On the road from Cairns to Broome..
   
Home

Cairns. View from the hotel

 

After attending a scientific conference in Cairns, Queensland, or paradise, as the flight captain called it when we arrived from Sydney, I took to the highway. Or more correctly for most of the trip, heavily corrugated dirt roads... Here are a few impressions from the 25 day long journey across northern Australia. With some 5000 photos taken, these images were selected to show some impressions from the Cairns to Broome trip, including the magnificent outback scenery.

 

 

Cairns Esplanade

 

Cairns

Michaelmas Cay, a Great Barrier Reef bird colony a 2-hour boat-trip out from Cairns

 

Michaelmas Cay

Michaelmas Cay

 

Michaelmas Cay

Great Barrier Reef corals

 

Reef life

Coral Reef

 

Giant Clam, could be Tridacna gigas, Great Barrier Reef

Snorkling at Great Barrier Reef

 

North Queensland coast

Necklacepod (Sophora tomentosa), Northern Queensland coast

 

Aboriginal drunk-driving rescue near Daintree National Park

Daintree River birding trip

 

Daintree River Wild Watch cruise with Ian "Sauce" Warcester

Papuan Frogmouth (Podargus papuensis), Daintree National Park, Queensland

 

Daintree River Saltwater Crocodile

Daintree River mangroves

 

Ferry across the Daintree River

Huntsman spider found at Cape Tribulation. Maybe a Badge Huntsman (Neosparassus diana)? I did not come across many "deadly" snakes or spiders, unfrtunately

 

Cape Tribulation. Nice beaches, BUT "Warning, crocodiles inhabit these waters" ...

The rental car, a Toyota 4.5 L V8 Landcruiser, good on rough dirt roads, but terrible on the highways. Here at the Bloomfield Track between Cape Tribulation and Wujal Wujal

 

Bloomfield Track between Cape Tribulation and Wujal Wujal

 

Lonely Mangrove Tree. A beach beside the Bloomfield Track, north of Cape Tribulation

 

Bracket fungus, maybe Pycnoporus coccineus? Cape Tribulation, Queensland

Coastal vegetation, Queensland

 

Scenic beach beside the Bloomfield Track

Keatings Lagoon Conservation Park, south of Cooktown, Queensland

 

Keatings Lagoon Conservation Park

Cooktown is situated at the mouth of the Endeavour River, on Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland where James Cook beached his ship, the Endeavour, for repairs in 1770

 

Cooktown Harbor, Queensland

 

Road toward Lakefield National Park, Queensland

 

Into Lakefield National Park, Queensland

Lakefield National Park, Queensland

 

Lakefield National Park. The Six Mile Waterhole camping area. The car came with some basic camping equipment

Field dinner, steak this evening

 

Feral Pig and Cattle Egret, Lakefield National Park. The Six Mile Waterhole camping area

My first hiked-into wild crocodile. Found this freshwater crocodile missing its tail, probably due to a saltie, in Lakefield National Park

 

Camping at Saltwater Crossing campground in Lakefield National Park. After a field shower, see the bag in the tree! No swimming here due to crocs

 

Driving in Lakefield National Park

 

Lakefield National Park

Lakefield National Park

 

Lakefield National Park

Dry land, Lakefield National Park

 

Lakefield National Park

Musgrave Roadhouse, Cape York Peninsula Developmental Road

 

Laura General Store, Laura, Queensland

Lush rainforest at Mt. Lewis, a famous birding hotspot, Queensland

 

Mt. Lewis epiphyte. Staghorn fern (Platycerium bifurcatum)

Farming in the Tablelands, Queensland

 

Atherton in the Tablelands, Queensland. 15°C and the coolest place on the trip

Leichhardt River, Gulf of Carpentaria

 

Leichhardt River

Welcome to Burketown, Gulf of Carpentaria

 

Burketown, Gulf of Carpentaria

Into the wilderness, 480 km of nothing !

 

Roadside wreck

Typical dirt road washboard corrugation, shaking like hell !

 

Typical dirt road washboard corrugation, shaking like hell !

Typical dirt road washboard corrugation, shaking like hell !

 

Hell's Gate Roadhouse between Burketown and Borroloola

Last fuel for 320 km !

