the homestead. That night we went to a lookout called Branko's Lookout.
In the morning we played on the rope swing with our friends, Braden(10), Kaylee(9), and Kai(6). After we finished playing on the rope swing we went to El Questro gorge. Then for sunset we went to piegoeon hole lookout with Braden Kaylee and Kai.
The next morning we went fishing and playing on the rope swing again with Braden Kaylee and Kai. Then we packed up everything and went to Zebedee hot springs. After that we left El Questro and continued on the Gibb River Road. Soon after we left El Questro we did the Pentecost river crossing. That night we stayed at home valley station.
At Home Valley Station I went to the pool while my brother and my Mum went horse riding. After that we left to Gibb River campsite. But on the way we stopped at Ellembrae for some scones.
In the morning we left Gibb River hoping to get to Mitchell Falls. On the way we stopped at Drysdale to get some fuel and King Edward for a swim. Then we continued on the brutal gravel road. And after 76 very bumpy kilometres we finally arrived at Mitchell Falls Campsite.
The next morning we left early for Mitchell Falls because the 8.6 kilometre return bushwalk to Mitchell Falls is really hot in the middle of the day. On the way back to the campsite we went passed some Aboriginal rock paintings and went through some waterfalls too!
Today we left Mitchell Falls and went back to Drysdale for their famous burger. After our delicious burgers we went back onto the Gibb River Road. We soon arrived at Manning Gorge campsite where we stayed for two nights.
In the morning I helped make damper to take to Manning Gorge. To start the walk we had to pull ourselves across a river on a little tin boat. After the short walk we arrived at Manning Gorge. Manning Gorge had a big waterfall, lots of submerged rocks, a big swimming area and lots of high rocks that you can jump off. The lowest jump rock was about 3 metres, the next one was about 6 metres, the second highest was about 8 metres and the highest one was where the waterfall came off, and that was about 11 metres! I started on the lowest ones and then did the highest ones. I love Manning Gorge so much that it is my favourite swimming hole that I have been to! When we got back to the river at the start of the walk we found a small rope swing. Then a boy called Beau who was nine years old, showed us a jumping spot next to the rope swing.
The next day we went to Galvin Gorge, which had a rope swing and a jump rock. After we had a swim, we found a way to climb around the waterfall and up to the top. Then we left Galvins Gorge and went to imintji and bought one of their Aboriginal paintings. Then we drove to the end of the Gibb River Road!!
Today we crossed the border of Northern Territory into Western Australia. We had to dump all of our fresh fruit and veggies and our honey at the border so that we didn't bring any new bugs into WA. We found a free camp to stay at right beside the Ord River. Then we went to an infinity pool looking out onto Lake Argyle. Lake Argyle was originally a river but they made it into a lake by building a dam wall to stop the water from flowing out. It was made in 1972 and took three years to build! Lake Argyle is 70 kilometres long, making it 90 times bigger than Sydney Harbor!
The next day we hired a boat and a double kiak for half a day at Lake Argyle we went fishing and looking around at the wonderful views. Then we went to a sloped rock that we could jump off. But I wasn't allowed to jump from the top though. Then we had to give the kiak and boat back and start packing up to leave Lake Argyle.
Today our friends Tom (9) Rosie (7) and James (5) from Victoria came to visit us for 2 weeks. Shortly after they arrived we headed down to Florence Falls for a swim. There was two waterfalls in Florence Falls, one that you could go behind and look through, but the other one didn't have enough room behind it to go through. We also found a really cool spot where you could jump from the rocks and into the water.
The next day we drove to Wangi Falls. There was a massive waterfall and there was also a natural, warm rock pool that was warmer than the main pool. We then drove back to see a mini city of termite mounds. One part looked like a graveyard because they were all grey. But some of the termite mounds were gigantic!
Today we stopped in Katherine to swim in the hot springs. The springs were about 30 degrees and it was still nice and refreshing. The next day we arrived in Darwin on Territory day. Which is a day where they celebrate having their own government. People have been celebrating this for 39 years. On Territory day everyone is allowed to buy fireworks and set them off anywhere and everywhere. There were some on parks in people's backyards and even on the side of the road! There was also a fireworks show on at Mindil Beach. There were so many awesome fireworks, as many as Manly on New Year's Eve!
Today we saw some firemen lighting a controlled burn off right next to our campsite! They were doing it because, 1, it encourages new growth, and 2, it prevents really bad bushfires from going out of control, and that is because alive green plants and trees don't burn as easily as the dead ones.
Day 1 - On our first day in Mapuru we went detong 🐃 hunting at the wetlands. And one of the Yolngu men shot a detong first go! After we caught the detong, we collected the tree branches for the spears we that the were going to make the next day. That night we cooked the delicious detong and ate it for dinnner.
