A diary written by Will Brideson, age 14 years
On the road, Stuart Highway heading North.
We stop in a rest area and sleep for four hours, well I've been sleeping since
about eleven thirty and I still slept for ages.
We refueled at Glendambo, we had fruit for breakfast as we went along, there
was not much to see, as we were in desert country.
I woke up just as we drove through Cooper Pedy and it amazed me how
many opal mines there were. It was way more than what I remember but then
again the last time I came into Cooper Pedy was about three years ago and a
lot can happen in three years. We did not stop there.
We refueled at Marla and had some lunch, I had three dim Sims and a bottle
of coke. We ate out side the roadhouse and this really nice dog came up to
our table and sat down beside me so I give him some of my dim sim and the
expression on his face was like he was saying thank you, he was so cool.
We took pictures of an eagle, a dead kangaroo, wild flowers and some sturt
desert pea flowers, there were a lot of them growing along the side of the
We stopped at a rest area and slept for about forty-five minutes.
I watched Starsky and Hutch on the laptop. It has a DVD player.
We crossed the border into Northern Territory and then refueled and had
some dinner at a roadhouse at the turnoff to Ayers Rock or Ularu.
Then we went on to Alice Springs and found a Motel room there for the night,
we arrived at 10 pm and most of the motels were already closed.
Dad and I watched some of the film The Gods must be Crazy 2 on the Laptop
but as we were very tired we went to bed and to sleep.
At Alice Springs.
I woke up to the voice of Dad talking to the Optus people over the phone
because it wouldn't go onto the Internet. Dad tells me that he booked another
night in the motel.
Dad finally gets off the phone and we go to the old telegraph station, once we
had parked the car at the car park we were walking down the road and I saw
a little baby monitor lizard, it was so cool.
We drove around Alice, exploring all of the sites like the railway museum, the
drag strip which was on one of the old airstrips, airport, Simpsons Gap.
We walked up the riverbed looking for lizards and rock wallabies, but we
didn't see any, of course.
As we were driving back from the Simpsons gap, a man and his seven-yearold
girl riding push bikes, waved us to stop. He asked if we could call his wife
once dad's phone got reception and see if she could come down and take
them home because the little girl was very tired.
Dad's phone got reception just as we were coming into Alice Springs. He
called the man's wife and she came down to get them.
Arrive at the Alice Springs Skate park were dad talks to a guy called Ross, he
was a builder for a company in Alice. I was watching the guys skating in the
We go to Maccas for dinner, I have a large Mchicken meal and dad had a
We arrive back at the motel in time to watch The Simpsons.
We watched some show on TV about Spider Monkeys, it was very
educational. Spider Monkeys are very smart.
Dad watched the news, there was something on about a hostage situation in
Russia that went horribly wrong .
We went back to the Skate Park and I saw bad people there and I didn't want
to skate with them there, they would probably roll me for something.
We got back from going to the Skate Park and not skating and I stated to write
I watch Bullet on the laptop.
The movie finishes and I go to bed.
Leaving Alice and heading North.
Get up and pack my bags then had a shower.
We leave Alice Springs, and head North along the Stuart Highway.
We refuel at Tennant Creek.
We had lunch at Barrow Creek and I talked to a talking cockatoo and made
friends with a donkey, a camel and two emus.
We stop on the side of the road and have a nap for half an hour , dad stays in
his seat and rests while I go on the roof rack and sleep.
We stop at Renner Springs thinking we'll just have a drink and something to
eat at the pub but we end up staying the night there. We played pool for a wile
and dad met this really nice girl in the pub, she rolls her own cigarettes, she
says it's more healthy.
We were talking for hours in the pub about the roads up here and cars and
she reckons that I'm a forty-year-old in a thirteen-year-olds body.
We finally get out of the pub and go to the campground were we get the
swags off the roof and go to sleep.
Stuart Highway. Back on the road again.
We got up, rolled the swags up and left.
Our first rest and lunch stop of the day. I had a ham and Grecian sandwich.
We saw a huge termite mound and stopped and took a few photos.
There were a lot of stops in the day, we stopped every three hours for nine
We arrive at I'm not sure were we are. (Hayes Creek) Well where ever we
are I've had a lot of fun here, I played pool at the Pub for a while and I got
talking to a guy about cars and the movie "Gone in 60 seconds", he was a
really nice guy. We went to bed at 11:45 pm.
Stuart Highway. To Hayes creek, then Darwin.
Drove from Hayes Creek to Darwin, went to Dad's friend's house, Nerilee and
Pentti, went to KFC for some lunch.
Checked out the skate park which is near the house we are staying at, big
Found a little green tree frog in the bathroom at the house, he crawled up
through the toilet and he became my friend, I would put him back and he
would just climb onto my hands again.
Me with my Frog, Bill, in Darwin.
Went to bed, after playing some pool.
Got up at 4 am and drove to the Airport to meet a friend of dad's Angela who
was arriving from Germany, she is going to travel with us through the
Kimberley area to at least Broome, she is on a 12 month trip around the
Angela took a long time to get through Customs, and we came home at about
5:45 am, and we went back to bed. The frog was in the bathroom in the
bungalow in which dad and I were staying , we have to be careful when having
Went shopping during the day, got some shorts and sandals from K Mart,
Angela looking for a small digital camera.
At Nerilee's office for a while.
At home played pool in the evening, not able to find the little green frog at all.
Darwin, staying at Nerilee's house.
Angela went for a swim early at the beach.
Dad doing some work which had come in, went to Nerilee's office to do that, I
stayed at the house with Angela from a while.
Dad got a second spare wheel for the car.
Went out for dinner at the Darwin Yacht Club, sitting on the beach front after
sunset. An old friend of Dad's Judy, was in town (Darwin) and she came with
us for dinner. 6 of us. She was on her way to Broome for her birthday
celebrations with family.
