Australia Off The Beaten Path Tips by martin_nl
Australia Off The Beaten Path: 423 reviews and 693 photos
Along Duncan Road
The Kimberley is one of the least visited regions of Australia and Western Australia (WA). However I can advise everyone go to and have a look at the boabs, rivers, and other remote areas of this great region in the top of WA. If you are lucky to have a 4WD vehicle the possibilities in WA are only limted by time, fuel, water and food. There is just too much to see and do in this area.
The entrance to the Kimberley if you approach from the north is at Kununurra. This is one of the last stops where you can stock up on all the supplies you might need. Make sure to think of everything before you leave here if you go onto a 4WD track. From Kununurra you can decide to either go onto the Great Northern Highway, which is a sealed road or choose the adventurous unsealed road that is the Gibb River Road. If choosing this road make sure to have checked the track conditions, since many months of the year this area is not passable. The Gibb River Road should only be undertaken if you have a 4WD vehicle. If not take the Northern Highway. Perhaps not as adventurous but there are still a lot of things to make your tour through the Kimberley interesting enough.
We weren't lucky enough to have a 4WD vehicle, but we had a campervan. We visited sights such as Duncan Road and Geikie Gorge. The trip took us five days to get from Darwin, via Katherine, Kununurra, Halls Creek, Fitzroy Crossing and Derby to Broome. It was a little bit rushed, so we missed out on Purnululu National Park and we would've loved to see the Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater. However the other sites were amazing too! At the end of the trip through the Kimberley make yourself at home in Broome for a few days since this city has one of Australia's most beautiful beaches, Cable Beach. There are many activities on hand here, from sea kayacking around Gantheame Point, a Saturday at the races and to a tour to Cape Leveque.
A small settlement in the Outback of Australia close to the Devils Marbles in the Northern Territory. There is not much here but what there is is weird. There is one roadhouse, just like any other in Australia. A petrol station, some toilets and a small shop. However the Wycliffe Well roadhouse is the Extra-Terrestials' favourite roadhouse and it's not hard to see why. Everything is catered for aliens. There are toilets for maliens and femaliens for example. Other than that this place is completely normal...
When travelling from Adelaide to Alice Springs you could of course take the Stuart Highway, but why not take the Oodnadatta Track. This is a lot more adventurous and shows you a bit more about the "real" Australia. The Oodnadatta Track will take you through the Outback of Australia. To get to the Oodnadatta Track from Adelaide follow the road to Clare for some wine tasting. Continue on the B82 to Quorn and turn onto the B47 to Hawker and the Flinders Ranges. Spend some time here and around Wilpena Pound for some hiking. Continue to places such as Blinman, Angorichina, Parachilna and on to Copley's bakery for some mean Quandong pie! Make sure to stop by at Talc Alf in Lyndhurst, he is an eccentric outback philosopher and sculptor. He is usually in so...
Then on to Marree for a visit to an abandoned train station for the Ghan Railway. Here you hang a left and take the Oodnadatta Track. The bitumen will end here and you will follow one of these classic outback tracks. Just red sand and nothingness. However we also saw a lot of yellow flowers and quite a few things to do along the way. Like airplanes standing on their tail, Aboriginal Ochre pits, Lake Eyre. We stayed overnight in William Creek and next day continued onto William Creek road where you will see among other things Lake Cadibarrawirracanna. And before you know it you are in Coober Pedy.
Gumeracha in the Adelaide Hills is home to the world's biggest rocking horse. I can tell you it is big, though it doesn't really rock. All around Australia you can see biggest this and biggest that. Some more examples are a shrimp and a surfer. There are even routes around Australia so you can visit all these biggest things. Of course only a butternut would do this, but if you are then there are routes... LOL
BTW the Gumeracha rocking horse looks like a rocking horse but actually it doesn't even rock...
Funny wooden box
Cook would definitely be up there with the weirdest places in Australia. I got here on my trip on the Indian Pacific train from Perth to Adelaide. About halfway through you will make a stop in Cook. There is not much here except for a souvenir shop, a phonebooth and toilets. When we got here it was possible to buy freshly made hotdogs, but ther was only a limited number. Unfortunately I was too late so it was sold out.
Best memory about Cook are these wooden boxes near the souvenit shop. They have two phrases on them that perfectly describe what type of place Cook is.
-If you're crook come to Cook
-Our hospital needs your help, Get sick...
That really cracked me up I can tell you!!
Torquoise Bay at Cape Range NP
Cape Range National Park can be easily reached from Exmouth in WA. Exmouth is on one side of the Exmouth Peninsula and on the other side you will find Cape Range National Park. There are some truly stunning beaches here and you will have them almost all to yourself. If you haven't got any snorkeling equipment of your own, you can rent fins, a mask and a snorkel for only a few dollars at the information centre just before you get into the NP. A few km's past the info centre you will find the beautiful beach of Torquoise Bay. This beach is really amazing. Crystal clear water and some of the finest white sands around. Amazing! The snorkeling here is pretty good too, since you can reach the coral easily.
There is excelent sunset viewing at Mangrove Bay. We parked the car here and cooked some sausages on the beach here, watching the sunset. Even a kangaroo hopped by to make it all picture perfect! Since the car was pretty much da we were happy to have made it all the way back to town. If we had a better car we also would have loved to go to Yardie Creek, which is mean to be a great sight. Oh well, the day was great nevertheless!!