Day 2 - Today everyone straightened their spear branches, put the prongs into the spears and sharpened the tips.
Day 3 - Today everyone made a bullman which the Aborigines use for throwing spears.
Day 4 - This morning we drove on a really tough 4 wheel drive track down to a nice beach which had the whitest sand that I had ever stood on! And we stayed there for 2 nights.
Day 5 - Today we woke up with the sound of the warm water splashing on the white sand. Then we went fishing and we caught 2 sharks, 4 rock hods, 2 queen fish and I caught a giant trevally, and it was giant! That night we cooked all the fish and ate them all!
Day 6 - The next day we went fishing but since it was really windy we only caught one fish. When we were walking back to where we were camping one of the Yolngu men saw a saltwater crocodile in the distance! After lunch another one of the Yolngu men saw a crocodile close to the waters edge! So we all got our spears that we had made. One of the Yolngu hit it on the nose but the croc just swam away. That night they saw the croc again so they got the gun out and one the Yolngu shot it!
Day 7 - Today the Yolngu showed us how to cook the croc just with rocks, paperbark and sand, without getting any sand on it! After cooking the croc we left the awesome beach. When we got back to Mapuru village I went over to the women's camp and we soon left to a little camping spot on a cliff.
Day 8 - This morning we collected what the Yolngu call gunga which means pandanus leaves for weaving baskets. Then the Yolngu stripped the gunga and then died the gunga with natural colours such as yellow which we got from tree roots called djundum. When we got back, I did some weaving with the Yolngu women.
Day 9 - Today I went with the men to a small camping spot next to a little lake. Me and some of the other kids started burning dead trees and starting bushfires!
Day 10 final day! - This morning one of the trees that we burnt the night before fell down! Then we packed up and left the camping spot and drove back to Mapuru village. When we got back we started putting white clay on our faces, legs, and bodies for the traditional dancing. Some of the men played clapsticks and didgeridoos while we all danced. We did a dingo dance, a crocodile dance, an emu dance, a rat dance and some others. After the traditional dancing me and some other kids had and outside disco with music blasting at full volume. After our kids disco we went to bed.
This is the beach that we went to.
This morning we started a fire because of the cold wind. When the sun and the fire had warmed us up, we drove down to the Kings Canyon Rim Walk to see the amazing views of Kings canyon. We walked right on the edge of the tall cliffs and up steep hills but it was definitely worth the tough walk! We soon got hungry from the steep hills so we found a nice spot in the shade with a good view and started on some lunch. After some lunch we carried on with the rest of the walk. After the walk we drove on a very very rough road. The road had big stones, bumpy corrugations and very big, unexpected dips and there was one dip (which we didn't see until we went right into it) that bumped lots of things around in the caravan including the toilet paper roll, which rolled around everywhere causing a big mess! After the very very bumpy road we arrived at Hermannsberg where we watched the frustrating State Of Origin Game 2. After the siren had sounded we went to bed😩
The next morning we walked up to a bakery where we had scones with jam and cream, a scoop of ice cream and German strudel because 150 years ago some Germans started the town, and since strudel is a German treat the bakery has been selling it ever since then. When we had finished our delicious treats, we drove to Alice Springs. We found this really cool BIG 4 caravan park (a really good campsite company) in Alice Springs that had a playground, trampoline, jumping pillow, another playground, 2 heated pools, a spa and a waterslide❗️So straight away we started jumping on the jumping pillow then swimming in the pool and the waterslide. When it was getting close to dinner time we hopped,out of the pool and had our last jumps on the jumping pillow for the day and headed back to our caravan for some dinner.
Today we woke up early, so our campsite at Uluru didn't get full before we got there😬 So we left Agnes Creek to Uluru! On the way to Uluru, we crossed the border from SA to NT, and we also saw our first 130 KPM speed limit sign❗️When we got to our campsite at Uluru we found that there was only a few people there. Once we were all set we drove right up to Uluru to get a closer look, and to see the sunset behind Uluru. We drove all around it and found the old aeroplane runway that my grandpa flew into about a hundred times❗️
The next morning we got in the car and went up the hill to take photos and a time lapse. Then we had breakfast and when we were ready we drove right up to Kata Tjuta to do the 7.4 kilometre bush walk called 'The Valley Of The Winds'. The walk was so cool, we got to walk right through all of the massive rocks, and we got to look at lots of awesome views! When we had finished the bush walk we drove back to our campsite. Today was awesome!
This morning we went to look at the bikes you could hire for the ride around Uluru. Once we had got our bikes and helmet, we started the 15 kilometre ride around Uluru. The ride was amazing! There was awesome gorges, and waterholes too! The ride made me realise just how big Uluru is! Once we had finished the ride we drove to Kings Canyon to stay for the night. Today was awesome.