Came home with Pentti and played pool with him for a while.
Day 10 Friday 10/9/04.
Slept in for a while in the hut.
Dad doing some work on the computer in the morning.
Angela went for a swim at the beach again this morning.
Went to the museum in the afternoon, dinner on the cliff top over the beach at
Nightcliffe, bought some fish and chips at the local shop. Walked out on to the
jetty with Nez and Angela. Hot and balmy night with a breeze blowing really
Went into the city to the pictures we were not allowed in as I was not wearing
any foot gear, went up to a hotel in Darwin and saw a friend of dad's for a
while, Judy again, picked up and taken home by Nerilee and Pentti.
Shifting some furniture with dad and Pentti, Dad injured his right hand, OK .
Dad paying some bills via internet from Nerileee's office.
Went to the picture again this evening we were able to get in as I was wearing
Saw Farenheit 9/11.
We came home at about midnight talked for a while, then to bed, we had
planned to leave Darwin the next morning and we had packed the car that
afternoon, the bedding was on the roof, we had more gear than when we left
Melbourne and we now had Angela with us, and she had a rucksack.
Left Darwin in the morning, drove south on the Stuart Highway down to
Katherine and stopped there to have a swim in the hot pool which is part of a
river to the west side of the town, there were quite a few people in the hot
springs and we had a good swim there.
There was a very strong southerly wind blowing and we drove fairly slowly
because of this and the gear on the roof rack.
Decided to stay overnight in Katherine and booked into a caravan park, I slept
in my swag on the roof rack of the car, dad and Angela in swags on the
Dad met a guy from Andamooka, Stefan he runs the pub there and he said
we could call in and see him next time we were up there.
Angela went for another swim in the hot springs in the morning we packed
and refuelled the car then headed west along the Victoria Highway on our way
to Broome, it was a hot day and there was a strong southerly wind blowing
which was quite hot as it came over the deserts to the south of the road we
We decided to try and camp for the night at a gorge to the South of the
highway, and it was a dirt road to get there.
We had gone about 30 km on the dirt when the right rear tyre of the car blew
out, the tyre was completely ruined, and very hot as it was about to catch fire.
Dad started to change it, and a aboriginal man named George came along in
his Toyota Landcruiser.
He helped us change the wheel, I also helped, as they got the new tyre onto
the car, and were doing up the wheel nuts, the jack slipped and the car fell off
the jack luckily they had already got the new wheel onto the car and
everything was OK.
As we then only had the one spare tyre left, we decided to go back to the
bitumen road and travel to Timber Creek township which was further west of
We arrived there at about night fall, and booked into the caravan park which
was alongside a creek, there was a freshwater crocodile living in the creek
near the campsite and the people who owned the camp fed it every day, we
did not see the crocodile, but the creek water was very dark we went down
there at night and shone the torch on the water we could not seen any eyes
showing above the water.
Left Timber Creek, to Kunnanurra.
Dad went to the tyre place, they did not have a tyre for our car so we had to
drive on to Kunnanurra with only the one spare tyre.
Kununurra is over the border in WA, along the way we saw Boab trees, many
of them, and wildflowers, Mulla Mulla and Lambs Tails on the side of the road.
It was a good bitumen road, and it went through some hilly and rocky country,
there were a lot a Bramah Cattle in the land on both sides of the road,.
At Kunanurra, we went to the tyre place they did not have a tyre for our car
and they said it would take until Friday to get one in from Darwin, we had
lunch in the town and bought some supplies, vegetables and fruit, then we
drove out to Lake Argyle, we stayed the night at the caravan park at lake
Argyle, sleeping in swags, me on the roof as usual.
At Lake Argyle caravan park, the sun gets up very early on this part of West
Australia, we are now 1.5 hours behind NT time and 2 hours behind
We are going to go swimming in the pool at the caravan park and in the lake
to day and possibly go back into the NT to go for a hike in a park just over the
At the WA border you have to hand in all your fruit vegetables and honey,
because of the possibility of disease coming into WA, the area near Lake
Argyle is a very large fruit and vegetables growing area with water from lake
Argyle, it is called the Ord River Scheme.
Went for a swim in the dam, caught a fish by hand a long thin fish called a
We had lunch in the picnic area below the dam wall, watching the birds,
looked like Raptors some of them.
Dad met guys from Ballarat who had just come over the Gibb River Road, OK
by them, met a forensic guy with the NT Police, Damon Steptoe, at the camp
He had also had been over the Gibb river road, he was OK with it, he had also
done North of the Gibb River Road, said that was OK also.
I had cat fish and chips for dinner.
Leaving Lake Argyle.
Left Lake Argyle in the morning, and drove out to Wyndham.
On the way we explored a place called The Grotto, this was on the west side
of the road to Wyndham, we walked down about 100 steps to the bottom of
the gorge, (Grotto), there was a large water pool at the bottom.
In the wet season, there was a water fall into the pool, I found a water monitor
in the pool, it was sunning itself on a rock, then it slid into the pool when it
At Wyndham we went to the Crocodile farm, and looked at many salt water
crocodiles, and also there were some alligators at the farm place.
Camped over night at Kununurra, at the Kimberly land Holiday park which
was close to the lake.
Kununurra and to the Bungle Bungles.
Tyres replaced on the car, 2 new ones on the back.
We went shopping for food etc.
Left for the Bungle Bungles, bitumen road to Turkey Creek roadhouse where
we had some lunch and refuelled.
The staff at Turkey Creek came from many places over the world.
Then we drove another 50 km to the turn off to Bungle Bungle, then onto a
dirt track , 53 km of very rough road into the park, through 4 nor 5 creek
Arrived in the park after dark, it took us about 3 hours to cover the 53 km on
the rough roads.
We stopped to book in at the ranger office.
There was no one there, and we left the form in the box.
