Delicious Delights

We visited the recently opened Maison Lassiaille for coffee and cake. What a delight. Very friendly management and staff and the cakes and pastries were delicious. At the moment they are only opening on the weekend so make sure you time your visit well.

They have a range of other French products for sale as well including terrines, biscuits and lollies.

Visit their website for more details including opening hours and special event cakes.

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Some more wildflowers

As we travel further east we are seeing less wildflowers. I have taken so many photos but here is a selection of my favourites.

We are a little late to see the best of the orchids but we did see these beauties.

There has been endless patches of colour.

It is a great year to be out exploring WA.

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Wildflowers 2021

2021 has seen good rainfall in the northern wheatbelt so not only are the crops looking exceptional but so are the wildflowers. We are away for a couple of weeks in the caravan exploring the area.

Our first stop was to visit family in Northampton. Whilst the town is still struggling to recover from Cyclone Seroja which hit back in April, the wildflowers this year are a joy. Pink everlastings and yellow posies carpet the ground and there is such a variety of other flowers.

East of Northampton the colour changes to mostly white.

But the highlight so far has been to see the wreath flowers at Pindar which are prolific this year. As they say ‘just add water’ and nature is amazingly beautiful.

I’m sure there will be more to see along the way.

Posted in Caravanning, Margaret River, Western Australia, Wildflowers | 10 Comments

Beautiful Wildflowers

After wondering if we would ever get away again this year in the caravan, we are finally on the road and looking forward to seeing the wildflowers and getting into some warmer weather.

We timed it with watching the West Coast Eagles win over Greater Western Sydney in Perth and are staying for a few days around Wongan Hills before heading north to catch up with family who are also on the road in their caravans.

Our first stop was Noble Falls.  The water is flowing and it was a very peaceful rest stop.

Further north the canola is in full bloom.

In Wongan Hills there are several walk trails that are putting on a colourful display at the moment. The Wongan Wildflower Walk and the Christmas Rock Walk trails are both putting on a good display of colour at the moment.

And there was a lot of delicate orchids to be seen.

Christmas Rock on the edge of town was once the water collection point for the steam trains that serviced the area and beyond. Small walls were constructed around the rock and then the water was channelled into a dam to be used by the steam engines.

From the lookout at Mt O’Brien the farmland is either a lovely crop green or that distinctive Canola yellow.

The weather is gloriously warm and our next stop is Payne’s Find.

Posted in Caravanning, Cowaramup, Margaret River, Western Australia, Wildflowers | Tagged , , , , , , | 17 Comments

It was worth the walk

After some rain this morning, the day improved and we had some sunshine, so we decided to do the walk to Quinninup Falls. We had not been there before and thought it would have water flowing after the last day to two’s rain.

From the Moses Rock Beach carpark you follow the Cape to Cape trail north for about 1.6km. When we left the weather was pretty good, but windy, and the ocean was thumping.

After the rain the track was wet and slippery in places.

The scenery from the track as it winds it’s way up and down the rocks and dunes is stunning.

After the 1.6 km you turn inland for 300 metres and it is from here that you can see the top of the falls. It is not until the end of this track that the main fall reveals itself.

Along the way there are signs of spring.

We made it back to the car before a few sun-showers came through.

Posted in Cowaramup, Margaret River, Western Australia | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

The Final Leg of our Trip

After leaving Carnarvon we stayed overnight at Hamelin Pool. Our Cowaramup neighbours are on school holidays and on their way north for some warmer weather. They timed it well and called in to have their lunch with us and we walked down to the boardwalk to see the stromatolites,‘living fossils’, one of only two places in the world with living marine stromatolites. It was pretty cold and windy and we made it just before the rain set in.

Our next few of days we spent with family on the farm at Ogilvie, near Northampton. We had time together, the kids toasted marshmallows and walked and swam in the creek. Such fun!

We stayed in Perth for a couple of days to catch up with more family and go to the footy on Friday night. WCE lost by 1 point and Jamie sustained an injury that will keep him out for a couple of weeks, so not such a good game for us.

It was fairly chilly as the sun went down but I must say it is a very impressive stadium.

We have arrived back home today to a very lovely winters day in Cowaramup. Heater is on now, the chooks are safely away for the night and we have our feet up and are enjoying a very nice drop of local wine.

