The Big Lap

(The Kimberley, Western Australia and Beyond)

Free Camping
Free Camping with Road Trains at the Fullarton River North Rest Area (Camps Qld 365)  - 10/11 June 2016

Trip Map
Click photos for larger view

Photograph details displayed by hovering the mouse over the image (Microsoft Explorer only)
7 - 18 Jun 2016 | Home to Katherine
Quick trip with some free camping to Katherine to stock up for our touring of the  'The Kimberley' and down the West coast of Western Australian as follows:
1.  Miles Showgound (7/8 June)
2.  Augathella (Free) on the riverside area (8/9 June)
3.  Longreach Tourist Park (9/10 June)
4.  Fullarton River North Rest Area (Free Camps Qld 365) (10/11 June) - Caravan shower cold water tap broke off!  Could not get it repaired until we got to Exmouth, WA.
5.  Camooweal Hotel Caravan Park (11/12 June)
6.  41 Mile Bore Rest Stop (Free) on the Barkly Highway (12/13 June)
7.  Daly Water Pub (13/14 June)
8.  Knotts Crossing Resort (Caravan Park), Katherine (4 Days).
Restocked, temp repairs to Caravan (cold water pipe to shower) and bathed for the dogs.(14/15 - 17/18 June)

Miles, Queensland

M & M in out back Queensland
Out back Queensland Out back Queensland Out back Queensland Out back Queensland  
Free camping outback Queensland

Daly Water Pub
Outback NT Outback NT Katherine  
18 - 25 Jun 2016 | Katherine to Kununurra
Booked into the Lakeside Caravan Park.
Day trip to Lake Argyle and viewed of the Ord River Dam that forms the Lake.
Day trip to Wyndham and viewing from the Five Rivers Lookout on the Baston Rangle that over looks the Cambridge Gulf.
Bungle Bungle by Sea Plane with landings on Lake Argyle and flyover the Argyle Diamond Mine.  Wow the Bungle Bungle!
Gibb River road to Emma Gorge, El Questro and Home Valley Station.  Crossings of the Pentecost River on the way to El Questro Home Station and Home Valley Station.
Bit of touring in and around Kununurra including Ivanhoe Crossing and the Ord River Irrigation Area.
Victoria River Roadhouse

The Girls
Timber Creek - queing for diesel M and M in bed The Girls in Kununurra Lake Argyle  
Lake Argyle Dam Wall Below the Dam Wall Security Detail Ivanhoe Vehicle Crossing  
Croc in Wyndham Wyndham - At the five Rivers Lookout Boab Tree View over the gulf

Mountain Range
Kununurra Lake Kununurra Bath Time in Kununurra Kununurra  
Kununurra Kununurra Kununurra Kununurra  
Kununurra Kununurra Kununurra Kununurra  
Kununurra Kununurra Kununurra Lake Kununurra

Gibb River Road Gibb River Road Gibb River Road Gibb River Road  
Gibb River Road Gibb River Road Gibb River Road Gibb River Road  
25 to 27 Jun 2016) | Kununurra to Derby
Mary's Pool on Mary River (Free Camps WA 500) overnight (25/26 June).
Ngumban Cliff Lookout morning tea (26 June).
Boab Tree Rest Stop (Free Camps 494) overnight (26/27 June).
Booked into the Kimberley Entrance Caravan Park.
View Staircase to the Sun at the Jetty.
Mary's Pool  
Bus Rest Stop Rest Stop Rest Stop

Free Camp Boab Tree at Rest Stop Drinks Derby  
Derby Derby Derby  
Derby Derby Derby Derby  
Day 27 to 3 Jul 2016 | Derby to Broome
Camped at the Broome Seventh Day Advetist Caravan Park overflow - Because we were travelling with dogs.  It was great with green lawn for the fur babies!
Horizontal Water Falls - No Falls trip this time as they were booked out for a week or two!
Colleen met up with Ex Army Lady from here recuit course after 48 years
Dog minding at Broome Vet Hosp for M & M while we checked out Cable Beach, Willie Creek Pearls farm plus did a scenic and prehistoric tour by Hovercraft
Cable Beach Cable Beach Willie Peal Farm Colleen  
Broome Broome Broome

Day 3 to 9 Jul 2016 | Broome to Karratha (Dampier)
Overnight stop at the Pardoo Roadhouse Caravan Park before Port Hedland.  Roadhouse is in the middle of nowhere running on generator but had WiFi.  
Port Hegland was a planned stop but was not that inviting as no Caravan Park took Dogs and overflow sites were just dirt with no power, etc.  It looked like a shit hole anyway so we continue on to Karratha overnighting at the West Peawah River (Free Camps WA 403)!
Karratha we stay 4 nights at the Discovery Balmoral Caravan Park, which has large sites and is well setup.  Hit rain for the first time in our travels.
M & M checked out Red Dog.
Delayed moving to Exmouth by one day because of rain. 
On the road