I saw a light brown snake near the door to the office, it slid into the grass as I
approached, and tried to hide itself in the grass and rocks, but its back was
Creek crossing into the Bungle Bungles.
We drove a further 10 km and set up camp in the park.
Got up at dawn, it was very hot, put up the tent to store the gear while we
went hiking in the park.
We went to the Rangers office I had a long talk with the ranger, Brendan,
about snakes and reptiles in the park.
We drove a long way on very rough roads and then hiked some 4 or 5 km into
a place called cathedral Gorge, it was very hot we found out later it was over
40 degrees C that day while we were hiking.
Me at Cathedral Gorge Bungle Bungles.
Bungle Bungles and back to Kununurra.
Hiking again at the Bungles, went to Echidna Gorge which was very narrow
and winding, really fantastic hike, then we went to Frog Hollow which was
closed because the earth on the top of the gorge was not firm.
We called in at the ranger station and said goodbye to Brendan then drove
the 53 km out to the bitumen, on the way we saw a tourist 4 wheel drive bus
which had fallen over, it was off the road, and it looked like it had rolled
backwards and gone into a gully and fallen over onto its side.
We found out later how this had happened, all the tourists were out taking
photos and the driver must have left the hand brake off. No one was hurt.
Stopped at Turkey Creek roadhouse for petrol then drove back to Kununurra,
where we stayed at the same camp place as before.
Onto the Gibb River Road.
Driving west onto the Gibb River Road, the first 50 km was graded and quite
good, then the road became very rough very large corrugations which slowed
us down to about 15 to 20 km/h.
Drove through the Pentecost River, took some photos, the car was in water
up to the doors.
Pentecost River Crossing
Fantastic view back to the east over the river at the ranges on the east side of
Ellenbrae Station camp site, found 3 slender tree frogs in the bathroom, which
was not really a bathroom, there was a shower and a bath under a roof but
almost in the open, the door for the toilet was a curtain, however there was
running water and the toilet flushed, sometimes a frog would come out when
you flushed it.
We camped over night at Ellenbrae.
The seat on our camping table broke, Dad and I repaired it with green tape.
To Miners Pool.
West along the rough and corrugated Gibb River Road to the T junction where
the road to Kalumburu joins the Gibb River.
We turned right to travel North along the road to Kalumburu as far as
Drysdale River Station, we camped on the station at Miner's Pool, possibly
named after the Miner Bird in the area.
We swam in the pool with fresh water crocs but we did not see any.
Miners Pool, camp site and the river with beach.
Miners Pool to Manning Gorge.
Had a swim in the morning at Miners Pool again.
Drysdale River Station and refueled, went to Barnett River Gorge saw a water
monitor and took some pictures from only one foot away from it, I could have
picked it up but it would have scratched the hell out of me.
We had lunch there as well, it was very hot
Drove to Manning Gorge, had another swim in the river there and saw a
freshie sunning itself on a rock.
Stayed the night at the station.
Decided to stay another day at Manning Gorge and went (hiked) to the water
falls at the top of the river.
Once we got to the falls we went for a swim and Angela and I jumped the top
the falls and got some pics, dad barely went in at all.
Angela and I went up the top of the falls and looked for this croc a guy told us
was up there, we couldn't see any crocs but we did see another of course,
water monitor, they are every where, oh and we saw plenty of lizards. I got
pretty badly sunburned.
The hike back wasn't as bad as the hike up , but it was a lot hotter about 41
Got back to camp, had dinner and went to bed.
Manning Gorge to Windjana Gorge.
Woke up and drove to Windjana Gorge and walked into the gorge as soon as
we arrived and we saw about 60 or 70 fresh water crocs and I stepped on a
python on the walk back oh and we saw thousands of bats (flying foxes).
Met some people from Narre Warren, that's close to the shed (skate park at
Cranbourne) and one of the kids called Cindy has even seen me at the shed
once or twice but I didn't recognize her.
Windjana Gorge Freshwater Crocodiles
Drove to Tunnel Creek Gorge went for the walk up the creek and through the
tunnel we had to walk through water up to and over our knees. We saw
Tunnel Creek Gorge.
hundreds of vampire bats hanging from the top of the cave. We also saw one
Drove onto Fitzroy Crossing and had lunch and refueled, rang Tommy
Rather a desolate place, found some shade near the oval, not a good place to
Listened to the footy final, Port Adelaide won.
Drove to Derby and checked into a caravan park stayed the night.
We had some problems with small brown ants during the night somehow they
got into the tent.
Derby and to Broome
Woke up and had a shower and as I walked out of the bathroom I saw Cindy
so then we went to their camp site as we were leaving to say hi.
Left Derby and drove to Broome and went to the town beach but didn't swim
Booked into Tropicana inn, $150 per night we are staying for three nights.
Angela and I went for a swim in the pool at the motel.
Dad rang Tom, I was in the pool so I didn't talk to him.
Got out of the pool at about 8:30 pm and watched Troy on telly, went to bed at
the end of the movie.
Angela went into town by her self on the bus,
Dad and I drove around town later, when I woke up.
We saw lots of stuff, we went down to the Port area and even saw two
We went down to cable Beach and found where you can drive cars onto the
beach, and we walked around the rock pools as the tide was out looking for
crabs in the pools.
Got back to the motel, went for a swim, got fish and chips for dinner, got back
and wrote my diary and at 9:00 pm watched
Went to bed after the movie.
Broome township from the Port.
At Broome, we had Mc Donalds for breakfast, then Dad and I went to the
camping shop and bought a new air mattress for me, some tie downs and a
large box for the roof rack.
We went down to Cable beach for some hours in the afternoon, and went
swimming and searching for crabs and hermit crabs and fish in the rock pools.
I got stung by some sort of jelly fish, but is was not the bad one that can make
you very ill, I was OK after an hour or so.