This morning we went to the woomera rocket museum, where we saw some real rockets that had actually been launched into space! We also learnt a lot about all the rockets too! We then went too a campsite to stay the night. The next morning we saw an old steam train🚂 we also got to have a look inside! You make it go, by putting coal into the burning furnace which turns the water into steam and the steam puffs the old train away!
Today we drove all the way through the flinders rangers national park and into a small town called Farina. Farina was founded as a town in the late 1800s on the Gahn railway, then everyone left and the town then came deserted. A few years ago a group of people started restoring the town and started using the old underground bakery again and put a tent up to sell all their delicious hot and fresh bakery items to everyone. We had a look around the town and then went back to the campsite where we made an extremely good fire!
We woke up the next morning and ran to the bakery to get some delicious finger buns, yummy fresh bread and their amazing specialty - CREAM BUNS😋 After we had finished our delicious treats we drove to Muloorina. When we got there someone told us that there was a spring that was about 45 degrees! So we quickly put our swimmers on and walked over to the hot spring to have a swim. It was soooo hot!! We had to jump in quickly so we could get used to the heat, or our legs would be way to hot! When we got too hot we headed back to the campsite to make the fire and cook our dinner.
Today we went to Lake Eyre. Lake Eyre is a lake that gets water in it once in about 30 years!! And when it doesn't have water in it it is all salt! and unfortunately there was no water this time☹️ We also got some footage while we were flying the drone over Lake Eyre. Once we had seen enough of the salt we headed first to get a snack and to fill up on petrol and then to our campsite at the Oodnadatta Track for the night.
In the morning we drove to Wabma Kadarbu mound springs, which were natural bubbling springs on the top of little mounds. The rain water goes underground in Queensland and gets pushed up into mounds to make a spring, and all that happens after about 1 million years! Some of the water can be up to 2 million years old! After we had looked at all of the springs we drove to William Creek where we had a hot chocolate at a cool old pub with money from another country, cards and stickers on the roof, and lots and lots of names on the walls!
Today (my birthday 🎉) we started the day with some Choc chip hot cakes for breakfast 😋😲. When we had finished all of the yummy hot cakes, we drove on to Coober Pedy to stay the night. The next morning we woke up and quickly got ready for the Coober Pedy tour. On the tour we visited some underground churches, underground house, underground opal mine and we also did some noodling (which is looking for small opals on the ground.
In the morning I woke up with an awesome view of the beach and the sunrise 🌅 We then drove to Port Lincoln where we had lunch and stretched our legs for a bit. Since Coffin Bay is so famous for their oysters we went and had a try but my taste buds did not agree. Then we drove on to a nice spot to stay the night. After we were all ready to stay the night, we walked to a nearby lake and had a little snack while we watched a dolphin 🐬 playing with the sunset reflecting onto the water. We then walked back to the camp site to watch the rugby 🏉 then to toast our marshmallows.But then we heard that our caravan was flooding! By the time we had cleaned it up, it was almost time for bed😴
The next day we started off with some delicious bacon 🥓 and eggs🍳 Yum😋 After we had finished all of the bacon and eggs we went to play for a few hours. When we finished playing we had to go into the camp kitchen to go wash up😩 When everything was clean we went outside and we saw two emus playing around! We then set off to Coofin Bay national park. We drove all the way to the lookout where there was an amazing view of the water way down below. After we had lunch on the lookout we drove to Tumby Bay where we stayed the night.
Tonight we went to a space observetary which was a small dome with a gap in the roof, so the telescope could look out into the night🌌 We saw alpha centauri which is the brightest pointer star, the omega cluster which is just a lot of far away stars close together, the jewel box cluster who's stars look like a box of sparkling jewels, Saturn and of course the moon🌔
Today we went to see the crystal museum in Broken Hill. We saw some awesome crystals! We also watched a video of the Broken Hill mining factory and how it all started! We finally crossed the border into South Australia❗️We then drove on to Nackara and we found an old school house, the lady there told us that there were grades from kindergarten to year 6 all taught by just 1 teacher in only 1 room‼️
The next day we woke up in Nackara and drove to a place called Port Augusta to get our caravan fixed👨🏻🔧 Once it had been fixed we drove to Whyalla where we had fish🐟 and chips🍟 for lunch next to the aqua ocean. We finished our lunch and then went out looking for a place to stay the night🌘 When we arrived at Lipson Cove we headed out looking for fire wood. Once we had enough wood we started the fire 🔥 We all sat around the hot fire until there was no food left for us to eat❗️ It had been an awesome day🌞