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2001 Northern Australia REPORT

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Report of the 2001 Northern Australia Safari

 

Day No

Day

Date

Start

Finish

KM

Comments

1

Sat

07-Jul

Melbourne

Loxton

707

Long Drive for first day - Nesi drove for the faster segment

2

Sun

08-Jul

Loxton

Pt Augusta

435

Could spend some time in this area including Berri, Burra (Breaker Marrant filmed here and there is lots of historical places to see - Welsh miners accommodation - get key and route from tourist centre

3

Mon

09-Jul

Pt Augusta

Coober Pedy

539

Stopped off at Woomera for morning tea there are displays of rockets, planes etc and fuel is available - have to turn off the Stuart Highway for a couple of KMs

4

Tue

10-Jul

Coober Pedy

Kulgera

414

If you are planning to stay at Erldunda (turn off to the rock and Kings canyon) suggest you ring from Kulgera to see if space available at Erldunda (they don't take bookings) - if not stay at Kulgera - about 50KM short. Note Shell station at Erldunda does take the shell card.

5

Wed

11-Jul

Kulgera

Yulara

313

Many things to do here - we walked around the base of the rock - takes several hours. Climb to the top. There are picture spots for sun rise and sunset - with car parks - get there early as they fill quickly.

6

Thu

12-Jul

Yulara

Yulara


Saw the Sar Bear (Daughter) She was working at the resort - if you like a Bar-B-Q the Pioneer Outback Lodge has a do it yourself BBQ for the evening meal - good tucker. Do the valley of the winds walk at the Olgas.

7

Fri

13-Jul

Yulara

Kings Canyon

265

Stayed at Kings Creek station - nice place is about 30KM from the Canyon - Do the long walk - well worth the effort

8

Sat

14-Jul

Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon


Fire pots are available at most camp spots at Kings Creek Station - great fun but you have to collect your own wood - if you remember do this on the way in!

9

Sun

15-Jul

Kings Canyon

Alice Springs

436

Rained all the way - the road was closed the next day!

10

Mon

16-Jul

Alice Springs



Cold & wet - top temp one day was 9 C!!

11

Tue

17-Jul

Alice Springs



Ormiston gorge - furthermost out - do the ghost gum lookout walk then check out the ochre pits and other gorges as desired on the way back - all these are very impressive

12

Wed

18-Jul

Alice Springs

Gem Tree

230

Only do this if you want to go gem hunting - garnets and Zircons - $50 for the day - well worth it

13

Thu

19-Jul

Gem Tree

Gem Tree



14

Fri

20-Jul

Gem Tree

Ti-Tree

194

Check out the Grog Yard at the pub - stopped here by armed cops - looking for the killer of the English tourist at Barrow Creek.

15

Sat

21-Jul

Ti-Tree

Tennant Creek

320

Don't do the mine tour - not really a mine all fake! - walk around town to look at old mining equipment - temperature starts to rise!

16

Sun

22-Jul

Tennant Creek

Mataranka

570

Stay a day or two here - 2 different hot springs Bitter springs & Homestead to swim in and possibility of catching Barra in the river due to temp from spring water National park with lots of walks

17

Mon

23-Jul

Mataranka

Victoria River

299

Can be lots to do here - stay an extra day - boat tours and Gregory National park.

18

Tue

24-Jul

Victoria River

Kununurra

350

Watch out for the boarder patrol - no fruit and vegies over into WA - no honey either!! In the evening I was removing the top from a drink bottle and cut my hand with a knife - the camp next door heard that I had injured myself and jumped in and assisted - there was a doctor and two nurses and they stitched me up! - Gave me some Barramundi. Doctors name was John Flachs and his wife was Lauraine, he was a Gas Man at the Royal Prince Henry's in Sydney and was on leave for 6 months Daughter's name was Melissa (also a nurse).

19

Wed

25-Jul

Kununurra



Great place and lots to do - we took the Sunset Bar-B-Q boat - good value!

20

Thu

26-Jul

Kununurra



Can take fishing tours and other things - visit lake Argile about a 70KM trip very nice picnic spot just below the dam wall and power station - visit El-Questro - FWD Required - plane rides to lots of sites. We went on a walk to the mini Bungle Bungles (a National Park) - just near town this was interesting as they had identifying tags on a lot of the trees and plants we had been seeing and these were identified for us. Went fishing just below the diversion dam and caught 3 fish 2 small Barra and something else - threw them back! Lindsay' advice pays off again!

21

Fri

27-Jul

Kununurra

Katherine

507

Good day's drive - need to remember that there is a time difference of 1:30 There are places to see along the road and a number of camping spots in the Gregory National Park - The Victoria River looked good and could contain fish - I tried on the way down but had no success. Fuel at Timber Creek and Victoria River - NOT MOBIL cards!

22

Sat

28-Jul

Katherine



Booked on Boat cruise down the Katherine Gorge 1:00 PM This was very impressive and relaxing - on the 4 hour cruise there was an opportunity to swim in the river and a light afternoon tea is provided. All in all a pleasant day. Saw some fresh water crocs, bird life and some fish. Stayed at the Low Level Caravan Park - great place!

