I have been travelling the Gibb River Road in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia recently. The lack of posts to this website reflects the fact that I have been in an area with no Internet Access, no mobile phone access, nothing. (Approximately the road travels from Derby to Wyndham and is only open during the “dry” season”.
This road is rightly regarded as one of the “must do” trips for those wanting to explore the remote parts of Australia – gravel roads, remote cattle stations, gorges, you name it this road has it. My reason for travelling this road has been to investigate setting up Internet Access for the communities along the first 300 km of this road (measured from the Derby end).
For a while I will be posting photos from this trip – ranging from sunsets, gorges, ruins, snakes, crocodiles, more gorges, waterfalls, Jabirus, eagles, ranges, fossils, rivers, well you get the idea.
Here is the Derby Jetty. The tidal range at Derby can be over 10m, hence the long piles in the jetty. Sunset can be glorious although at this time of the year don’t count on clouds – I haven’t seen a cloud in a week. There is a great restaurant at the base of the jetty and they serve a mean barramundi.
Anyone in Derby should visit the Mowanjum Art Centre – about 5km along the Gibb River Road. The art at this centre is superb, and you can get Internet access – a by product of the system we have installed in the community.
In the school holidays, and with weather like this the Busselton Jetty is an enormously popular tourist attraction.
Here is a shot of a dolphin at Three Bears this morning.
And here are some shots from yesterdays departure of the STS Leeuwin (leaving Busselton, bound for Fremantle).
The Leeuwin left the jetty under power, then turned into the wind as the sails were raised. Once under sail the Leeuwin looked graceful and in her element.
I took a walk out the jetty today to see the STS Leeuwin berthed at the jetty. The last time I saw a ship tied up to the jetty was as a child. The ship was loading timber, and trains used to take the timber out to the ship. We would be crabbing from the jetty and when the train went past, we would have to climb down under the deck of the jetty to let it past. We were totally unsupervised but no-one was ever hurt except when a crab was too quick for us.
Today there was a ship (the STS Leeuwin), a train (of sorts), and a restored jetty that is much grander than the original. It is good to see that the ink stains from squid are gradually taking the pristine edge off the restored jetty and adding a bit of colour.
As a young child I lived in Narrogin. My father was a keen fisherman, and not so keen farmer. Once the harvest was finished, we all went down to Busselton until school resumed. We stayed with thousands of others on the camping grounds in Busselton. In the middle of the day it was hot in the tents, and most days we went down to the beach and stayed under the jetty during the heat of the day. It was packed day after day, and the jetty foreshore was always crowded.
Times have changed, people have air conditioned caravans, stay in holiday houses and resorts. However under the jetty it is still cool in summer and has a charm of its own.
This was taken before the jetty was upgraded/replaced.
I went down to Quindalup this morning because there were some great clouds around – rain squalls etc. Unfortunately my camera had been in a warm house overnight, and once out in the air, I started getting condensation on the lens. It ruined a few of the shots, but I quite liked this one – almost a “classic” Quindalup boat ramp shot.
I thought I would continue the Derby theme. The first shot was taken at Wandjina Gorge – out of Derby along the Gibb River Road. It was the middle of the day, and the light was harsh and strong.
The mud flats below are at low tide, next to the Derby jetty. I love the strong colours in this shot.
I went to Hamelin Bay this morning, not at all hopeful, as the cloud got thicker the further south I went. When I got there it was drizzling, but it soon stopped. The only gap in the cloud cover was where the sun was rising, and as it came up underneath the cloud cover it did a reasonable job of making the clouds turn pink. The waves had washed all the footprints from the sand overnight. Later a couple of stingrays came up looking to be fed.
This is a beautiful bay, and this old jetty is often photographed.
This is the jetty at the Quindalup boat ramp earlier this year. The tide was unusually low, creating the expanse of wet sand you see reflecting the predawn colors in the sky.