Sherlock WA to Ningaloo

Having arrived at Sherlock camp WA which is a huge cattle station which allows people to camp for as long as they like for free.  We picked a spot away from the other two vans next to the Jones River.  It’s a beautiful view both of the river and the Myriad of birds inhabiting the area.  The river is alleged to be safe for swimming with rope swings hanging from several trees.  We decided to not bother having a dip not fully convinced and having crossed the Northern Territory where crocodiles almost outnumber people.

Our intention was to spend one night here but as it was really peaceful well away from the road where road trains thunder past we elected to make it two nights.

Strangely there is a resident rooster who visits everyone but he stopped short on the way to ours spotting Max spotting him.  

We spent the day cleaning out our home on wheels and the Land Cruiser then it was down to the business of reading books and walking the property.

The river is home to Pelicans, Herons, Egrets, Eagles and the largest groups of Cormorants who appear to be getting a good feed.

Later in the afternoon we get a visit from the van closest to us who are a couple from Rutherglen, Victoria that have been on the road for four months and were in no hurry to return to Victoria until we get on the other side of this dreadful COVID business.

John invites us over to join them later for five o’clock drinks where we can also meet his other half Louise.  Five o’clock arrives and we wander over promising ourselves that we will have one or two drinks as we are yet to eat.  As usual when you get talking to folks and it is going well with plenty laughs the two drinks turn in to a few more and before we know it it’s almost eleven pm and we are yet to and won’t now have something to eat.  We say our good nights and retire to bed.

Next morning we are up and packed ready to move on.  We say our goodbyes to John and Louise and head out on our way to the town of Karratha where we will fuel up and do some shopping.  We will also fill our water tanks in the town centre where there is a fresh water supply that costs $1.00 for fifty litres.  Whilst there who should arrive to do the same, yep John and Louise.

Back on the road and a bit later than we like we head off heading south and arrive at our next stop at the tiny place called Manilya.   There is nothing here but a road house, a bridge and the rest stop we take residence at for the night.  It’s quite a large area with a few trees providing some much needed shade.  We manage to grab a spot under one such tree and as the day goes on a few more folks pull in to stop for the night.

As we sit outside the van people watching we get a visit from the van next door again.

Mick and his wife Janet are Poms from Yorkshire in England but have lived in Australia for thirty years and have never returned.  They now call Busselton, WA home and have several kids and grandkids.  We share a few drinks and have a good laugh until a sudden gust of wind arrives and blows a massive amount of dust in to camp and everyone runs to close their windows and hide from the sudden storm.

With darkness descending we call it a night having eaten a welcome meal for a change.

In the morning we have little to do except walk Max and put our rubbish in the large bins provided before saying our goodbyes to Mick and Janet but we didn’t get the chance as we see them exit the camp and head over the bridge on to the highway.

A bit rude we thought to ourselves then having loaded Max in we get in ready to go when I spot a piece of paper on the windscreen.  It was a note which read “Give us a call when you are in Margaret River and we will come and meet you”.   Signed, Mick and Janet complete with their phone number.

Annoyed at having missed them we head out on to the highway.  We are heading for Warroora Station – 14 mile beach and the Ridge.  

This is another station but this one you can drive on to the beach sites which gives uninterrupted ocean views and access for swimming croc free but possibly sharks.

Today the drive is short.  We arrive at the turnoff and turn in to read the information board and also to drop the tyre pressures on both Land Cruiser and caravan.  Eight tyres all up and takes about 15 minutes.  The road in starts off gravel then quickly changes to corrugations and stones. As we travel further in on the one lane track we are glad we dropped the tyre pressures as we come on to the soft sand before arriving at the caretakers van.  As he was out fishing we carried on driving straight on to the beach with the ocean colour and views amazing.  We drove on through the soft sand arriving at our designates site number 25.  Here we have no one next to us or even close so visitors should be rare unless people arrive later as we will be here for the next ten nights.

We spend the day swimming, sun baking and throwing the ball in to the warm ocean for Max who absolutely loves the beach.

Later we take in the usual sunset which we never get bored with before turning in to enjoy a great nights sleep listening to the waves crash on the beach.

