A Travellerspoint blog

Day 25

sunny 35 °C

Today, our last day in the “Bar”, we drove out to the site of the secret WW2 air base.

Now this was a very interesting day. The two runways and taxiways are still usable and the revetments are still there, although somewhat eroded. We found one gun emplacement. Unfortunately this is not a heritage site so everything removable has been removed.

This is an extract from “The West”.
Of course, in this remote area, things were not always so deathly quiet, particularly as the regular roar of the four 1200hp engines of the long-range B-24 Liberator bombers wheeled at the end of the runway and paused before commencing their take-off run, heavily laden with bombs to pound Japanese bases on Java, Borneo, Celebes, Singapore and other island targets to the north of the Australia.

If you want to see this on google maps then follow this link.
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=-21.42793,119.77998&ll=-21.42793,119.77998&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Posted by BobnJo-Elsbury 03:50 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 24

Marble Bar

sunny 36 °C

Marble Bar is a unique and fabulous place to visit. There is so much history here as well as natural wonders, and interesting people.

We are staying in the caravan park, one of only 2 open places for accommodation. The lady who runs it is a water diviner, as was her father, and her brother. Apparently she is called on to find water on a regular basis. A loverly lady.

The other place is The Iron Clad Hotel. The Iron Clad is an institution and has hardly changed since visiting Marble Bar in the 70’s. The Iron Clad claims to have fantastic refurbished accommodation at $200/night. As it turns out we were lucky they didn’t have a vacancy. The pub has plenty of character but as for staying there, no thanks.

The country around MB is amazing, We drove to Chinaman Pool and Marble Bar Pool. One would not swim in either as they serve as cattle watering holes as well. Chinaman Pool does have picnic tables and shades!!!

Marble Bar was named from what was originally and mistakenly identified as marble. In fact the “marble” is jasper. On our way back from the old Comet mine, now closed and a museum, we went to a jasper digging. For the uninformed it would be easy to mistake jasper for marble.

Posted by BobnJo-Elsbury 03:47 Archived in Australia Tagged day24 Comments (0)

Day 19 to 23

sunny 35 °C

Since my last update the “Gibb” remained closed so we had to retrace our steps to Halls Creek and Fitzroy Crossing. The plan was to cut through Tunnel Creek and Windjana Gorge to the “Gibb” to Derby, killing 2 birds with one stone.
Unfortunately this did not work out so we had to retrace the Curtain Air Base and go to Derby the long way.

We stayed 2 nights in Derby 22nd, 23rd, and 24th and drove out to Windjana and Tunnel Creek. Windjana Gorge was fabulous. Quite a lot of water and several crocodiles on show. The rock formations amazing. Tunnel Creek was disappointing in that access to it was a little too risky for us. Climbing over large boulders to gain entry, for us, was too risky.

Derby itself was interesting too. Very tourist oriented with refurbished accommodation etc. The new Spinifex Hotel really is very nice. We stayed at the Derby Lodge Motel. That was comfortable and reasonably priced.

Derby has a lot of history and worth a visit. King tides in Derby are 12 metres.

After Derby we stayed at Sandfire again, and in the 3 weeks since we stayed there it had deteriorated. Out of at least 12 (refurbished???) motel units, only 2 were actually usable, and that was after swapping fridges around. At least the airconditioning was working, albeit very noisy.

After Sandfire we decided to visit the site of the now abandoned Goldsworthy Mining town where I worked in the 1970’s. Unfortunately we could not access it from the norther side of the railway line. BHP are upgrading the line and all the crossings were gone. So we pushed on to Marble Bar.

Posted by BobnJo-Elsbury 03:45 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 18A

sunny 33 °C

I have added some pics taken on a flight from Kununurra to Mitchell Falls.

Simply wonderful country.

Posted by BobnJo-Elsbury 05:02 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Day 18 Sunday

Leaving Kununurra

sunny 20 °C

It's been a great few days in this area and it is unfortunate that we head south by the route we used coming up.

As the pics will show, the Pentacost River is still closed and although we did see one rig drive across, it is too deep for me to even think about it. There's far too much at stake.

Posted by BobnJo-Elsbury 16:43 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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