Sunday, March 18, 2018
AUSTRALIA’S FAMOUS ROCK… Charli, Mardie and Miley, enjoying their time at Uluru.

The outback

Editor September 20, 2017

AUSTRALIA is so big and there is so much to see, but still many of us have never travelled to the outback.

Mardie Guppy from Orrvale had seen many parts of Australia with husband, Chris but this time she wanted to take her two girls, Charli, 10, and Miley, 7, to see how vast Australia is.

They took a 4X4 camper trailer and headed off. It was a great experience camping along the way. The first big highlight for the girls was Uluru.

It is so big Charli and Miley just stood there as they took it all in. They set up camp in view of the ‘rock’ and the girls climbed onto the roof of the 4X4 and watched the spectacular display as the sun set on the rock with the colours changing from bright orange to deep pupil.

Next was Kings Canyon. It was a four hour walk into the rim of the gorge and it was well worth it for the views. That night they camped out in swags. During the night you could hear the dingos howling and the girls could hear them passing by their swags. The next morning, Charli and Miley counted the paw prints around their swags. They were delighted and from then on the girls spent every night sleeping out under the stars in their swags.

They now headed for Halls Creek. The road was rough but dead straight and a bit corrugated and the closer they got to Western Australia the rougher the road became.

They arrived at Cape Leveque, above Broome, where they stayed for three nights. It’s an Aboriginal community. They set up camp next to the beach and enjoyed the spectacular views over the beach; the water and the sunsets.

They now set off for Broome, but along the way decided to spend some time at Quondong Beach. It’s like Cable Beach only there are no tourists and it is very serene. They had two nights with the views all to themselves.

At Broome they caught up with friends. Chris and friend Jason decided to take Charli fishing. They took their boat way off shore but although they had many catches they didn’t land a single fish, as the sharks would take them before you could get them into the boat.

Broome is an interesting place. Its beginnings were tied to the pearl industry where many fortunes were made and many lives were lost. The Broome cemetery tells the story with numerous graves of Japanese, Chinese and many other nationalities that gave their lives chasing pearls.

Next was Derby and the Horizontal Falls. You can only get in by boat or sea plane. They chose to fly and it looked so spectacular from the air.

They landed in the main lagoon tying up next to a house boat. The falls get their name from the huge tides encountered there as the water rises the lagoon fills but the water comes in through a narrow opening. When the tide drops rapidly the water rushes out again almost sucking anything on the high side out between the rocks. The Guppy’s joined other tourists on one of the big boats providing a thrill seekers ride out through the gap. Mardie says it’s something to experience.

They enjoyed barramundi for lunch and then the girls went swimming with the sharks. They have a pool divided in two by a glass wall, swimmers on one side sharks on the other. Charli and Miley found it an incredible experience.

Now they were off on the Gibb River Road. It is strictly 4X4 driving and you have to take it a bit easy in case you break something on your vehicle. Finally they arrive at Windjanna Gorge and explored Tunnel Creek.

It’s a huge cave with water running through. It’s an amazing place and you need torches to find your way. Indeed traditionally the local Aboriginal community would hide in the darkness when white people came.

Next was Manning Gorge. It’s a two hour walk into the gorge. It was hot so on arrival it was time to cool off. From the ridge it was an eight metre jump into the rock pools below. The water is crystal clear and cool, and the girls loved it.

Now travelling through the Kimberly they arrived at El Questro Station. It’s a huge concern with accommodation from camping to full on resort style living. It’s so big you have to explore it by helicopter or on horseback.

Catherine Gorge is one of the best according to Mardie. You can do a three gorge cruise and it’s an incredible experience and a great place to unwind before heading onto Darwin.

It had been some years since Mardie had been to Darwin and she was amazed by the changes, from the improvements to the waterfront, to the many family friendly restaurants and a stack of attractions to see.

One of the main ones is Kakadu National Park. It is best seen from the air and on the ground the Aboriginal art is amazing but there are lots of crocodiles so there is no swimming.

They also visited Litchfield National Park. It’s great too and for the family the best place to be as you could go swimming.

They moved on now to the Daly River. It’s an amazing place and provided a chance for the girls to try a hand at fishing. Miley got out her special pink rod and like magic landed her first Barramundi.

The whole holiday had been filled with the most incredible experiences and while it was time to head back home to Orrvale, for Charli, Miley, Chris and Mardie the memories live on.

Until next time,

Safe Travel’n,

Geoff Vallance