Next morning the wind has really increased to almost gale force coming off the ocean.  As we walk along the beach our legs are getting sand blasted and having walked Max long enough we return to the van.  There would certainly not be any swimming happening today as the ocean is pretty rough with a bit of swell and a bit of a rip just off shore.  We had read reports and feedback testifying that the wind here can be problematic but we remain hopeful that it will blow out and move on.

Having spent the last few days getting hit by strong winds we have moved off the beach in to a higher spot with we hope a bit of a barrier from the wind.  Whilst on the beach the wind had shifted the sand so much that the van and car were slowly sinking as the wind blew.  We decided we had to get out of there and might return if the dreaded wind dies out.  The site we moved to might be booked by someone and we will have to move again.  The people closest to us who are from Tasmania have done the same moving to a site they didn’t book either.  Close to them there is a couple in an ‘A’ van who also move up.  

I went down to the beach to have a look and got talking to a couple who were Australians from Thailand but were over holidaying, meeting up with friends and had been on the road for eight months.  They had made the decision to move on due to the wind but had only booked a couple of nights anyway.  A short distance from them there was a caravan that had its awning blown off, why you would put your awning out in that wind is beyond me.

Tuesday we decided to take a drive to Coral Bay and see if the wind there would be as strong.  So it was off up the road through sand, rocks and corrugations before reaching the highway and pumping the tyres back up with the compressor.  

Arriving at Coral Bay the immediate feeling was, it’s busy.  We had come from a camp with almost no one.  Coral Bay seemed like a metropolis with lots of people around crammed together in the main caravan park like sardines whilst paying at least $60.00 for the privilege.  Strangely it was still windy but not like our beach front.  We only stayed maybe an hour due to having phone coverage and listening to the Melbourne Cup on the radio.  Karen managed to pick the winner which gave us our money back.

We also wanted to check the weather forecast to see what we were in for.

We then returned to camp and once again lowered the tyre pressures.

Fast forward and it is now Wednesday morning and the wind seems to have dissipated.  We walk down the dunes to the beach only to find it empty.  We enjoy a swim but poor Max is really struggling with his arthritis (he is close to 13) which we are giving him oral injections for but he really is not good on his back legs and we are having to limit his exercise.

Last night the people in the “A van were so worried about the wind they packed their van up and slept in their car before moving on this morning.  The weather forecast is not great with a possible storm which we don’t mind as they are a real light show usually.  Speaking to the Tasmanians they are prepared to stay like us although they are only here till Friday.

A bit later in the day a Land Rover and caravan drove in and we thought here we go time to move but it turned out that Tasmania were in the site they had booked.  Land Rover said don’t bother moving as they would find another spot.  They then got bogged in the sand and Tasmania had to pull them out.  They then settled in a spot next to the one the Tasmanians were in.

In the afternoon we chatted to the Tasmanians who invited us and the Land Rover people over for 5 o’clock drinks.  We prepared our evening meal, grabbed our chairs and went over for the chat.

Land Rover were John & Anne from Sydney and Tasmania were George & Wendy.  

It’s always good to meet people and get the good oil of where is good and also places best avoided.  It was a good laugh and a couple of beers later as the sun was setting we returned to the van to reunite with Max and have tea.

Leaving Broome

Having spent a glorious week in Broome we decided that we weren’t ready to leave and booked a second week.  The second week followed the path of the first week although we swapped beaches on a couple of occasions to try and avoid jellyfish in the high tides.

Gantheaume Beach, Broome, WA

On one of those occasions we drove on to Gantheaume Beach and noticed four police officers talking to three guys who it turned out were from a boat just off the beach which in turn was a landing craft for a much bigger boat anchored off the shore.  This bigger boat looked like a rusting piece of death at sea and could be mistaken for an Indonesian people smuggling cruise ship.  After a while the three of them were ordered to produce passports etc before being allowed to leave.  We never did find out the true story but it made things interesting for a while.

We spent several days at this beach as the vibe was really good with everyone just laying back enjoying the heat, water temperature and of course beautiful sunsets.

