Today we left Dawrin city centre and went on the hunt to find some salt water crocodiles. We done a little bit of research prior, and decided to drive to the Mary River which is the most densely populated river for salt water crocodiles in Australia. Once we arrived we stood by the river and guess how many crocodiles we saw? None. Not even a little ripple in the water. We blatantly must have been at the wrong spot, at the wrong time. It was getting close to lunch time so we pulled up at a service station. Here there were 2 crocodiles in a cage (one salty and one fresh), we thought that this was going to be the closest we were going to get today.
As we drove back towards Darwin, we drove past the Orginal Jumping Crocodile Boat Tour which went along the Adelaide River instead. We thought there was no harm in trying here as we were going to have to go past it anyway. Guess how many crocodiles we saw this time? LOADS! We were sat at the very front of the boat, even though we were the last ones to arrive, but turns out they were the best seats in the house. The tour guide dangled pieces of pork chop into the water and within about 5 seconds we could see crocodiles popping up everywhere. They got extremely close to the boat and would jump up high to reach the meat being dangled above them. One crocodile was 5 1/2 metres long and had lost both of this front legs from fighting with other crocodiles. Every kilometre we travelled down the river, there was a dominant male crocodile who had about 10 females in his territory (which were all his). At one point there were two dominant males in one area at the same time and it was not long before a scrap broke out between them. There were lots of kite birds flying all around the river too, diving for food that the tour guide chucked into the air. I didn't realise they were one of the only species of birds which can eat their food whilst on the move.
Once finished we headed towards Litchfield National Park and set up camp in a caravan park as we both desperately needed a shower after the heat from today.
Busy day of driving about, but at least we got to see the enormous beasts in the end.
Animal count: Loads and loads of wild salty crocodiles and kites.
4308 + 298 = 4,606km completed.
Today we had planned to explore Litchfield National Park before making our way towards Broome. We were told Litchfield National Park is made up of lots of waterfalls, pools and gigantic termite hills. So we had to see it all for ourselves.
They weren't joking when they described how big the termite mounds are. They were huge! It's crazy how such small creatures can make something so big.
We then headed to Wangi Falls, which is one of the most popular parts of the park due to its two large waterfalls which fall into a large swimable pool. We decided to take a walk up to the top of the waterfall which was 1.7km round trip. As always we came prepared for the walk in flipflops. It didn't take long to reach the top and on route we past thousands of fruit bats which were hanging from the trees above us. The climb down was a bit more rocky but quite an easy and pleasent walk altogether.
Once we hit the bottom, we were dripping with sweat so decided it was a perfect time to take a dip in the cool water pool. The water was so clear and refreshing, we completely understood why it was so busy and popular. However, we did keep an eye out for the smaller fresh water crocs which live in the waters at this time of year. Luckily we didn't see any!
We stayed at Wangi Falls until lunch time and made use of their free wifi. We then decided we needed to make a move towards Broome. I can't tell you what we saw along the way because I slept the majority of it. We arrived at Katherine, picked my a Maccy D's and the drove another 60km along the Great Northen Highway until we found a rest stop with toilets and made camp for the night.
It was a hot day today and we were both shattered. We were both looking forward to a good nights sleep tonight before a long day of driving tomorrow.
Animal count: Hundreds of fruit bats at Wangi Falls and lots of little fish in the pool.
4606 + 420 = 5,026km completed.
We left the rest stop at 8am today and headed through the Western Australia border. This time we were prepared and chucked the last of the apples and carrots out before we got to the quarantine point. As we crossed the border the time went back another hour and a half. This confused us at first because as we ate our lunch before crossing the border (as it was 1pm at the time) but once we went through it turned to 11.30am.
We headed to Kununurra and arrived by 12.30pm. We both decided we couldn't be bothered to drive any further today and we both needed to get out of the car. So we went to the supermarket, stocked up and then went to find a campsite. We managed to find the perfect little spot right by the lake. We were even given a plot which was about 5m from the waters edge.
