Sunday, 15 September 2013

Day 44 - Bungle Bungles

We arrived at Bungle Bungle Caravan Park and got the last powered site. This park is on Mabel Downs Station and has only been there for  2 years. It was very basic park but had all the amenities you needed.
We saw lots of Termite Mounds along road

We had to watch out for animals as we drove along the road
They had a massive bonfire at night and didnt use branches and sticks, they used a whole tree. The Showers were corrogated iron and were not the best ones we had used but they were ok. We were going to drive into the Bungles but after talking to other people along the way we decided a flight would be a better choice.
Dad didn't like this job

Block your nose
The road in was apparently really rough because there wasnt much of a wet season last year so it was very corrogated and one of the people that Dad spoke to said that his teeth nearly fell out it was so bumpy. It took them 3 hours to travel 60 kilometers. Charlotte has already lost 4 teeth so we didn't want to risk anymore coming out otherwise she will have to live on soup. Mum thought it might be a good idea as the vibrating might work off some of her extra padding that she has put on. We booked a flight on a fixed wing plane to go over the Bungles at 3pm that afternoon. Our pilot was a young guy (who actually came from Maryborough near Ballarat) who mum thought looked like he was about 17. She would have preferred an older pilot she said later, Im glad she didnt tell me that on the flight. I was terrified and was holding onto mums hand so tight that they turned blue. Even Charlotte was quiet and wasnt saying much as we waited to fly off. The plane
 only had 7 seats and it was the smallest plane i have ever been on and it didnt feel as safe as the big ones. After about 5 minutes I opened my eyes and let go of mums hand because I wanted to take some photos.

It was the most amazing view of the Bungles and I couldnt believe how big they were.
The Bungles are made up of sandstone and  they are really delicate. They are 350 million years old and were formed by an inland sea over millions of years. They stretch over 33 kilometres and the Purnula National Park covers over 450,000 square kilometers.

They are considered a very special and spirital place by the aboriginals and have been the site of many important rituals for tens of thousands of year however they were only discovered in the late 1970's by white people. They were kept secret until 1987 because the government were worried that mining would destroy them. They are shaped like bee-hives and have massive chasms and gorges through them.

The Bungle Bungles are also World Heritage listed. When we went to land there was lots of cow paddies on the run away and it was a bit bumpy but the pilot said it was better than having the cows on the run way because they are bumpier than their paddies.
Our little plane
We played bottchee that afternoon with the hooler hoop that Hannah and Verity gave me and we had to throw rocks into the centre. Dad thought he would easily win but it was harder than it looked and mum and I were the winners.

Days 41, 42, 43 -Kunnanarra

We only had a very small drive today to Kunnanarra which was 78kms. Kunnanarra is the East gate to the Kimberly. We said goodbye to our friends Tom, Michelle, Sam, Lou and Abby (the Whites), Charlotte climbed her last tree with Abby and we swapped details so we can catch up with them next time we head up to the farm. Dad is going to go take Charlotte and I  to the Yaapeet oval and show us where he lost his cruciate ligament about 22 years ago. Mum and Dad were up at Swan Hill one weekend and dad headed off with some of mums mates who were playing football for Berri/Culgoa at Yaapeet. She made him and them promise that he wouldnt fill in for them but he didnt listen and there just happened to be a spare set of football boots that fitted Dad. He ended up in the Swan Hill Hospital which ruined their whole weekend.  Dad said it took a fair while for mum to get over that but i dont think she has actually got over it. Dad said she might get some closure if we all visit the Yaapeet footy oval together and do a special reconciliation . He had to have an operation and was off work for 4 weeks and it was nearly a year before he could run on it again. The Whites are heading down the centre and we are heading to the West, so mum and dad were really disappointed because they both really enjoyed their company and had a great time talking and laughing with them. Dad said 'they are always welcome at our campfire anytime.'
When we got to the our caravan park at Kunnanarra we all hoped on a golf buggy and a man took us around the park so we could pick out a spot. This was fun and very unusual because normally they just allocate you a site. We picked out a shady site that we thought looked great because the pool and amenities were only a few meters away and the site had afternoon shade. But, we soon found out that this 'great' site was located under a tree that was home to cute, furry bats. Trouble with this was that these bats weed all over our van and awning and apparently it is really bad for the paintwork and can eat away the paint.  We had to borrowed a great big brush from a couple next door to us. They came from Wangaratta and the lady used to work with my aunty Leanne (Dean).
The Big Croc at Wyndham

Mum & Charlie at Five Rivers Lookout in Wyndham
We went to Wyndam for a day which is reconised geographicly as the TOP TOWN of the WEST. It may be geographicly the 'top town' but it certaintly isn't one of my top towns to visit, it was a waste of time. We went to the Five Rivers Lookout which is exactly what it is. Dad found this quite interesting, but for the rest of us girls it was as boring as watching grass grow. There was a massive statue of a crocodile in town, but you couldn't climb on it. Mum took photos of me and Charlotte next to it, but that's the only one I'm getting close to. Wyndam is known for having the highest consumption of beer per person in Austraila which mum said is probably not the best advertisement for a town to have but it sort of sums up the town.
We were planning on staying at El Questro Station, but after talking to other people we decided to just do a day trip from Kunnanarra instead. The road was really rough and the facilites were not as good as the caravan park at Kunnanarra and there was no pool. No pool, No power, bad facilities and HOT WEATHER!!! NOT 4 ME!
We had to drive through a couple of creek crossings to get to El Questro Station, but the water only went up to the top of the wheels or bottom of the car doors. 
Welcome to El Questro you can see some bullet holes in the sign

