Friday, 27 May 2016


Heading Northwards we were still finding some very interesting places and strange sights.  Not really sure what to make of this place though?
But they did sell the cheapest diesel between Alice and Darwin, so a few Aliens are not going to scare us away!

We made camp further along the road at Wauchope and were rewarded with a beautiful night sky

Don't know the story behind these,  maybe these people  forgot where they parked....They've been here a while..


Rocks seem to be a recurring theme throughout the Territory and we soon came to the Devils Marbles
Our next stop was a place that we had read a bit about and a lot of people say its one of their favourites on the road North.
Some of the locals were there to welcome us
and it was a great place for signs
This is what the Managers say about the place.
It really was a place that made you feel welcome...
Even when going to the loo!  Ree, the manager told us some funny stories, one of which was so good I just had to write a poem - I do that occasionally - anyway when I get time I will put a page on here for this and any other poems that i feel the urge to write, in case anyone is interested.

After this we made our way, not too far up the road to another well recommended camp - Longreach Waterhole - it really lived up to its reputation, we were camped in a beautiful spot, right beside the waterhole (more like a massive lake!!)
 and the sunsets continue to amaze us.
We spent a few days camping here so had to live rough and fend for ourselves - no shops - so had to suffer eating camp oven bread!
We finally dragged ourselves away from this wonderful spot and went for a beer at the Daly Waters Pub...quite an institution in this part of the world.
As we travel we do occasionally have to share the road with others...some that we are happy to make way for.
We made our way to a National Park Campsite just outside of Mataranka, on the Roper River. Dave went out fishing with Kevin, the camp caretaker and  on just his second cast, caught his first ever Barramundi.
Not bad at all!  63cm long and it tasted delicious later that afternoon, served with some Bush Lemons that I gathered.
Maybe we can stay here and just live off the land!!
Just down the road were the Mataranka Thermal pools where we lazed away the morning next day.
Even though they were supposed to be 34' , they were quite refreshing.  We also tried out the thermal pools at Bitter Springs.  Nice to get into the water as we couldn't swim in the river due to an apparent crocodile sighting.
Next stop was to do some shopping in Katherine... Home of the famous...

Then it was Ever Northwards to Darwin - and the ocean!

and Dave thought he might get rid of me here.
But I thought he looked better suited to the accommodations
The prison is no longer in use but it was an eerie place and some rooms more than others.  This was the hanging room.
Dave is actually looking down into the space, after they have dropped the floor away - see the controls on the right hand side!
It was a pretty rugged place, Mens, Womens, and juvenile wings and these were also known to have been used to house Leprosy sufferers at one time.

Anyway as I write this blog, we are still here in Darwin, and have been lucky enough to have been asked to stay with friends - in a house!!  Luxury  plus!
and I will leave you with another iconic Darwin Institution!

until Next time -

Thursday, 26 May 2016


Next stop on our journey took us to the West McDonnell Ranges.  They are pretty vast and there are so many places to go and see. The first stop, not far from Alice was Simpsons Gap.
Thought this sign was a bit ironic as it would be pretty difficult to swim....
In a river ....of sand!!!

But there was wildlife here.

A little further along was a place where you were allowed to swim- and there was even water there. 

And even if there is nothing on the ground to see, there's always the sky......

Our last night in the West McDonnell Ranges was spent at a camp beside the Finke River.  We had a lovely night being serenaded by a guy playing his guitar and singing nearby.  Found out next morning that he was practicing some stuff for a new recording and we bought one of his CD's.  His name is Barry Skipsy.  And with this view as the sun went down, life was pretty good!

Then it was on towards King's canyon via the Mereenie loop, a 4WD road full of corrugations and dust!  but at least we left that behind!

We had a great camp on the top of a rise overlooking King's canyon and you really don't expect to see roads like this after all the dust.
As there are any number of excellent photos of King's Canyon available, I have decided to just add some of a different variety on here. I love rocks and these layers and layers of slate are fascinating.
Its almost ethereal walking through places like this - UNTIL - you see something like this! 
Who let's their children do this?
And another sad reflection on some people....
Band Aids for Trees!!
Leaving Kings Canyon we tried to find a bush camp that was on the internet but after towing the trailer down a dirt/sand track for several km's and over several sand dunes and no sign of a camp we decided to hell with the cost - we'll go to Yalara!
It wasn't a bad camp site and there was even grass in some areas for the tent dwellers!
As soon as we set up camp we went to see what all the talk is about...
Well there it is - and it's Big!
There are designated viewing areas all around the rock, some for sunset and sunrise viewing but we called in during the day as well.  Check out the unique furniture in the viewing bays....
and there were things we discovered that we were previously unaware of:

Cave Paintings..
faces in the rock!
And even though there are numerous signs requesting that people have respect and not climb the rock, there are still those that have to do it!
We never felt the need to climb the rock, still working out if it was due to respect or sheer bloody laziness!  Its quite a haul!
And of course one of the highlights is to watch the sunset over the rock so Dave was prepared and didn't have to worry about the hoards of tourists getting into his shots!

And he was right - there were hundreds there about half an hour later!
The next day it was on to the Olgas or Kata Tjuta to use its original name.
They were equally if not more impressive than Uluru.  And HUGE!!

So Big that we really could not get a shot that represents the majesty of Kata Tjuta!
We were able to explore many areas as they were a lot more accessible and although there were people there, most of the time we were out of sight of others.
Still can't make up my mind which I liked best.
even found some developing frogs in the rock pools!
Then it was time to head back to Alice Springs - to the rain!
So this time we set up the whole camper, complete with the extended awning and all the walls..
Heaps of dry space inside, But we have to dry out before we continue our travels.......

Friday, 20 May 2016


We finally made it to the top end!  Well to the beginning of the top end.  There were times when we weren't sure if we could make it, especially after one disaster - Dave broke the stand off his wine glass in Marree!!!! And we couldn't buy another in Coober Pedy - so where needs must, ingenuity wins out!!!
As we have spent many hours in the car over the last couple of months, I just thought I would share our secret of happy travelling with you all.
Yep, Snakes!!
Back to the road.....not expecting the terrain in the centre to be so mountainous, we were very suprised with all the mountain ranges leading up to and surrounding Alice Springs.  It was a really welcoming place!
We based ourselves there for some days while we went exploring round the area.  We spent some time in the East McDonnell Ranges, 

At a place called Emily Gap, we found some rock art representing the 3 caterpillars, love that there is always information to explain the meaning and history behind all these places.
We hiked around Coroboree Rock 
and it was so interesting to see it from all sides - not as big as we thought and just like a wall of rock.  It amazes us that so often we are the only people around when we stop to look at so many things!

There was also this unusual roadside memorial with a plaque, and right next to it was a burn out pad!!

In Alice we spent a morning in the Transport Museum. I wasn't sure how interesting it would be but it was great.  From the newest Kenworth to the oldest, Vehicles from movies - mad max and the cab from Last cab to Darwin! and even a bar..
I even found one for me.
And I think this would be a good fixer upper for Dave....

Next it's on to the West McDonnell Ranges!  Never a dull moment!!!