On returning to the van we invited our caravan neighbours Matt and Shelly over for drinks and we sat around in the nice cool night air having a laugh.  Then before we knew it it was 1am.  Time passes fast when chatting and it was off to bed.

Next morning we went off to the Courthouse Market which had all the usual Beach goodies on offer and in fact Karen’s hat we bought here 4 years ago and old mate was still there looking exactly the same.

Later we went to the town beach for the staircase to the moon event but really I can’t say I was impressed by it.  It might just have been that that one was not that great but others might have been superb.  It’s a bit like a sunset but as the moon rises it shines on to the flats of Roebuck Bay giving the illusion of a staircase going up to the moon.

Roebuck Viewpoint

One of the days we visited the Roebuck viewpoint which gives an amazing view of the  colours of the ocean.  To get up the stairs to the viewing platform we walked through a group of local people which at first seemed a bit daunting but they all wished us a great day whilst referring to us as Brother & Sister.  We then took in the view, took some snaps then were given the same send off from the group “enjoy Broome Brother & Sister” as we walked to the car.

It was then time for a visit to Matso’s Brewery just for a look at the menu as we fancied coming here later to eat.  On the same site there is a gallery full of amazing artwork.  Luckily as we have no house for some time it was easy not to buy anything.  Adding to the fact that any we would have bought were priced in the thousands.  The artists here also do massive street art type murals as well as canvas.  Outside there was one such mural and we grabbed a pic of that one.

Later we returned to the van before taking in the sunset on Cable Beach once again.  This time however we decided to splash out and went to the Life Saving Club for a cold one.  

We then went back to Matso’s Brewey where we had arranged to meet our caravan neighbours Matt & Shelly for dinner.  We arrived and were surprised to see a band playing.  Luckily Matt & Shelly had already grabbed a table although later we did move tables as the one we were on was pretty high.

The place was really busy and when ordering food we were told it would be at least a 40 minute wait.

Eventually the food arrived and it was certainly worth the wait.  I had the Seafood Linguine, both Kaz & Matt had the Snapper and Shelly the Duck Pasta then after 1 more drink we had to get back to the van as we had left Max in there.  Not a worry for him with the air conditioning keeping him cool.

A Bit later Matt & Shelly returned and joined us for a natter as we would be leaving the following morning.  This time there would be no repeat of the previous nights lateness as we had a relatively long drive ahead of us.

In the morning we packed up said our goodbyes and headed for the road South.  We have seven days to get to the Ningaloo coast beaches as we have booked ten days on a beachfront spot that we will drive on to.  We will then have uninterrupted ocean views.  This one has been on our to do list from four years ago when we had to give it a miss due to time constraints.

On the way we stop at the Sand fire Roadhouse for a night.  This is just what it is, a roadhouse although it does have plenty of wildlife around.  

One night here was more than enough and the next day we headed for the town of Port Hedland where we stayed at the racecourse free camp.  Again there is nothing fancy about the place but it is free and we stay for two days.  Port Hedland is a massive mining area and everywhere you look there are white mining Utes and Land Cruisers everywhere distinguished by there yellow stripes and high red flags.  You see so many of these that we wondered if anyone is actually working at the mine sites.

As usual when we come to a major town with amenities we stock up.  The beauty of the racecourse is its proximity to a Woolworths/BWS supermarket allowing us to purchase the essentials as well as food.

One thing here is if you were a light sleeper you would be in trouble as all day and night the mining trains don’t stop and they are at least a kilometre each in length.

We visited the viewpoint across the road where you can see one of the only domestic beaches where turtles lay eggs.  You can also count the number of iron ore and coal ships waiting to dock in to PH before heading back to China.

We only stayed here for two night b4 we headed back out on to the road South this time making our way to a spot just south of Karratha.  

To the Kialrah Pool (Jones River), Roebourne-Wittenoom Road, Sherlock, Western Australia.  This is privately owned but the owners allow anyone to come off the road set up on the riverfront as long as they like for free.  It’s only about 185 km from PH and we would have been quicker if not for the huge mining truck being transported in front of us.   This load is extra wide and if you want to pass is best to wait until told it is safe.  We sit back not bothered about overtaking it and in fact pull off the road and take a break letting the wide load move further in front.  

