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 images were selected to show some impressions from the Cairns to Broome trip, including 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


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, unfortunately


Cape Tribulation. Nice beaches, BUT comes with a "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 fungi, maybe Pycnoporus sanguineus? 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 petrol station ('servo'), Gulf of Carpentaria

Into the wilderness, 480 km of nothing !


Roadside wreck

The Savannah Way west of Normanton


Waterway crossing

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 Aussie roadkill, Victoria Highway

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 Sooty Grunter (Hephaestus fuliginosus) 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



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






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