View Full Version here: : 1 week to go!
16-06-2012, 01:25 PM
This time next week I'll be on a plane to Broome, WA with Ken Duncan and a group of 15 other people for a 2 week photography adventure (http://www.mikesalway.com.au/2012/05/29/almost-time-for-the-kimberley-adventure/)!
I'm getting very excited! Although I've got such a busy week at work this week i'm refusing to get too excited or pack just yet.
Photo by Ken Duncan at the Bungle Bungles (Purnululu National Park), one of the stops on our itinerary!
16-06-2012, 02:41 PM
:D Time to make lists and check them twice.
I bet you've got a grin from ear to ear at the moment. LOLOL
Have a great trip. It is the best corner of Australia. Just don't forget to pack the
aeroguard as the flies during some times of the year there can really
be something else and will seek out every bit of moisture on your body.
Few things are as annoying as having your eye up to the viewfinder of the camera
and the little buggers try to get in at the corners of your mouth. :lol:
Oh, and watch out for that death adder that Lachlan MacDonald stumbled on
and got bitten by in the Bungle Bungles without realizing it until he started throwing up
a hundred km down the road. :lol:
If the chance permits to go in a copter over and through the Bungle Bungles, it is quite an experience.
They have crashed and people died, so it is not without peril but the scenery is phenomenal.
Pack your swimmers. There will be plenty of opportunities in the Kimberley where you can
take a welcome dip in the refreshing waters of a gorge.
If you stay or drop in at the Drysdale River Station on the way up to Mitchell Falls, wander
out to the big shed where you might be lucky to catch the jackaroos working on their buggies.
Have a portrait lens affixed as the there are plenty of National Geographic portrait moments in
that shed if people are working there. It can be a bit like out of Mad Max. It is such a different
Australia at places like that, it feels like being in a different country at times.
16-06-2012, 03:30 PM
Lucky bugger! make sure while you are up that area your experience the tide gushing out through the small gap in the wall. I forgot whats its called but I hear its fantastic, and good for pics as well.
16-06-2012, 06:25 PM
Have a great trip Mike.
Take plenty of spare cards and a spare camera bodies.
There will be tons of shutter activation out there..
Hope the weather is kind to your group.
Enjoy!! Stay safe..
16-06-2012, 06:39 PM
batteries undies lenses, chargers, tshirt, tripod, memorycards, shorts, hat, phone apps, socks, laptop, solar charger, kiss wife goodbye, tickets
16-06-2012, 06:46 PM
Houghy is packing too many clothes for my liking!
16-06-2012, 07:55 PM
It sounds like a fantastic trip and you are super well prepared.
17-06-2012, 04:00 AM
Mike, above all else don't forget to enjoy, relax, and soak it all in! :thumbsup:
17-06-2012, 05:34 AM
I love this post and will restate the contents much like Bill Bryson...It is a wonderful and beautiful land if the local flora and fauna don't kill you before you can enjoy it first...gosh I do miss Australia
17-06-2012, 08:50 PM
Have a great rip Mike - looking forward to hearing and seeing your experiences.
17-06-2012, 09:15 PM
I am very envious! Enjoy, Mike!
18-06-2012, 05:16 AM
Sure have jjj :) I've been keeping a list running of things to take/pack, and I'm slowly checking them all off as I get my pile of things together :)
I still don't know if I'll get phone/wifi reception anywhere out there, or whether I'll have access to wash clothes while i'm out there! 2 weeks of clothes is a lot to take - hopefully I won't need to pack that much!
LOL Great post Gary, thanks for the warning about the snakes and the helicopters :) I believe they'll be running helicopter flights over the Bungle Bungles and Mitchell Falls. I was planning to do at least one of them but now I'm not so sure :)
I'm pretty sure we are stopping at Drysdale Station - so thanks for the tip!
Yeh I'm not sure if we're going there, I can't remember what it's called either. I'll have to check the itinerary again. Would love to go there!
I've been slowly building up my camera kit over the last 5 months making sure I've got enough of everything to take.
I've got 2 tripods, the 5D Mk II and the 40D, the 14mm Samyang, 17-40L, 24-105L and 200L.
I've been slowly stocking up on spare batteries, memory cards, rain protection stuff, filters, external HD etc.
I'm taking my daughters camping stool :)
Got everything there except the solar charger. Would've been handy.