23

Sun

29-Jul

Katherine



Decided to stay on for an extra day here. Visited the Baptist Church - nice service and made to feel very welcome. Went to the hot springs on this side of town - can walk from the Low Level caravan park - these were very nice with nice grass area to lay out in the sun on - the springs themselves were not as good as those at Mataranka. Could spend several days here the caravan park has a pool and bistro which we did not visit, the grounds are beautiful and are great place to just relax.

24

Mon

30-Jul

Katherine

Kakadu - Cooinda

299

This is a curvy drive made a bit boring by the fact that the undergrowth on the side of the road had been burned - necessary but not pretty! There are many interesting rock formations and the number of palms increased as we proceeded north. Crossed some very large rivers on huge bridges - East Alligator being one. There were several sites that we could have visited but most were FWD and we had the vans on! The car has been losing some diff oil and I rang road side assist they suggest I take it to the Mobil in Jabiru to have it checked. Beautiful weather spent the PM by the pool in shorts and T-shirt - very busy resort and good facilities - we have been in shade all day. Grassy camp sites lots of watering activity.

25

Tue

31-Jul

Kakadu - Cooinda

Kakadu - Jabiru


Took the morning cruise on Yellow waters - the bird life and scenery were terrific and we had a very enjoyable time - we brought the cold yet again - guide said this was the coldest he had experienced! On the way to Jabiru there are a number of sites to see - we visited the lookout at Mt Cahill - make sure you are wearing climbing shoes! And take some water it is a reasonable climb. Also visited Nourlangie Rock there are a number of rock painting sites here so allow enough time to see them all. After setting up camp at Jabiru we visited Oenpelli Rock to observe the sunset - this is the boarder between Arnhem land and Kakadu and so is a very interesting place - bit of a mad rush to get out after the event! Would have been better to camp at the spot or one of the nearby camp grounds - not powered but looked OK.

26

Wed

01-Aug

Kakadu

Darwin

247

On the way out there was a delay as a road train tanker had overturned (empty) - arrived and set up then had stiches removed.

27

Thu

02-Aug

Darwin




28

Fri

03-Aug

Darwin



Greg went barra fishing - and caught some! Nesi spent time looking around the Palmerston Baptist Church and had lunch with John & Jan Whitbourne. Had diff seal replaced.

29

Sat

04-Aug

Darwin

Batchelor

100

Stopped off at Berry Springs to have a look at the nature park - good value could spend a day there, plenty to see including birds of prey, nocturnal house and a great aviary. Had a plunge in the hot springs nearby - very refreshing - there is a large swimming hole as well as the rocky bit. Set up at Bachelor to have a look Litchfield National Park.

30

Sun

05-Aug

Batchelor

Douglas Hot Springs

120

This was one of the most enjoyable parts of the trip - the falls and water holes in Litchfield park were fantastic and we had a great time swimming at Wangi Falls - try to spend more time here. Left vans at the caravan park as it is a drive in drive out the same way job. I would have preferred to have stayed an extra night at Bachelor and then travelled the next day. Giving more time in the park.

31

Mon

06-Aug

Douglas Hot Springs



Douglas Daly Tourist Park was a interesting place there are water holes down the track along the river - would suggest that you drive rather than walk as there a fair distance between the sites! - we did not! There is a warm springs area where you can swim - the big water hole further down stream - below the 'arches' is beautiful but a fair bit cooler. We went to the Douglas hot springs which were some distance down a dirt road - they were very hot! Believe there is a butterfly valley - need FWD to see. Specials on the menu at the resort include buffalo - we had this, very nice.

32

Tue

07-Aug

Douglas Hot Springs

Daly Waters

457

Stayed at the Hi-way Inn - if you want more fun suggest that you go to the Daly Waters pub - real swinging place I believe.

33

Wed

08-Aug

Daly Waters

Cape Crawford

269

Left vans here and then drove into Borroloola stopped off at the Caranbiri Conservation Reserve - Bukalara Rock Fascinating place - billabong water hole and the rock formations were very interesting - walk about one hour. Can go to the coast and there appears to be good fishing.

34

Thu

09-Aug

Cape Crawford

Barkley Roadhouse

373

Not a bad spot - watch out there is no petrol between the two and the road is made but can be a little bouncy with lots of cattle and road kill.

35

Fri

10-Aug

Barkley Roadhouse

Mt Isa

450

The rodeo was in town so we had a good time at it (biggest in Australia). Although we did not have time I believe the mine tour is fascinating - need to book well in advance - as soon as you know when you will be there ring and book ahead.

36

Sat

11-Aug

Mt Isa




37

Sun

12-Aug

Mt Isa

Longreach

646

We just travelled for these days - all the spots were interesting and I would have liked to have seen more of each of them.

38

Mon

13-Aug

Longreach

Cunnamulla

712

"

39

Tue

14-Aug

Cunnamulla

Griffith

772

"

40

Wed

15-Aug

Griffith

Melbourne

449

"





Total Distance

10473


Total distance travelled including local running etc - 12766 KM

Fuel economy over the whole trip - 18.42 Litres/100KM - 15.41 MPG

Average cost of fuel 101.4 cents per litre

 

 

Updated 21/11/2001