 

Welcome to Northern Territory


On the Savannah Way somewhere near the Queensland and Northern Territory border

 

 

The Savannah Way, somewhere between Hell's Gate Road House and Borroloola. This strech of about 500 km, between Burketown, Queensland, and Borroloola, Northern Territory, felt even more remote than the Gibb River Road in the Kimberley


Savannah Way wilderness, Queensland/Northern Territory

 

 

More creek crossings. This is why a high-clearance 4WD car is necessary in the outback. Somewhere between Hell's Gate Roadhouse and Borroloola


Along the Savannah Way in the Northern Territory
 
Road-side Turkey Bush-Kimberley Feather (Calytrix exstipulata), the Savannah Way, Northern Territory

Ashes to ashes. On the Savannah Way in the Northern Territory
 
Burnt landscape. On the Savannah Way in the Northern Territory
     

Time for a beer, Daly Waters Pub

 

Wild caught barramundi, Daly Waters Pub

Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory

 

Maguk Gorge area, Kakadu National Park

A Blue Tongue, Native Lasiandra (Melastoma affine) Maguk Gorge, Kakadu National Park

 

Had a swim in Maguk Gorge, in the Mary River Area, in the southern part of the park

Yellow Waters Billabong, Kakadu National Park

 

Yellow Waters

Indian Lotus, Yellow Waters Billabong

 

Indian Lotus

White-Bellied Sea Eagles, Kakadu National Park

 

Kakadu saltie, Yellow Waters Billabong, Kakadu National Park

Kakadu sunrise

 

Australasian Swamphen, Kakadu National Park

Aboriginal art at Nourlangie Rock (now called Burrunggui), Kakadu National Park

 

Aboriginal art at Nourlangie Rock

Aboriginal art at Nourlangie Rock

 

Local artists, Ubirr area, Kakadu. Notice the artist to the left, taking a nap !

Aboriginal art at Ubirr, Kakadu. Probably less than 2000 years old. It says, do not steal

 

Ubirr art explanation

Stone fish. Aboriginal rock art at Ubirr, Kakadu

 

Stone formations near Ubirr, Kakadu

Cross beddings near Ubirr, Kakadu. These sandstone layered rocks were formed as sandy sediments under an ancient lake about 1500 million years ago

 

Burnt landscape is seen all over Kakadu

Kakadu National Park

 

East Alligator River crossing, Kakadu

Jumping croc cruise, Adelaide River, Northern Territory

 

A flying croc !

Saltwater crocodile, Adelaide River

 

Saltwater crocodile, Adelaide River

Blue-faced Honeyeater, Gagudju Lodge Cooinda, Kakadu National Park

 

Bushfire, common in the outback

Northern Australia's most prized sport fish, Barramundi !

 

Locals in Katherine

Inside Woolworths, Katherine. Mainly white customers

 

Car outside Woolworths, Katherine

Street artist outside Woolworths, Katherine

 

Pleased to be here !

Aussie roadkill. Another roo bites the dust

 

Serious Victoria Highway roadkill

New wife ! Victoria River Roadhouse

 

Victoria River along the Victoria Highway between Katherine and Kununurra

Red-collared Lorikeet, Timber Creek

 

Kapok Bush fruit, Kimberley

Lake Argyle cruise

 

Lake Argyle

Freshwater Crocodile, Lake Argyle

 

Freshwater Crocodile, Lake Argyle

Euro, also called Common Wallaroo, Lake Argyle

 

A beer after sunset, Lake Argyle cruise

Rubber Bush (Calotropis procera), Kimberley

 

 

Western Australia burnt landscape

Purnululu National Park ( = Bungle Bungles National Park), WA

 

Palms (Livistona victoriae) near Echidna Chasm in Purnululu National Park

Dusty roads in Purnululu National Park

 

Purnululu National Park

Restricted area, common all over the place. Here in the Purnululu National Park

 

Famous beehive rocks in Purnululu National Park

Purnululu National Park

 

Echidna Chasm area, Purnululu National Park

Bihive rocks

 

Red Kimberley roads

Marlgu Billabong, WA. Marlgu Billabong in Parry Lagoons Nature Reserve is a short distance from Telegraph Hill and sits on the edge of the Ord River floodplain. The billabong and surrounding area attracts thousands of waterbirds

 

Marlgu Billabong bird hide

Pied Heron, Marlgu Billabong

 

Marlgu Billabong parking lot

Wyndham (population 800), the oldest and northernmost town in the Kimberley region, WA. Was established in 1886 as a result of a gold rush at Halls Creek

 

Wyndham, WA

Camping south of Wyndham, WA

 

El Questro Station

El Questro Gorge, Gibb River Road, WA

 

Some serious waterhole crossing, El Questro Gorge

Fern species in El Questro Gorge, Kimberley

 

Bottlebrush (Callistemon sp.) near El Questro, Kimberley

Freshwater fish in El Questro Gorge, Kimberley

 

