As we didn’t hear back from the fishing guys at Col’s work, we decided to spend the day exploring Litchfield instead. We left at 8.30am and drove via McDonalds for brekkie (of course) and then headed to Blyth Homestead in Litchfield Park. If you want to feel like a millionaire and never complain about your life again, go here! The pioneer families did it seriously tough. This was not a homestead but more like a humpy. In the middle of absolutely nowhere. It was 36C and humid with many water crossings to get to the place and the water crossings had Salties in them. It was a great 4WD track in, but I must admit I got a little scared with the long and deep water crossings, knowing there were salt water crocs swimming around. If we got stuck there was no way that I was getting out of the car!!! We had no coverage so couldn’t call anyone. Luckily we saw that the Rangers drive around pretty regurlarly and check the area. Also luckily, we didn’t need any assistance after all. Col put the GoPro on the front of the FJ and we got some good video footage. He will put together the video, but I managed to grab some stills out of the footage to give you an idea.
When we got there we learned that it was only the kids of the family that stayed there and worked the tin mine nearby. One 9 year old kid had to cook for their other 7 siblings. They had farm jobs and it was hot and tough. I felt bad that I was complaining about not having air conditioning in our van after seeing what these kids lived through. Using dynamite to blow up the tin mine and crawl down into the shaft to dig out the heavy Iron. Cart it up to then wash it and crush it. Then sleep in a tin shed with a dirt floor (no air-con). LUXURY….
It was great that they had a photo album with some of the stories of the kids that had lived here. It really made the visit personal and helped you to appreciate the tough times that they survived. Definitely worth a visit if you have a 4WD with a snorkel.
Seriously, made me realise just how good we have it. It was a great drive in, some interesting 4WD expereiences with water crossings and many mud puddles and a beautiful landscape. Col also used the opportunity to fly his new drone and test the tracking.
We then went to Florence Falls and Col went for a swim but I sat on the edge of the pool watching the fish. It was seriously packed full of people and it just ruins it honestly. I know we were some of the people packing the place. It should be a natural, peaceful, beauty but it is a crawling tourist metropolis. I don’t like it. The place itself is really beautiful but I couldn’t go swimming with 50 other people, a blow up row boat and a blow up donut. So I just sat and watched instead and tried to imagine being there if the place was empty.
It is a relatively short walk from the car park to the falls, with about 150 stairs to contend with. Well worth the effort and a beautiful walk in.
We stopped to check out the Magnetic Termite mounds on the way out. These termites are interesting as they build their termite mounds from East to West facing so they have minimal sun shining on the face of the mound. The interesting bit is they are blind, so they don’t use the path of the sun to build in this direction, they apparently have a built in compass where they know North and South. This was tested by putting stronger magnets near the termites and it confused them and they modified the direction of the mound building accordingly. I thought that was a really interesting fact.
Col admiring a Cathedral Termite Mound.
The day was fairly hot and humid, 35C and over cast. We were standing and looking at the termite mounds when the heavens opened and the rain started to fall quite heavily. It was amazing to watch the temperature guage in the car dropping from 35 to 28 in a matter of minutes. It was a nice relief. But still so surprising that it just suddenly dumps that much rain, so different to Adelaide!
BTW we did hear back from Col’s work mates during the day and they did go fishing. You don’t get much notice. Disappointed we missed out on the fishing trip, but we both enjoyed our day at Litchfield too.