There is no mobile service here, so I'm writing this entry in notepad,
which I'll upload when we next have a connection.
Tomorrow, Monday, we are heading for our next free camp at Newcastle
Waters Rest Area some 386ks away. We'll be travelling to Three
Ways (at the Barkley and Stuart Hwy junction) swinging north through
Renner Springs, Elliot then a further 27ks to our overnight
stop... again in the middle of nowhere. I might have to run the
generator there to charge the laptop.
Today it was on to
Three Ways, (132ks) the Junction of the Barkley and Stuart Highways.
At this junction, you either turn right and head north towards Darwin,
or chuck a left and head down through the Centre towards Alice Springs.
We filled up at Three Ways and paid $1.895 a litre. Running low on milk,
Bev bought two 600ml cartons and paid $8.40! Yep... $4.20each! ($1.45ea
From there its was on
to Renner Springs, (136ks) topping up at $1.990 a litre. Renner
Springs is just a food/fuel stop, but quite a nice place. I bought one
of their 'award winning pies' and munched on that heading to Elliot,
(91ks) to the next centre of civilization, if you could call it that.
Elliot was the kind of place you wouldn't stop at unless you really had
to. Smashed houses and buildings everywhere, if you get my drift.
Another 27ks on from Elliot, we arrived at Newcastle Waters Rest Area
around 1.45. There were about 6 other travellers here then, but now, as
I write this post, there would have to be about 30 RVs crammed in to the
place. There's no power or water here, so you need to be self
We spoke to a number of
fellow travellers about their travels to Darwin and it was surprising to
hear the mixed comments. Some hated it while others would have liked to
stay longer. From recommendations, it seems like we should stay at
Howard Springs Caravan Park... if we can get in. I'd dearly like to
phone ahead and book, but with no mobile reception, we'll have to wait
'till tomorrow when we have a connection somewhere.
Not much to report
today... just travelling from one free camp to the next, this time
King River Rest Area.
So far, we've travelled 2812 ks. The Mazda is averaging 18.6 litres per
100 ks, which seems about right, based on what others report. I was told
to expect double (or is that half?) the fuel consumption of the tug
without the van. My understanding is the BT50 chews around 9 litres per
100ks, so 18.6 sounds about right.
no internet/mobile service, so that's 3 posts I'll have to upload when
we get to Darwin tomorrow.
Because we haven't had mobile service, we haven't booked a site in
Darwin, so we'll be taking pot luck when we arrive. You're reading this,
so obviously we got in somewhere.
We ran out of water tonight, so weren't able to shower. Bev was looking
forward to washing her hair, but it will have to wait 'till Darwin. The
caravan has two 60 litre tanks, but it seems 120 litres doesn't last
long. I filled them in Mt Isa, but haven't had an opportunity since
then, as we've been free camping.
That's it... see ya tomorrow.
P.S. It amuses me how they name lots of places ...Waters
...Springs and now ...River. The place is dry, dry and dusty! I haven't
seen a creek or river with water in it for hundreds of Ks!
woke me last night... "David, where's the toilet?" I was going to say,
"Well honey, the van is 16'6" long inside... we sleep at one end and the
Ensuite is at the other... so I suppose it's just down there!"
But, knowing she was dreaming and thought she was elsewhere, I just
turned on the light and pointed down the van.
Leaving King River Rest Area this morning, we refuelled at Katherine,
and headed off on the last leg north. Katherine is quite a large-ish
country town, boasting 3 service stations! We refuelled at the BP which
was the cheapest.
We missed brekky this morning, so we pulled into a little
servo/cafe/caravan park/siding and ordered 2 beef pies with mashed
potato and mushy peas and 2 cups of coffee from a dispensing machine.
"That'll be $26 mate!" WTF?? If we weren't hungry, I think I might have
told him where to put it! To make matters worse, the pies weren't even
Next stop: DARWIN
It's a wonder you didn't hear Bev yell, "CIVILIZATION AT LAST!!" Heading
north, we arrived in Darwin around lunchtime today. We had
finally got mobile reception as we got closer to Darwin, so Bev phoned
Howard Springs Caravan Park, a BIG4 Park, some 25 ks out of town,
and booked a powered site for the next 5 nights.
Setting up camp, we
headed into town for some grocery shopping at Woollies to restock the
fridge and pantry. Tomorrow, we are catching a shuttle bus to the
Casino! The Darwin Casino is one of the few Casinos in Australia that we
haven't visited... Adelaide, Alice Springs and the two in Tassie are the
others. We'll do Adelaide this trip, but the others will have to wait
for another time.
It's good to have a break from from the road and "settle down" for a few
Darwin to Katherine
a shame to backtrack, but we travelled the 316ks from Darwin back to
Katherine today and booked into the Riverview Tourist Village
Caravan Park, a Top Tourist Park (thanks JoJo!). A bit dry and
dusty, but that's par for the course out this way. We took a run out
to Katherine Gorge (29ks) for a look around, but it was too late in
the day to take the cruise through the Gorge. Took a few photos and
headed back to the CP. Tried to take a shot of the river, but these
girls kept getting in the way!!
Click to enlarge to see lovely
From research tonight, it looks like tomorrow night's stop will be a
free camp, not far from the NT/WA border. Then on Wednesday, we'll
cross the border and head for Hall's Creek after a lunch stopover at
From Halls Creek, we'll then go to Fitzroy Crossing and look for a
free camp further west out of town.
If we have internet service, I'll update as able.
Katherine to Saddle Creek Rest Area
I'm writing this at 8pm, to the melodic sounds of our "neighbours"
generator. Sure hope he turns it off soon... or it runs out of
We are constantly amazed at the number of folks free camping. Here
at Saddle Creek Rest Area, we arrived around 2pm and already
there were about 10 other RVs. By sunset, the place was full...
didn't do a head count, but would suggest there's around 35 rigs
here. Bear in mind, this spot is in the middle of nowhere,
about 70ks from the WA border.
Tomorrow morning, it's off to Western Australia, where they have a
24/7 checkpoint, to make sure you don't bring any prohibited foods
in. We've been trying to consume all our fresh vegies, but it looks
like we'll have to forfeit 6 or 8 onions. Our jar of honey will be
finished after brekky, otherwise we would have lost that too! It all
sounds a bit weird to me... only WA is this strict.
Once we cross the NT/WA border, (70ks) it's another 109 to
Kununurra, then a further 360k to Halls Creek. Tomorrow night, We'll
probably stay at a rest area 107k from Halls Creek called Spring
Creek. Got it? Good!
The landscape in this part of the country, is very different to the
majority of the scenery we've encountered so far and is far more
pleasing to see.
There's no mobile/internet/TV service here and probably won't be for
a while, so by the time you read this post, we'll be getting pretty
close to Broome.