We came back to the Motel and I went for a swim in the pool, we then re
packed the car and the box on the roof rack, then went to a Chinese
restaurant for dinner, we then watched a movie, Calendar Girls on TV.
Broome and to 80 Mile Beach.
Refuelled the car and did some shopping in Broome, then we left heading
south for Port Headland, actually we were heading south west as we were
following the coastline which still heads out to the west into the Indian Ocean.
The drive between Broome and Port Headland is long about 650 km,
and it goes through the Great Sandy Desert, the road is very good bitumen,
but there is not much to see just low scrub and low trees.
We stopped at Sandfire for petrol, and about 50 km south west of
there we turned onto a dirt toad which took us to a caravan/camping area
called 80 mile Beach where we stayed for 2 nights. This is about halfway to
At 80 Mile Beach the tide rises and falls about 8 metres, and when it
goes out there are huge sand and mud flats for about a mile from the sand
hills out to the water line, it is fairly flat. we explored the mud flats looking for
the sea life that lives there.
The tide came in at 12 noon and 12 mid night, and the water came
almost to the sand hills.
Me driving at 80 mile beach.
At 80 Mile beach.
We were exploring and driving on the beach spoke to a fisherman
called Adrian for quite a while.
He caught a small Grey Nurse Shark, and many cat fish, a stingray, all
of which he threw back into the sea after taking the hook out of their mouth.
He was catching blue salmon to eat, and he got 5 or 6 while we were
talking with him, they feed in the muddy area where the waves break onto the
beach, there is a lot of sand and mud churned up in this area by the waves
No one wanted to go in swimming after they saw what the fishermen
were catching. He told us there had been a 7 or 8 foot Tiger shark patrolling
the beach about 10 m out from the sand most days, Adrian had been staying
at the site for about 4 months, he was from Perth, he knew a lot about he area
and the fish there.
We drove up and down the beach twice today, I drove for a bit in low
range, the car was travelling very slowly and you could walk alongside it as it
went along, the wheels went over the sand better without the extra weight in it
When we came back from the beach we saw a pretty big dragon in the
camping area, I got some photos.
Netted dragon at 80 mile beach camp.
Dead battery at 80 Mile Beach
Packing, however the car would not start, the battery was flat, dad
cleaned the terminals and got a person from the park to help him start it with
jumper leads, the engine was OK, but there appeared to be something wrong
with the battery.
We drove the 320 km south west to Port Headland, this was mainly
through the Great Sandy Desert, and I was reading most of the way,
Dad saw a Goanna which was about 5 feet long, it was crossing the road and
we missed it, dad had to swerve slightly to the right to miss it there was very
little traffic on the road.
Also while I was reading Dad saw a large King Brown snake crossing
the road. He told me he was not able to miss it, the right side wheels of the
car ran over the last couple of feet of the snake.
Dad checked in the mirror and the snake was still on the road and moving
very fast into the bush on the eastern side of the road, we went back and
checked but we did not see the snake on the side of the road.
We also saw an ore train.
This was about 1,600 m long, 81 trucks behind 1 engine this was laden with
iron ore and was going into Port Headland, it was a BHP train, it crossed the
road in front of us, and we counted the trucks as it went over the road.
At Port Headland, which was a desolate sort of place, we tried to get
another battery but no one had the right one for our car, we got a temporary
battery and ordered one from the Ford agent it has to come up from Perth,
and will not be here until 9 am on Monday 4/10/04. The temporary battery is
too high and will not secure properly into the engine bay of our car.
We have to stay here for the weekend, we booked into a motel for 3
nights at Port Headland South, it is close to a shopping centre .
There is a swimming pool which is opening on Saturday 2/10/04,
apparently it has been closed for some months, some one said it closes when
the weather is too cold.
I did some maths with Dad, it is statistics and it is sometimes hard to
understand, dad says he has never heard of the expressions used for the
information gathered before. He did some work like that at school but different
names were used.
Port Hedland area.
Spent the day at Port Hedland.
In the morning, Dad and I did some Maths work I went to the swimming
pool with Angela, Dad washed the clothes and did some work on the
computer, then he came to the pool also.
We played in the water with a ball and I met another guy, Michael,
whose Mother originally came from Port Augusta in South Australia. She and
Dad talked about that town, as Dad knew it well, it is near where he used to
have a flower farm with his father.
We went back to the motel and watched some TV for a while then we
went to a Thai restaurant for dinner, after that we watched a detective show
on TV and then to bed.
There is not much to do in Port Hedland it is a working town for the big
mines in the area.
I got quite sun burned while I was at the pool.
Port Hedland area.
Another day at Port Hedland, waiting for the battery to arrive from
Perth. I did work on my journal.
Went swimming at the Hedland South swimming pool in the afternoon.
Port Hedland area.
Got up early and packed the car, booked out of the motel and went to
the place to get the battery, it was not there, as it was a public holiday in
Perth, the transport place had not opened in Port Hedland so no one knew if
the battery had come up or not.
We went to a mechanic and got the temporary battery secured better
but decided not to go on until we got the proper battery for the car, as the
temporary battery was not secure.
We drove down to the Port Hedland township itself and along the
coast, the tide was half in.
We watched a large Korean ship which was loaded with iron ore leave
the harbour, it had 4 Tug boats helping it move away from the wharf and into
I was looking for lizards in the rocks at the harbour side.
We booked back into the same Motel again for the night, we are hoping
the battery arrives tomorrow so we can head south.
The people we speak with in Port Hedland tell us this sort of thing is
quite normal up there, sometimes they have to wait for up to a month or more
for parts for cars and houses.
Went swimming at the local Pool again, played ball and did some
swimming and diving.
Port Hedland. To Dampier
Managed to get the proper battery for the car from another place at Pt
Headed south to Karratha and Dampier, big mining towns, stayed at a
motel at Dampier went swimming in the Pool.
Dampier to Exmouth, and North West Cape.
