From Katherine I cycled further west after a few days of rest. Allegedly, the wind conditions should be the most ideal when driving counterclockwise around Australia. This was confirmed right from the start with a fantastic tailwind.
So I literally flew over the Victoria Highway. The Victoria Highway connects the Stuart Highway in Katherine with the Great Northern Highway south of Wyndham and west of Kununurra.
He’s part of the Australian National Highway 1 and together with the Great Northern Highway the main connection by land between Darwin and Perth. He got his name from the Victoria River and measures a total length of 537 kilometers.
Shortly before the Victoria River, the landscape changed slowly. This finally created a little variety. Partly the mountain formations almost reminded me of the Grand Canyon in the USA or the Namib Desert in Namibia.
Even seeing water again in this otherwise dry environment was a nice surprise. However, you should not swim in the waters because they are full of freshwater and saltwater crocodiles.
The Australian crocodile (freshwater, Crocodylus johnsoni) is one of the smaller crocodiles and reaches a maximum length of three meters. It has a remarkably narrow, pointed muzzle. They are considered largely shy and attack people only in exceptional cases.
Her big brother is the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), also known as saltie. It’s the largest crocodile living today (up to 5m long). Saltwater crocodiles are the only crocodiles that live in salt and fresh water.
Between Timber Creek and Kununurra I crossed the border between the two states Northern Territory and Western Australia. Due to the danger of quarantine you should not import fresh fruits, vegetables and some other things into Western Australia.
The officer at the checkpoint was extremely friendly, gave me a lot of advices and even offered me some water. Finally, I still had to dispose my garlic supply.
Thanks to my trailer, I can transport a lot more water and food. This is also necessary, because the distances between the individual roadhouses are even longer here than on the Stuart Highway. But there is one thing in common: the damned flies.
After 520 kilometers I finally arrived in Kununurra, the first real town since Katherine. At the Kimberleyland Waterfront Holiday Park I was allowed to set up my tent directly at the artificial lake. One of the most beautiful campsites so far on my trip to Australia.
I liked it so much that I spent 5 days there. Kununurra was founded in the 1960s for a large-scale agricultural irrigation project and has since become the tourist hub of the Kimberley region.
The name Kununurra is a parody of the Aboriginal term Goonoonoorrang. In the language of the Miriwoongs, this means river. The artificial lake was created in 1963 with the construction of the Diversion Dam. The lake extends 55 km from the Diversion Dam upstream to the larger Lake Argyle.
Lake Argyle is Australia's second largest freshwater reservoir in terms of storage space and the largest reservoir measured at the water surface. The lake is usually about 740 to 1000 km² large (in floods up to 2072 km²). This roughly matches the area of Hong Kong (1106 km²).
From Kununurra I went first a little further south to Halls Creek. Before that, I had thought about cycling the Gibb River Road. The heavy traffic (up to 200 vehicles a day) combined with the resulting dust prevented me from doing so.
Shortly after Halls Creek I met two cyclists. Nicole and Nick started from Perth, before that they spent a few months in New Zealand and now they want to ride up to Darwin http://zippert.ch/.
The two live in Chur, practically almost on my doorstep. Of course we had to talk for a while. So far, they have almost always cycled with headwinds. I hardly dared to tell them what a fantastic tailwind I was allowed to enjoy until now.
Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to each other soon. A few miles later, I pitched my tent in the bush. The nights here in the Outback are simply unique to me. The star sky combined with the silence and solitude is simply indescribable.
There are not many such places left on our planet where you can experience such moments. Since Kununurra I'm now cycling on the Great Northern Highway. He connects the capital of the state, Perth, with his northernmost port city, Wyndham. With 3,204 km in length, he’s the longest highway in Australia. He’s one of the most secluded paved roads in the world.
The landscape is also enormously varied here and the Temperatures are currently above 35°C (95°F). This is supposed to be the coldest time of the year. Since it's still cool in the morning I always try to start at sunrise around 5:30.
Between Halls Creek and Fitzroy Crossing I had to cope with the longest distance without a supply option (291km). Here in the Outback, however, this is a ridiculous distance.
Here in northern Australia grow the baobab trees (Adansonia gibbosa). The genus is a endemic of the northwestern Australia and reaches stature heights of about 6 meters (rarely to 12 meters).
At a particularly large specimen, at a rest area, I met Angela and Michael from Germany. They have taken a break for a year and want to cycle around Western Australia https://2-on-bikes-in-oz.blogspot.com/.
They gave me some useful tips for my onward journey to Perth. After I said goodbye to them I cycled for another 2 days until I arrived in Broome. Especially the traffic between Derby and Broome was really bad because of the school holidays. On the last kilometers I had to fight with headwind.
There is even a 5G network here in Broome. Finally a proper internet connection. Australia ranks fifth in terms of mobile broadband worldwide, but only 62nd in global broadband speed (behind Kazakhstan and Cape Verde).
By now I have already covered more than half the distance between Alice Springs and Perth (2800km). The chain drive of my pinion is pretty worn out and my brakes have to be replaced after 4 years on the road.
In addition, so far I have always had a bag of food and spare parts transported by car drivers to the next town. I don’t need this bag anymore and will send it to Perth. So I have some time to enjoy Broome and the Indian Ocean.