On the road Pub Damper Red Dog  
Red Dog Karratha Karratha Karratha area  
Karratha area Damper Karratha Damper

Day 9 to x 14 Jul 2016 | Karratha to Exmouth
Overnight stop at Yannarie River (Free Camps WA 378)
All the caravan parks full and we had to go to the shire overflow, which had no power, however was OK to run the generator. Note:  This overflow site had the dearest land in Exmouth at $35 per night!
Made arrangements for the caravan shower to be repaired plus one of the windows at the local caravan shop.  First caravan repairman located since the shower cold water broke before Mt Isa!  He did a good job!
Enjoy Exmouth with its WW2 history, RAAF Bare Base (Learmonth) and the RAN and USN communication bases.  USN has the VLF communications for Nuc Subs.
Free Camp  
River with water Exmouth Exmouth Exmouth  
Exmouth Exmouth Exmouth Exmouth  
Exmouth Exmouth Exmouth Exmouth

Day 14 to 18 Jul 2016 | Exmouth to Carnavon
Checked out Coral Bay on the way.  Coral reef and beautiful blue water!
Overnight stop at Lake MacLead Rest Area (Free Camps WA 358)M and M had a bath in the tub! 
Booked into the Carnarvon Caravan Park.

Trip out to the Blowholes, which is North of Carnarvon near Lake MacLeod.   Also the HMAS Sydney Memorial was in the same area, which also had the Harold Adams Family plaque.  Allan Adams is a mate and his father Harold was the last member to leave the ship before it sank with all hands.
Look around Carnarvon and the One Mile Jetty. 
Delayed moving to Shark Bay by a day because of rain.
Free Camping  
Coral Cove Coral Cove Coral Cove Blow Hole  
Blow Hole Blow Hole Harry Adams Plaque Blow Hole  
Blow Hole Old Jetty Power Station Coral Cove

Blow Hole
Day 18 to 20 July 2016 | Carnavon to Shark Bay
Booked into the Demham Seaside Caravan Park, Shark Bay - Overflow again no power or water!  Generator keeping the caravan alive again!
Shell Beach, Hamelin Pool and Monkey Mia Dolphins plus a good look at some beautiful coast
Shark Bay  
Shark Bay Shark Bay Shark Bay Shark Bay  
Shark Bay Shark Bay Shark Bay Shark Bay  
Shark Bay Shark Bay Shark Bay Shark Bay  
Day 20 to 22 Jul 2016 | Shark Bay to Kalbarri
Booked into the Kalbarri Tudor Holiday Park (Nice Park). Power and water - Woo Hoo
Pink Lake and the Principality of Hutt River!
Kalbarri Kalbarri Kalbarri Kalbarri  
Kalbarri Kalbarri Kalbarri Kalbarri  
Day 22 to 24 Jul 2016 | Kalbarri to Geraldton
Booked into the Belair Tourist Park (Another Nice Park)
View the HMAS Sydney Memorial - Wow - very good!
Heater on in the caravan and Denis brought himself some slippers!
Geraldton Geraldton Geraldton Geraldton  
Day 24 Jul to 14  Aug 2016 | Geraldton to Perth
Never made it to Jurien Bay and Cervantes to see the Pinnacles.
We were hit by a vehicle while turning into a rest area about 100km South of Geraldton.  No one unjured but the Navara is damaged on the driver side and the gear box has issues.  The caravan missed getting any damage so we have a home.  Continued (limped) into Perth for repairs!

Booked into the Banksia Tourist Park
The Navara was a write off and we replaced it with a New (Demo) Isuzu D-Max LS-M to continue our travels.  New vehicle nickname is "OS"!  Final 12V tray and caravan wiring by Denis plus tray equipment installation (additional securing points) before leaving Perth.


Navara Navara Navara GPS Location  
Perth Perth Perth Perth  
Day 14 to 15 Aug 2016 | Perth to  Merredin (Hwy 94)
Free camped at Merredin.  On the main highway 94 for the first day testing the new D-Max with the caravan.  All very good - D-Max a bit more truckie then the Navara D40 but using less fuel and pulling the caravan easier, I think!   Very happy with our new Tug.
On the Road Again  
D-Max First Free Camp Merredin Merredin The Cook and Dunny Man  
Day 15 to 16 Aug 2016 | Merredin to Hydan
amped at the Wave Rock Caravan Park
Wave Rock - Wow!
Wave Rock  
Wave Rock Wave Rock Wave Rock Hipo Wave Rook  
Day 16 to 18 Aug 2016) | Hydan to Esperance
Camped at the Bathers Paradise Caravan Park.
What stunning coastline!
Last night in Esperance was a wild with freezing rain and high winds.  Packed up in heavy freezing rain!  Girls all stay in the caravan upto ready to move! Some high winds while towing for the first 50-100km.
Esperance Esperance Esperance Esperance

