A Summer Holiday Down Under
Part 10: Kununurra and Home
20th to 22nd June 2008. Days 23 to 25.
In brief : A last chance to catch the sunrise on the Mini "Bungle Bungles" at Mirima National Park and then we fly to Darwin and have one last day in Australia before we leave for home.
Weather : Overcast in the morning at Darwin but the sun shine returns to cheer our last day.
Mirima at sunrise . . . Ann and myself
Up before the lark today, our last day in town.
A taxi draws up ever so quietly and we throw a bag and ourselves in for a short journey out of town.
On the outskirts of Kununurra there are several ranges of hills contrasting strongly with the flat irrigated farmland of the Ord River Valley.
One such range mirrors the flat sandstone strata of the famous Bungle Bungle mountains, in that they are alternate yellow and red, the colours exaggerated by the presence of moisture and algae. This gives a very dramatic and colourful geological spectacle.
The Information Kiosk has very informative boards detailing the plants, the geology, and the importance of the area to the indigenous peoples.
As we slowly walk up the hidden valley the sun rises and the colours return.
The last flash photo of the morning lighting up a Kimberley Heather bush.
Morning has broken . . .
no it's not a pulpit but another interesting information board.
Sunrise on Mirima National Park
Down in the valley the light is still low as we walk along the way marked trail.
Climbing into the sunshine along the "Derbe-Gerring Banan" ( The Lookout Trail ) we can look down in the hidden valley.
The high contrast light beat the small camera technology but I hope you can appreciate the strata and colour bands well enough.
The information kiosk where we started can be seen in the centre of the picture.
Sometime between 40,000 and 100,000 years ago Aboriginal people came to Northern Australia.
Rock sculptures like this one feature in many of their Dreamtime Stories.
It seems Australian trees have the unique ability to grow straight out of the rock !
Like a great Elephants foot, this tall wind and water sculptured sandstone bluff stands guard over the side entrance to the valley.
The sun is now well up and a third visitor to the park this morning greets us as we walk back out of the valley.
Back at the apartments, we have a few hours to spare. It's a hot day again and there's time again to relax in the pool.
Ann enjoys the jacuzzi pool under the sun shade.
Kununurra, our gateway to and from the Kimberley.
Back at the airport, we board a short haul flight for Darwin.
No sooner had we reached cruising altitude than it was time to descend.
This was our view of Darwin as we make our final approach.
One night here so we book into the Darwin Airport Resort . . . a man-made haven of rest, built on the scrub land on the northern side of the town.
This place didn't exist when we were last here ten years ago.
This did though . . . the central pedestrian mall in Down-town Darwin . . . which we visited next morning.
The blue mosaic section of the pavement told the story of the town from it's earliest days.
Darwin is the capitol of the Northern Territory, and this is Parliament House.
A new Christ Church replaces one destroyed by Cyclone Tracy on Christmas Eve 1974.
All that remained of the old Church was the doorway and porch so this was incorporated into the award winning, modern building,
What a shame, it would have been one of the town's oldest, classic buildings.
Ok it was dated and not up to modern standard but with a little foresight it could, like the remains of the Church, have been incorporated into a modern hotel complex and by so doing hold on to the culture and history of the town . . . The hotel was to Darwin what the Raffles Hotel was to historic Singapore.
As if to cheer us up, the sun came out.
A final farewell to Australia as we fly over it's northern coastline.
Then it was time to fly the big white bird back to the UK.
Flying through the night we chase the moon all the way across the Middle East and Northern Europe.
This was June the 21st, the longest day, and ( due to the time zone changes ) for us about thirty three hours long.
We change our watches back and it is 5am. as the cloudy coastline of Kent and the Thames Estuary glide below us.
Now what was that weather forecast for the English Lake District - sunny and blue skies ?
I'm sure it won't be quite that Kimberley Blue though !
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Technical note: Pictures taken with my Cannon G7 or Ann's Ixus 75 Digital cameras.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . Time to look back and appreciate the last few weeks.
[ If you have been following the Australian adventure, thanks for viewing all the photos and do feel free to send us your thoughts.]