Thanks to our neighbours Lisa & Joel and Bec & Maz for looking after our chooks. We really appreciate it.

Trip stats:

Source: WikiCamps Trip Planner

11,153 kms – the distance travelled between towns.
13,450 kms – the total distance travelled including sightseeing.

We have been away for 2 months and definitely need to return to enjoy it all again.

Posted in Caravanning, Margaret River, Western Australia | Tagged | 10 Comments

Karratha & Carnarvon

After leaving Broome we stayed overnight at a camping spot on the De Grey River. Great place to break up the drive to Karratha.

Since leaving the De Grey the countryside has changed and it is much greener now.

The Yule River has a little bit of water – the cocky’s screeched in for a morning drink without disturbing the other birds who were just relaxing in the sunshine.

Karratha is a surprise, we haven’t been here for years, and the high rise buildings are new. It has certainly changed.

It was so lovely to catch up with our neice Zora, Will and the kids, who live in Karratha. We dined out at the yacht club and got to watch the footy on Saturday with them. It was a good win, especially since Jamie kicked the winning goal for WCE. Yeah!

Will took us on a tour of the port at Dampier and the Burrup. He works out at the port so had all the local info for us. Primarily the port services the export facilities for the mining, gas and salt industries.

The rock formations around Karratha and Dampier are quite different to anywhere else we have been….some appear to have been dumped by a tip truck, but apparently they are natural formations.

After leaving Karratha we stayed a couple of nights at Yannarie River, a free camp about half way to Carnarvon. The lovely white river gums are such a contrast to the riverbed.

Sunset and sunrise were just a spectacular.

It was here that we noticed our first tyre puncture on the caravan for the trip. Somewhere we have picked up a nail but fortunately the tyre deflated while we were in the camp.

It is amazing how much the weather can change in 300 kms. Arriving into Carnarvon we have had to dive back into the wardrobe to find the jumpers. Much cooler now and more to come.

The fishing boat harbour was busy – I know you can’t tell from the photos – but the boats all had workers busy with nets, equipment or the boat itself.

On the fertile banks of the Gascoyne River a large variety of fruit and veges are grown along North and South River Roads, known as the ‘Fruit Loop’. Several have stalls so that visitors can purchase freshly harvested produce.

Our final touristy thing was a visit to the Space & Technology Museum. The museum houses two main exhibits. The Carnarvon Tracking Station was built to allow communications on NASA’s Gemini, Apollo and Skylab missions. During its eleven year operation from 1964, it was the largest manned space flight tracking station outside the USA and at its peak had a staff of 220 people. The OTC Satellite Earth Station was opened in 1966 to house the Casshorn antenna which transmitted the first pictures live via satellite to London from Australia. Subsequent upgrades allowed NASA to relay communications across the Pacific Ocean.

The good weather is still holding out for us – but the reports are showing rain tomorrow.

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Derby & Broome

Derby was the base for our Horizontal Falls Seaplane Adventure so we had a couple of days there. The main street is lined with boab trees.

Derby’s claim to fame is that it has the highest tides in Australia, with approximately 11 metres difference between low and high tide.

It is also close to the start or finish (depending you which direction you travel) of the Gibb River Road. This road is a 660km 4WD track from Derby to Kununurra and has some spectacular gorges and sites along the way. At the moment we have heard that the gravel road is very, very corrugated making it quite difficult and slow travelling. We did not take this road.

The scenery on the highway between the two towns was much the same we we have seen previously. The termite hills stand out in the paddocks like headstones in a cemetery.

And then we arrived in Broome and are staying near the beautiful Cable Beach.

It has been years since we last visited Broome; it has changed so much. The Main Street has just undergone a facelift. New alfresco dining areas, improved parking and the streetscape has been updated. Looks great.

The Sun Picture Gardens is the world’s oldest picture gardens still in operation. Currently featuring two films a day, patrons watch from canvas deck chairs, in an open theatre. When we visited a film was about to start so I have used a photo from their website to show you the seating.

Image from Sun Pictures internet page.

Image from Sun Pictures internet page.

Along with hundreds of others we enjoyed a picnic dinner on the beach with our friend Carley and the kids. It was fun to watch the camel trains make their way up the beach and then back again at sunset. Fabulous way to end the day.

