A Travellerspoint blog

Days 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31

Mataranka to Darwin

sunny 30 °C

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Day 27
After a nice quiet rest last night we drove to the Mataranka Springs for a dip in the nice warm water there.
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After our early morning swim we travelled into Mataranka to do a little shopping and bought lunch which we ate in the park.
On then to our rest stop for the night at Kings River Rest Area where we had a birthday party for Glen who turned 56.
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Day 28.
This morning we travelled the short distance to Katherine where we all did quite a bit of shopping as this will be the last major stop before Darwin.
We filled water tanks and got fuel before a short run up to Edith Falls which is where we intended to stay for the night, however, the park was full.
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Onwards then to Pine Creek were we drove through this very small town. Had a look at the old train kept here.
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Then drove to the cheap park at the local race track. There were a large number of Gallahs here as well as a few Black Cockatoos.
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Day 29
After a nice quiet sleep last night, we travelled to Adelaide River and visited the War Cemetery there. All of the victims of the bombing of Darwin during World War 2 are interred here. It is very peaceful and well looked after.
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We travelled to Litchfield National Park and had a look at the Magnetic termite mounds as well as a Cathederal mound.
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Onwards to Wangi Falls and assumed we would be able to camp there for the night. We were mistaken as the place was absolutely packed so we had lunch then travelled back some 40km to a caravan park for the the night.
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Day 30.
We said goodbye to George, Ron and Jo An. They are returning home via the east coast whilst we are going up to Darwin for a week then west.
We stopped at Berry Springs thermal pool for a swim.
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We then drove on and turned off the Stuart Highway onto the road which goes into Kakadu National Park and set ourselves up in Beatrice Hill Rest Area near the Windows on the Wetlands. We are not due into Darwin till tomorrow.
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The sunset tonight was quite spectacular.
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Day 31
This morning we drove up to The Window On The Wetlands to look at the displays etc there. It was a long drive from last nights Rest Area - 1 km.
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After an hour or so there we drove to Darwin and booked into the caravan park we had arranged while in Alice Springs. After setting up we visited the Private Hospital to try and get Bobs injection for his neck arranged but it turned out to be far too difficult so decided to wait till we got home. We did some grocery shopping before returning to the van park for happy hour.

Posted by bobandhiroe2015 01:30 Archived in Australia Tagged and days 30 28 29 31 27 Comments (0)

Days 24, 25 & 26

After Alice Springs

sunny 27 °C


We left Alice Springs on the Morning of the 1st July and headed up the Stuart Highway. First stop was at the Tropic of Capricorn for the usual photo shoot.
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The on to Aileron where we took some photos of the very good Aboriginal Sculptures there as well as spending $100.00 on another Aboriginal painting which although we had said NO MORE, this one was so different to those we already have that we couldn't resist.
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Next stop was to have a look at the Old Telegraph Station at Barrow Creek. The Station Master and one of the Linesmen was killed here by Aboriginals in 1874.
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Onwards to Wycliffe Well for a refuel stop and a photo of Hiroe with some aliens.
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Next stop was at The Devils Marbles for our overnight stay. This is a wonderful campspot and it id amazing that some of the rocks stay piled on top of one another.
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Took a photo just as the sun was setting and there was a full moon shining over some of the rocks.
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Took another photo at dawn with our van in the foreground.
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July 2.
We continued on up the Stuart Highway to Tennant Creek where we did a short stroll around some of the town. It is a very depressing town with all the shops either boarded up or empty.
Onwards again until lunchtime where we just pulled off the road to have a short lunch stop.
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We continued on then to our nights stop just 2 km south of Newcastle Waters in a Rest Stop. It is full of vans and motor homes so we were lucky to get the last 4 spots.

