to Cutta Cutta Cave and Nitmiluk National park

Today we will reach 3000 km of driving , which is half a total distance we want to finish in this journey. we wake up early and leave the camp. it is a very hot day today , and  we will be on the car most of the time and will have a tour on Cutta Cutta Cave.  It is  exactly 14:15 that the km counter tells us that we have been driving 3000 km on Savannah way.IMG_3546.JPGIMG_3549.JPGit is around 15:00 that we arrive in the Cutta Cutta cave , where is the shelter for some snakes and bars and some other animals , which I hope we can see. The guy who is going to be our tour guide is quite a funny Australian guy who makes different jokes and wants to know where each of us are coming from, and he wants to learn something of our language. I think he rarely has seen someone from Iran.  We are not alone on the tour,there are two other guys with us who are from New Zealand. In the cave when we see some stones shining like there are thousands of stars on them, he asks me to teach him What it means” many stars”  in Farsi,and when i tell him : ” Setare haye Ziad”  his reaction is ” Oh it is impossible to learn this”.  there are many different type of stones and other kind of Geological creatures that I even cannot pronounce their name, also in different shapes, like a dog head, a turned dragon,and even a Kangaroo. I do not write anything about the pictures to see if you also can see them or not.

After the tour on the cave, we drive to direction Nitmiluk National park. there is a camping place there , with salty water  swimming pool, where we stay tonight t.Tonight  is a clear night, like all other nights on the way, where I can see thousands, or maybe millions of stars shinning and blinking.

There are some thermal springs in the area, but unfortunately because of time restriction we cannot visit them all. However we decide to go to at least one of them tomorrow, the Mataranka Thermal pool. I do not know how  would it be to be in a thermal pool when the temperature outside is something between 30 and 40 degree.

 

 

 

 

 

Borroloola to Town River

we stayed the night in Mc Arthur River Carvan Park. This time also we arrived later , but we are lucky that the people who are working in the camp are nice and accept us for the night. actually the lady who helped us, told that she is doing it with all lat comers, and when we explained in another city we arrived late and nobody answered our phone call , she was surprised. ” People Travel, you know” she said.

like all other days,  we wake up early and  drive further  . it takes only around 30 minutes to reach Our first stop ,Caranbirini Conservation Reserve, where there are three different walking pass available to see around the park. we decide to go for Barawulla Walk and then after see the waterhole.IMG_20171022_102701948.jpgstarting the walk, we just see bushes and trees small and a bit bigger .  The temperature is around 35 to 40 degree centigrade.

But   after around 50 minutes walking, the view changes in a  very interesting way, where the Organ pipes appear.IMG_20171022_095110274IMG_3476

after the first walking tour, we have some time to sit beside the water hole and have a look at the trees and ducks relaxing on the water.

Due to car rental terms and conditions we are not allowed to drive to Lost City , But instead we decides to drive to southern lost city which is smaller than the main one, but it worth seeing.

The walk around southern lost city took about one hour. Now we are on the way to see the butterfly fall, where I believe we will not find any water or any butterfly.IMG_3519.JPG

On the way to Towns River, we stop on Cape Crawford to have a short stop and lunch. after lunch we drive through Limmen national park toward the final destination for today , Towns River.  we pass a crocodile sign beside a small creek , and some kilometers after Ivan who drives the car now, stops.

-what do you stop? I asked.

-Let’s have a look at the wheels, something is wrong, he answered.

yes, now we have a flat tire, which we have to change with the extra one we have on the car. It means driving to the next stop with no extra tire, on the road with sharp stones almost everywhere. IMG_20171022_174213767.jpgEven if we lost some minutes to change the flat tire, we have enough time to reach Town River.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boodjamulla to Borroloola

Time to drive further, after the first 2-day camping and relaxing a bit on Adels Grove. The next stop will be Borroloola , in Northern Territory. There are 2 different way we can select in the beginning of the ride, The first one is just derivable with a 4WD and the second one which is a part of Highway No. 1 . we decides to go on the 4WD- only way. IMG_3415.JPGThe first things we can see on the way is a beautiful outbacky Rainbow. IMG_3411.JPGalthough the presence of rainbow is beautiful it means that there was a recent rain which can make the way on 4WD road more challenging. driving further on the road , and now we are on our first 4WD challenge, a Creek .IMG_20171021_090426726.jpg before we start the way we were told on the camping place that there are gates on the road, to prevent the cows to escape, so we need to get off the car and open the gates and when we pass, we need to close the gates.now I see the first gate with the cows that may not see any car or human for weeks. The same way they are interesting for me, I think I am also interested for them. I can be the first Iranian they have ever seen, i do not know about Ivan. comparing the cows in Australia to what i see when i go hiking in Germany, I can mention that these cows are really thin and the one on the Alps are really really fat . the ones that I see here can run very fast, specially when they see our car, and they have no idea what we are. They just start running like a race hours. I am in doubt if the one on the Alps can compete with them.

