View Full Version : Australia - Pine Creek to Broome (via the Bungle Bungles)

23-03-08, 05:09
1st -7th November

Pine Creek to Broome

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One of the infamous Bottle trees

The harrowing Police crime programme I’d watched before falling asleep did little to promote the refreshing morning awakening I was hoping for which I vaguely remembered from when I was 19. Sylvia fell asleep whilst the programme was on and slept well. We got ourselves ready & the bike reloaded before taking breakfast at the local gas station, and set off towards Kununurra in the East Kimberley’s where we were considering taking a tourist flight from. The days ride was largely uneventful and we arrived at Kununurra reasonably early for a change.

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Mangoes growing in the car park of our Motel.

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The bike'll take the 95 Ron and I'll take a large ..........

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It was hot & humid and I was knackered this afternoon. Fortunately a number of bars offer free coffee for the driver(in a bid to cut drivers sleeping and subsequent road accidents) and this was one of them. Normally you just get the one but the bar-man after seeing my face happily gave me the second free too, even though Sylvia had only taken one drink. Nice Gesture.

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Some of the many termite mounds we saw, some were around 4-5ft tall.

After a discussion in the Tourist information centre and a semi-heated discussion as to which tour we would take to see the Bungle Bungles, we settled on a 2 ˝ hour plane ride. We found a campsite, and after a few drinks, went to bed as we had to be up at around 5:15 am for our flight pick-up at 6.

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The view from our campsite.

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The flight was in a Cessna and followed a path over Lake Argyle to the Bungle Bungles and returned via the Argyle diamond mine which is the biggest producer in the world at 30 precent !!!

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Interesting choice of name for a scenic flight company.

The weather wasn’t great which meant we flew through a few rainstorms which ultimately damped our enjoyment and robbed us of the light we would have liked to experience the Bungle Bungles in. Sylvia visited them 16 years ago by a Helicopter(running on ropey fuel which gave for an interesting cough/splutter flight) and said it was so much more a vivid experience, partly as a result of the helicopter flying in the Bungle Bungles as opposed to above them.

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One of the rain storms we encountered.

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Some of the views we saw from the plane.

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The Bungle Bungles.

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Lake Argyle diamond mine.

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Apparently this region is often used in the development and analysis of different crops etc.

We returned to our campsite and ate an expensive breakfast of muesli & toast & coffee/tea and packed up the tent and bike.

We rode from Kununurra to the track which takes you out to the Bungle Bungles where we hoped to experience them up-close & personal. We stopped at Turkey Creek Roadhouse and met some travellers who’d just returned from there in a 4 x 4 tour. The driver told us that we would have to cross a very fast and deep flowing river as a result of recent storms and it would probably be too deep and the mud too slippery nearer the Bungle Bungles themselves.(The ride was to be around 53km). I considered what the driver was saying but he wasn’t adamant which left me thinking that there may just be a chance that may be he wouldn’t take.(He was also a fellow rider, but a road racer-type !). In the end I decided to give it a try-the only concern I had was that we had about 3 hours of day-light left at tops and we expected the ride to take around 2-3 hours one-way. We crossed a very rocky but dry river bed and acquainted myself with more serious-looking gravel riding on the Adventure. We got 40k’s in, having crossed a river(thinking we’d done the worst) when we met couple who confirmed the earlier story that the worst was still to come……. So regrettably we turned round and after a confidence inspired ride in, made it back to the highway much quicker and before dark ! The GS had done really well-Sylvia videod me crossing teh dry river bed and the suspension worked so well at eliminating the majority of bumps I hit. We initially were going to stay at the next major town on the main highway but as I surveyed the dark clouds and storms ahead we opted for a free camping place to avoid getting soaked before bed-time.

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The rocky and dry river-bed.

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The river crossing.

We pitched the tent and sat on a bench looking at the night sky. On three sides of us there were storms occurring. We were facing West & in The North, South & East we could see lightening. Quite special.

We thought everything was safe and went to bed. I was woken by Sylvia who had jumped due to the severity of they storm & thunder. We awoke to the tent wall being blown in so far it was touching my stomach when I was lying down. In the end we had to sit there holding the tent wall straight for about 15 mins whilst we laughed at our predicament!! The storm finally passed it left plenty of rain in its track which spent the next two hours or so pounding on the tent !!