Friady July 3
We departed the rest area from last night and drove off the highway to have a look at the old town of Newcastle Waters. Not much left here but a memorial statue of a drover.
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On then to refuel and visit the old town of Daly Waters. The Pub here is very interesting with all sorts of things pinned up and hanging from the walls and ceiling.
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We then had a look at the old hangar at the nearby airfield which was the first international airport in Australia. Qantas flights from England would fly here from Singapore to refuel before flying on to Sydney. The airfield was also used by the Airforce during World War 2
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On again to Larrimah to look at the Pink Panther Pub.
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Just a short drive now to inspect the Elsey Cemetery where Jeanie Gunns Husband is buried. Jeanie Gunn wrote the book "We of the Never Never".
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Back up the road a bit to tonights stopping place. It's nice and quiet about 1 km off the highway.

Posted by bobandhiroe2015 00:10 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

In Alice Springs

Days 19, 20, and 21.

semi-overcast 16 °C


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Friday 26th June. Today we went to The Transport Hall of Fame and we were amazed at the collection of vehicles that are on show there.
Took a couple of photos of trucks and cars.
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Later in the afternoon we went to have a look at the Araluen Art Centre which was pretty good as well. Then the Alice Springs Museum.

Saturday 27th June. Today we took Ron and JoAn with us out along the East MacDonnell Ranges and visited some very interesting sites. First stop was at Emily Gap where we did the short walk along the dry creek bed and saw some of the very interesting Aboriginal artworks.
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Next stop was at Jessie Gap where again we undertook a short walk along the dry creek bed.
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Onwards then to Corroboree Rock which is a significant Aboriginal male site. Some of the rocks around here were magnificent.
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We then continued on to Trephina Gorge, the walls of which are great.
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We decided that it was time for lunch so we drove on to the Ross River Pub where we all had huge lunches.
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We decided that we would drive the 33 km out to the historic site of Arltunga which was a gold mining site in the late 1800's and very early 1900's.
The road out to there was very rough gravel but the Information Centre and the site itself were very informative.
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It was time to return to the caravan park and we arrived there just on 6.00 pm.

Sunday June 28. Today was a rest day and we spent the time relaxing after yesterdays long drive.

Monday June 29. Today we went with Ron and JoAn in Georges car for a VERY long drive around the West MacDonnell Ranges.
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First stop was at Simpsons Gap where we took some mandatory photos.
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Next stop was at Standley Chasm however, the walk from the carpark was 1.5 km each way over VERY rough rocky ground so we decided to give it a miss. On then to Ellery Creek Big Hole which is a lovely place. Lots of water.
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We continued on to The Ochre Pits where Aboriginal men dug different coloured ochres for use during ceremonies, painting themselves. Women were aloud to also use the ochres but were not aloud to collect it.. The ochres were also traded with other tribes over great distances.
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We then drove to Ormiston Gorge. The last time we were here there was a lot more water. It is still a very beautiful place just the same.
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We had lunch while we were here then on the road again to Glen Helen. There is still water here in the Finke River but we didn't walk up to the gorge itself.
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George decided that we would take the back road to Alice springs via Hermansburg and on the way we stopped at Tylers Pass Lookout for a magnificent view of Gosse Bluff.
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It was then a 43 km drive on very rough gravel road till we reached Hermansburg then a long drive back to Alice.
Altogether today we drove 421 km.
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THANKS George for a wonderful day.
Tomorrow is going to be a washing day as well as last minute shopping before we leave here for Darwin on Wednesday morning.

Posted by bobandhiroe2015 04:04 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Days 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18

Port Augusta to Pimba,

overcast 16 °C

Thursday June 18 2015
We spent he day at Port Augusta. We went to a local Medical Centre so that Bob could get some help with his very sore neck. The doctor says it's stress related and gave something to relax the neck muscles.

We did some shopping then after lunch drove around town visiting shops etc.

Nothing else to report.

