Australia Part 4


Camel's at Ayres Rock

Stewart Highway
Devil's Marbles Tennant Creek
Devil's Marbles

After leaving Darwin,we headed back down the Stewart Highway to Katherine where we turned off onto the Victoria Highway. In many respects this was the best of the interior roads we travelled. Firstly it was relatively twisty, which keeps you more alert and it was also through a pictureque region. The area from Victoria River on, was particulary good with escarpments and the river flanking us. We also saw more wildlife here than in any other part of the country. As many of the animals are nocturnal it was not surprising to see so few but up here we passed thru semi-tropical forests so there was an abundance of exotic looking birds and wildlife. We also saw our only kangaroo of the trip as a joey hopped across the road one early morning as we pulled out of Timber Creek. It was places like this and Fitzroy Crossing that made going through this area something special. Pulling into these little "towns" in the evening was a memorable part of the trip as all the travellers kicked back in the evening sun. We hit the west coast at Broome hoping for a drop in the temperature but it still remained very hot and humid. Broome has what is rightly rated as one of the great beaches in the world and it was magic to stoll along it in the setting sun. Coming down the coast we called into some other equally memorable places.

Sunset at Broome WA
Sunset at Broome WA2
Sunset at Broome WA3

Coral beach with Ningaloo Reef of its shore was one such place. This is the longest fringe coral reef in the world, stretching some 270 kilometers and its main claim to fame are the majestic whale sharks that visit here every April. South of it lies another world heritage site that we also stayed in. Shark Bay is the most westernly part of Australia and the location of a Europeans first landing on the continent when the Dutch landed here in 1617. Again though it was the animal world that took centre stage. Mokey Mia is also world famous as every day since the 60s a school of dolphins visit the beach to be fed. Untill recently everyone was allowed to touch them but the latest thinking is that our hands brushing off them is abbrasive to their skin so it is no longer allowed. They still however swim right up to you and will in many cases make contact themselves. There were also large green turtles swimming around so in the crystal clear waters it all added up to a very touching experience. On this same peninsula there is also a colony of stromogolites which are the oldest living organism on earth and without which we might not very well be here as they released oxygen into the atmosphere. We have now arrived in Perth and are thankful for our first drop of rain we have seen in ages since it has cooled the temperature a little. It has been uncharastically hot here for Autumn and the first few days were as warm as the interior but hopefully this afternoon drizzle will be the start of cooler weather. Unfortunately that drop of rain didn't do much to cool down the weather but it didn't matter too much as we decided to head to the south west corner of the country while waiting to get the freight of the bikes sorted out. As we headed south of Perth we found that the slightly cooler weather in this area was far more to our liking. It was also the nicest area of the continent we had come across. Not alone was the weather far more to our liking but it was also very beautiful countryside. The area here is characterised by forests of huge eucliptus and farmland of either vineyards or open fields of cattle.The roads are also great as they are winding and well surfaced.

Tropic of Capricorn WA
Dolphins WA
Dolphins WA2

Perth WA
Perth WA2
Anzac Day WA

One of the places we stayed in was Margaret River and both it and the area around it stand out as particularly beautiful.Arriving back in Perth after a week in the south west we then set about getting our bikes shipped to Singapore.We were fortunate to have happened on Expidators as they were so good in comparison to other companies we dealt with that we have since used them in Singapore and again here in Bangkok.Obviously SARS was a consideration in going to Singapore but we felt that it was not a significient risk and so we stuck with our original itinery of going there. While away from Perth part of the American fleet docked in the suburb of Freemantle and so on our return we went out to see the aircraft carrier which is a massive affair.i also got a chance to meet up with an old school friend,Eamon O'Sullivan so .it made Perth all the moreenjoyable.Many regard Perth as the best city in Australia and it certainly has the best climate.It also has a far more relaxed atmosphere than Sydney but in truth we found everywhere on the continent easy going yet efficient.Of all the places we had visited John found that Aistralia did the least for him wheras i found it to be just different but beautiful in its own way.We both were hugely impressed with the good nature of the people,however.

Anzac Day WA2
Anzac Day WA3
Southern Ocean WA4


Two Oceans meet

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