On the road from Cairns to Broome..

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



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



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