Friday June 19 2015 - Day 18
Pommy Bob's car still isn't going too well. They said first thing this morning that it would be 3-4 hours however, by lunch time it's still NO GO and we had to get out of the caravan park. Bob did some running repairs using his pink steps.
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We drove out onto the northern highway to wait for Bob but he sent a message for us to go on and he would catch us up. Late this afternoon just as we arrived at Pimba and into a free camp next to the roadhouse we got a message from him that it could be tomorrow or next Mon/Tues before it was all fixed and for us to continue on.

The free camp alongside the service centre at Pimba is a bit muddy and there are a lot of vans in here but we are dry so that's the main thing.
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The rain seems to have stopped however, it's quite cool already and it's only 5.00pm.

Thursday June 25 2015
We have been in Alice Springs now for 4 days. Hiroe hurt her knee while we were at the border between South Australia and the Northern Territory so we left our travelling mates and hurried up to Alice Springs to the Emergency Dept of the Hospital. They did x-rays etc and could find no bone damage so the swelling was purely muscular inflamation so pill taking time for her. The next day Bob's neck became painful so we went to see a doctor and today I had CT Scans and now have to wait till Darwin to get the results and A possible cortizone injection.

Anyway enough of that. his afternoon we went for a drive to have a look at the old Telegraph Station built in the 1870's. We have been here before but it is still interesting to see.
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After this, we drove up onto ANZAC Hill which overlooks the town of Alice Springs and took some photos of the town and the west MacDonnell ranges in the background including a photo showing the Ghan Train which runs from Darwin to Sydney via Adelaide.
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Posted by bobandhiroe2015 01:30 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Days 7, 8, 9 and 10

Menindee to Broken Hill, Peterborough and Port Augusta

overcast 18 °C


Sunday June 14 2015. We left Menindee at about 9.00 am and drove towards Broken Hill. There is very little to report today except that an emu ran out on the road right into the rear end of Rons car; it went under the rear wheel and was killed. No damage to the car thank goodness. They really are dumb birds.
After booking into a caravan park 4 of us in Pommy Bobs car went and did a bit of shopping. It's started to rain very slightly which is the first we have seen since leaving home.

Monday June 15 2015. We did a bit of sight seeing around Broken Hill today. First stop was up to the lookout above the town. Unfortunately the cafe has closed but we had a good look just the same.
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We walked around the centre of the town had morning tea and visited a museum. While we were there a large oversized vehicle went past.
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After lunch we went back into town and purchased a new TV as the antenna socket in ours was loose and couldn't be fixed. The picture was all pixelated.
We then went up on the hill on the outskirts of Broken hill to have a look at the 12 or so sculptures (Living Dessert).
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Tuesday June 16 2015

Departed Broken Hill and very soon after it started to rain and it continued all day. There were a lot of emu's along the roadside this morning.
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First stop was at Olary which is a very small village with a population of under 20.
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The only thing in operation appears to be the hotel.

Onwards then to Manna Hill, another VERY small village again the only business in operation was the hotel.
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We were going to stop in a rest area tonight however, most of those we past were quite wet and a bit muddy so we have booked into a caravan park at Peterborough for the night. Not much else to report.

Wednesday June 17 2015.
We had a bit of a water leak in the van yesterday and we managed to just about dry it out with 2 heaters going on it.
We left at about 9 am and drove through Orroroo then turned west towards Wilmington however, Pommy Bob's car started to play up and at 5km from Wilmington it stopped. He called the Automobile Service and eventually a mechanic came out and said that the computer needed resetting which he did and the car drove perfectly into town.
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However after we had stopped and had lunch, when Bob started his car the Computer Management light came on again and luckily we were outside the service station and they put a larger diagnostic system on and said that his fuel filted had dirt in it then changed their mind and said something else was wrong so we limped 50 km into Port Augusta (a large centre) at about 20km/hr in places and booked into a caravan park for 2 nights. Bob has been to the service centre here and they will run some diagnostic tests on it and let him know tomorrow whats wrong (hopefully).

Posted by bobandhiroe2015 23:43 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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