A creek crossing into El Questro the water came up to the top of the wheels
We went to Zibedee Springs which is a thermal pool and we even found our own massaging waterfall! After having a relaxing time at Zibedee Springswe headed to Emma Gorge to do a 6km trek that was rated DIFFICULT!
Zibedee Springs and the Palm Trees

Me and Dad in the warm water of the springs

Before we went on the walk we went in the resort pool to cool down and had a delightful lunch at the Emma Gorge Restaurant. Some of the rocky areas along the way were hard to get around because of the size and position of the rocks. We even had to pull each other up to the next rock, but the walk was definitely worth doing to get to Emma Gorge. It is my favourite gorge that we have visited and there was a small part of the falls that was warm like a miniature thermal pool. I was worried about Salties (crocodiles) being in the water hole, but i realised the walk in was hard for me so i don't  think any crocodile could even try to get up the difficult rocks with their little legs.

The Gorge was amazing
There was a hot spring coming out of the rocks and Dad and Charlie found it

More rocks to climb over

There were many pools along the walk
We were very tired after our walk into Emma Gorge

The waterfall was absolutely magnificent and the water was crystal clear. There was only one other family at the gorge when we were swimming there and they were from Cranbourne!
The Waterfall at Emma Gorge
Dad swimming out to the waterfall
It was great to have a swim after such a hard walk

Day 37, 38, 39 & 40 - Lake Argyle

We headed off to Lake Argyle this morning and we had to empty our fridge of all our vegetables and fruit because we were heading across the Western Australian border and need to go through Quarantine at the border.
West Australian Border
We didnt have that much because Sarah Hansen had warned us how they took all of their fruit and vegies and even their honey.

Mum gave some people next to us our vegies and honey and they gave us back some Emu Beers. They were Queenslanders and said this was the best Western Australia beer so dad said he would give it a go. We got to the border and handed over our apple cores and banana skins that we had eaten on the way. The guy was really nice and had a quick look in the fridge but mum must have looked trustworthy because he didnt even look in any cupboards. We have met some people that told us how they have taken more than an hour and gone through every cupboard and looked in every possible spot and then they had to spend the next hour putting everything back again. We saw a box that had lots of jars of honey in it so lots of people must have not  known that you cant take honey across the border, even  ones that werent even opened.
We arrived at Lake Argyle just after lunch and went over to the most amazing pool. It is an infinety pool and sits right on the edge of a cliff and  it looks over Lake Argyle. When the Hansens and the Deans were travelling through here they sent us photos and I remember thinking how beautiful is was and how cold we were back in Melbourne. Here is a photo especially for them.

The Infinity Pool

We went to the Christmas in July Roast dinner for a special night out. It was nice but a little bit dry. Dad's roast on his Ziggler (Dad's BBQ) is better.
We all went on the Lake Argyle sunset cruise that took us all around the lake and we had nibbles and drinks included. Charlotte and I hovered around the nibbles table and sat right at the back where the soft drinks awaited us. We got to a spot where the man said 'it's all O.K. to jump in' I wasn't so fond of doing that because the man had just told us that there are 35,000 fresh water crocs in the lake, but Tess Hansen swam in here and survived so I gave it a go.

 Charlotte and dad jumped off the roof of the cruise boat and made a huge SPLASH! when they hit the water. I got in the lake, smiled for a photo, and got back out again.
Heading out on our Sunset Cruise
Charlotte and Dad after jumping off the Roof of the
Was that a Croc biting Charlotte
Swiming with 35,000 Crocodiles

Lake Argyle is the biggest man made lake in Australia and it is 2,000 square kilometres and it is classed as an inland sea.
We watched the sunset over the lake and it was absolutely spectacular as it was a really cloudy evening. The tour guide said it was one of the best he had seen because of all the bright colours among the sunset.

The Amazing Sunset over Lake Argyle
 We also went to the Durack Homestead on Argyle Downs Station which was the home of a famous pioneering family in the Kimberly's. It was constructed out of handcrafted limestone blocks  with crushed termites mounds' used as motar and it was apparently a magnificent building for its time. It was built in the 1890's and was moved from it's original site (which is now under Lake Argyle) in the 1970's when Lake Argyle was built and filled.  The Homestead was dismantled stone by stone with every stone coded so that it was able to be rebuilt with every stone back in it's original position and  now it is displayed just out of the Lake Argyle Caravan Park. The rest of the Argyle Downs Station is now submerged under the Lake Argyle and divers have been down to explore the remains. Mum and Dad really enjoyed visiting this place and said they would have loved living out here in this big white house with its big wide verandas and beautiful green lawns. Charlotte and I thought that it would be too hot and too far away from a town and would be happy to visit it for a holiday but not to live for good. 

Dad with the Horse Collars like his Grandfather use to make
We met a really nice family who were from Yaapeet in the Mallee which is about an hour from where mum grew up. They were friends with mum's cousins and Tom (the dad) is really good friends with mum's old boy friend. They had a great time laughing about their youth and all the different people they both knew. They had a daughter called Abbey and Charlotte and her loved climbing trees together. The next day Abbey accidently locked the keys in their ute and dad and Tom tried to brake in with a wire coat hanger and a plastic spatula! I had never seen this been done before, but listening to dad and Tom talk of the many times that they had broken into cars this way (not srangers cars, just when they or their friends locked keys in the cars) it seemed like they knew what they were doing.