although the road is very nice but it is really slippery after the rain last night and not easy to control the car. IMG_20171021_091405158

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this is the trace of our own car we made some minutes ago, we can see in this picture

because of the road condition Ivan needs to drive slowly to make sure that he can control the car. driving some kilometers on this road, we start discussing that if we go with this speed probably we will not reach Borroloola tonight , so it is better to turn back and take the highway number 1 .

according to the map it is 502 kilometers from Adels Grove to Borroloola on the highway, and as I learnt on this trip, the highways are not what we expect from highway in Europe. it is mostly gravel road , where also should be shared with Long Fast Road Trains, or The Killers.IMG_20171021_140033987.jpgOn the way we reach the small city Doomadgee and stop to tank our car. the name seems like an aboriginal name to me. there is not much to see on this long way. at is afternoon and we also feel hungry. soon we arrive on Hells gate Roadhouse where we can have a lunch, a huge huge outbacky Burger as usual on the Savannah way.

On Hells Gate Roadhouse we are not far from Northern Territory boarder, where we need to pass today. In my view, Hells Gate is the gate to Nowhere, is where the road to infinite road starts, as the next Everything is around 320 km. good luck .IMG_20171021_152121337.jpg52 kilometers after Hells gate we reach the boarder between Queensland and Northern territory. IMG_3441.JPGTonight we will be in Borroloola, 250 kilometers of gravel road in front.

Boodjamulla National Park

around 8:00 in the morning,  20th October. It is supposed to be a warm day. we are going to take the one-hour long guided cruise along tranquil Lawn Hill Creek winding through the  Lawn Hill Gorge, in Boodjamulla National Park. The area of the national parks belonged to a Waanyi people, who are among the aboriginal people of Australia. According to Waanyi stories, Boodjamulla  who is the creator of all other animals in the Dreamtime and he is a spiritual person to them.He is the one who created the all animals, the billabongs, green swapns and bush tucker in the Lawn Hill area. He rests on the Lawn Hill Gorge and should not be disturbed .

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Also Waanyi people believe that you are not allowed to pollute the water, otherwise Boodjamulla will get angry.

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They also believe that Boodjamulla has created the water of the river as a healing water.

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after reading about Boodjamulla, the tour started. I am wondering if we can disturb Boodjamulla with our presence or maybe with the sound of our Cameras. Maybe I can see him , then I wish he is not angry and friendly with guests.

IMG_3366.JPGIMG_3347.JPGIMG_3350.JPGthere are some water falls on sides of the gorge , listening to waterfall is always pleasant. also feeling  the  flow of cool air around the fall on the skin is something you would like to experience when the temperature is around 30 degree centigrade. Therefore our tour guide turns the boat toward  all the falls to let us experience the freshness.  He  explains that in this time of the day it is not common to see a crocodile , because it is simply too hot for them. But it seems we are not the only one who are getting close to waterfalls, there is another Boodjamulla’s creature who likes the freshness of the fall.IMG_3358.JPG

after the boat tour we have some time to take a walk around the national park and see the river and the area around from another view.

 

after the tour we go back to our camping ground, where one of the neighbors in the camp asks us if we have a problem with ants or not. He explains that they had millions of ants in their car last night and they had to take the car outside the camp and clean it. He advice us that we use some chemical materials on the wheels , to prevent ants climbing the auto from the wheels. our car is a bit far from where their car is, so we did not have any experience like what they had with ants.

we want to stay one more night in this camping ground, so we have enough time to jump in the small creek behind the camping place, where they say it is safe from any crocodile .IMG_20171020_144351636.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

On Savannah way, Normanton to Adels Grove

It is 5:00 am, time to wake up and leave early , before the owner of the closed camp come and ask why we are sleeping in front of their closed camping place.

the next stop is a small city called Karumb, where we are going to have breakfast.The first thing we can see is a sign of a Mining museum , and when we drive to the direction of the sign , this is what we can see as the museum , a steam machine . Everything here has something to do with mining.IMG_3219.JPGNorman river passes the city and flows to the Gulf of Carpentaria. it is said that there are deadly crocodiles living there. walking on a small harbor on the river I can see a warning of Crocodile and also some live big Jellyfish . But I do not see the crocodile itself, maybe next time .

after breakfast we drive back to Normanton. where we can see Krys The Savannah King. Krys The Savannah King is an accurate artist’s impression of the largest recorded saltwater crocodile captured in the world. The poor Croci was shot on the MacArthur Bank , Norman River , down stream from Normanton in July 1957by Krystina Pawlowski, one of the many crocodile shooters operating in the area at that time.The crocodile’s name reflects the feats of this lady. IMG_3245.JPG

IMG_3250.JPG driving further on the city, we arrive on the Normanton Railway station , where has a different definition of railway Traffic comparing with railway stations I have seen in Europe or even my own country. IMG_3259.JPG

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after looking around in the station, we drive to the next stop, which is a Camp, but a historical camp, Camp 119 related to Burke and Wills Expedition.