Thanks Greg - I hope to come back with some photos I'd never ordinarily get a chance to capture.
Thanks John! It should be great fun. A friend at work said she's looking forward to hearing how I go beating off the evangelists :)
Thanks Matt :thumbsup:
Thanks Al! I still can't believe I leave in 5 days!!
Thanks again all - I can't wait to give you all reports and post pics!
I hope I get some phone/wifi reception at various points!
Very envious Mike, you will be in your element, no doubt. Have a wonderful time = understatement. :thumbsup:
Broome is on my list for next year.:)
18-06-2012, 11:05 AM
The weather up there is glorious at the moment. Daily range is about 15-30, it's dry and clear with a steady wind 15-30km/h from the ESE. I feel like hopping on a plane.
Take a good broad-brimmed hat. If you are at all sun-sensitive wear long-sleeved cotton shirts (synthetics feel just awful up there and stink too). I'd consider having two set of clothes in use at any time - day and night. If you rinse the sweat out of the day set each night they will be dry in the morning. Eventually they will need a proper wash but it will put off smelling rotten for a few days. The alternative is to not wash so you get more space around you for the landscape shots :P.
18-06-2012, 04:48 PM
One thing that just occurred to me looking at that forecast, there's going to be no clouds to make the sunrise or sunset shots any different!
It's all going to come down to the foreground rather than the sky. Will be more challenging to find the right spot I guess.
Got prices for the helicopter flight - $520 :eyepop: for a 48 minute flight over the Bungle Bungles.
Sounds great, and I guess would open up some different photographic opportunities (like these (http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/sueandlaz/1/1304863466/tpod.html)). It would be nice if they also set down in some locations to get some different shots.
Not cheap, but a once in a lifetime opportunity, probably worth doing.
18-06-2012, 04:57 PM
Another helicopter shot:
18-06-2012, 05:11 PM
Choppers are fun.
It would be even better if they have a safety harness that would allow you to lean out the door to avoid getting the door frame in your shots.
18-06-2012, 08:07 PM
If you where there over the full moon I would have said I can say hello :P I will be a little bit more interior near Tom Price for a Week of un adulterated astro photo festing!
Do be aware even though you are classed as being in the tropics and the temperatures don't seem low, when you go from 30 deg during the day to 15 deg at night you can get cold.... (I'm from darwin :D) So make sure you have something at least to put on to keep a bit of warmth in!
Its great up that neck of the woods at this time of year though you will miss the wet season storms! they are something else to behold, think of sydney's worst weather and thats just your normal evening storm up there :P
Have a good trip Mike
19-06-2012, 05:19 AM
Have a fabulous trip Mike. Don’t forget your Swiss Army knife or multi-purpose tool!
19-06-2012, 06:06 AM
Thanks guys - I keep coming up with things I haven't packed yet.
I need to even take $1 coins for some coin operated laundries at various places we're staying.
I also need to get a AA battery recharger for my iPhone, just in-case.
I've got a spare (older) battery for my Toshiba laptop which will help if I need power to transfer photos with no 240v nearby.
I think I need a better suitcase for luggage, some hiking shoes (instead of joggers), and now (thanks Dennis) a multi-tool!
The list is growing! :D
19-06-2012, 07:57 AM
Have a great time. My wife and I did a 10 day tour of the region last year. Had a fabulous time. Darkest sky I've ever been under. If you can afford it take the long helicopter flight over Bungle Bungles. Defintely worth it.
19-06-2012, 01:01 PM
Just got back from travelling to many of the same locations. I can answer a couple of questions based on my experience:
1. You'll get 3G mobile coverage near Broome, Fitzroy Crossing, Halls Creek, Kununurra, Derby. Outside of that, things are very limited. I got some near Warmun (Turkey Creek) and Home Valley Station. Most of the Gibb River road and Bungles are no go. Both are so remote you can't even get the local ABC station.
2. Very very unlikely you'll see rain. You may get some occasional cloud, but most days should be clear. No issues with dew.
3. Be sure to cover up at night. I got munched by mozzies, sandflies and ticks one night I wasn't careful. Be most careful around the Gibb River water courses.
Have a good one, you'll love it!