Travelled south to Exmouth, at the end of North west Cape. Western bearded
dragon on side of the road near turn-off to Exmouth, able to stroke him,
Me with bearded dragon near Exmouth.
Booked into Lighthouse caravan park, tent site, walk on the beach at
night over the sand dunes, and rocks turtles come in to lay eggs, did not see
any, plenty of crabs etc.
Exmouth North West Cape area.
Emus walked down the street at the camp site.
Whale watching boat.
We went to a Ship wreck site (SS Mildura).near the caravan park.
Turtle beach at sunset for dinner, looking for turtles coming in to lay
eggs. Didn't find any.
Exmouth North West Cape area.
We went to a place called the Oyster Stacks beach rocky snorkelling over the
coral reefs. Saw heaps and heaps of fish.
On our way to Turquoise bay, big Goanna on side of road, Pictures.
Turquoise Bay snorkelling over the coral reefs again.saw even more
fish at this reef and a big sting ray. Oh and a butterfly cod.oh and a huge
rainbow fish, about three feet long.
Went to have dinner at a Chinese restaurant at Exmouth.
Overnight at Lighthouse caravan park.
Exmouth, North West Cape area.
Decided to stay another night at the caravan park at The lighthouse
We went to Turquoise Bay again and spent some hours snorkelling
over the coral reefs.
We went to the National Park visitors centre, it was very interesting,
explaining the ecology of the area and how the coral formed.
Dad got me some books on frogs and reptiles, and some post cards.
It was a very hot day. we went back to camp at late afternoon.
Exmouth to Carnarvon.
We left the caravan park and called into Exmouth to post some cards
and do some shopping for groceries.
We were travelling to Carnarvon, and called in at Coral Bay for Lunch,
which we bought at a bakery, it is a very touristy place, there is a good beach
with soft white sane and you can drive the car onto the beach.
We drove through desert country again and reached Carnarvon that
afternoon, we booked into a cabin at a caravan park.
As we came into Carnarvon we saw that there are many vegetables
and tropical fruit grown there.
Back into mobile range and I had a long talk with Mum and my brother,
Tom on the phone. Tom isn't doing too good at school and Mum is upset
Carnarvon to Dongara.
We drove through more desert country from Carnarvon to Geraldton, however
there a lot a different wildflowers growing on the side of the roads, there was a
bush with a grey top, Dad told us that this was a type of Smoke bush.
At Geraldton I got a lunch at the chicken shop, and we went on south
to a place called Dongara, we had some trouble finding a place to stay, as
there were lots of people there on school holidays the WA schools are still on
We needed to find a cabin as there was a large storm approaching
from the west, from over the Indian Ocean, dad said it was a cold front coming
there, there would be some possible heavy rain during the night and then
some follow up showers the next day.
We booked into a place called the Lazy Lobster, which was like flats in
an old house and there were also some cabins, we had a flat in the old house.
While we were looking for a place to stay, we saw the skate park, and
we walked up there and I did some skating until it became dark.
I was really out of form as I had not skated for a few weeks, however I
got better as I spent some time in the park.
It did rain heavily during the night, and a lot of the red dirt and dust on
the car was washed off.
Dongara to Perth and Mandurah.
We drove south from Dongara and went through country with lots of
different windflowers, we found a track into an area where we drove around in
the wildflowers and took some photos.
It was raining on and off today.
We drove into the North of Perth and got onto the Freeway which went
through the City over the rivers the Swan and the Canning, and down to the
We spent the night in a cabin at a place 100 km south of Perth, at a
caravan Park it was quite cold again this night.
Dad rang an old friend of his who lives in Perth and with whom he had
worked in Cyprus many years ago he spoke with him for a while on the
phone, I played cards with Angela.
Mandurah to Busselton.
We left the caravan park at Mandurah early and drove south along the
coast to Busselton.
Dad had to collect some work from the Post Office, we found the Post
Office and then we booked into a cabin at a caravan park for 2 nights so Dad
could get his work done.
After we unpacked we went back into the town and walked out along
the Jetty, which is 1.8 km long, there was a strong wind blowing from the
South and it was very cold.
There is an underwater observatory at the end of the Jetty but this was
closed, as the water was stirred up by the wind and the visibility was not good.
We saw a few people fishing from the jetty they were only catching
small fish I saw that one man had caught a squid they make calamari rings
We came back to the caravan park after we had a coffee and chocolate
at a café near the beginning of the jetty, and Dad did his work on the lap top.
We stayed at Busselton today and explored the area.
We went into the town and posted some cards.
We went to an internet café, Dad did some work and Angela wrote to her
friends back in Germany, I watched a movie on a DVD at the internet shop for
a while it was called Spy Kids, and seemed a good fun movie.
We went back to the jetty to see if we could get into the observatory,
but it was booked out for the day.
We drove down to Cape Naturaliste, were we went for a walk out to a
whale watching station above the ocean, the coast line was rather rocky and
wild with large waves crashing in on the rocks, we did not see any whales.
During the walk , which was in a national park around a light house, I
saw many small skinks, there were a darker colour than the skinks I had seen
in the northern areas.
I think this colour difference was because the back ground area in
which they lived was darker, with lots of leaves on the ground and bushes and
the skinks need the colour to be camouflaged from predators.
The bush area was not very tall, this was because the wind was usually
very strong and pushed the tops of the bushes and trees over. Away from the
coast the bushes and trees were much higher as they were protected from the
wind by the hills along the coast.
We then drove to a place on the coast on the other side of the cape
where the light house was situated, this was really nice there was a reef and a
bay with good waves coming in for surf, there were a few people down there
with surf boards, I did not see any one surfing.
As we were leaving this town we saw the spurt of water from a whale
about 150 metres off the coast so we stopped and went onto the rocks to
watch for whales, we looked for while a while but did not see any.