Robert O’Hara Burke (1820-1861) and William John Wills (1834-1861) were Australian explorers who were the first Europeans to cross Australia from south to north. They both died on the return trip, from exhaustion and hunger. If you are interested to know about them and their history, you can easily click here.

Now we are driving toward Leichhardt falls. I do not expect much water in the fall in this time of the year. On the road , there is a car that i believe has been there for some years now, and we pass some cow herd.the cows are trying to rest under the weak shades of slim trees when the temperature is , i think , between 35 to 40 degree. Poor animals.

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what i imagined is true. when we arrive at the fall we just see stones and a bit of water. But the whole view is amazing. I can see a colorful small bird, that I do not know its name, but i could capture him.

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The next stop will be Burketown, where we will have short break for lunch and we continue to Gregory Town and to Adels Grove camping ground on Lawn Hill Park.We stay tonight on the camping ground.

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seen on the way to Adels Grove

I can wash my cloths and put them on ropes to get dry, but there is somebody who likes to mess up with me and my washed clothes, and try to put some white mark on my washed T-shirts . Here is our small camping mate who likes my washed T-shirts.

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On Savannah way, from Cobbold Gorge to Normanton

18th October, it is around 8:00 o’clock. the sky is clear, the sun is already up and it is a pleasant weather to Jump on a boat and have a tour on Cobbold Gorge.  But before that we have walk on the area around the Gorge .The rocks around the gorge have been formed due to  natural forces over thousands of years.

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Cobbold Gorge From above

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Happy Crocodile above the Gorge

After the walking tour we take a small boat to go around the Gorge. There is also possibility of  Paddle tour on the same gorge .

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our tour boat

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Tour on the Gorge

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The bird on the Gorge

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One of the Gorge Inhabitants

The tour ends and we continue our way  toward the city of Normanton. On the way I can see the first, I think, EMU in my life, But he is so fast and I just see him, or maybe her for a short time.

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Most parts of the way are so narrow that if another car comes infrnt, both cars should drive a bit outside the way to be able to pass each other. The worst is when a road train appears, No way that they reduce the speed and give you some way. You need to know that you are responsible for your life.

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we have a stop for  lunch  in what I call  Shop-Restaurant , that i have seen just in Savannah way. what I realize is that all the burgers in Australia is very big. Even there is Steak Burgers that are really really big. The other thing is the presence of beetroot on almost all burgers.

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One typical Australian Shop-Restaurant on the savannah way

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Big burger with ginger beer

we pass two other cities to reach Normanton, Georgetown and  Croydon , Both are small cities with house that I do not believe are more than fifty .

it is getting dark and we do not think we reach the Normanton before 8:00 pm.  According to the map, there is a camping place before the city and there is one in the city, so we aim to stop on the first one before Normanton.

driving at night is not advisable on outback. The first problem is that there are many many kangaroos standing beside the way and  you never know when they jump in front of your car. Ivan is driving now , and I cannot count how many times he has to reduce speed to avoid kangaroos. The second problem that makes the situation even worse is the big insects that are also on the way, and when they hit the windshield  they explode like a hell and make the windshield dirty with blood that makes it even more difficult to drive on the night. Ivan has more experience in driving, so I am happy that he is doing it now . even if it is a not easy ride, we laugh every time a big Insect hit the car and make a big reddish brownish mark on the shield.

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The Windshield  when drivng at night on outback

When we reach the Camping place, we see the sign ” Closed” so we drove further to  Normanton. We hope that the Camping place in the city is open.

it is around 8:00 PM, we reach the city and find the camping place, but it is also closed. We call the number we have from the camp, but a machine answers and says that we need to call back again tomorrow in the morning. driving at night, getting to two closed camping place , is a bit frustrating. we try to find a place to sleep in a hotel in the city, but neither if the  hotels that we visit have no empty room for us. we decide to go out of the city, and sleep close to the first camping  place we passed.

I am nervous tonight while Ivan is calm. I have never been in a situation like that , and I am a bit scared of sleeping outside the  official camping place.

Tomorrow will be a better day, for sure.