19-06-2012, 03:43 PM
Thanks Richard, have booked in for the 48 minute helicopter flight. Something I won't get the chance to do again so may as well make the most of it :)
Wow thanks for the great details Colin. Great news about dew.
I wish there was a little bit of cloud though - plain blue skies day after day will be tough for sunrises and sunsets :)
I've got aeroguard on my list, but haven't packed it yet. Mustn't forget! :)
Can't wait to see your photos!
19-06-2012, 04:57 PM
Who are you flying over the Bungles with? I work for Slingair and have a helicopter base in the Bungles.
19-06-2012, 05:00 PM
I believe it's Slingair, Dennis.
20-06-2012, 07:17 AM
:thumbsup: Awesome. That will be a busy 48 minutes of photography.
What time of day did you book the flight for?
Will it be a good time for photography?
Do they have a safe means to allow you to lean out a little from the door frame?
20-06-2012, 07:36 AM
Good questions, I don't know the answers yet :)
I will have access to use some Phase One's on the trip too :)
20-06-2012, 09:40 AM
What an opportunity.
Have a great trip. Looking forward to hearing all about it.
20-06-2012, 02:22 PM
Just ask for a doors off flight, I dont know the details of your flight (I looked in the booking system under your name but couldnt se a booking) but it will almost certainly be in a Robinson 44, we generally remove the doors for a tourist flight anyway, you do have seat belts on, ask the pilot and he will happily fly sideways to get a good shot but be warned, doors off and sideways is a) a little scary at first, b) VERY windy. Read more about it here http://slingair.com.au/2011/07/bungle-bungle-helicopter-flights-from-warmun/
20-06-2012, 02:26 PM
Doors off, sideways and the wind in your hair. THE ONLY WAY TO FLY! :2thumbs:
20-06-2012, 06:13 PM
The booking won't have come through with my name yet - I'm filling in the form tonight. I only got the form today but the Ken Duncan events group might have reserved some spots.
21-06-2012, 11:33 AM
With regards mobile phone coverage, once you head out of Broome along the
Gibb River Road, there is no mobile phone coverage at all.
With ever increasing tourist traffic, the Gibb River Road has improved dramatically
over the years but this is a road that is typically closed between about January and
May due to the wet.
North of Broome at Cape Leveque there is some mobile phone coverage to
service the aboriginal communities there.
But unless you have a satellite phone, the only way to communicate to the
outside world is via the public phones that are at some of the homesteads,
such as Drysdale River Station and at places such as the Barnett Roadhouse.
But when you consider that stations such as Drysdale are a million acres you
can appreciate it can be a very long way to the next phone.
If you have not done so already, I would be impressing upon your family
that you may go several days at a time without being able to phone them and so
they should not panic.
Likewise with work. Somehow we managed to transform ourselves from a time
when a holiday was a holiday and a bloke would be left in peace for a couple
of weeks. But these days, as you are well aware particularly in areas such as IT,
work colleagues or the boss somehow expect that they can just phone you day
or night often with the most trivial questions. :lol: And for some, particularly
for workers who are more newly arrived in Australia, the concept there are
parts of the country where one can be incommunicado due to a lack of telephone
infrastructure is something they can be blissfully unaware of. It starts one
morning with one of the junior programmers wanting to know if they can rename foo.c to bar.c
and by the time it gets to lunchtime and you haven't responded to the message they left
on your mobile phone, panic sets in. By the next day it is escalated all the way
to corporate management and they quickly reach the only logical conclusion which
is that you must certainly be dead. By the time you get back to work, someone
has not only swapped your good office chair for one with coffee stained
upholstery and a broken caster, as the final coup de grace, a student on work experience
has been given your desk, computer and coffee mug.
With the exception of items such as toiletries, pies and drinks, the roadhouses
have very little else to offer so if you haven't bought it by the time you left
Broome, you aren't going to find it.
From a sightseeing point of view, what the Gibb River road is largely about
is that it is punctuated by numerous scenic gorges, particularly along its
western extent. A lot of your time will undoubtedly be spent going down into
the gorges. There are no shops there, just lots of sunshine and in some but not all,
mostly harmless freshwater crocodiles. At Windjana Gorge the freshwater
crocodiles in parts can be impressively packed cheek by jowl, so watch where you
The best baobab trees to photograph are predominantly found in the western
extent of the Gibb River Road.
