On the road from Cairns to Broome..
   
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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 photos were selected to show some photos from Cairns to Broome including some of 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

 

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

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

 

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 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

Into Lakefield National Park, Queensland

 

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

Relaxing with a beer after a gorgious day in the bush

 

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

Field dinner, steak this evening

 

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

Dry land

 

Lakefield National Park

Musgrave Roadhouse, Cape York Peninsula Developmental Road

 

Laura General Store, Laura, Queensland

Lush rainforest at Mt. Lewis

 

Mt. Lewis epiphyte. Maybe a fern?

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

 

Leichhardt River, Gulf of Carpentaria

Typical dirt road washboard corrugation, shaking like hell !

 

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


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

More creek crossings. This is why a high-clearance 4wd car is necessary in the outback! Somewhere between Hells Gate Roadhouse and Borroloola

Last fuel for 320 km !

 

Time for a beer, Daly Waters Pub

Kakadu National Park, Northern Terrotory

 

A swim in Kakadu National Park. Maguk Gorge, in the Mary River Area, in the southern part of the park

Yellow Waters Billabong, Kakadu National Park

 

Yellow Waters

White-Bellied Sea Eagles, Kakadu National Park

 

Kakadu saltie, Yellow Waters Billabong, Kakadu National Park

Aboriginal rock art at Nourlangie, Kakadu National Park

 

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

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

 

East Alligator River crossing, Kakadu

Jumping croc cruise, Adelaide River, Northern Terrotory

 

A flying croc !

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

 

Pleased to be here !

Aussie roadkill. Another roo bites the dust

 

Serious Victoria Highway roadkill

New wife ! Victoria River Roadhouse

 

River crossing along the Victoria Highway between Katherine and Kununurra

Freshwater Crocodile, Lake Argyle

 

Lake Argyle cruise

Bungle Bungles National Park (Purnululu National Park), WA

 

Palms (Livistona victoriae) near Echidna Chasm in Bungle Bungles National Park

Bungle Bungles National Park

 

Famous beehive rocks in Bungle Bungles National Park

Bungle Bungles National Park

 

Echidna Chasm area, Bungle Bungles National Park

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

 

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

Kimberley landscape

 

Kimberley outback

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

Boab Tree, Kimberley

 

Bell Gorge, Gibb River Road, Kimberley

Bell Gorge

 

Little Corella, Kimberley

Mt. Barnett Roadhouse, Gibb River Road

 

Gibb River Road

Jumping champion

 

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

Gibb River Road, from the Derby side

 

 

Windjana art

Tunnel Creek Cave, Tunnel Creek National Park, Kimberley

 

Tunnel Creek Cave, Tunnel Creek National Park, Kimberley

Derby Boab Tree used as a prison

 

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

On the mudflats outside Derby

 

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

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)

Indian Ocean north of Broome

 

Broome Bird Observatory

Broome

 

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

Reef fishing trip some 35 km outside Broome. Nice! Here with a small Grass or Blue-lined emperor (Lethrinus laticaudis)

 

Fishing, a Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus commerson)

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

 

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