Northern Territory

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.

Day 7 - Frewena Rest Area to
Newcastle Waters Rest Area

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 in Darwin!)

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 sufficient.

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.

Day 8 - Newcastle Waters Rest Area
to King River Rest Area

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. 

Still 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!

Day 9 - King River Rest Area to Darwin

Bev 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 nice!

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 ahead to 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 days. 

Darwin to Katherine

Seems 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 river! LOL

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 Kununurra.

 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 juice!

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.

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Western Australia >>



Our solution to this dilemma was to install a Satellite TV System. My research had narrowed the choices down to 2 companies:

Both companies offer a full Satellite Caravan Kit at great prices. I was ready to order a full kit from Access Antennas, when an email changed everything.

I'm a subscriber to the popular Caravan & Motorhome on Tour Magazine, which I enjoy very much. In November 2014 they sent out an email to entice new subscribers and get current subscribers to extend. To sweeten the deal, they were offering a Satellite Dish Kit with a 15 month subscription, for $149!

I used to buy the Magazine each month from the Newsagent and 15 issues @ $9.95 comes to $149.25. Just so happens, the Kit they were offering is the Access Antennas kit, selling on their website for $339. This is the full kit, without the Decoder Box.

I had to buy the VAST Decoder Box separately, which cost $235 postpaid. So I got the full kit, worth $584 including the Bag, plus 15 issues of the magazine ($149.25 across the counter) for only $384!
Now that's a deal !   


Caravan Improvement Projects
I love working on new projects that will improve our quality of life on the road. Here's one project I just completed recently. See if it will suit your setup... you may want to do it for your van. 
                 Water Purification Project


But it doesn't have to be this way! Stop the frustration! My New Guide will lead you step-by-step towards a successful set-up every time.

Read More Here


Usually, we don't stay in a Free Camp location longer than 2 days. We like to share our Free Camping experiences with Caravan Park stays. Therefore, we don't need a lot of Solar. Even so, our setup includes 2x 130w Panels fixed  on the roof (above), powering a 110AH Battery. We also have a second battery in the tug.

As a supplement, we also have a 120w Folding Panel.  We have never come close to running out of power, thanks to our van's highly efficient LED lighting and low power draw appliances.

We lumped a generator around Australia, but in two years, have never used it !

Anyone want to buy a genny?

Read the full Article Here


Simply enter your current location in the box and hit enter. It's preset for the Optus C1/D3 Satellite.

The only drawback is, you need Internet to use it. They also have an iPhone app as well. (No Android yet)


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