Beyond the Black Stump and Back o’Bourke: Back in the Outback

After the fleshpots of Sydney, we are happy to be back in the outback again.

back in the outback
Iconic bottle trees

The northwest of Australia is known for its picturesque bottle trees. Essentially  baobabs, like in Africa.

The endless vistas and empty roads suit us down to the ground.

The wide, brown land for me

After returning from Sydney, we spend a last evening with Lauretta at Darwin’s  Deck Chair Cinema. While lounging on beanbags at the front, one of the DCC’s famous possums casually strolls over Lauretta’s pillow and finishes off her dish of Middle Eastern salad – mere centimetres away – with the aplomb and casualness of a house cat.

We stop at Victoria River, NT overnight before arriving in the state of Western Australia the next day. One of the first roadhouses we come to has a chute for disposing of live cane toads, a real pest here.

back in the outback
Toad in the hole

We flee Hall’s Creek early in the morning of my birthday after – barely – escaping the predations of larcenous locals around the caravan park. We stop for breakfast at a roadside halt that is covered with corella parrots.

back in the outback
Carpet of corellas

We never tire of seeing parrots everywhere here; we’re such tourists. There’s something uplifting about parrots.

We arrive in Broome, WA, a relaxed sort of town.

back in the outback
Breakfast on the Bay, Broome

After learning about local history at the Broome Museum – the pearl industry, dinosaur footprints, and aircraft relics from WWII Japanese air raids – we head to Cable Beach.

back in the outback
Seaside park at Cable Beach
back in the outback
Cable Beach

The next day, we spend an unexpected night at the Roebuck Plains roadhouse caravan park when the road south to Port Hedland is closed because of a bushfire.

Beyond the black stump

Eventually, we carry on to Eighty Mile Beach.

back in the outback
The road to Eighty Mile Beach

Like the beaches of Broome, the waters of Eighty Mile Beach are a lovely turquoise.

back in the outback
Eighty Mile Beach caravan park
back in the outback
Sundown on Eighty Mile Beach
On the way south again. We stop for coffee at the Whim Creek Pub.
back in the outback
Whim Creek pub

I recall stopping at this pub my previous time in Australia. I got a multi-day lift with someone named Risto (a Finnish name). He worked at the Goldsworthy iron ore mine. He drove a green VW 1600 fastback. It never ceases to amaze how the brain retains such trivia when sometimes I can’t remember which day of the week it is.

back in the outback
Peacocks at the Whim Creek Pub

Sight or Insight of the Day – Back in the Outback

We see a shark. Close up.

While at Eighty-Mile Beach, Maria wants to go swimming. The caravan park management suggests she does not. A few hours later, we watch the sun go down and see a shark not ten metres away in the improbably shallow water offshore. He must be at least two metres long – his dorsal fin and tail fin stick out of the water as he cruises up and down the beach. That was really cool!
Maria manages to get this fuzzy photo of me in the foreground and the shark nearby. It’s quite dark by this time, so the performance of our little camera is impressive.
back in the outback
Cue the theme music from ‘Jaws’