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Jo takes on the challenge of basket weaving and exploring Hancock Gorge (not at the same time!)

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  • Pearls and Planes

    by Jo Durbridge | Jan 21, 2015

    Deb's final day in the Kimberley! It was an absolute pleasure to host Deb as the winner of the 2014 Characters of the Kimberley Competition.  Thanks for being our Guest Blogger Deb,  and we hope to see you and Alistair back here in the North West!  Deb's final blog post... 

    We had packed our bags and had one more great brekky on the boat. We said our farewells to the wonderful crew of The Great Escape as we boarded our boat pick ups for the Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm Tour.

    This tour was informative and we even got to hold some expensive pearls!

    Soon it was time to board and head to the airstrip to board the plane to head to Broome.

    Aerial of Cable Beach

    An aerial image of Cable Beach.

    After arriving at Broome we then collected our other luggage and then boarded a bus to go to Broome Airport where we were dropped off to wait for our next plane to Perth then to head to Adelaide.

    I left part of me in the Kimberley,  but also brought some of it home with me.

    We arrived in Adelaide at 10.30pm  and home by 11.45pm,  a long day,  but 10 days of lifetime memories!

  • Footy Final While Afloat!

    by Jo Durbridge | Jan 21, 2015

    Deb is nearing the end of her Kimberley journey and shares her relaxing cruise on the Kimberley Coast with us...

    After brekky The Great Escape headed to Croc Creek where if you wanted you could go to a swimming hole to go swimming. We chose to stay on the boat and enjoy the quite time.
    Later that afternoon on came the big screen TV and the AFL grand final game was on. We cruised through the Kimberley while watching the game, what an amazing way to see the match.

    A final fishing adventure was on again with some fish being caught and very quickly being cooked and on our plates thanks to the crew and Ben. Our final evening meal was a good time shared with crew.

    Sunset on a Kimberley Cruise
    Another Kimberley sunset.

     

  • Sunsets and Mud Crabs

    by Jo Durbridge | Jan 21, 2015

    Characters of the Kimberley Competition winner Deb is taking us on her journey on The Great Escape along the Kimberley coast.  Over to you Deb...

    After an amazing sunrise followed by yet another great breakfast it was time to bait up the hooks again.

    We headed off in the dinghys to have some fishing fun.

    Fishing in the KimberleyThrowing out the net.

    A few fish were caught but not many so then we headed out to set mud cab pots.

    mudcrabbing in the Kimberley Success in catching mud crabs

    It proved to be a success with chilli mud crab being added to the lunch time menu!

    Cruising the Kimberley Coast
    Cruising the Kimberley Coast on the Great Escape.

    The wind suddenly picked up which made for a fun, wet dinghy trip to have a closer look at a waterfall. Unfortunately it was not flowing but the site was spectacular nonetheless
    We then headed to the Horizontal Falls.

    Wow is the word for our amazing dingy ride through the Horizontal Falls. Forget all of the man made thrill rides of the world mother nature has made the best one... The Horizontal Falls.

    Then we all headed out in the dinghys to a gorgeous spot and the crew tied the dinghys together to form a raft. We had eskies loaded with our drinks and a platter of cheeses and nibbles. We sat floating with the tide while waiting for the show of the amazing stars. Each dinghy headed back to The Great Escape for an awesome dinner. Wow what a day!
    Sunset inthe Kimberley

    Kimberley sunset.

  • Fishing and Food on The Great Escape

    by Jo Durbridge | Jan 21, 2015

    Deb gets ready to enjoy a Kimberley cruise on The Great Escape and continues her blog... 

    Another delicious buffet breakfast then we said farewell to Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa.

    Our Great Escape ride arrived to take us to the airport where we were flown to a remote airstrip to then board a helicopter. "Scorcher" the helicopter pilot was really informative and friendly and put our minds at ease at having no doors!!!

    Birds eye view of Broome

    A birds eye view of the landscape as Scorcher pilots Deb and Alistair to
    The Great Escape   

    Landing on the Great Escape

    Coming in to land on the Great Escape!

