A Travellerspoint blog

Derby

8th January-17th January 2013

sunny 38 °C

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====Derby====

After a xmas visit to Perth to see family and friends, and a brief stop at Broome to get back into the swing of things, we ventured north to visit our friends Jason and Jo who live in Derby. They have a little boy called Riley who is only one week younger than Cedar, so we were looking forward to them having some play time together.
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On the way into Derby, about 40km’s out, I got pulled over by a fella driving a van. He said to me you might want to check your bikes….. I walked around the back of the van, and there they were, hanging on by the smallest piece of metal, not even touching the ground. Very very lucky.
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We parked the van at the front of their house, which was really close to town. Jo works at the hospital full time and Jason is a stay at home dad. The town hasn’t changed much since I was there 14 years ago, but I have always liked Derby.
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As luck would have it, Jason’s mate who also lives in Derby, called the afternoon we arrived with a couple of spare spots in his 8 meter boat. A quick beg to Jenna to babysit the kids, and we were in. The next morning we headed straight out into the king sound, headed for Valentine Island. I had always wanted to have a look out here, and there really is so much to see.
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We had a fish around the island, caught a couple of fingermark, and a few small trevally, then we headed up the local creek. It was amazing!!! Not many fish but, the scenery was incredible. We then finished the day off, fishing the south of the island, where there was plenty of fish caught, just not to many large ones. We took home enough for a feed, which is all I ever want and they tasted great.
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Jason, who we call Kingy showed us some amazing spots which included Meda, Cuttings creek and telegraph Pool. Meda is a cattle station off the Gibb river rd, and the upper creek section is a local swimming hole. Mind you, I wasn’t that keen as I knew what was down river. We followed the creek down, which turns into Meda River which then opens into the King Sound. Croc Country. We stopped and had a quick fish, and kingy managed to hook a 2 meter salty!!!! I’m glad I didn’t swim up stream….
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Telegraph pool is just off the mighty Fitzroy River south of Willare Road house. It’s a great spot, where we wet a line, caught some mullet with our new throw nets, and then tried for some cherubin, which is a fresh water prawn. We managed to get a few, not quite enough for a feed.
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We went to Cuttings creek with Jason’s two neighbors, Kevin and Lou. They are both born and bred in derby, and we were very lucky to hear the stories of their childhood growing up around the region. We had a really good fish there, trying for the elusive Barra, but no luck. We had a few runs, but no hook ups. But it really was an amazing night, with a brilliant sunset to watch. We cooked a few chicken wings on the Barbie and sunk a few cold cans.
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In between the fishing trips, I went with Jason to the local play group with Cedar. There is a real community atmosphere in Derby, with plenty of young families and kids. It was great for Cedar to play amongst the other kids, although her and Riley played with each other the whole time we were there. We followed that up with a bakery feed by the Jetty, tough life hey…
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Posted by Jenaben 19:01 Archived in Australia Tagged fishing camping western_australia derby thunderstorms fitzroy_river Comments (0)

Broome part 3

sunny

We are well and truly settled into “Broome Time” now. This is a common term used around Broome and basically means, we’ll get there when we get there. The weather has still been kind to us, although we have been hanging out to see the wet season rains. The temperature is around the 32 to 35 degree mark with humidity any where from 40% to 70%. We are managing just fine so far, you just need to plan your day a little different.

We are still walking most days, down along Cable beach if the tide is right, or thru the surrounding neighborhood, where we have found some great parks for Cedar and Tyson.

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Cedar had a ball at the local town beach water playground. It was great, she was a little unsure to start, but by the end we had tears when we left. It’s awesome for the kids to cool down and not to bad for the parent’s as well!!

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We took a drive out to Crab Creek rd. still searching for Mud crabs. It has turned into a bit of an obsession of mine, with very little success. But needless to say, it is a beautiful spot down that way. It’s about 45km out of town with about 30km, been a gravel graded rd. We got to the spot, a couple of hours before high tide, and got straight into throwing the pots out. We had no luck, but one of the cat food tins I was using as bait, was bitten clean in half, so there is something down there for sure!!! We had to leave in a fair hurry, as a storm cloud appeared out east from us, heading our way, and all I was thinking was 30km of mud if it rains. It really is brilliant to see the clouds building, thunder clapping and moving pretty fast to.