Shortly after we arrive at the turnoff and drive the 10 km rocky road arriving after 10 minutes at a great riverfront spot with only two other vans here.  There is an abundance of wildlife here, unfortunately that includes snakes which we will have to keep our eyes peeled for especially for Max.  Apparently the river is good for swimming in but well I don’t think we will risk it as it looks like a crocs dinner table.

Two nights will be the go here before we move on through Karratha heading for Ningaloo.

Beautiful Cable Beach, Broome WA

Now that we have landed in Broome we have booked in for a week with stay seven pay for five deal. this works out relatively cheap considering we are 1km from Cable Beach. we are thinking of adding another week of the same deal but will see how we go. We aren’t doing a lot mostly beach then bed maybe watch a movie on the laptop. Hope you enjoy the photos.

Lake Argyle on the way to Broome.  Australia 

In what seemed no time after arriving it was time to go but not before we took a last dip in the pool.  Yesterday the temperature was not that cold due to the heat in the later part of the day but this morning that had changed to be a bit more fresh. Our next swim will be at wonderful Cable Beach in Broome.

Back on the road today with a bit of a longer drive ahead of us.  Luckily we were up early and made good time with no issues.  We eventually got to Halls Creek where we had looked at staying for the night but we read too many horror stories about both the campsite and the town.  Looking around the town it seemed the reviews were spot on.  We decided to fill up with diesel then keep on driving as the place didn’t feel safe.

With the sun setting we knew we would have to break our rule of not driving at dawn or dusk due to roaming livestock. like the old joke – if you get lost in the outback, follow a Kangaroo as they always know where the road is. Whilst driving we had to swerve round a mother cow with her calf as well as a Wallaby and of course Kangaroos.

Dusk Driving never a favourite.

We arrived at the Mary Pool Rest area in the pitch dark but luckily our spotlights turn night in to day and having blinded some people we grabbed a spot.  The maximum is a 24 hour stay but we decided to stay for two nights.  The temperature was still 40+ and as we were free camping we wouldn’t have the luxury of air conditioning but we did manage to move on the second morning to a spot under some large trees for a bit of welcome shade. wemdid pick up several peices of peoples garbage which we will dump when we leave.

Next day it was back on the road to Broome where we stopped once again for fuel at Fitzroy Crossing then it was the last few km’s and we arrived in beautiful Broome.

Sunset at Cable Beach

We decided to stay at the Tarangau Caravan Park which is a 10 minute walk to the fabulous Cable Beach.  

The camp is not the largest but location is so good and the facilities are spotless.  We made the decision to stay here for seven days due to a deal where you stay seven but pay for five.  This works out pretty cheap considering where we are plus we have power and water, so we can run our air conditioner.  The temperature here is in the mid thirties but later in the week will be close to forty once again.  At least we have the beautiful water to swim in at Cable Beach.  We can also take the Land Cruiser on to the beach and put out our awning out for shade.

From now on we will slow down as it has been quite hectic for the past six months.  Now we have crossed all the borders to reach WA time will be on our side.  There are so many amazing places in WA and we have booked a spot for a month in Margaret River for Xmas.  We will stay at Olive Tree Farm from December 22nd.

Anyway more updates later from our Australian Travels and thanks heaps for all the likes & interest.

Follow us on Facebook group – our wee journey 

Timber Creek to WA.  Australia 

After another hot night we we wake to a hot morning and the first rain we have had in months.  Calling it rain is a bit of a stretch as it lasts about 30 seconds and what had fallen was immediately dried out in the sun.

Having scored a drive through site we didn’t even have to unhook the van.  We only have to lock up and start the car before we are back on the road heading west to WA.

Huge stealth looking bus in camp.

The drive of around 200km takes us to the WA border where we have to show our permits and go through the usual quarantine check before being allowed in.  20 minutes later we have crossed our fourth border in six months.

We will stay in WA for four or five months before we head over another border in to South Australia.