    A spectacular flight ended when we landed onto the flight deck of The Great Escape.

    Before we knew it we were all in dinghys heading to the amazing Ruby Falls for a cool off swim and a stunning welcome to that part of the Kimberley.

    Ruby Falls in the Kimberley

    Ruby Falls

    After a delicious lunch we joined some of the crew and headed out fishing. Amazing how in a very short span of time we caught fingermark and mangrove jacks. It made for an exciting time and fresh fish for lunch tomorrow.

    Catching fish inthe Kimberley

    Some unlucky fish caught by passengers on the Great Escape in the Kimberley.

    We all cleaned up and Ben the chef made a dinner which many restaurants would love to serve.

  • A Tour 'Out of this World'

    by Jo Durbridge | Jan 21, 2015

    Competition winner Deb leaves Home Valley Station for Broome and tells us what she has been up to... 

    Simon from Home Valley Station drove us into Kununurra along the Gibb River Road. We crossed the well known Pentecost Crossing adding to our adventure.

    We flew into Broome to be met by Jo from Australia's North West Tourism. Jo took us to Matso's Broome Brewery for lunch where we met Kimberley Character Greg from Greg Quicke's Astro Tours and his partner artist Sobrane.

    Matso's Broome Brewery
    Greg Quicke, Deb and Alistair enjoy a few beers at Matso's Broome Brewery.

    Lunch was delicious followed by samples of Matso's brews. I really enjoyed the ginger beer.

    Jo then took us to the gorgeous  Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa. Our room was really nice and overlooked the adult pool just stunning.

      Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa

    Sunset view from the Pool View Studio at Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa.

    Later in the evening we were taken via taxi to Greg's Astro Tour.  An amazing tour and definately a must  for everyone's Broome adventure. Greg is a great host and a galaxy of information about stars and planets. A tour out of this world. Thanks Greg!

  • Broome Sightseeing and a Delicious Dinner

    by Jo Durbridge | Jan 21, 2015

    After an evening at the beautiful Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa we had breakfast at the Sunset Bar and Grill. The buffet breakfast was a vast array of food for all tastes.

    We then boarded the Broome Sightseeing Tour.  The tour was very informative and covered a big area of broom in the 2 hours, well worth doing.

    Lord McAlpine statueA bust of Lord McAlpine sits on Cable Beach Reserve. Lord McAlpine has been credited as kick-starting tourism in Broome in the 1980s. 

     bird plant
    Deb discovered the bird flower on the Broome Sightseeing Tour.

    We stayed in town after the tour checking out some local shops and we had lunch in the local hotel.

    After returning to the resort we hit the adults pool for a relaxing afternoon of taking dips and having cool drinks from the pool bar.

    Later in the evening we met Kimberley Character Kylie, and Trippy from The Great Escape Charter Company and Australia's North West Tourism's Glen and his wife Lynette for a delicious dinner in the Club Restaurant at the Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa. It was a very fun evening with lots of great memories added to our ever growing memory bank.

  • Awesome Breakfast and Upgraded to a Castle (a Grass Castle that is!)

    by Jo Durbridge | Jan 21, 2015

    Deb continues her visit to Home Valley Station in the Kimberley.

    Brekky was a awesome buffet just awesome.We then headed out on a morning fishing tour with the fishing Legend Tom (as his shirt says so, lol). Tom took us to two beautiful locations to wet some lines. There was excitement with the successful landing of a dew fish by one of the fellow fishermen.  Tom is a very knowledgable fishing guide and one heck of a nice guy we all had a lot fun.

    We returned to Dusty Bar and Grill for a delicious lunch before meeting Alfie again.
    Alfie gave us a private tour of HMS with Simon driving us around it was amazing to see the station. Home Valley Station is amazing and the more time we spent there the more its realised.

    This tour ended at their Helicopter pad with a surprise helicopter tour of the Cockburn Ranges. Seeing the ranges up close was just soooo beautiful.

