So what is all about? Well... hopefully, by the time we are done, it will be a comprehensive journal about a family of 5 who have travelled around Australia to see the sights and also do some volunteer work around the country! In Mid 2010 we started thinking about what it would take to fulfil a life-long dream... We wanted to bundle up our 3 kids, pack-up the house, jump in the car and hit the road - probably for about 12 months. It sounds so simple ... At the start of January 2013, after almost 15 months on the road; we finally completed Our Big Aussie Road Trip. We hope that you enjoyed following our adventures, trials and tribulations as much as we enjoyed having them!

26 June, 2012

Lake Argyle to Katherine

Tuesday 19th June.  Our caravan tyre was not available still, so we decided to head out to Lake Argyle (and then double up on the 35Km drive back to Kununurra when the caravan tyre was ready) so we packed up in Kununurra and drove out to the Lake Argyle Caravan Park.  Once we were all setup in the park we drove up to the water tank lookout to have a look over Lake Argyle and the Dam Wall.  We also went for a swim in the lovely infinity pool that was in the park (which has a magnificent view over lake Argyle).  The water was really cold, but it didn’t stop any of us going in for a dip on a pretty warm day.  That afternoon we watched the sunset on the cliffs around Lake Argyle.

Lake Argyle (and the Dam Wall)

Josh and Mike braving the cold waters of the 'Infinity Pool' at the caravan park

Sunset at Lake Argyle
The next day we got moving pretty early to start school (after brekkie etc).  We finished school for Josh and Natalie by 9:30am.  After school we drove down across the Lake Argyle Dam Wall and down to the bottom of the other side to the Ord River.  We saw a large crocodile (presumably a freshwater) swimming around the bottom of the dam wall.  We drove to a lookout nearby to view the dam wall from a different perspective.  It is a very amazing structure and we were amazed that they were able to create such a small dam wall but allow such a huge amount of water to be stored (over 21 times the size of Sydney Harbour). 
Mike, Josh, Sam and Natalie at Lake Argyle's Dam wall
During that day we also went and had a look at Dead Horse Springs and the spillway bridge (neither of which were really impressive, but we wanted to have a look around the area).  After lunch we went to the homestead museum to have a look.  The original Durak Homestead site is now at the bottom of Lake Argyle and they relocated the homestead (stone by stone) to its present location. 
Liz and the kids in front of the Durak Homestead
It was interesting to have a look around for a few minutes before the kids got a little bored, so we went back to the caravan park for another swim in their ‘infinity pool’.  It’s such a nice pool, but was still very cold (I guess it is coming to the middle of winter! so it’s nice to be swimming at all!).  We spent the rest of the afternoon around the caravan park.

The Caravan tyre was ready by Thursday the 21st June, so that morning we packed up and drove to Kununurra to pickup the tyre (and some more food).  We left Kununurra and drove east.  After spending five months in Western Australia we crossed the border into the Northern Territory.
Leaving Western Australia after spending 5 fantastic months in this great state.
It's a pity our crusing speed with the caravan in tow is only 90! :)
Not far past the border we stopped at the Zebra Rock Mine and campsite to stay for the night.  After we had setup we did some fossicking in the creek and found our own Zebra Rock!  We bought some sandpaper from the campsite shop and sanded our Zebra rock for a little while.  We drove to a Lookout just up the road which gave a great view over the area and some glimpses of Lake Argyle.  That night we enjoyed a campfire, and we made some damper for dessert.

Fossicking for Zebra Rock in the dry creek bed

The kids polishing up the pieces of rock they had found

The view from a lookout near the zebra rock mine and campsite
The next morning we went on a Mine Tour at 9am (which was 7:30am according to our body clocks!).  We took a short bus ride to the mine and then the tour guide spoke about the formation of the rock and how they mine it.  It was quite interesting (and free too - which was a bonus!).  After the tour we did school before packing up and driving off.
Sitting on our 'tour bus' to drive to the Zebra Rock Mine
Learning about Zebra Rock

The 20cm seam of Zebra rock that is mined and sold
We stopped in Timber Creek to get some Diesel and spotted our friends, the Guse Family, having lunch in the park. After a brief chat we discovered we were heading to the same campsite that night, Sullivan’s Campground in the Gregory National Park.  We had dinner with them and sat around a communal fire for a while with some other campers.
Sullivans Campground with the Guse Family
On Saturday 23rd we drove into Katherine and setup at the van park. Our caravan fridge had finally given up working on gas (the thermocouple had died) so once we were in Katherine Mike rang around and found a gas plumber who was able to sell him the spare part (On a Saturday too – not bad for a country town!).  So within a few hours we had our fridge working on gas again which Mike was very relieved about – considering we were planning to head into Kakadu for 10 days after leaving Katherine.  That afternoon we went to the information centre and then did our food shopping to get ready to ‘head bush’ for a while in Kakadu National Park.

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