We wandered about on the large rocks along that area of the coast, I
was exploring the large rock pools, I saw 2 butterfly cod in 1 pool.
After a while we saw some more water spurts from some whales about
150 to 200 m from the coast, so we watched for them again, this was coming
onto dusk, and it appeared the whales were playing in a bay just south of us,
we saw many water spurts over about a half hour, and now and then a whale
would breach and come to the surface then go down, it was hard to see
everything as we did not have binoculars.
We watched the whales for a while then drove back to Busselton. I had
a chicken burger on the way back.
That night I did some work and read books.
I went through my Maths work with Angela.
I finished my book, I did not like the ending of the book as they did not
say what happened to the people nor did they explain why the girl was in a
detention centre, it was left very much up in the air what happened to
I found the book interesting and good but rather sad, the girl in the
detention centre had lost her mother who had been murdered by her father,
her father was in gaol, and she felt very unhappy especially at Christmas
I wanted a happy ending for her.
I had a long talk with my dad after I read the book I felt so sad.
Busselton to Sues Bridge Park.
Margaret River area explored caves, the Jewel Cave,
Augusta township, and on to Cape Leeuwin which is the cape where
the Indian Ocean on the west side of the Australian continent meets the
Southern Ocean on the southern side of the continent.
Lighthouse, and exploring the rocks, crabs on the rocks, different
Could see clouds coming in from the south west, dad said it was a cold
front and it would rain that night.
Lunch at Augusta and refuelled the car.
To a camp site at Sues Bridge which is on the Blackwood River, set up
the tent, it started to rain that evening, then stopped. It rained during the night
though, the tent let in only a small amount of water, it was very good.
Sues Bridge to Shannon National Park.
Sues Bridge packed up after letting the tent dry out as much as
Drove along the road to Pemberton, and checked the scenic railway,
decided to go on a diesel tram ride to Warren River, which is South of
Pemberton, and booked a trip for 2 pm.
We drove to the National Park where the Gloucester tree is situated,
you can climb this tree and it is about 61 metres tall.
We walked into the park and to the tree, Angela climbed the tree to the
top, dad would not let me go to the top but I climbed up about 15 metres to
meet Angela as she came back down.
There are steel stakes driven into the trunk of the tree which al,lows
you to climb it, the stakes go around the tree.
There were a lot of birds in the area, mainly parrots.
They let you hand feed them.
I was a bit frightened but one of the birds climbed onto my head, there
was a large group of people from a bus trip there and they had some cake,
this attracted the birds who came onto the hands of the people and ate the
pieces of cake.
We went back into Pemberton and had a lunch at the bakery, this was
not very good, it was too dry.
We then went of the ride on the tram along tracks south of Pemberton
to the Warren River, on the way we stopped at the Cascade falls where we
got out for a walk down to the river for a few minutes.
We went on to the Warren River where we got out and walked to a
large tree which had a cave at the bottom of it, Dad took pictures of Angela
and me at the tree.
We then went on the tram back to Pemberton station, on the way I was
looking out the side of the tram and saw a Tiger snake at the side of the track.
The driver also saw this snake as he said something over the
microphone about it.
We left Pemberton and drove towards Albany
Along the highway we came upon on a car which was stopped on the
wrong side of the road and on a corner half blocking the roadway.
We slowed down, and went past the car, just around the corner was a
large tree which had just fallen across the road, we got around the tree in the
dirt on the right hand side of the road.
The guy who had stopped was putting out markers and some other
people had stopped so we went on. No car had been hit.
We found a nice camp site at a National Park called Shannon where
we pitched the tent and stayed the night.
This camping area was set among pine trees. There was a camp fire
place with fire wood for the campers.
We made a fire and had dinner, we sat around the fire place but it was
very cold even with the fire going, the wood did not seem to burn very hot, it
was very hard wood which was supplied.
I felt cold that night even in my sleeping bag, it was probably the
coldest night we had on the trip so far.
We met a man and his wife from Scotland they were riding a
tandem bike across Australia, from Perth to Sydney.
The difference in temperature from the North West area of Western
Australia and the South West was amazing. We had been in temperatures
sometimes going into the low 40s and now we were in an area where it was in
the mid teens, I had to get my jumper out of my bag and wear it, also my
warm jacket at times.
Shannon NP to Albany.
At Shannon National Park camp site, we lit a fire in the morning. We
gathered dead wood from the pine forest, this burnt much better than the hard
type of wood and was much hotter, the billy boiled in only a few minutes this
morning last night it took ages to boil.
Valley of the Giants.
We went to the Valley of The Giants where there are red and yellow
Tingle trees, which grow about 60 metres high.
Dad mentioned he had been to this park in 1970, and there had been a
tree so large that a car could be parked inside it,.
We asked at the National Park office and we were told this tree had been
blown down in 1991. They realised that the ground around it had been
trampled down too much by the people and cars coming to see it.
Because of this they built the raised walkway which went through the tree
canopies, they had also built a wooden walkway along the forest floor, to stop
the trampling of the earth around the bottom of the trees.
We went along a raised walkway called the Treetop walk, this is about
40 metres above the ground so you are near the canopies of the trees and
looking at top branches, we saw a few birds but there were not a lot around.
It took between 4 and 7 seconds for something to drop to the ground
from various places along the treetop walk.
Me with Angela on the Tree Top Walk
We then walked along a wooden pathway on ground level through the
trees and took pictures of some of the trees one of them had the appearance
of a large face on its trunk.
Me and the tree with the face.
We left there and went to a Reptile park on Bandit Road, Denmark,
called the Valley of the Giants Bird and Reptile Discovery Centre. This was
run by a man called Bill, he showed us the reptiles he had on display in warm
There were also some kangaroos, 2 females and a male, the male was
trying to mate with the smaller of the females, and was following her around, it
was obvious she was interested in him too.