We drive on to the town of Kununurra where we head in to the local Coles for supplies then we have the usual frustration of the north and wes where we have to wait until 12pm before we can buy alcohol.  At least its not as bad as the NT which was 2pm.

Now fully replenished we are back on the road and decide we need a nice place for a treat.  One of the best we have been to before is Lake Argyle and we cover the 70 km from Kununurra.

It’s kinda strange being back here after four years.  It seems the place hasn’t changed a bit and has retained arguably the best infinity swimming pool view in the country.

We are having to abandon our free camping purely due to the heat which is 40+ almost every day right now.  The forecast doesn’t show it changing anytime soon.  Both Max and ourselves are just about surviving by drinking a ridiculous amount of water.  Luckily Lake Argyle has power and so we run our aircon on just about permanently.

Within the park there is a walk down to the lake where you can have a beautiful swim which we decide to do.  There are 30,000 croc’s in the lake but all freshies no no worries unless you make the mistake of standing on one. This turned out to be a bit of a stuff up as my thongs decided to break half way down.  Then poor Max was getting his paws roasted from the rocks and sand.  When he got to the bottom he just sank in to the water looking like he was never going back.

 I dived in and cooled off and Kaz did the same trying not to think of how we would one, get Max back up and two, get me back up without any foot coverings.  In the end Kaz had to just grab Max and get up ASAP then wait for myself running up the hot coals to the safety of a sprinkler on a large piece of grass which helped put my foot fire out and poor Max’s paws.

Later in the afternoon we grabbed some refreshments then headed down to the pool area where Steve Case was entertaining everyone with his guitar and funny stories.

It was great to be kicking back as the sun was setting providing an amazing backdrop on the rocks and lake behind him.

We then decided to get in the pool and cool off once again before returning to Max in his air conditioned luxury.

In the evening we walked down to the restaurant/bar where we enjoyed a meal we didn’t cook on dishes we didn’t have to wash.  With the sun already gone and a nice cool breeze happening it was a treat to be people watching whilst listening to Steve Case do his more adult set of songs.

Then having had a pretty long day we returned to the cool of the van walked Max the it was lights out on a great day.

Katherine to Timber Creek NT. Australia

Having enjoyed seven nights just outside Katherine it was time to move on.

Interesting sign in the bottle shop in Katherine. Open from 2pm till 6pm.

We spent the day before sorting out our stuff (again). Having sold the roof top tent we could put one of our bags back up on the roof rack along with our Max tracks.  Sounds pretty easy to do except for the 40+ temperature and me up and down the ladder like a burglar on a busy night.  Immediately after it was off for a cold shower.  It’s amazing now how many intentionally cold showers I have enjoyed whilst here.

We then packed up with only the van to hook up in the morning.

Next morning I walked Max down to say goodbye to the horses and give them a treat before leaving.  It was then all aboard and back on the road again.

Today we will head west for 285km making our way to the WA Border.  We will eventually cross over then stop in Kununurra which is a town we have been before.

With Kaz at the wheel we make good time and take a stop at the Victoria River Roadhouse.

We enjoy a wee bite to eat then I take over the driving and in no time we arrive at our overnight stop which is the tiny town of Timber Creek. runs along the river and yes the river has croc’s.

We book in for one night on a powered site again so that we can run our aircon due to the intense heat.  This place has the bonus of a pool to cool off in and leaves us only 200km to the WA border.

Facebook Group – our wee journey

We left Bitter Springs reasonably early but weren’t in any hurry due to the short drive we have today travelling to Katherine in the Northern Territory.

In no time we reach our destination, the Manbulloo Homestead.  

This is a working cattle station just 12km south of the main town.  It’s more of a bush setting with plenty of shade which we need as the temperatures have been around 40 degrees and are forecasted to stay for sometime.  We booked a powered site to run our aircon or Max (our Border Collie) will have a heart attack.

The place backs on to the Katherine river but as usual you can’t swim in it due to crocodiles.

We will be here for 7 nights which is a welcome change.  It also allows us the luxury of rearranging the gear we carry.  We also made the decision to sell our rooftop tent as we doubt we will use it due to having Max with us.