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A couple of days later we decided to take a drive out to Willie Creek, but staying on the south side. You access this part by going down the Coconut Wells rd. It’s a great spot, so we thru a line out, and the pots for good luck. I had something decent follow my lure all the way to the little cliff I was standing on, but he just wouldn’t grab it. I don’t want to say it was a Barra, but it sure looked like it!!! It was hot out here but, bearing in mind it was the middle of the day, but I said to Jenna it’s the first time I’ve really felt the heat.

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We packed up after some lunch, good old faithful tuna sandwiches, and decided we would explore a bit further. That’s pretty much how we deal with the heat, just jump in the car and have an explore! We 4wd’d further towards the opening of Willie Creek, and decided we would try and make it all the way and then home along Cable Beach. This was awesome to see as the landscape changed so much. We started out in low lying mangrove area, where at one stage the sand was like powder. I had to let the tires down to 10 PSI. I was never worried, but defiantly the softest sand I’ve been in. I’m still getting used to driving the 200 in soft sand, after been spoilt in the troopy that I never got worried in. The 200 pulled out no worries, it just seems to like really low revs in the soft stuff. The biggest danger with it is the clearance, so I’m really careful to stop straight away as soon as its digging in. The landscape then turned into all rocky limestone, with the track weaving thru all the rocks. It was like been on the moon! We then followed all the way along the winding inlet opening, for a lot longer than I thought it would go. There was a high tide water inlet than ran along the back of the dunes for about 10Km. We eventually mad it to the beach access at Coconut Wells, and drove down onto the beach. There was one more soft spot to negotiate then it was smooth sailing all the way along cable beach, back to the main entry point. It was a great day, couple of tense moments, but well and truly worth it.[/b]

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Jenna also spotted that the local Lions Club was having a mango jam and chutney completion. Jenna straight away went into mango mode, spotting trees here and there, asking locals where the best tree’s are, looking at recipes on the internet. The cost was $2 entry, and you could enter the jam, the chutney or a mango cake. Jenna entered the Jam and chutney, taking out second place in the Chutney, and finishing a respectable 6th in the jam. Personally I think they got the two products mixed up, because the chutney was great!

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So now, apart from exploring, relaxing, walking and swimming, we hunt mango’s whenever we can. There are trees everywhere, in parks, on medium strips, you name the tree, I’m pretty sure we’ve visited it. We pull up, jump up on the roof of the car and pick away.

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All in all, we are absolutely loving Broome and neither of us can believe we’ve been here a month already. I’m sure there will be another update before we fly home to Perth for Christmas.

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Posted by Jenaben 21:02 Archived in Australia Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises beach mango brrome Comments (2)

Broome part 2, Visit to Derby

We decided to head up to derby the second weekend that we were here and visit our friends Jason and Jo. Jo as landed a governemt job up there, and I hadn’t been to the town since I worked on the Woolies about 12 years ago.
It was just quick visit, but I still managed to sneak off fishing with Kingy to his secret Barra spot. The place was called cuttings creek, and it was a bit touch and go because the tides were so high

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Well we hit the mud flats, and well, I am so glad I didn’t take my car. We hit a soft spot and the mud went in every single nook and cranny of Kingy’s car. It was an awesome fishing spot, but I do think the tides were agsinst us. It was incredible to see how fast the water rushes in. Derby is famous for its tides up to 14m and I think on this day it was over 12.5m!!! Twice a day!!!

Few beers and boubans when we got back, aswell as a surprise roast chicken cooked by the wifey’s. It was a good weekend.
Back to broome the next day, and really a whol;e lot more of the same thing. Realxing, swimming, walking and sunsets. Like I said before, tough life hey??

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Posted by Jenaben 20:56 Archived in Australia Tagged fishing 4wd derby mudflats Comments (0)

Broome Part 1

9th November 2012

sunny 39 °C

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Well we arrived into Broome, unsure really of what to expect, even though we both have been here before. We have never visited Broome at this time of the year, and mostly we had been warned that it’s the worst time of the year to visit. So far we have absolutely loved it up here!!! Jenna has even gone so far to say, its been her favourite trip up here so far.