He had already mated with the other female, and Bill told us she would have a
very small kangaroo baby in her pouch.
He said some time ago she would let him put his hand into her pouch but
lately she would not, which probably indicated she had a very small joey in the
pouch and on a teet.
There were also lots of birds at this park which climbed onto your arms and
one even got onto my head, I was wearing my white beaney at the time.
Me with bird on my shoulder.
We then drove onto Denmark where we had a very late lunch, and then drove
on to Albany.
At Albany we found a cabin in a caravan park which is situated near the
entrance to the bay where Albany is. We arrived at about 6 pm so did not
have time to see much that night.
At the camping ground.
Albany is a very big country town with about 30,000 people possibly 35,000,
and growing very fast according to the people we spoke to.
To the whaling museum for the morning.
Tour of the museum, this is the old whaling station, which closed in 1978, it
was very interesting, we saw 3 films about whales and sharks. Some
skeletons of whales and many pictures of the whaling work on the ship and
back at the factory.
The name of the whaling ship on display is Cheynes VI.
Me at the Wheel of the whaling ship Cheynes VI.
Dad bought me a necklace pendant.
We had lunch at the Museum looking over the sea.
It was sad at the whaling museum thinking of all those whales who had been
The wind was from the south and fairly strong, there were a lot of white
To The Blow Hole.
This is on the side of the rocky cliffs near Albany, there was no water being
blown vertically from the hole as the waves were from the wrong direction,
they were coming from the side, however there was a lot of spray coming
from the blow holes in the side of the cliff, and we could hear the roaring
sound of the air going through the blow holes as the waves came in.
The Gap and the Natural Bridge.
We went to The Gap and a Natural Rock bridge over the water which is close
to the blow holes. Dad would not let me walk out on the rock bridge.
The Gap and Natural Bridge near Albany WA
We went back into the township to get supplies. While Angela was looking at
her mail on the Internet, Dad and I had a walk to the old railway station which
is now a tourist centre, it was closed at the time we went though. We were
told by a local there are trains to Albany but only freight.
Albany to Jerramanungup.
Left Albany and went to a beach called Two Peoples Bay. It was awesome
except I lost my phone there, it fell out of my pocket on the beach.
Two People Bay WA
Dad and I went for a long walk along the beach of the bay and climbed over
the rocks into another much smaller bay, we saw a large Black King Skink on
the rocks, he ran in under a rock ledge as we approached.
But was back out sunning himself when we came back.
We then went to the Stirling Ranges and drove through them, I went to
sleep for a while.
We drove on towards Esperance and stayed in a cabin at Jerramungup, as it
looked like it was going to rain.
Jerramanungup to Esperance, Norseman and Balladonia.
We drove on to Esperance through Ravensthorpe, when we arrived in
Esperance there was a message on dad's phone from Mum that my phone
had been found by a man and he was going to post it to me at Mum's place. I
was so stoked about it that I was almost crying.
I had a look at the skate park at Esperance and we went for a walk on
the beach front, then as we had a long way to go we headed off to the North
We refuelled at Norseman, which is the junction of the Eyre Highway
and the road from Esperance to Kalgoorlie.
We drove east along the Eyre Highway from Norseman and past a little place
called Balladonia. We found a good camp site on the side of the road, there
was another Ford Explorer car there with a caravan, a man and his girl friend
from Tasmania, they came to our camp in the evening and we played the
Didgeridoo and talked. I found a 4 inch long stick insect as well.
Me with a stick Insect at Balladonia camp site.
We slept in the swags that night we had not done this for a long time because
of the mosquitoes mainly, and the swags were for one night camp only really.
There was some cloud coming in from the West but as it was so far
north from the sea we did not think there was much rain in the clouds.
Balladonia to Eucla and Border Village.
We woke early in the morning we were a bit wrong about the rain, and there
had been more rain than we expected, so the swags were pretty wet.
We spent some time drying the gear and packing again luckily there
was an old shed with a tin roof which leaked a bit and we were able to start a
fire there and dry the stuff a little bit.
We then drove on to Eucla, we drove along a section of road which
does not have a corner for 90 miles, it is the longest stretch of road in
Australia. At Eucla we went down into the sand hills and took photos at the
Old Telegraph Station, which is almost completely covered by sand hills.
Me standing on the Old Telegraph Station at Eucla.
The clouds were very dark and it looked as though there was a lot of rain in
them so we stayed in the Motel in Border Village which is on the SA side of
the border, there was a thunder storm during the night.
There was a fruit fly collection place for people travelling West at the
Border, WA did not want fruit fly to come into their state from the Eastern
Border Village to Minnipa.
We drove along the Eyre Highway crossing the Nullabor Plain.
There were no trees at all.
(The name Nullabor comes from the Latin Nullus Arbor so I'm told which
means no trees).
It was a long boring drive, the road was very good, but there was not a lot to
see, we went off the road to the coast a couple of times and saw the huge
cliffs at the edge of the sea.
There was a large swell on the ocean, with the waves hitting the bottom of the
cliffs which was very rocky.
You could see where parts of the cliffs had fallen down into the sea, and it
was very dangerous to stand near the edge, dad was very worried about me
standing near the edge.
It was really cold and there was a strong wind blowing from the sea, Dad said
there was no land to the South until you came to Antarctica.
We went off the Highway to look at Fowlers Bay, Dad Tom and I had camped
there in 2000 when we drove over to The Head of the Bight to look at the
whales, and it was interesting to go back, it is a small town with a great jetty.
We went for a walk along the beach front and watched a 4 wheel drive car
getting a small boat on a trailer out of the water, he got bogged in the soft
sand of the track leading back to the village, and the driver kept reversing and
trying to get the car to pull out through the soft sand, but it just kept getting
into the sand deeper.
In the end the driver got out and let the tyres down a bit and then he was able
to just drive it out of the sand.