    Helicopter scenic flight
    A surprise helicopter scenic flight for Deb and Alistair

    Cockburn RangesCockburn Ranges from the air.

    Dinner was at the Dusty Bar and Grill were we shared dinner with Kev and his wife Zoe and Alfie joined us too. Kev was the fisherman who had caught the dew fish so HVS cooked it and served it with chips and salad, Tom the fishing guide also dropped by and shared some stories and laughs along with Simon also stopping by too.

    We headed back to our room which HVS upgraded to their grass castle WOW. Is all I can say about that room is WOW.

    Tomorrow we head back to Kununurra a lot of great memories have been made at HVS thanks soo much.

  • Treated like Rock Stars!

    by Jo Durbridge | Jan 21, 2015

    Had a great sleep followed by an awesome breakfast thanks Freshwater East Kimberley Apartments!

    Matt from Home Valley Station organised for us to be treated like rock stars, arriving via a seven seater plane from Shoal Air.

    River from the air
    The Ord River form the air.  There was smoke haze due to a large fire.

    We enjoyed a birds eye view of the scenery and we were greeted by a smiling and waving Matt Payne as we landed.

    Matt introduced us to Home Valley Station it is an amazing and beautiful place.

    Boabs at Home Valley Station

    The boab trees at Home Valley Station

    Champagne and a fruit platter were in our room along with some HMV gifts. A very, very nice surprise.

    Dusty Bar and Grill is full of atmosphere and the food for our lunch gave any main town venue a run for its money.

    Dusty Bar and Grill
    Home Valley Station's Dusty Bar and Grill

    Alfie a trainee was our guide for a sunset lookout tour which was beautiful. Taking in the Cockburn ranges while drinking Moet and eating cheese and nibbles. Alfie was a confident tour guide who has answers for every question we asked. He has a great charm about him coupled with a smile you will remember.

     

    Alfie and Alistair

    Alfie & Alistair

    Cockburn Range at dusk
      Cockburn Ranges in the Kimberley at dusk

    Sunset in the Kimberley

    Kimberley Sunset

      We returned to our room after a great night.

  • Kimberley Adventure Begins

    by Jo Durbridge | Jan 21, 2015

    Debra was the winner of this year's Characters of the Kimberley Competition and has written about her adventures in the North West.  Over to you Deb...

    Planes, trains automobiles.... well no trains lol. After an early morning start and three plane rides and our Kimberley adventure has begun.

    We arrived in Kununurra at 2.30pm and we were taken via courtesy bus to the stunning Freshwater Kimberley Apartments.

    Freshwater East Kimberley Apartments in Kununurra

    Freshwater East Kimberley Apartments in Kununurra.

    Freshwater East Kimberley Apartments
     View from the apartment

    Our apartment was very well appointed and surrounded by gorgeous gardens. We ventured for a walk into the town centre followed by dinner next door.

    Sleepin Buddha

    The 'Sleeping Buddha' with Lake Kununurra in the foreground. 

    An early night for us to be bright eyed and bushy tailed for the Home Valley Station adventure to begin tomorrow.

  • Mark Bids a Final Farewell.....

    by Jo Durbridge | Jul 17, 2012

    All good things have to come to an end; our guest blogger Mark Brereton posts his final blog from the Kimblerey.......Well, they tried to kick me out of Broome on Friday just gone. I enjoyed my time here in Broome so much that I rang QANTAS and changed my flights, so now I fly back today. In anticipation of the cold weather in Adelaide, I’ve got jeans on and I’m struggling with the 30 odd degrees!  I stayed at the Broome Time Lodge for the remainder of my stay. Brad and his team really went out of their way to provide any assistance that I needed. I attended an art exhibition at The Broome Factory on Friday night, which was a great way to fill in the evening. I then got a lift to Café D’Amore from a friendly local and had a delicious meal. The chicken calzone was followed up with what could only be described as the bees knees! Sticky Date pudding with a glass of dessert wine, I definitely could have gone for seconds! Saturday saw me visiting the Courthouse Markets, grabbing a coffee from Mark and his team at Kimberley Coffee. There were numerous stalls of arts, crafts and foods. They also had live music playing on the steps of the courthouse which was really great.  On Sunday, I went out with the guys from Fish Broome to about 15-20 kms offshore. The Rarebreed II was 12m long and had 700 horses under the bonnet ‘so to speak!’  We caught a number of fish, my best one being a metre long Spanish Mackeral!. Well must run or I might miss the plane and have to stay longer!  Thanks to everyone who has been involved in organising this competition. It has been a truly fantastic opportunity, one which I will never forget!

