The end of Summer


Rain from our front verandah

Summer has given way to Autumn and it is time we thought about heading north to warmer weather. Today it is only 12C with rain and hail and snow to 800 metres. We really haven’t had much of a summer. No 30C+ days at all. Most summers we have the reverse cycle cooling on for a couple of nights but not this summer, it just wasn’t needed. Don’t get me wrong we have had some very pleasant days but on a whole summer seemed to be cooler.


We went fishing a few times but didn’t have any of those hot days with the sea glassy. Instead most times it was windy and therefore most of our fishing has been done closer to home with few trips to Maria Island. The fishing has not been very good either, we have caught no squid, very disappointing. Last week whilst out fishing we decided to set our net to try and get some trevalla or trumpeter. We shot the net in a likely spot, in fact 2 weeks earlier we had caught 8 trevalla here, and then went off to catch some flathead. This was not very productive as we caught about 12 however all but 3 were undersize and had to be thrown back. We returned to the net and pulled it. Nothing, not a thing in it. At least we didn’t have to untangle a shark or ray from it. We then decided to try and catch some flathead in this spot, not 5 minutes later Vicki called out “look at this” and there in the spot we had just previously had the net set swam a school of trevalla. Just our luck!

This year we are planning on heading to Darwin to begin our exploration. As Vicki has never been to Darwin she is looking forward to seeing this city. I don’t particularly want to travel to Darwin via the wall to wall caravan route of the Stuart H’way. Instead I would like to go via the outback route of Tibooburra, Bedourie and Roper Bar however I don’t know if road conditions will permit this as some of these roads are presently closed due to water.

From Darwin we plan to head south to Wyndham then take the Gibb River Road to Derby. The Gibb River Road is a dirt road that goes through the Kimberley. Closed in the wet season it normally opens around May and I want to traverse the road before the countryside dries out to much but after the river crossings go down to a suitable height.  Half way along this road is a 200 kilometre road that goes to the coast at Kalumburu (permit required). We would like to go out there as the fishing is supposed to be pretty good.

From Derby we will go to Broome and its 29C surf at Cable Beach. We are sure to spend some time here. Whilst in the Broome area we will spend a few days at Cape Leveque which is approximately 200 kilometres north of Broome. From Broome we will head south calling into such places as Port Smith and Cape Keraudren. From Port Headland we may detour to Marble Bar and then Karlamilyi National Park, formerly Rudall River National Park in the Little Sandy Desert. This is a very remote area and whether we proceed will depend on local advice. We would also need to carry extra fuel as we don’t currently carry enough fuel to safely visit Karlamilyi and return. There was a documentary on the ABC recently called “Contact” which told the story of the finding of one of the last desert aboriginal groups. This contact took place in the area of Karlamilyi National Park. I think this would be a fascinating place to visit. If we go to Karlamilyi we will then return to the coast via Newman and Tom Price.

We will then go to one of our favourite areas, the Ningaloo Coast. Great beaches, great camping, will probably spend a few weeks here. We plan to then go south to Steep Point which is the western most point on the Australian mainland. This is as far south as we will go as we will then head east to Meekatharra and Wiluna. From here we would like to take the Gunbarrel Highway through the Gibson Desert (2 permits required) to Yulara. For those not aware the so called Gunbarrel Highway is the name of an unmaintained track put through the desert by the legendary Len Beadell in the 1950’s as part of the Woomera Rocket Range development. A “highway” it is not. Whether we take this 1300 kilometre route through the desert will depend on local advice.

From Yulara who knows! Anyway that is our thinking at the moment but things are sure to change when we get on the road.

Later on this week we are spending a few days at Petal Point camping with friends. Petal Point is a free camping area almost on the north east tip of Tasmania. A three hour drive from home. Normally a great place to camp however by the weekend we are supposed to be getting fairly strong northerly winds which will come straight into Petal Point. Still we can always move camp if we have to.

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