We spent the afternoon by the swimming pool as the temperature was reaching around 35 degrees centigrade at this point (plus the bar had free wifi too).
We ended the day with dinner with a view. It wasn't a bad way to spend the afternoon, we will definitely be making up the miles tomorrow.
Animal count: As the sun set over the lake, a magical thing happened. We didn't have a clue to begin with what everyone was staring at, until one lady informed us that as the sun sets over the horizon thousands of fruit bats come flying over the lake, right over our heads and like clockwork, it happened. The bats took to the sky and effortlessly floated towards us over the lake until they came so close you could see them as clear as day. It was very spectacular to watch.
5026 + 455 = 5,481km completed.
Last night was exteremly windy, however there was a welcoming breeze this morning. Thanks to the clocks going back, sunrise is now at 5am, so I was nicely wide awake at this unsocialble hour. I forced myself to stay in bed until 6am, then I decided enough was enough, so I jumped in the shower then made some breakfast. It meant we were ready pretty early this morning, so we went to the poolside to use the wifi before we left. Looking at the map we knew we would easily get to Halls Creek by lunchtime today, then we decided we would just carry on from there and see where we ended up.
We kept driving until 5 in the evening and ended up at a road side rest stop 87 kilometres past Fitzroy Crossing. I sang along to lots of old school tunes off my phone most of the way as there was no radio signal. Thank goodness for spotify, however I think Leigh couldn't wait to get away from me.
We ended up staying in the same place as the people we set up camp next to last night. It turns out they are doing the same route as us, so there is a chance we could bump into each other again.
It is now only 300 kilometres to Broome so we will easily make that tomorrow.
Animal count: Only the usual today; cows and horses.
5481 + 734 = 6,215km completed.
We were ready to leave by 7.30am today, which meant we arrived in Broome by lunchtime. We found a campsite and booked in for two nights, then it was time to go exploring. First we headed to Target and got ourselves a CD so Leigh wouldn't have to endure my singing as much. Then we went and got a few more supplies from Coles before heading to Gantheaume Point where we went exploring for real dinosaur footprints. The tide was quite low so there were a few footprints to see, but some could easily be mistaken for just holes in the rocks. We think we found some footprints from the larger dinosaur because they'd looked very similar to the pictures on the information board, but who knows!
We then headed to Cable Beach to top up the tan for a bit, before heading to the bar to grab ourselves a drink. When we got back to camp, we went for a quick dip in the swimming pool and got chatting to all the oldies (I mean they were all well into retirement, sorry mum!) about their travels.
More soup for dinner again today but might treat ourselves to something special tomorrow!
Animal count: We saw lots of camels along Cable Beach which are used for their tours. Did look out for a fellow Ipswich traveller who I knew was working with the camels, but couldn't see him.
6215 + 348 = 6,563km completed.
We had another early start this morning so we could spend most of the day soaking up the Sun on the beach. We went to Coles and invested in a Sun and wind shade to reduce the chance of us burning. We then headed straight to Cable Beach. Soft sands and a clear blue sea, what more could you ask for? We could have done with a few less jellyfish, however they weren't killer ones so everyone was swimming anyway. The sunshade didn't work because I got burnt (not that I sat under the shade at all, too much of a sun worshipper)! We stayed here until 1pm (We arrived at 8.45am, so we got a good few hours in) and then we were both desperate for a nice cold drink. McDonalds it was (free wifi time!).
We had lunch back at the caravan site and washed all the sand off. I spent the afternoon reading my book, determined to finish the last few chapters of the series. We treated ourselves to steak and salad for dinner. It was nice to eat something a bit more fresh for a change, rather than long shelf life meals.
A day of driving tomorrow, as we start to head to Exmouth.
Animal count: Only the jellyfish we saw in the sea.
6563 + 15 = 6,578km completed.