    A final note from Australias North West....We'd like to thank Mark for embracing the opportunity to come to the Kimberley with such gusto!  It was a pleasure to show him our back yard and to introduce him to some of the fantastic people that call this region home.  We're pretty sure Mark is a Kimberley convert and it wont be long before he's back!  

  • Leisurely Stroll to Waterfall

    by Jo Durbridge | Jul 08, 2012

    El Questro Wilderness Park

    Guest blogger Mark's 'Characters of the Kimberley' adventure continues...The “leisurely stroll” up El Questro Gorge was amazing! Larissa had said that there was a water crossing half along that was at about chest height that we needed to get through if we wanted to get to the end of the gorge. Once Claire and Larissa hardened up, they said that the water was fine! With the benefit of hindsight, Claire describes it as positively tropical! We made our way through the crossing and continued our way to the end. We were greeted with a gorgeous waterfall and pool that just beckoned. Once again, the girls were too soft to jump in, so I made the most of it after they twisted my arm. I swam like a half drowned goldfish out to the waterfall and climbed up onto the rocks below. Sitting under the waterfall was unbelievably refreshing and was quite massaging. We definitely timed it well as we had the pool to ourselves until we decided to head back. On the way back we met Frankie J Holden who was there with his family on holidays. Claire and I then headed to Emma Gorge for a delicious lunch before heading back to Kununurra to catch a flight back to Broome. My thanks to Lori, Larissa and their fantastic staff for a most enjoyable stay.

  • Barra Beware!

    by Jo Durbridge | Jul 06, 2012

    Driving to Hairy Dog's Fishing Camp

    After a sound night’s sleep, my body clock woke well before I really needed to! I’m now heading out to meet Greg Harman (aka Hairy Dog). Not sure why but his name reminds me of Mad Dog Morgan, I hope he doesn’t mind me saying this! Looking forward to catching my first barra, bring it on!!!  Back home in Mount Gambier it was 0.7 degrees at 6.30am this morning. Here in Kununurra at 6.30 am it was 14.8 degrees. I’m in shorts and a t-shirt, North West local Claire, thinks its cold and has got a fleece jumper on!!

  • Guest Blogger Arrives in Kimberley

    by Jo Durbridge | Jul 05, 2012

    Mark will be seeing real boab trees soon!

    Our guest blogger Mark Brereton is in the region and currently on the final leg of his flight to Kununurra.  So what did we learn about Mark in his 15 minutes transit in Broome?  He used to be in the Royal Australian Air Force,  he is from Mount Gambier not Adelaide as previously posted (sorry Mark!), excitement about his visit to the Kimberley means he has been awake since 1.30am this morning WA time and his reaction on winning the Characters of the Kimberley competition was “Are you S#%$@*#* me?” Mark (pictured) will be amongst real boab trees soon!

  • One More Sleep Until the Competition Winner Arrives!

    by Jo Durbridge | Jul 05, 2012

    We are looking forward to meeting Characters of the Kimberley Competition prize winner and guest blogger Mark Brereton tomorrow.  Hailing from Adelaide, Mark’s first stop will be home of adventure tourism – Kununurra!  We can’t wait to read his update on his upcoming barramundi fishing trip on the Ord River with Greg Harman (AKA Hairy Dog)!  Haven’t met Hairy Dog?  Check out this video!

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