On the road from Cairns to Broome..
   
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Cairns. View from the hotel

 

After attending a scientific conference in Cairns, or paradise, as the flight captain called it, I took to the highways (or more correctly heavily corrugated dirt roads..). Here are a few impressions from the trip. With some 5K photos taken, these photos were randomly selected to show some of the magnificent outback scenery.

 

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

 

Michaelmas Cay

Great Barrier Reef corals

 

Reef life

Coral reef

 

Giant clam, could be Tridacna gigas, Great Barrier Reef

Snorkling at the Great Barrier Reef

 

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

Alongside Bloomfield Track, north of Cape Tribulation

 

Into Lakefield NP, QLD

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

 

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

Relaxing with a beer after a gorgious day in the bush

 

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

Field dinner, steak this evening

 

Daintree River Wild Watch cruise with Ian "Sauce" Warcester

Aboriginal drunk-driving rescue near Daintree NP

 

Leichhardt River, Gulf of Carpentaria

Mt. Lewis lush rainforest

 

Musgrave Roadhouse, Cape York Peninsula Developmental Road

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, QLD, and Borroloola, NT, felt even more remote than the Gibb River Road in the Kimberley !

Time for a beer, Daly Waters Pub

 


On the Savannah Way somewhere near the QLD and NT border

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

 

Kakadu National Park, NT

Yellow Waters Billabong, Kakadu NP

 

Yellow Waters

White-Bellied Sea Eagles, Kakadu NP

 

Kakadu saltie, Yellow Waters Billabong, Kakadu NP

Aboriginal rock art at Nourlangie, Kakadu NP

 

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

Jumping croc cruise, Adelaide River, NT

 

A flying croc!

Camping south of Wyndham, WA

 

Bushfire, common in the outback

Northern Australia's most prized sport fish, barramundi !

 

Freshwater fish in El Questro Gorge, Kimberley

Creek crossing

 

Serious roadkill, Victoria Highway

New wife! Victoria River Roadhouse now open under new .. own_wife_ip ..

 

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

Bungle Bungles NP (Purnululu NP), WA

 

Bungle Bungles NP

Bungle Bungles NP

 

Famous beehive rocks in Bungle Bungles NP

Bungle Bungles NP

 

More creek crossings. This is why a high-clearance 4wd car is necessary in the outback!

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

El Questro Gorge, Gibb River Road, WA

 

The Kimberley

Gibb River Road, Pentecost River crossing during the dry season

 

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

 

Blue-faced Honeyeater, Gagudju Lodge Cooinda, Kakadu NP

Mt. Barnett Roadhouse, Gibb River Road

 

Gibb River Road

Jumping champion

 

Lake Argyle cruise

Australian hospitality...

 

Gibb River Road, from the Derby side

Mertens' Water Monitor, Bell Gorge, WA

 

Common warning in the northern outback

Varied lorikeet, Silent Grove campground near Bell Gorge, WA

 

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

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

 

Red Kimberley roads

Windjana Gorge, Kimberley

 

Windjana art

Tunnel Creek cave, Tunnel Creek National park, Kimberley

 

Tunnel Creek cave, Tunnel Creek National park, Kimberley

On the mudflats outside Derby

 

Some serious waterhole crossing

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)

Fitzroy River, between Derby and Broome

 

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

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