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We pulled into Cable Beach Caravan Park, which normally never takes dogs, not sure if would get a spot. We were extremely lucky that Narrelle, the fellow bushtracker owners we met in Carnarvon, had her sister in law who worked at reception. A little bit of convincing that Tyson was a real grey nomad, and we were in, right up the back, but completely by ourselves. $260 a week and the pool area is absolutely magnificent, a beautiful caravan park and the staff are all really friendly.

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The park is brilliant, well kept, and the pool is amazing. The temperature and humidity are a little high, but honestly, the air con van and having the pool has made it easy sailing so far. There is still quite a few permanent residents here, but the size of the park means its pretty much empty.

On choosing our site, I was made to look like the learner caravaner that I am. I set the whole annexe up, including walls and floor matting, BEFORE I checked the satellite dish reception. We have the roof mounted dish, so this should be the first thing I do. Anyway, whole van set up and no TV…… Jenna said not to worry, but with a 3 to 4 week stay, she knew there was no chance of that happening. So I moved the van a whole 3m and got perfect reception!!!

The first 2 weeks, we have just been settling in really, not to many activities, apart from waking, walking along cable beach first thing in the morning, then swimming in the pool, relaxing, then going back to cable beach for the sunset and of course on the hunt for mangos mangos and more mangos. Pretty hard life I reckon.

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The first Saturday morning, we went straight to the Broome Courthouse markets. They were great, not to much Fruit and Veg which is what Jenna is always on the hunt for, but plenty to see.

Our friend Jason Kingdog and his young boy Riley who lives in Derby came down and spent the night with us the first weekend we were here. It was great seeing them both, and because Cedar and Riley are only 2 weeks different in age, it was awesome to watch them both interact.

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Posted by Jenaben 21:01 Archived in Australia Tagged swimming western_australia broome mangos kimberly cable_beach Comments (0)

Pardoo to Port Smith

6th November - 9th November 2012

sunny 35 °C

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Although a little sad to leave, we left Point Samson looking forward to our next destination. We planned on staying at Pardoo Road house, this way we could crank up the air con and leave Tyson in the van and go and have an explore down at Cape Keraudren.

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We have visited this place before, and providing you don’t have a dog, it really is a great spot to pull up for a few nights. Once again, Ben trekked thru the mangroves in search of the elusive mud crab, but sadly again, it was to no avail.

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We spent the afternoon and sunset down by the mangroves, where we met a really nice couple from Darwin. It was good to hear some positive feedback regarding the wet season. They definitely gave us a bit more confidence heading the way we are. We departed Pardoo first thing, and stopped at Sandfire roadhouse for lunch and got some photos with the old signs in the yard. We then continued on to our new camp which was Port Smith. Port Smith is about 160km south of Broome, with 22km of dirt road in. The road is excellent and well maintained. We cruised in doing about 60km per hour with the van.

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Sue and Rob own and manage the park, and it really is a great spot. The park is kept in immaculate condition and $35 a night . They were so accommodating to us, Rob even gave me tips on how to catch these elusive mud crabs!!! Sue cares for injured and orphaned wildlife and she let Cedar hold a baby Wallaby which was really cute to see.

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Port Smith Caravan Park is just a short distance from a natural lagoon surrounded by mangroves. The mangroves grow in the white sand, which is quite unique, surrounded by turquoise water.We stayed for 3 nights, and our days consisted of waking up, going for an explore and a swim, then letting cedar have a sleep (a small nap for Ben also). We also drove around to the north of the lagoon, something we missed last time. It was great to see the sandstone cliffs and beautiful coastline.

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Of course Ben had to try his luck Mudcrabbing and Hoorahh!!!!!! 2 monster Muddies. They tasted fantastic but for some reason there was hardly no meat in them. I am wondering if they were getting ready to change their shell or something?????

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The Caravan park was surrounded by coconut trees so our afternoon activity consisted of moving from coconut tree to coconut tree and seeing who could get the most coconuts down. This was done with bourbon in hand throwing another coconut in the air to hit down the hanging coconuts to the ground. The coconut juice was drank and the coconut meat was smashed up and finely shredded in my juicer.

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Friendly staff, immaculate facilities , beautiful spot a must spot to stop at on your travels.

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Posted by Jenaben 05:04 Archived in Australia Tagged fish beach mangroves port_smith wester_australia mudcrabs Comments (0)

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