Charlie's Tour Map

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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.

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River Station 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.

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Kununurra is 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.

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Thursday 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.

Apart 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. 

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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.

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Canberra is 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.

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Thanks to Angie Angel for this photo

Bungendore is 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.

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Melbourne 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.

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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.

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