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Horizontal Falls

From Derby we have had the highlight of our trip so far. Getting to see the Horizontal Falls from both a seaplane and helicopter, a super fast jet boat up through the falls and an overnight stay out on a houseboat, anchored in the very calm Talbot Bay. Amazing!

Flying from the Derby airport, our scenic flight took us over King Sound and the Kimbolton and McLarty Ranges.

Landing in a seaplane was a first for both of us. Talbot Bay is such a tranquil place.

Our first experience out at the houseboat and pontoons was to swim in the shark/croc proof cage while the crew fed a few sharks.

Then it was into the 900hp jet boat for a cruise down Cyclone Creek to take in the rock formations and mangrove creeks.

The exhilaration of going through the Horizontal Falls on the outgoing evening and then again on the early morning tides was awesome. The power of the water rushing through the two narrow gaps was unbelievable. As usual, the photos don’t really capture the reality of the force created by the tides.

Back at the houseboat we watched the sunset and had a lovely dinner.

Next morning we were up at 5:30am for breakfast before a helicopter ride over the area.

On our morning trip to the falls the water coming through at the narrow gap was too dangerous to manoeuvre. The one and a half metre high wall of water on the outgoing tide was creating a large basin at the entrance so definitely not safe to pass through.

The return trip to Derby on the seaplane took us for one more look at the falls then we flew over the barramundi fish farm and back across King Sound.

If you ever have the opportunity to do this tour, we would highly recommend it!

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Kununurra to Derby

There is ever more amazing scenery as we make our way around to Derby. The landscape constantly changes from flat plains to these lovely hills and ranges.

We enjoyed a sit around the campfire chatting with fellow travellers.

On the way we stopped off at Geikie Gorge on the Fitzroy River. It was a very peaceful afternoons cruise amongst the colourful cliffs.

Seeing the lovely reflections on the water was the perfect end to the cruise.

As the sun was setting interesting clouds formed in the later afternoon sky.

You could never say you were bored with the scenery up here in the Kimberley’s.

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We are finally getting some relief from the unseasonally hot spell up here in the Kimberley’s. It is starting to cool off and we are certainly appreciating the change; especially the overnight temperatures.

Apparently, Kununurra is the newest town in Australia, established in 1961 on the Ord River, when the first diversion dam was built to create irrigation for new farming opportunities.

Today, Sandalwood plantations, chia, melons, pumpkins, sugar cane, quinoa, legumes, chick peas, bananas and other crops are grown on the Ord River Irrigation Area.

We cruised on Lake Kununurra into the late afternoon.

The much older port of Wyndham in the Cambridge Gulf, established in 1886, is surrounded by five rivers. The Durack, Pentecost and King rivers to the south, Forrest River to the west and Ord River to the north. The port initially serviced the gold mines of Halls Creek, then from 1919 – 1985 the Wyndham Meatworks. Today it’s the port of call for general services into the east Kimberley.

Not a lot of water was flowing over the Ivanhoe Crossing. The concrete causeway over the Ord River is just north of Kununurra and is really only suitable for 4WD’s to cross. Locals recommended it as the perfect spot for barramundi fishing, however saltwater crocodiles inhabit the area, so fishing from the causeway and banks is at your own risk!

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We have arrived at Lake Argyle

The trip from Katherine to Lake Argyle is very scenic, especially at Victoria River. The red rocky cliffs make for a dramatic change after the flat plains.

We stayed the night at Timber Creek in the company of some smallish freshwater crocodiles.

The trip into Lake Argyle was another great trip. The country up this way really is spectacular.

We have just returned from the afternoon and sunset boat cruise out on Lake Argyle. The lake is so huge, we only went about a third of the way down the lake on the four hour trip.

The colours in the rock are ever-changing in the sunlight.

The water seems endless.

Just before sunset we had the opportunity to have a swim in the lake.

And then we watched the stunning sunset from the boat with beers, bubbles and nibbles.

Another great day!

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Highlights of Katherine

Although the temperature is hot, 37 deg with a bit of humidity, the blessing is that there are no flies. You can open your mouth without fear of a fly or two going in!

We took a cruise on the Katherine River through the spectacular Nitmiluk Gorge (Katherine Gorge) in the Nitmiluk National Park. The highest peak of the gorge was a towing 60 metres above the water line.

We saw a couple of sunbaking freshwater crocs.