We placed an ad in Facebook Marketplace and within the hour a lady from Brisbane said her hubby who works in Katherine would come and have a look.  Later we received multiple requests and offers from people but Mark was first in and would get first dibs on it.  He turned up on time and we opened the tent up showed it off and he bought it on the spot.

With Mark having no roof rack yet we offered to drop it off at his place.  He then made us a very generous offer that when we drop it off he would supply a couple of beers and we could have a swim in his pool !!

We duly arrived dropped the tent off then had a glorious dip in the pool which was very much welcomed in the heat.  We then had some drinks and a great laugh before we returned to the van where we left Max enjoying the aircon which we left running.

As we will be crossing another border in to WA we have to be in the NT for 16 days before we are allowed in.  Meantime we have to go online and apply for a permit and detail all of our travel within the NT.  

We completed this pretty easily and within minutes got our acceptance and border passes.  This was great news as the only part of this journey we have booked is at Olive Tree Farm in Margaret River, WA.  We will be there for one month in mid December, our first Xmas on the road.

It will be a wee bit boring staying in Katherine as we have been here before and done all the place has to look at and experience.  We can’t complain as every day on the road is Saturday and we have lot’s of reading to do.

I also spent some time underneath the car with a hammer and screwdriver knocking out huge rocks of dust that had got collected up in Cape York.  I will then take it to the car wash for a high pressure clean.  I reckon we will be removing this dust until we hit a hard rain we have to drive through.  As it is we haven’t seen rain for months.

At the time of writing we have three more nights here then we will take a couple of long drives with one stopover to ensure we make our WA border crossing date.  This will be our fourth border through COVID restrictions in 6 months.

Daly Waters to Bitter Springs

With today being the Australian Rules Football final we get a visit from a young dude who has made up a sweepstake form which will make the game for the neutral a bit more interesting.

With the heat really getting a bit much we head off in the afternoon for a swim in one of the two swimming pools here which is a delight to cool off in and surprisingly there aren’t that many people doing the same.  I think COVID has stopped a whole heap of people travelling from southern states as the last time we were here it was nose to tail in the caravan park.  

As we are leaving in the morning we packed away most of our things to enable an  escape in the morning.  

Having completed our entry for the final we head to the bar (no surprise I know) and again try to keep the dog, goat and horse from getting anywhere near mad Max.

It’s a great spot to sit as there are multiple fans running providing a nice breeze.

Later we retire to the van have tea then it’s back to the bar to take in the final and what a final it was if your a Melbourne fan.  They really have been the best all year and  took that form in to the game blasting the opposition to take a well deserved result.

Off we went to bed and had an early night and just as well because in the morning there were lots of people up early.  I am talking before 7am!!

Not all of them were kids either, grown adults up and banging about.  We decide we may as well join them although we have nothing to bang.

A tea and coffee later and we leave the camp then stop at the fuel station to grab some more diesel even though we aren’t going far.

We drive to the end of the road where turn on to the Stuart Highway heading north to Bitter Springs near Mataranka.  This is a place we have been before and thoroughly enjoyed the hot springs which have a nice drift downstream and are crystal clear.  Thankfully the springs are not crazy hot like we had at Innit Springs where you could easily poach an egg in.  With the temperature forecasted to hit 39 degrees a dip will be a must along with some shade.

It’s an easy drive up the highway as we drive in to the Bitter Springs park we will be staying at and it’s again pretty quiet.  We have booked a powered site this time as we want to run our aircon.  We are told we can park in a massive area but avoid one section as there are fruit bats in the trees who stink and will both pee and shit all over the place.  

We drive around map in hand and get to a big site close to everything with a great amount of shade and no bats.  This will be home for the next three days.  We are not too sure if we will head further north due to the hot and wet season which we have heard is possibly a month early this year.

Camooweal to Northern Territory

Having left the Corrella Dam site we drove on to the town of Camooweal where we pull up another free camp which runs along Lake Canellan and is quite similar to the site we just left.  This stop is a great location being so close to the Northern Territory border.  This will give us plenty of time to complete our entry declaration allowing us to enter the state.

