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Mt. Hart update, new swimming hole at Litchfield, three unusual trip reports, travelling with dogs.
December 16, 2010

17 December 2010, Issue #029

In this issue:
  • Mt. Hart Update
  • New Swimming Hole at Litchfield
  • Three Unusual Trip Reports
  • Travelling with Dogs

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I sure hope those of you living in the south eastern corner of Oz have been keeping safe: high and dry and not too badly affected by the floods and hail storms.

For myself this is usually a very quiet time of the year. Most travel businesses are taking their well deserved breather after the last season, and with Christmas approaching fast, readers don't have time to think about or plan future travels.

Nevertheless, I have several updates for you. I am sure you are as busy as everyone else, so let's cut straight to the chase.

Mt. Hart Update

First of all, I want to extend a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who has responded to Taffy and Kim's call for help in the newsletter special issue from last week. The response has been nothing short of incredible.

Thank you so much to everyone who has been writing to Kim and Taffy with encouraging words, with suggestions and ideas, thanks to everyone who has been forwarding the plea for help, contacting the media, and writing excellent letters to the relevant government bodies, bureaucrats and politicians.

Did it make a difference? You bet it did!!!

If you haven't been following Taffy's and Kim's updates, you can find them here, in reverse chronological order (i.e. start reading at the bottom and work your way up).

Just a couple of highlights of what's been happening:
  • WendyDuncan (the MP who had taken up the case) sent an e-mail at 3:30am (!!), less than 24 hours after the newsletter went out, saying she is overwhelmed by the amount of public support and wonderful comments coming in from all over the world.
  • Radios and newspapers started reporting the story.
  • Your emails piled up in the inboxes of many different people in different government bodies and positions. DEC officers, Members of Parliament, ministers, even Premier Colin Barnett himself, were kicked into action, resulting in a flurry of activity that I can't even begin to summarize. And everybody agreed that the case needs to be looked into.
  • Most importantly, the DEC agreed to negotiate.
"The DEC won't know what hit them!" was a comment Kim made when the email flood peaked. I suppose by now they do know, but they sure didn't see it coming.

To paraphrase a DEC officer: they have learnt a lot from this never to underestimate the "little guy" again and the power of networking and the internet.

You can follow how everything developed and continues to develop here.

Taffy certainly isn't out of the woods yet, not by a long shot, and keeping up the public pressure would strengthen his negotiating position. So keep writing those emails and letters!

But at least Taffy's voice is being heard now. Rather than being totally ignored and kicked out by a faceless, unseeing government, it appears that he will now be able to sit down with real people and hopefully negotiate a real solution that everybody can live with.

You made that happen. Thank you.

New Swimming Hole at Litchfield

The NT government had put aside a few millions for staged works in Litchfield. Most of the work involves upgrading the facilities at Wangi, Florence and Buley, but that's not why I am including it here.

Litchfield National Park now has a new swimming hole. Some of the money was used to make a place called "Cascades" accessible for tourists. Cascades is about half way between Wangi Falls and Walker Creek, and the name says it all. It's not going to outshine Wangi or Florence, but it is one more nice place in Litchfield for a picnic and a swim.

From the car park you can take a little loop walk that takes you along the Cascades Creek and to the top of the actual cascades. Swimming is allowed below "Curtain Falls" and in the middle and lower section of the cascades.

Here are some photos:

A view of Cascades Creek from the walk
Curtain Falls
The middle part of the cascades...
...and the lower part.

Three Unusual Trip Reports

I received this story as a comment to Pat's wonderful report, but Martha's experience is an unusual one:

Rather than being just a tourist, Martha spent some time lending a hand with the cattle muster at Charnley River Station. And I thought this must have its own page. I also managed to get her to send me a big bunch of photos. If you want to see what it's like to work as a cowgirl, here is Martha's page:
Two Dutchies in a BIG 4WDrive (!!!) on the Gibb River Road

The next report is also unusual in that it's amazingly detailed. And not just that, attached comes a whole series of videos! The trailer alone is hilarious. Andy and Hil from the UK started out with next to no four wheel driving experience, Hil had never camped before, the old tyres on their hire vehicle were nearly bald, they caught all the tracks in their absolutely worst condition, and as if that wasn't enough, there was this nasty grinding noise coming from the front axle...

Yet it appears they loved every minute of it! Read all about Andy and Hil's adventures: The Gibb - Adventure Of A Lifetime

The last trip report for today is for all the single mum's out there. You know that being female and single is no excuse, right? Sandy had made that abundantly clear last year already:
Female And Single? Go For It!

But just in case you need another push, here are Lisa and Ash:
Single With Child/Ren - Yes, You Can Do It!

Travelling with Dogs

I am in the process of putting together a little mini guide for dog owners. It's nothing big, I am just collating all the dog related information from the website and Destination Kimberley into one well organised, user friendly document for dog owners.

It will be available as a free download for all Destination Kimberley buyers.

Don't worry if you already bought it. I will make sure you receive the download as well!

Well, and I was wondering if you would like to have your dog star on the cover photo :-).

If you have a photo of your furry friend in the Kimberley that you would be happy for me to use, please send it to adminsupport AT and put "dog guide" in the subject line.

Credit will of course be given to both the photographer and the model!

Should your dog still be waiting for its chance to come up here, any camping or 4WDing photos of dogs are just as welcome. So are suggestions for a good title!

Last but not least, if you have any Kimberley or NT specific experiences and tips that could help other dog owners, it would be great if you could share those as well.

(Again, please write to adminsupport AT and put "dog guide" in the subject line.)

At this stage only the Kimberley dog guide is happening. I hope to be able to follow up with a similar download for the NT soon.

There is so much else I would like to tell you right now, I could easily extend this newsletter to twice its length. But I think I'll keep all my own news to myself until after Christmas, when everyone's life has returned to normal.

Until then, Merry Christmas, enjoy the holidays and have a great start into 2011!

More from the Kimberley soon.


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(c) 2005-2010, Birgit Bradtke. All rights reserved. The Kimberley Guide is published by Birgit Bradtke in Kununurra, WA 6743, Australia. Reproduction of any material from this newsletter without written permission is prohibited.
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