Dad spoke with the driver and it turned out he worked at the National Park
office in NSW near Mildura and knew the man we had met at Fowlers bay the
last time we had been there.
We thought this was a bit funny, the two guys we had met there the two times
we had been there working at the same office at Buronga in NSW.
We went back to the Highway and drove through Penong, there were a lot of
windmills in this town, but not much else to see.
We drove onto Ceduna and stopped at the Fruit Fly check run by the SA
people, they were collecting fruit and vegetables so fruit fly did not come into
SA from WA.
We thought this was pretty strange cos the WA people were collecting fruit
and vegetables coming from SA to stop fruit fly also,
Dad figured out that some where between Eucla on the WA, SA border and
Ceduna 320 miles east of the border, a lot of people must be breeding up
fruit flies, and he asked the guy why there was a fruit fly check going both
The guy was very rude, ( Dad said he did not have a sense of humour at all)
but he did say that WA had a different kind of fruit fly from the Eastern States.
(of course we had been told a different story by the WA Inspectors when we
had come through their block from the NT).
We refuelled at Ceduna and Dad got a message on his phone about Tom and
his school work, he had to talk with Mum and Tom about this, he was not very
happy for a long time about this.
We drove on to the East, and reached a town called Minnipa, we found a
good camping spot, and we had a discussion about where to stop, there was
a strong wind from the South and there was still a lot of very dark clouds
coming in from the West we found a motel room behind the local Pub and
stayed there in case it rained again.
Minnipa to Kadina.
We drove along the Eyre Highway from Minnipa to Port Augusta, on
the way we went to Wudinna Hills and some large granite rocky outcrops.
One called Polda Rock used to be the water collection place for the town of
Wudinna, there were walls built around the bottom of the rock so that all the
water which was collected ran around the bottom of the rock and was made to
flow into a reservoir, we walked to the top of the rock.
There were lots of flies about which were very annoying, the backs of our
jumpers were covered with flies.
We saw a blue tongue skink on the road back to the highway, we
stopped and took some photos of it.
Me with a Blue Tongue near Wudinna
It was a very boring drive on to Port Augusta, it rained quite a bit along
the way, Dad said he used to drive many times along that highway when he
was a cop in SA, and they got used to the long drives, but in the summer it
became extremely hot, and they did not have air conditioners in the cars. He
said the hottest temperature they had recorded in a patrol car was 62 degrees
C this was near Iron Knob, and it was in January one year.
We refuelled and shopped for some supplies at Pt Augusta, then we
headed south, we turned off and drove through the Pitchie Ritchie Pass which
leads to a town called Quorn on the east side of the Flinders ranges, I had
been here a few times before with dad, we saw the steam train which goes
from Quorn to Pt Augusta, it is a tourist train and goes through the Pass, I
went on the train years ago.
On the east side of the Flinders Ranges we drove south, it was nice
scenery with big Gum trees, and we saw some lizards on the road.
At Melrose we turned off the main road and drove along a dirt road.
This follows the hills and goes in and out of creeks, it led to a road which goes
back to the west through another gorge called Port Germein Gorge.
This was a narrow twisty gorge, we then went down another dirt road on the
west side of the ranges and passed Dad's old farm at a place called
Nelshaby, which is near Port Pirie.
Dad got a call from an old friend of his Trevor, who he had worked with
in the SA Police, Trevor now lives at Kadina, so we went down to Kadina and
stayed at Trevor's place for the night in a caravan.
Kadina to Wallaroo and Adelaide.
We left Kadina and went to a town on the west side of Eyre Peninsular
called Wallaroo where we called in to see friends of Dad's Gary and Shirley,
he hasn't seen them for years. We stayed there for a couple of hours, they
had a Budgie which could talk.
After Wallaroo we drove back to Highway 1 and travelled south to
Adelaide, we got a phone call from Tom as we got into Adelaide.
We booked into the holiday village at West Beach in a cabin for 3
In the evening we we nt out to see friends Adrian and his 2 boys who
are friends of mine, Patrick and Leigh, we stayed there for a couple of hours,
Leigh was doing some work with his video and computer and I helped him for
Then at about 9 pm we came back to the camp and went to bed, we
were all very tired.
I woke up at about 11 am and dad and I got the swags off the roof to dry them
cos they were still a bit wet from a couple of days ago.
Dad rang his friend Kingsley, he came round to the cabin at about 11:30 am
and we talked for a while, we could not go away as the swags were drying on
I did some work on my projects.
To dinner with cousins Cathy and Angela their husbands Scott and Ted and
their kids Peter and Maria at the hotel at Prospect, eat all you can over 2
After dinner we took Angela up to the look out at Windy Point to see the lights
of Adelaide, and we drove past my Grand parents old house which is near the
We drove down the South coast to Moana, Aldinga and Sellicks Beach,
where you can drive the car on the beach, we decided not to go in for a swim
as it was cold with rain coming in.
We drove over the hills towards the South coast and on the way, in
Hindmarsh Valley we saw an Echidna it was crossing the road we stopped
and took some photos of it.
The Echidna had curled up into a ball as it heard us approaching, but
every now and then it would poke its face out to see if we were still there and I
got a good photo of its face.
We went to Victor Harbor and had lunch there, Subway, it started to
rain heavily just as we arrived so we did not go out to Hindmarsh Island to see
the Penguins as we had planned.
We went to Mt Barker to see friends, Margaret and Gordon with their
kids Sarah and Thomas, we had dinner there, a Pizza.
I had a good time with Sarah and Thomas, it was very hard to leave as they
wanted me to stay and held onto me.
We drove back to Adelaide and the place we were staying at West
Beach watched some TV and went to bed.
During the night there was very heavy rain and wind.
Adelaide to Melbourne.
After the rain it was nice and sunny in the morning, we decided to
travel directly back to Melbourne cos the rain we had the previous day would
be along the coast and we would have to drive through it.