Charlie's Tour Map
Click on the dots for
the cities to find out more about the places Crocodile Charlie visits!
||Broome is a large
seaside town in Western Australia, nested between the Indian Ocean and the
Kimberley Desert. Boasting long and beautiful beaches, Broome is
quite remote for a large town but is well worth a visit. Charlie
doesn't spend nearly long enough there!
Broome was established as a pearling port in the 1880's and is still
very much a pearling town, the other large industry being tourism.
One place the authors can personally recommend is Cable Beach, a
magnificent stretch of white sands that seems to go on for ever.
There are many places to stay, ranging from budget to five-star.
is a fictional place, but there are many real cattle stations in the
Kimberley Desert. Perhaps the most famous is El Questro, a
million-acre property in far North-Western Australia. El Questro is
known as a tourist destination but is also a working cattle station.
Despite being in the desert, there are large rivers and ponds in places
(including but not limited to El Questro Station, which is on the Pentecost river)
and the authors can attest that the fishing for barramundi - a fish that
can easily feed a family of six - can be magnificent.
The best time to visit
any part of the Kimberley Desert is during the dry season from April
through October. Make sure you are in competent hands for your tour
and travel, as the Kimberley can be unforgiving.
the Eastern gateway to the Kimberley Desert. It's commonly used as a
transport hub for those travelling into the Kimberley from that
direction. Kununurra sits on the banks of the Upper Ord River
and is a good place to start from if you want to do river cruises, or day
trips by air to places like the Bungle Bungle ranges. (Which the
authors strongly suggest you do!)
Lake Argyle is nearby, a man-made lake that is more than nine times the
size of Sydney Harbour. As with other parts of the Kimberley that
are near water, the amazing thing is the contrast between these immense
waterways and the seemingly endless, dry desert which is right next
door. Visit during the dry season from April through October.
Island is a tiny dot located north of the northernmost part of the
Australian mainland, just off the tip of Cape York in Queensland.
With only 3,500 residents it's hard to believe, these days, that "T.I."
(as the locals call it) was regarded in the 1880s as Australia's
northernmost point of defence; but as Crocodile Charlie discovers when he
finds the giant gun emplacements that remain to this day, it's the truth.
from some limited tourism, pearling, fishing and trochus are the
traditional industries on T.I. and are still the major employer. T.I.
is largely unspoiled by tourism and is an island paradise; if you can
make the long trip and are looking for a place to rest and reflect, it's
the ideal destination.
||Cairns is the
home of Queensland's tropical north and is a very popular destination for
those exploring the tropics and the Great Barrier Reef. If you share
the authors' love of scuba diving and are in the region, Cairns makes an
excellent departure point for reef trips and is a must-visit.
Cairns is a busy tourist centre and a travel hub, but offers unrivalled access
not just to the barrier reef but also inland, to places like the Daintree
rainforest and Cape Tribulation. However there's no doubt that it's
the access to the Great Barrier Reef which makes Cairns so
attractive. Be sure to register with a competent, PADI-approved dive
school if you try scuba.
the capital of Australia and also a mountain town with a population of
about 300,000. Located between Sydney and Melbourne, it's sometimes
regarded as "just" the seat of government but in fact is a very
pretty, cosmopolitan city with a lot to offer. For a start, of
course, there are the usual sights such as Parliament, the city
centre, museums and libraries.
However the authors recommend that you
look beyond the city centre and explore the countryside. The
surrounding hills and farms are very pretty, and many of the towns such as
Bungendore are well worth a day trip. One of the real secrets of
Canberra is that it offers great access to outdoor sports, including
skiing, bushwalking, climbing, caving and skydiving. It's no
accident that so many first-class athletes and extreme sports enthusiasts
choose to live in or near Canberra.
Thanks to Angie Angel for this
a real place, a small country town just inside the New South Wales border
and about an hour's drive southeast from downtown Canberra. It has
been home base to both the authors at various times (both of us have
farmed in the area) and is still a place we visit willingly and
often. A classic example of rural resurgence and ingenuity,
Bungendore is a centre of activity for real country people, hobby farmers
and visitors alike and is simply a very special part of the world.
It still feels like home to us.
The nearby Newrin Veterinary manufacturing plant in Crocodile
Charlie is a figment of the authors' imaginations, but in much the
same location as the fictional Newrin is "Silver Wattle", one of
the key locations used by the authors and our colleagues to run team and
leadership programs and the place where Team
Results, Crocodile Charlie
and our whole approach were first developed. In that sense it is
Charlie's real home.
in Victoria is a city of some 3.4 million people, and home to one of the
authors. Since the other author lives near Sydney we need to be
scrupulously fair, but it's easy to agree that Melbourne is one of the
most beautiful and liveable cities in the world. Crocodile Charlie
only visits briefly, but that's his loss - Melbourne offers a magnificent
bay with water sports, nearby mountains where you can get everything from
a 900 foot rock climb to a devonshire tea, and an urban centre with entertainment,
cultural attractions and something like 2000 restaurants.
Melbourne also has
unrivalled parks and gardens. It lacks the famous landmarks and the
fast pace of Sydney, but is a great place to live, work and relax.
And, yes, to write books.
||Trentham is a
small country town about an hour and a half's drive north-west of
Melbourne, Victoria. The descriptions in Crocodile Charlie of
both the driving route and the scenery on the way are accurate. Not
unlike Bungendore in New South Wales, Trentham is also a very special part
of the world; and along with Silver Wattle, a nearby venue called
"Kattemingga Lodge" is another of the true birthplaces of Crocodile Charlie. We still run team programs there when the group
size is small enough.
The rolling hills and beautiful vistas over the Wombat State Forest
just outside the township also make Trentham an attractive venue for
moviemakers, and numerous TV series and films have been made there;
including a remake of the "Ponderosa" TV series.