The following morning we awoke hot & sweaty and to news from Sylvia(on her first call of nature) that the bike had fallen over in the night. The milk had also gone off so we had black coffee with ants !!! ……….we’d hoped for sugar but ! The sun was hot and the flies were on top form for bothering us. The only place we could sit was directly in the sun as there was no shelter. It was a hard start to the day.

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One GS down - I checked thr ground before going to bed and I'd thought it hard enough not to be affected by rain ..... must have been an Aboriginal who pushed it over in the night !!

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It just looked a bit grubby on first inspection, however later inspection revealed a nasty crease in the silencer which will probably put a further dent in my bank account.

We finally got packed, after Sylvia emptied the water out of the left Hand pannier again along with drying its contents, and headed off to Fitzroy Crossing hoping for a much better/safer/drier night.

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Our breakfast diner, full of ants and providing virtually no shelter from the sun....who was a grumpy old man this morning then ??

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Never was much good at phillosophising, but under the circumstances I settled for apose anyway

We arrived at Fitzroy crossing really tired and took a very quick decision(for us !) to visit Geike Gorge on a one hour boat trip.

No sooner had we bought our tickets from the Tourist Information spot in town than we were riding out the boat pick-up point. Officially the Gorge river trips had now ceased for the Season BUT the Skipper/tour guide carried on running them anyway !!?!!? The boat was lashed to another and it was a pretty full trip. The boat ride turned out to be a good choice and we both clicked away to our hearts content, and listened to some interesting Aboriginal stories(from the Skipper who was an Aboriginal) whenever the clicking temporarily stopped !!

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An unusual type of creeping plant veiled these trees at the entrance to the Gorge trip.

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Geike Gorge.

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The rock eroded leaving a sillouette of Nixon !!

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The Fitzroy Crossing Lodge (and camp-site) we chose as it was recommended and indeed had very nice grounds and facilities but turned out to have a pretty weird rulings on alcohol purchases. The rulings were that take-away(as in English over-the-counter take-away bar sales) alcohol(from their own bar) was not to be served to those of us using an un-powered camp site. Those using a powered camp-site were able to buy it. The difference in cost of each site was about $5 !! The ruling was apparently there to stop people (namely Aboriginals) getting trashed and then wandering on the streets at night. This ruling came about from a powerfully arguing Lady on one of the committees in town…which must have been given to her as some sort of Political gesture as it solved nothing except make Sylvia & I very angry. What was really stupid is that this campsite was promoting a Happy Hour serving ‘Swann’ ‘Middies’(about half a pint) for $AU2 between 5 & 6. The net result of which was all the locals and tour operators were on their way to being blotto when we visited the bar to get a drink for ourselves! I finally consoled myself, after 2 Swann Middies taken in the bar, that the ruling must have been based on the fact that if we didn’t trust ourselves with using electricity they wouldn’t trust us with alcohol…which got a few laughs as I re-told the story on the subsequent days. I was really hacked off as we only ever wanted 2 bottles each with our dinner and there was most of the bar half-oiled at least.

Still fuming (tired& getting hot already) the following morning I cleaned the bike whilst Sylvia washed all the shower gel (that had exploded out of its container) out of the pannier. I was so annoyed about the liquor ban that I initially was going to take it further but as time disappeared into the cleaning of the bike, I concluded that complaints in such a Political environment would be a waste of breath and energy. (Even thinking about this now in March 2007 I still find this so stupid !) Earlier in the morning when I popped out to get some cereals I saw an Aboriginal laying flat out on one of the grass verges right in the middle of town.

Finally we were ready to leave and set off. The journey wasn’t memorable and we arrived at Broome to be greeted by cool fresh air (which was lovely !!!) and a reasonable campsite. We got a nice corner at cable beach under an awning to keep the sun off us. We had a decently priced and decent dinner from the local café and had a few beers before retiring.


23-03-08, 06:19
Good write up :thumb2

I assumed that there were no crocodiles in the water where you camped but I then noticed the name of the company you flew with :eek:

23-03-08, 06:47
Cheers Traveller !:thumb2

It's nice to know that others are still enjoying our travels this far on.