We also visited Edith Falls but due to the lack of summer rain this year the falls are just managing to send a little bit of water down the falls. This wet season the area only received 300 ml, a little under a third of their average annual rainfall of approx. 1,000 mls.

The area around the visitors park was lovely and green.

The lower pool glistened in the morning light.

Along the climb the view opened to the Nitmiluk National Park.

The bright yellow flowers of the Kapok trees have just about finished flowering and the ripe seed pods are bursting with the white fluffy kapok.

We walked to the Bemang Lookout to see the middle pool and the main waterfall. At this point we turned back due to the heat and didn’t complete the 2.7 km walk.

The rest of the time we have spent relaxing around the caravan park swimming pool and chatting to fellow caravaners. My goodness, you hear some stories!

Posted in Caravanning, Margaret River, Northern Territory | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

From Alice to Mataranka

One of our greatest challenges has been the change in weather. In Alice Springs the temperature was about 15 deg during the day with a very cold wind and 0 deg overnight and two days later we are in Mataranka with daytime temperatures of 34 deg and overnights of 19 deg. Not sure yet which is better!! We do have air conditioning so that should solve the problem, but only when we are plugged into power!

Leaving Alice Springs the buitmen road heads north going from one range to the next. They are endless but the scenery is lovely….very different to south of Alice. Small white trunk gum trees are everywhere and when you can see the next horizon from the top of the ranges, it is miles off in the distance.

Small termite hills reach for the sky.

Cattle wonder the ranges and ferral donkeys and horses are roaming around. Most of the photos on this post are taken from the moving car so may not be as clear as I would like.

Large windmills bring water to the stock.


The flies are horrendous.

We stayed overnight at the Devil’s Marbles.

A visit to Daly Waters Pub on the way through was worth the stop. We arrived at about 9:30am so didn’t try the Barra & Beef Burger or have a beer but did have a coffee, which was very good for a ‘help yourself’ machine coffee. The pub is adorned with all sorts of memorabilia.

The drive into Mataranka is very scenic. The gums trees are a different variety and clouds float about – offering a bit of relief from the warm sun.

We are staying here for a couple of days with friends Richard & Helen from Perth at the Bitter Springs Caravan Park. After a couple of long days on the road it was nice to be able to luxuriate in the warm natural thermal springs, a short walk from the caravan park.

Along the nearby Roper River Richard tried his hand at Barra fishing – no luck this time.


Butterflies were plentiful along the banks.


Next stop is Katherine.

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Alice Springs & the West MacDonnell Ranges

We have arrived in Alice Springs during one of the busiest weeks on their calendar. Every caravan park is booked out. We wanted to stay for 4 nights and so have had to spread our stay between 3 caravan parks. Such a nuisance to move but at least we have the chance to have a good look around.

The largest annual sporting event in the Northern Territory, the Finke Desert Race is on, and the town is absolutely packed to the rafters with visitors. The race is a two-day off road multi terrain event featuring bikes, buggies, quads and cars/trucks through desert country from Alice Springs to the small town of Finke 233 km down near the SA border. The official opening was tonight in the Todd Street Mall with a display of some of the race cars and bikes and stuntmen from Showtime FMX doing daring jumps. Although the photos are not all that clear you get the idea of the event.

Anyway, back to sightseeing around Alice. Nestled in the base of the MacDonnell Ranges the town is nicer than we expected; the streets are lined with gum trees and it is a generally neat and tidy town. The Todd River is dry as a bone. The view from the Anzac Hill highlights the ranges.

Yesterday we took the West MacDonnell Ranges tourist loop and travelled about 430 km exploring the gorges and lookouts along the way. It was a long day be well worth it. Following the ranges we head west.

Our first stop was Simpsons Gap.

The view from Mt Sonder Lookout.

Ellery Creek Big Hole

The Neil Hargrave Lookout

The Ochre Pits

Glenn Helen Gorge

Tyler’s Pass Lookout with the enormous Gosse Bluff in the distance.

From here we are making our way to Katherine.

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Kings Canyon

Our next stop is at Kings Canyon in the Watarrka National Park about 300 km from Uluru. Fortunately the roads are all bitumen and in good condition.

The cold wind is still blowing. The skies are bright blue. The redish colour of the rock formations and canyon walls contrast with the river gum trees and the sky. And the flies are unbelievable!