Keep a sharp eye out for beautiful Gouldian finches in the shrubbery around
creek crossings. Apparently becoming rarer and rarer.
21-06-2012, 01:41 PM
LOL is there anything you don't know, Gary? :) You continue to amaze me! :)
The tour guide will apparently have a satellite phone for emergencies.. I can just imagine me bailing her up and demanding to use the phone - the programmers are going crazy! :)
I wonder if the satellite phone has a Facebook app? :)
21-06-2012, 05:39 PM
Australia is a BIG place!
Zoomed in view (but still, look at the scale)
And then zoomed out!
22-06-2012, 08:26 AM
There used to be a very pretty group of baobabs on a hobby farm on Packsaddle Springs Rd Kununurra. I think I just found it again using Google street view but now they are amongst fruit trees. Still looks sort of nice. I know you won't have time but if you could get out to Packsaddle Springs you'd love it. We bush camped out there for a few weeks while we picked limes on one of the nearby farms (the one north of the boababs). Ever heard of green tree-ants? :whistle:
I didn't see a Gouldian finch at all so if you do it's quite a find. My rarest bird was a square-tailed kite which flow over about 5m up while I was lying on the grass in Young's caravan park and was gone before I could stand up. With any luck you'll see some of the spectacular Crimson Finches - they were even in Town Caravan Park and you'll almost certainly see Zebra Finches and Double-Barred Finches and perhaps some Mannikins. Fork-tail Kites are everywhere and they will be Whistling Kites at every waterhole. Larger water bodies could have Magpie Geese, Plumed Whistling Ducks, Sea Eagles and Ospreys. There are also Red-tailed Cockatoos which are the most graceful fliers. It's amazing how fast they go with such apparently little effort.
I better stop reminiscing now and get to work. Oh I want to go back to the Kimberley!!
22-06-2012, 10:06 AM
22-06-2012, 10:40 AM
Have fun Mike. :thumbsup:
22-06-2012, 03:07 PM
After worrying my wife sick on a trip to Chile with no coverage and no idea whether I was alive or dead, I now travel with a SPOT device. Has options to locate me and message whether I'm OK or not. Neat little device.
Haven't had a chance to process much yet, Mike, but here are some to wet the appetite.
22-06-2012, 03:29 PM
My problem may be actually getting to the bungle bungles at night. I'm not sure exactly where we're camping and if it's walking distance or what :)
I doubt I'd be able to convince the tour guide to take me back there at night ;)
22-06-2012, 03:53 PM
You'll probably be at Walardi Camp, the one closest to Piccaninny Creek. Piccaninny is the spot to capture the domes...about 30 minutes drive from the campsite.
Maybe see if you can leave your camera there clicking away over night? I did that a few times and picked it up next morning at sunrise before the hordes arrived. Unfortunately, you can't camp at the Creek.
23-06-2012, 10:23 AM
I think we're staying at the bungle bungles wilderness lodge. Not sure how far that is.
I'm on the plane now, ready to take off. It's an older plane, no tv in the seat :(
23-06-2012, 12:15 PM
um can't you use the visualiser on the side of the plane and your iPod :rofl: (yes mike the window......)
23-06-2012, 04:39 PM
26-06-2012, 09:34 AM
Nature photography my hobby.
What's ur setup?
I got Canon EOS, 300mm telephoto, etc etc etc. No stand.
Thinking of getting longer telephoto.
I was snapping rainbow laurekeets in 100 acres last week.
26-06-2012, 03:47 PM
Checking in from Fitzroy Crossing. Have spent the last 2 days up at Cape Leveque - wow what a beautiful place and skies so dark. Never seen anything like it.
About to head out to Giekie Gorge for a boat cruise up the river and some sunset photography.
Having a great time, can't believe there's still like 8 or 9 days to go.
Have posted a couple of pics on FB bit can't attach them here.
Will try later when I get some spare time in front of the computer.
I saw the most amazing fireball that lasted for 10 seconds!! And, I was capturing at the time!
Will try and post it later.
26-06-2012, 03:49 PM
Safe travelling Mike. Great to hear that you are having fun!
26-06-2012, 05:16 PM
The first 2 are good but that 3rd one is striking. The way you've captured the milky way I see an annoyed face with a downturned mouth, piercing eyes and large ears...like a sad gremlin...looking down at the cliff face.