More river crossing, this is part of Pentecost River

 

 

 

 

The Kimberley

 

Gibb River Road, Pentecost River crossing during the dry season

Waterhole driving. El Questro Gorge, Kimberley

 

Crossing the Pentecost River, Kimberley

Kimberley landscape

 

Kimberley outback

Kimberley arid landscape

 

Kimberley lush billabong vegetation

Kapok Bush (Cochlospermum fraseri), Kimberley outback

 

Purple Mulla-Mulla (Ptilotus exaltatus), Kimberley outback

Manning Gorge along Gibb River Road, Kimberley, WA

 

Manning Gorge

A swim in Manning Gorge

 

Camping at Bell River Gorge, Gibb River Road, Kimberley

Scorged earth near Manning Gorge, Kimberley

 

Bell Gorge, Gibb River Road, Kimberley

Bell Gorge

 

Little Corella, Kimberley

One of the Kimberley specialities, the White-quilled Rock Pigeon, here at Bell Gorge

 

Hills in Kimberley

Mt. Barnett Roadhouse, Gibb River Road

 

Gibb River Road

Jumping champion

 

Australian Bustard, Kimberley

Boab Tree, Kimberley

 

Imintji Store, Gibb River Road supplier

Australian hospitality...

 

Boab Tree along Gibb River Road

Mertens' Water Monitor, Bell Gorge, WA

 

Common warning in the northern outback

Varied Lorikeet, Silent Grove campground near Bell Gorge, WA

 

Entance to Windjana Gorge National Park

Windjana Gorge, Kimberley

 

Windjana Gorge National Park

Freshwater crocodile at Windjana Gorge

 

Windjana Gorge

Gibb River Road, from the Derby side

 

 

Windjana art

Tunnel Creek Cave, Tunnel Creek National Park, Kimberley

 

Tunnel Creek Cave

Bats in Tunnel Creek Cave

 

Scavenger gathering, Black kites

Derby Boab Tree used as a prison

 

Derby, with more than 10 meter tide-ebb difference !

On the mudflats outside Derby

 

Tidal flats outside Derby

Garbage site birding, Derby Wastewater Treatment Plant and Artificial Wetland, Derby

 

Derby Wastewater Treatment Plant and Artificial Wetland

Veiw from Willare Bridge across Fitzroy River, between Derby and Broome

 

Fitzroy River

And finally arriving at the Indian Ocean, Roebuck Bay, south of Broome. No need of photoshopping the colors here !

 

Roebuck Bay

Shorebirds, Roebuck Bay near Broome Bird Observatory (September 2012)

 

Shorebirds, among them Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) and Bar-tailed Gowvit (Limosa lapponica)

Roebuck Bay

 

Roebuck Bay

Roebuck Bay

 

Muddy river outlet, Roebuck Bay

Indian Ocean north of Broome

 

Broome Bird Observatory

International shorebirds found near Broome Bird Observatory

 

Common bushbirds around Broome Bird Observatory

The Shadehouse, Broome Bird Observatory

 

Help yourself. Inside the Shadehouse, Broome Bird Observatory

Birdlog September 21 2012, Broome Bird Observatory. I did not go on guided tours, in retrospect probably a bad decision. I assumed most of the attendees were die-hard twitchers and not photographers

 

Todays sightings, Broome Bird Observatory

 

Probably Beach Spinifex (Spinifex longifolius), Broome region

 

Little Friarbird, Broome

Broome

 

Moonlight Bay Suites, Broome. Nice with air-con, and to sleep in a bed for the first time in 25 days

Broome

 

Broome

Broome

 

Broome - aboriginals

Cable Beach, Broome

 

Pier, Broome

Perentie, the largest lizard in Australia, this one was from Broome Zoo

 

Broome Zoo

Plumed Whistling Duck

 

White-bellied Sea Eagle

Reef fishing trip some 35 km outside Broome. Nice! Here with a Small Grass / Blue-lined Emperor (Lethrinus laticaudis)

 

Fishing, a Spanish Mackerel (Scomberomorus commerson)

And then I caught something very big! The captain is curiously looking on

 

A glimpse of the beast. According to one of the crew who helped me bring it to the surface, it was a Sicklefin Lemon Shark, also called Sharptooth Lemon Shark (Negaprion acutidens), that could have been 2.5 - 3 meter long and weighing as much as 150 kg! The captain decided to cut the line when he saw the fish

Crew member on the chartered boat with a Coral Trout (Plectropomus leopardus)

 

 

Catch of the day. Coming ashore at Cable Beach, Broome