Page 3 of TeamJD Travel Blog Posts

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Uluru November 16th 2012

I can see why the centre of Australia is called The Red Centre. It is just that! And it’s as beautiful as it is striking. King’s Canyon was without a doubt one of the highlights of this trip. After an early start to the day (the early mornings are definitely the best time for driving as it’s still cool), we did the 6km hike around the rim of King’s Canyon. It’s a steep climb to the top but once at the top, it’s a fairly leisurely walk with AMAZING views. The sheer cliffs, stone formations and the utter vastness of it took our breath away. Circular mounds, or domes, are dotted all over the landscape. These were formed after cracks appeared in the sandstone and rain and floodwaters smoothed them down. Lunchtime coincided very nicely with ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Alice Springs November 10th 2012

We made it to Alice Springs! Back to civilisation! This town, literally in the very centre of Australia, is a lot bigger and bustlier than we had imagined it would be. It has a population of 28,000, including a thriving Aboriginal community, and the focus seems to be on art and culture. We had only intended to stay for a couple of nights, but ended up staying for five nights as there was plenty to do and see. We did a big re-stock on food, toiletries, camping gear etc; we both had haircuts; I caught a couple of yoga classes and went for what felt like a well-deserved massage. It was lucky that our visit coincided with the monthly Sunday market and we enjoyed soaking up its relaxed atmosphere. We also tried our hand at playing ... read more
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Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Devils Marbles November 8th 2012

After lots of goodbyes, one last swim in the pool and stocking up on food, we hit the road and drove right out of Camooweal. 15km down the road, we finally we made it into the Northern Territory! Cue the first time change during our trip! Bizarrely the NT is half an hour behind Queensland so, because daylight saving has ended in Victoria, we’re now 1.5 hours behind Melbourne. Pretty strange… where does the half hour go?! The NT also has a higher speed limit of 130kph on the open roads. Not that our van is capable of that anyway… To our relief, it was a cooler than usual day so we weren’t sweltering in our van. Faithful old Alabama made the 260km trip to Barkly Homestead without a hitch. I had expected Barkly to be ... read more
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Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Camooweal October 19th 2012

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 After being towed 120km to Camooweal on the evening of Friday 19 October (the credit card will be recovering for some time!), we spent the weekend sitting it out at one... read more
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Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Boodjamulla National Park October 16th 2012

As I type this, we are sitting in our roasting van awaiting help. Miles from civilisation, our van decided to spill oil and stop. For the mechanically minded out there, the drive end bearing on the rear differential has dropped out. Or, as Dean explained it to me, our two-wheel-drive vehicle is now a no-wheel-drive vehicle. With no mobile coverage, we were very lucky that a local came by within 5 minutes of our breakdown and gave Dean a lift to his house. Apparently the closest mechanic is 120km away so we’ve got a three hour wait. This doesn’t bode well… and on top of that, the inside of the van is covered in dust from the off-road driving, our side door will no longer open from the outside, and our tyres are looking very sorry ... read more
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Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Mount Isa October 12th 2012

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Well, the Undara Experience tour operator got back to me, declining to provide a copy of their annual financial report and unable to give any good reasons for their ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Normanton October 9th 2012

The other day we had a flat battery because I had unintentionally knocked the light switch on. Thankfully, due to our awesome solar panel, the battery was charged up enough to start the van after a couple of hours in the sun. Nice! And the perfect excuse to take a break and watch movies while it was charging :-) I can’t help feeling that we are now entering into the ‘real Australia’. The east coast is nice and interesting but it is also well developed and a magnet for tourists. The landscape that we now find ourselves in is quite different. Making our way along the Savannah Way, which stretches from Cairns in Queensland across the top of the Northern Territory to Broome in Western Australia, there is dry bushland, lots of earth and mile upon ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Kuranda October 5th 2012

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 I had felt sure that we would spend a few days in Kuranda but, much to Dean’s relief, we carried on driving after just a few hours there. I fell in love with this... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland September 25th 2012

After some more chillout time in PK’s Jungle Bar, we drove on to Port Douglas via the Daintree and Mossman. Such a beautiful area! We had already holidayed in Port Douglas a few years ago, so we only stayed for a day and a night. Even if we had wanted to stay for longer, Port Douglas is way too expensive! Full of exclusive resorts and boutiques, you’ve got to have a decent budget to spend any amount of time here. We were shocked a few years ago and nothing has changed in the meantime. We maximised our time there by having a lovely swim at Four Mile Beach, browsing the swish shops and having a yummy Thai dinner. I discovered the relaxed and cosyWhileaway Bookshop and Café where I treated myself to a coffee and rhubarb ... read more
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Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cape Tribulation September 21st 2012

En route to Cooktown, we stopped at the Mighty Palmer River Roadhouse for the night. It’s one of those places in the middle of nowhere – a proper Australian outback rest stop. We went for a powered campsite but hadn’t realised that everything runs on generators which are switched off during the night! We set up camp in time to see the most amazing sunset. The colours were incredible and the photo I took doesn’t even do it any justice. The next day we travelled onwards through Mt Cook National Park. As with many areas in Australia, they had recently had controlled bush fires. It felt a little strange driving through the smoking fields. Cooktown is really quite lovely. I’m not exactly sure what my expectations were, but I do know that it succeeded them. I ... read more
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