On the road from Cairns to Broome..

Cairns. View from the hotel


After attending a scientific conference in Cairns, 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 the Great Barrier Reef


Aboriginal drunk-driving rescue near Daintree NP

Daintree River birding trip


Daintree River Wild Watch cruise with Ian "Sauce" Warcester

Papuan Frogmouth (Podargus papuensis), Daintree NP, QLD


Daintree River crocodile

Daintree River mangroves


Ferry across 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, QLD

Coastal vegetation, QLD


Scenic beach beside the Bloomfield Track

Keatings Lagoon Conservation Park, south of Cooktown, QLD


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, QLD

Into Lakefield National Park, 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

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


Lakefield National Park

Musgrave Roadhouse, Cape York Peninsula Developmental Road


Laura General Store, Laura, QLD

Mt. Lewis lush rainforest


Mt. Lewis rainforest plant

Atherton in the Tablelands, QLD. 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, 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