 

on Savannah way,Undara National Park to Cobbold Gorge

16th October 2017,The first night in camping place in the Undara national park, is a new experience for me. I have never been in a camping place . The Kitchen is equipped with what you need to cook, or even BBQ places. we set up our tent and go for dinner. Tomorrow we will have some tour in the national park .

17th of October 2017,Today we  have a tour on the Undara national par, and we can   see the archway made by volcano activities . on the way I see the first kangaroo , and then the first Australian  Bush Turkey in my life.

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Australian Bush Turkey

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Undara National park

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The Archway ( lava Tube)

We are told that there are some years that the Lava tubes can be filled with water due to heavy rain and people come here to swim. There is a video you can see heremade by the national park authorities : https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PJhjl1B_-sI

After the tour we leave Undara National park toward Cobbold gorge, where we stay at night and we will have a tour by the bout on the gorge.

Here are some pictures from the way toward Cobbold gorge.

 

 

On Savannah way, Cairns to Undara volcanic national park

16th october 2017, around 8:00 in the morning, we take a taxi from our Hostel to the car rental company, to pick up our car and start our journey through the heart of Australia.. what I see on the taxi is that they record your voice and take photos of you on the taxi in case they need to use it later. this is what I have never seen somewhere else, you are always under control.

the car rental company tell us that this is the last journey for this car, even if the car is almost new for Australian roads and worked around 30000 km, and they will give the car back to Toyota for a service and they get a brand new car.

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me and Ivan

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30057 km, first day before the start of the journey

The first stop is Heals outlook on Gillies range road, on the state of Queensland. a short brake to take some picture and go further . this is not a place can be found also on google , we just see the sign and spontaneously decide to stop.

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Driving further the next stop is Mobo Creek Crater , in Danbulla National Park in the state of Queensland. There is a Circuit walk around 600 Meter.

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Further on the way,we have a stop on a very strange cathedral, with a very unusual structure for a cathedral that makes it different from all other cathedral I have ever seen, Cathedral Fig Tree.

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On the way we decide to have a look at some waterfalls as well, one of them Millaa Millaa Falls.

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Our destination for today is Undara Volcanic National Park, where where we can have a rest and get ready for the next day.

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on savannah way, close to Undara National Park

 

Cairns

Today we fly from Sydney to Cairns, where the road trip to Adelaide is going to start.
It is around 12:10 that we land in at the Cairns airport. The temperature is around 25 °c , with a high humidity , tropical weather.
The City with almost no high buildings, houses in different styles and full of Asian restaurants . Even in sovenior shops Asian girls are working as sellers. Passing through some shopping malls passages , and streets,reminds me of the ones I have seen before in Malaysia, Thailand and china. Even I can see many Thai foot massages on some passages , the same as what I saw once in Bangkok.


Walking under trees, I can hear some birds are crying on the top of trees. Ivan tells me not to stay under those trees and pass faster. When I passes the trees,he tells me to look at bats on the top . They are actually,bats and not birds and if you stay under the tree with bats on the top, they can shit on you . Thanks to Alan, now I know that they are called Flying Foxes ,as they are really big.


We walks along the beach, have a look around and eat some Asian food.
We need to go back to the hostel and take a rest, Tomorrow the road trip starts.

Down-under ,A journey to Australia, one night in Sydney

13th October, 6:00 pm ,We arrive in Sydney . We go to passport control and then to the final baggage check. We take the underground from airport to our hostel. On the way to our hostel the train stops in different stations,all are big . But the first thing that comes to my mind is the diversity of people here. You can see white ,Asian,Indian,even Iranian,and many many others. Getting off the train at Museum station, walking to I the hostel we pass by high buildings . I am from Tehran,a city with millions of people and high buildings as well,so I feel kind of good to see all of these, the things that I don’t see in where I currently live, Munich. Walking around 5 minutes in Liverpool street we reach the Capsul Hostel,where we are supposed to stay tonight. ‎

8:00 pm, Alan is waiting for us in the reception. It is always good to meet old friends after years in other side of the world, specially if they wear on their Kickball T-shirt.

I got to know Alan when he was living in Munich around 3 years ago , when I was still playing kickball. Later on he moved to his hometown, Sydney .

He shows us the Barangoo area, around the harbor and take us to a nice restaurant where we can have a dinner. I had a salad with Lamb meat, another thing that I rarely find in a normal restaurant in Munich,Lamb meat salad. Not only he is quiet curious to know the details of our road trip,but also he worries about us and tries to give us some advice about the trip. After dinner,we take a walk to the Opera Hall .

Alan tells us about the history of the city around the hall ,shows us the oldest residential house in Australia,Cadmans Cottage, and gives me some advice on what I can do when I come back again to Sydney , because I will spend the last 4 days of my journey in Sydney .

Here There are some Sydney at night ,all around the Opera House.