Today we are pretty happy to get off the road again as it continues to be windy and in fact we end up staying here for a couple of nights due to the high wind gusts.

There aren’t many people here and there is plenty of room and privacy.

When we came through Mount Isa to do some shopping I took the chance to head in to the local ARB dealer because when we drove to the cape and back we lost several bolts from our bull-bar.  This made the bash plates loose and were getting pretty noisy.  The guy at the ARB store couldn’tj have been better.  He apologised that this had happened even in tough conditions then promptly supplied the missing bolts for free!!  I then went in to BCF as the first time using the compressor we purchased the bag ripped itself apart,  The store swapped the bag for a new one without question again apologising that this had occurred.

Now with a couple of days without driving I took the time to fit the new bolts then checked all round the car in case there maybe more but thankfully there were none.

Later we had a visitor from another van who came over to chew the fat about where we were heading, where he was heading and the good oil for both directions.  He then told me that he and his wife are gold prospectors.  They travel Australia in search of gold nuggets and in fact have had considerable success.  So much so that they now use a $10,000 dollar detector which has paid for itself in a relatively short time.  It seems there are more and more people doing this on the road and hey we might even have a go one day without the $10k machine.

Finally the wind has dropped allowing us to move on.  We drive in we drive in to  Camooweal where we fill our water tanks then queue up to get fuel.  

Whilst filling up we notice a group of young people sitting in the shade with their bags and at the same time see a truck with a couple of vehicle’s on the back.  A girl from the group approached us asking if they could get a lift to Mount Isa but we have to say no as we are heading west.  She then explained that the vehicles on the truck were theirs and they were now stranded.  If we were headed that way we certainly would have helped them out but we left hoping someone picks them up.

At last we make our way to the border where we get stopped and have to show our completed border declaration then driving licenses before happily we can drive through in to the Northern Territory.

We drive on for a bit then stopped off for the night at a roadside rest area called Wonarah Bore where we could drive a good distance from the road which avoids some of the road train noise through the night.  We were the only ones here but later there were about eight vans.

Here there is no service for phones or tv but our bus mates had given us a box set of DVD’s from the series Love/Hate, it’s pretty gritty and came out in 2010.  This will keep us entertained at night as it is a five series box.

After a great night sleep we are back on the road now heading a bit further west before arriving at three ways roadhouse where we again fill up with fuel had lunch then headed north for a change on to the Stuart Highway.

We then repeated our stop like the previous night.  This time at the Old Cattle yard which looks exactly like its name suggests but again it’s a free stop with no problems and another great stop.  Max is slowly turning in to red dog due to the amount of red bull dust he is picking up.  

Friday the 24/09/21 we are the the last to leave but get back on the road north.  Today we will make it to the famous Daly Waters pub which has a campsite next to it.  We have been here before as it’s a good stop before Katherine.  On the way we  stop at the town of Elliot. We only stop as we have phone service but take the chance to have an early lunch before getting back on the road and later arrive at  Daly Waters Pub.

It feels funny being back here after our last visit four years ago and thankfully it hasn’t changed a bit with all the usual quirky stuff around.

We head straight to the bar but just to book a spot in the free camping section which puts us in with a variety of campers and back packer type vans which we prefer as they are a varied and chatty bunch just having fun.  

Having chosen a spot we get set up, awning out for some shade against the hot sun then went for a wander around the place.  Last time here we booked in for the famous beef n Barra food night complete with entertainment provided by an Elvis impersonator.  This time we don’t other now that we are full time travellers and need to tighten the spending.

We intended staying here for one night (Friday) but Saturday is the Australian Rules Football final.  We ask if the game will be shown on the big tv in the bar which is confirmed and we decide to book in for another night to make sure we see the game.

Later we head for the bar as happy hour is on from 4pm till 6pm.  Food is also not served until 6pm.  A couple of drinks later we order some food, Burger for Kaz and fish n chips for me.  The waitress asked me if I want the seperate salad which comes with the fish, I say yes please but i am yet to see it.