Duncan Road was one of the highlights of my trip. This outback road can be found in the Kimberley region and goes from Kununurra to the town of Halls Creek. We only did a small part of the road that is unsealed all the way. We started in Halls Creek where we got some infor about the Road conditions and asked if it would be do'able in a campervan. At the infor centre they said it was no problem if we wouldn't go any further than Palm Springs or Sawpit Gorge. So early in the afternoon we started driving. Duncan Road to Palm Springs is only about 45 kilometres but it took us till 7 or 8pm to get there. Quite a drive in a campervan. Of course we did undertake a couple of stops.
First stop was China Wall. This is a big quartz wall that has evolved naturally. Quite stunning to see. After walking around a bit we got back on the van and made another stop at a small body of water. It was amazing how the reflections of the wall showed on the water. By this time the sky was getting very dark, so we prepared for a lot of rain. No rain fell on our heads, but it came pretty close by, as you can see on one of the pics with the rainbow. It was already getting a bit dark at this stage and since there are no lanterns in outback Australia we decided to drive further to Palm Springs. We made a quick stop here to see what it was like and continued to Sawpit Gorge. However the road was flooded here and since rain was approaching we decided not to go further since we might be trapped in the morning if the level rised even further. So we drove back to Palm Springs where we made some pancakes for dinner.
Next morning we woke at a beautiful day. We went for a swim in the springs which were very nice and warm. We found the source and it was lovely to sit under this warm stream of water in the middle of absolutely nowhere. When morning dip time was over we got back on the campervan and drove back to Hall Creek. We also made a stop at Old Halls Creek. Nothing much is left here. You can see a graveyard and that is about it.
Beside the Mornington Peninsula road trip (see must see tips) Pat, Marie's dad, also took we on a trip through a small part of Victoria. First stop was the Tarango Reservoir just out of Melbourne. This is one of the reservoirs that suupplies Melbourne of its drinking water. It is quite small, but at least it's got water in it! We continued to a historic railway bridge, close to Noojee. This was cool to see, since it is very old and completely made of wood. The railway bridge is not used anymore, but is now part of a bushwalk. We also walked to the top and crossed the bridge. Good stuff!!! We lunched beside a beautiful river in Noojee. Take a look at the picture with this tip. There was a small campground here with not much more than a male and female toilet and that was it. A couple of boys were playing here with a rubberband in the water....
When all the sandwiches were eaten we took off again and drove to Toorongo Falls. Pat said it had been years ago since he last came here and that the track was quite difficult. However when we walked the track it was very easy, because that had rerouted the whole path. Good for us! We got to the falls and they were still flowing. Closeby was also Amphitheatre Falls, which we also paid a visit. The flow of the water wasn't very good, so it didn't really look like an amphitheatre, but I can imagine it does at the end of winter, rather than the halfway through the summer.
We continued to Cardinia Reservoir, which was also the last stop. This is a very big water reservoir, although Pat said it was more like a pond compared to Lake Eildon, which is not too far away. We crossed th Dam here from where you have some good views and afterwards had a drink in the green area beside the dam. We waited till the dark was setting in and the kangaroos would come. There weren't too many tonight unfortunately, since ther were lots of noisy kids. Ah well... we still saw a couple and it was a great ending of the day.
Seems like it can come to life any minute now
The Dandenong Ranges National Park is actually a combination of five parks. Signposts aren't very good, so make sure to take a map from the tourist info centre in Upper Ferntree Gully. For me the highlight of the Dandenongs is William Ricketts Sancturay. In my opinion this is a very spiritual place. The sanctuary features many sculptures of Aboriginees. All the sculptures are set in dampy fern tree gardens. The sculptures are inspired by the Aboriginal people William Rickett lived with for years. All his work is very well done and it is as if the sculptures could come to life any moment. Well worth a look!!!
Sealers Cove has grans vistas
Wilson's Promontory down south in the State of Victoria has some excellent bushwalking. The park is often overlooked by international visitors and even by a lot of Ozzies. You will find families here, that are mostly from Victoria. Wilson's Promontory is a definite highlight though and should not be overlooked. There are some stunning beaches like Squeaky Beach, Whisky Bay and Picnic Bay. These three beaches are all easily accessible by car. Other beaches you have to hike to. The beaches on the west coast are all very exposed to the winds and the sea with a very high surf. Surfing is NOT encouraged though, since it can be very dangerous.
The beaches along the east coast are a lot calmer and are good for swimming. We wanted to see one of the beaches on the east and asked at the tourist info centre in Tidal River (the main town of the NP) what would be a good couple of hours hiking to get to one of the eastern beaches. We were recommended to do the Sealers Cove track. At the start of the walk it was raining and the weather didn't look very promising. So we put warm clothes on and a raincoat and off we went to the bus that took us to the start of the track. You start somewhere halfway up a hill and have to walk down to the cove. The track isn't a loop so on the way back you have to walk all the way up again, taking you about an hour longer than the way down. The walk is very nice. You will see loads of ferns, little streams and small waterfalls. If you're lucky you might see a wombat or two aswell. Getting closer to Sealer's Cove the weather started to get better and by the time we got to the beautiful golden sands, the sun was out and the weather was perfect for a swim. We didn't bring any towels though and no swim wear, so we decided not to go in for a dip. Too bad because the water was crystal clear. So when you want to do the same hike, make sure to bring everything you might need! We just relaxed a bit at the beach and walked around enjoying the vistas, before we returned to where the bus would pick us up.
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