Wyndham's other main attraction is the 'Big Crocodile'. I think he is quite gorgeous and he certainly is very big as you can see by the size of the car and van behind him.
From Wyndham we drove to El Questro Wilderness Park which really took us into the true Kimberley country. The escarpments and terrain were spectacular. Its really hard to describe this kind of country. Its so ancient and timeless. I have probably said that already about other spots. On the way into El Questro we found a 'Grotto' so went to investigate as it sounded cool and it was really hot. It was a bit murky for me so I just put my feet in but Mike went in for a swim (very briefly!!).
Our van site at El Questro was very shady and there was plenty of space. In the evenings we were visited by some stray cows who were wandering around the park. It was quite funny hearing cows mooing in the dark and not being sure exactly where they were. One morning we had just woken up and saw four cows running down the road with a ranger in hot pursuit shooing them back over into the next paddock.
El Questro has many lookouts and gorges to visit. We took a bone shaking 4WD track to visit Explosion Gorge (named after the fishing methods used in the past).
Another lovely part of El Questro was Zebedee Springs. Similar to the hot springs in Kununurra. Lovely Livistonia Palms.
From El Questro we drove to Fitzroy Crossing which was a long drive, around 670 km. Ever changing scenery again on the way.
Fitzroy Crossing is another small town, as you would expect right on the Fitzroy River. The Fitzroy is a large river at this point but there was not much water in it. Apparently it only runs well for about 4 months of the year as the rains from the wet season flow down.
We decided to visit a place callled Tunnel Creek which was about a 120km drive from Fitzroy Crossing. The road was dirt for about 80 km and pretty rough.
As soon as we reached Tunnel Creek, which is a creek inside a long cave in the rocks shown in the picture above, Mike noticed one of the tyres on the car was going flat. We waited till we had looked at the cave to fix it. I say 'we' figuratively as I am no use when changing a tyre.
The cave was amazing, a lot like Jenolan Caves with similar features. It was really dark in parts so we had torches with us to light the way. What a special place.
When we came back to the car to check out the tyre, this is what we found!!!
Funniest looking tyre I've ever seen!! Mike did a great job changing it in the heat. We had planned to visit another nearby gorge for a swim but decided it was not wise to travel any further on the dirt than we had to so we returned to Fitzroy Crossing. The red dirt parts of the road were the worst. The corrugations were bone shaking and I thought the Navara was just going to fall to pieces. It seemed much worse on the way back.
We made it back safely however with much relief. Not a place you want to break down. No phone reception out there of course.
On returning to our van that afternoon, and after finishing a refreshing G and T, I decided to go for a swim in the pool. I went out the car to get my cozzie and looked up to see a grass fire approaching about 100 metres away. I found this quite alarming!!!
Anyway, it crackled its way along for about 20 minutes gradually moving past us. It never crossed the road between it and us in the caravan park. There was lots of smoke and a fire engine drove past eventually but they didn't seem to do anything! There are vast tracts of burnt scrub all throughout the top end, across Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. Grass fires dont seem as scary as bush fires in the mountains. They move fairly quickly along the ground with the wind behind them but don't actually burn all the trees. So it wasn't quite as bad as I first thought, thank goodness.
After leaving Fitzroy Crossing we travelled to Derby where we saw water for the first time on the west coast of Australia. We were not that sure whether to go there or not but thought that we may as well as we were so close. It was very hot, about 42 degrees but worth visiting. Its not a beachy place as it sits on King Sound. The water was very muddy.
The main attraction in Derby is the jetty and the tides. They apparently have the biggest tides in the country there. I took the photos below in the same spot about 3 hours apart. What a difference!!
At the caravan park in Derby this amazing peacock was just wandering around strutting his stuff.
We have never seen a white peacock before but he was beautiful as you can see. He was turning around slowing so we could get a view of him from every angle. Very modest!!
We saw the sun go down for the first time over the water. Just beautiful.
We are really starting to relax after four weeks on the road. We haven't watched the news for about three weeks, hardly watched any telly at all. We have met some lovely people and everyone is so friendly. We are getting pretty good at setting up and packing up. The days go by quite quickly even though we usually rise early. Its a very different routine to what we are used to. Very nice indeed!! My next post will be from Broome.