Day 18 to 22 Aug 2016 | Esperance to Kalgoorlie
Camped at the Discovery Park, Boulder. 
View the Super Pit - Bit hole in the ground!  Checked out the Twin Towns and did a drive up Hay St!
Note:  18 August 2016 - Vietnam Veterans Day but most of the services in WA were on Sunday before however service in Kalgoorlie on Sunday 21th and attended!
'Lady Lunch-a-Lot' found another Ex WRAAC for a Lunch catch up!
Kalgoorlie Kalgoorlie Kalgoorlie Kalgoorlie  
Day 22 to 26 Aug 2016 | Kalgoorlie across the Nullarbor
Camp 1:  90 Mile Sign (Free Camp 19) - Near Mundrabilla (WA).
Camp 2:  Jilah Rockhole (Free Camp 6) - Near Balladonia (WA).
Camp 3:  Colona Rest Area (Free Camp  581) - Near Yatala (SA).

Camp 4:  Eyres Waterhole (Free Camp 519) - Near Streaky Bay (SA).
Packed up in heavy cold rain again and headed for the Nullarbor.  Just love the new D-Max Tug canopy in the rain - much easier then the old Navara tonnie cover to keep things dry.  First fuel stop at Norseman, while we were refueling, a dick driver hit the side of our caravan and left a few small dents - he did a runner!   The big paddock was a long drive with not much to look at until we got to SA and viewed the 'Great Australian Bight' from a number of lookouts.  We also did a visit to the 'Head of Bight' and saw lots of Southern Right Whales resting before going South again.  One Whale calf was white!

Nullarbor Nullarbor Nullarbor Nullarbor  
Nullarbor Head of Bight Head of Bight Head of Bight  
Head of Bight Head of Bight The White Calf as reported in the News Head of Bight  
Day 26 to 29 Aug 2016 | Nullarbor to Port Lincoln
Camped at the Port Lincoln Tourist Park
Two rest days to clean up the caravan and tug, stock up on food and beer and give M & M a bath.
Ghost Bay  
Port Lincoln Port Lincoln Port Lincoln Port Lincoln  
Day 29 to 1 Sept 2016 |  Port Lincoln to Canberra 
Camp 1:  Orroroo Rest Area (Free Camp 233) - Near Orroroo (SA)
Camp 2:  Malleefowl Rest Area (Free Camp 993) - East of Mildura (NSW)
Camp 3:  Berry Jerry Rest Area (Free Camp 714) - West of Wagga Wagga (NSW)

Heavy rain on day two and we were lucky to locate the Malleefowl Rest Area as it was sealed and therefore no mud!  The planned stop's (either 308 or 303) were mud pits!
Orroroo Free Camp  
Checking us out! Berry Jerry Free Camp Checking us out! Dog on the Tucker Box  
Day 1 to 12 Sept 2016 |  Canberra
Camped at the EPIC (Exhibition Park in Canberra) again - Great camp ground close to all in Canberra and very easy to manage the dogs.
Family time with Nathan, April and the Kids.  April's parents Danny and Ofelia were also in Canberra.
EPIC - Showground Camping in Canberra  
Gran and the Grandkids Gran and Lolo with the Grandkids Dinning out for Fathers Day Jack Frost  
Chickenman and Jasmine AWM AWM AWM  
AWM AWM Go Broncos Go Broncos  
Lunch with the Coulson's Lunch with the Coulson's Lunch with the Coulson's Running off Lunch  
Day 12 to 15 Sept 2016 | Canberra to Glass House Mountains (Home) 
1.  First night at the Cowra Van Park.  Met up with the Veall's from Adelaide and had a great catchup!  The Caravan Park was very good and is near the Cowra main street, on the banks of the Lachlan River.
2.  Second night at the Narrabri Highway Tourist Village.  Too much rain to free camp and the Narrabri showground was a bog!
3,  Third night at Hampton (Free Camp 465) - North of Toowoomba (Qld).

Home early on the 15th Sept - All good with the house.  M & M very happy and it is nice to have lounge chairs again!

Trip Stats
18,191km travelled (Caravan = 16,148km)
2718 litres of diesel used at a cost of $3542.
Navara towing = 21/22 litres per 100km | D-Max towing = 14/15 litres per 100km
Catch up with the Veall's in Cowra

Wet, Wet, Wet
Click photos for larger view
Photograph details displayed by hovering the mouse over the image (Microsoft Explorer only)

Click Return to Blog Home

Go to top of page