Later we take in a bit of the Elvis guy and the owner turns up with his horse who thinks it’s a dog as it follows him wherever he goes. The same can be said of the goat which wanders around as it pleases. Funny thing is there are no dogs allowed in some bits of the place but the horse and goat access all areas. The goat reared up at one stage in head butt mode on a poor dog that didn’t appreciate it. Thankfully it didn’t come near Max probably due to him showing his teeth to it earlier.

We then retire to the van and watch another episode of our Love/Hate DVD.

Normanton & Karumba.  Carpentaria Coast, Qld

After an easy drive without issue we arrived in the town of Normanton where we head straight for the Gulf land Motel & Caravan Park.  Having checked in we are shown which space we are allocated and immediately we are reunited with Karen & Helge who we last seen and actually met for the first time in Kenilworth some time ago.

We crack on and set up the van.  This time we have selected to have power and water as the the temperature is in the mid thirties and this ensures we can use the vans air conditioning whilst also charging all our various devices fully.

Later we went for a drive to have a look at the town which didn’t take long as there is not much to see.  We then headed for the purple pub for a cold one and we’re joined by Karen & Helge who have the same idea.  After a good reminisce of our time in Kenilworth plus what we have all been up to we headed back to camp.

The bathrooms are pretty quirky and we spend sometime reading the various metal signs and jokes then selecting our favourites to photograph.

In the evening we elected to dine in the camps restaurant which gets a good name.  We ordered food and drinks then two hours later we enquired how much longer the food would be and were told you only ordered drinks!!

Needless to say we were not happy as we had been looking forward to the famous Barramundi and chips and were now having a very late meal.  We had the added annoyance that we both had left our dogs in the caravans although they had air conditioning on we still were not expecting or wanting to leave them that long.

After a bit more waiting our food finally arrived and it was worth the wait.  The barramundi was huge and cooked perfectly.

We then returned to the van where we walked Max then retired for the night.

Today we (including Kare & Helge) decide to head to Karumba which sits on the Gulf of Capricornia.  The drive is 80km which takes us in the opposite direction to where we are going but we have heard good things about the place.  We have also missed out on a number of things due to dogs not being allowed in National parks and feel we need to make the effort when that is not an issue.

The drive up doesn’t have any reward due it’s remoteness but we arrive without issue at the Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park.  Unfortunately we arrive too early to get in to our spot as departures are between 10am & 11am.  

We  walk over to the cafe up the street for breakfast.  The cafe also has a grocery within it and the business is for sale as the family have owned it for fifteen years are looking to retire.  As we chatted to them they were very emotional about leaving but were ready to do it.  They had a couple of days left before they would close the doors.  Everything in the store was half price so we had a walk round and bought a couple of things trying to help them in a small way.  The breakfast was also delicious as was the coffee.

Later we return to the park where we are allowed to enter the park once all the rules are explained.  The sites aren’t the largest considering the cost but the place has a nice pool covered with a shade sail which we dive in to as soon as we got set up.

It’s so nice to cool off from the extreme heat.

Later Karen & Helge take us to the Sunset Tavern for drinks and eats.  The place is very bust with everyone there for the Sunset but the food is also delicious.

As the sunsets the view is utterly amazing and is one of the best ones we have witnessed.  As the sun disappears along with a lot of the crowd the colours in the sky are equally stunning and we snap some pics before departing back to the park.

The four of us sit round with a few drinks and have a funny night chatting with plenty of laughs.  

In the morning we say our goodbyes and we head back down to Normanton fuelled then spent the next six hours driving to the town of Cloncurry where we stayed the night just outside of town at the Corella Dam.  This is a great spot 1km from the main road.  There is also multi levels of camps around so we cruised about then settled on a spot not very level but uninterrupted views of the water with all the bird life around it.

The place seems to be a favourite of the tweeters as they walk about with lenses trained on anything with wings and take pride in identifying the name of the feathered friend.

There are a few people with little tinies who take a put put up the dam to try their luck at fishing or just enjoy a wee bit of sailing.  

We will stay here one night b4 moving on to Camooweal via Mount Isa close to the Northern Territory border.