I'd be very interested to hear about settings and techniques. How many exposures etc.
27-06-2012, 10:41 AM
Watched the beautiful sunset in the Gorge yesterday lighting up the Eastern wall. Then up at 3:15am this morning to cruise down the river and climb up the escarpment in the dark and wait for the sunrise over the Western wall.
It was just stunning!
Long road trip today as we head out to the Bungle Bungles.
27-06-2012, 11:08 AM
You'll be waiting a while. :P Sorry, there's a pedant in every crowd.
It sounds like a great morning. Years ago we did a similar thing at Chambers Pillar (on the edge of the desert south of Alice). Got up in the dark, no lights on at all, climb up a mesa to the east of the pillar (scouted the path the day before) and watched the sunrise sweep across the desert and onto the pillar. Spectacular morning. Plus the best naked-eye view of M31 I've ever seen.
You'll love the Bungles.
27-06-2012, 11:13 AM
I meant ON the western wall - ie the sun was shining on it :)
29-06-2012, 02:30 PM
Spent 2 nights at the bungle bungles and now in kunanurra on our way to home valley station.
Went into the bungles last night - wow it was beautiful.
Hope everyone is well!
Great to hear you are enjoying the beauty of the Kimberley.
As you progress around to the Gibb River Road, the scenery becomes more
beautiful than what you experienced on the tarmac between Broome and Halls
Creek. We will also undoubtedly hear less from you during that stretch.
Nobody has burnt down the web site yet whilst you are away. :)
05-07-2012, 02:58 PM
Thanks Gary. In derby now at the prison boab.
Heading back to broome for a flight home tomorrow.
Have had a great time, thousands of photos to go through at some stage :)
Great to hear you have popped out the other end of the Gibb River Road
into the civilization and sophistication of downtown Derby.
Have a great trip back and we look forward to the photos and stories.
Be warned, the cold weather in Sydney will come as a shock. :lol:
05-07-2012, 03:35 PM
Haha I bet. It's actually been freezing at night up here, but very warm days.
Ken and I trekked into Mitchell Falls and stayed overnight on a ledge overlooking the falls. Woke up at 3am freezing cold, should've taken that sleeping bag :)
06-07-2012, 06:33 AM
Hope you managed a shot of you in silhouette doing a Karate Kata at night with a clear moonlit skyscape as a backdrop??? :thumbsup:
06-07-2012, 09:41 AM
Hope you packed these essentials...
Roll-on insect repellent (tropical strength)
Spare camera batteries....
Can of "Dust-off" and small lens cleaning kit
06-07-2012, 09:50 AM
Funnily enough, there were NO insects to worry about.
A few flies in the last couple of days, but no worse than Sydney. And no mosquitoes anywhere on our journey.
Just managed with 4 camera batteries - the genuine Canon one lasted ages and was the workhorse. The 3 after-market ones were terrible and drained extremely quickly. Will be replacing those with Canon ones.
Lots of dust - it's over everything!
And didn't need my dew prevention at all - not a drop of moisture anywhere in the whole 13 days.
06-07-2012, 12:10 PM
A good call!
I recently discovered aftermarket batteries are somewhat incompatible with the 5DMk III.... the new model "talks" to genuine batteries to assess their current state, but aftermarket ones are missing the required smarts.
06-07-2012, 04:46 PM
Did you end up doing a Bungles flight?
Also, you need to be very careful on the cliffs at Mitchells falls, we helicoptered out a body of a tourist who slipped and fell just two weeks ago, very sad indeed, poor woman was only early thirties but she was where she shouldnt have been, it's horrible for our pilots when this happens.
07-07-2012, 07:48 PM
Yes, did the flight over the bungles. Young pilot, can't remember his name - Mark maybe? Was a great flight loved it.
Also did the short flight from Mitchell Falls back to the camp at 7am on Thursday I think? after staying at Mitchell Falls overnight.
Us photographers got in some crazy dangerous places that's for sure - very close to some very high ledges.
I heard about the woman at Big Merton's.. Terrible news :(
I couldn't imagine crossing that one in a big river - that's very close to the edge and could easily sweep you off I would've thought. I know she didn't fall while crossing the river though.
10-07-2012, 08:09 PM
Just catching up with this thread now Mike, sounds like a wonderful adventure. Can't wait to catch up with you to hear all about it!
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