Qld/NT Border to Gorrie Airfield

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August 23rd 2011
Published: August 26th 2011
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Sunday 21st August 2011

An early rise (for a Sunday), saw us on the road before 9am, after saying our goodbyes to Michael and Sharon before getting John and Rosemary out of bed for the same. First stop, Camooweal the place we almost got to 4 days ago.

We refuelled there and continued a short distance up the road to the billabong or Mary's Lake. This is a popular free camping spot and we had planned stop there. There was plenty of bird-life there and it would have been a great spot to stay, except we were now ready to move on after our 4 day delay. We had morning tea there, took some photos of the birds there, and we were off.

Lunch was in the Northern Territory at a truck stop, we continuing on, Rags telling Judy he was feeling ok each time we reached the next reasonable place to camp for the night. He called it a day at about 4.30pm when we reached 41 Mile Bore, a rest area about 70kms before the Sturt Highway. We could have continued but once reaching the highway there are few rest areas available. Almost 600kms since we left this morning.

Tomorrow we intend driving South down the highway for the 24kms to Tennant Creek. This detour is so that we can say we've seen the place, but also to refuel, as we were warned of the poor quality fuel at the Threeways Roadhouse. How true this is we don't know, but that the area was flooded a metre deep and they are saying the diesel is contaminated with water. We've had too many problems to add that one.

Monday 22nd August 2011

Another day of travel. We covered over 600kms today. We woke up just after 6.30am and were on the road just after 7.30pm. Even so, one of the vans near us had already left.

We continued along the Barky Highway until we reached the T junction with the Stuart Highway, then turned south until we reached the turn-off to Mary Anne Dam about 5kms NE of Tennant Creek. This area has become the play area for the local residents, not that anyone was there when we arrived. As we had been told by other campers there were toilets and hot showers there, which we made good use of.
The dam was named after the two daughters of an early miner, he built a small dam here originally, although this was now much larger and developed as a picnic area.

Tennant Creek was the next stop, where we drove up the street one way, came back, refuelled, and left. Enough said.

The rest of the day was spent driving, stopping only for morning tea and lunch at truck bays.
We drove into Daly Waters, the attraction here being the 'Barra and Beef' meal put on at the pub and the memorabilia which adorns the pub. this includes bras, jocks, money notes, badges etc. The camp itself was very ordinary, and when the cost of the meal was added you could stay at a much more salubrious place.

We had a look around Daly Waters and looked at a local historic World War 2 airfield and aerodrome. During World War 2 Daly Waters played a part in the protection of the Northern Australian coastline. The Australian and American air forces were based here. Here among the historic displays we found a couple of caravans parked under the shelter of the aerodrome where they intended to stay overnight.

We continued on until we came to another sign to the Gorrie WW2 Airfield. Judy found this in our "Priceless Campsites & Rest Areas in the NT" and it gave us the history and said it was shady and level so as it was now nearly 4.30pm we decided that if the area seemed ok and wasn't too crowded we would stay for the night. It was a kilometre from the main road but the track seemed well used. We found an airstrip, about 2kms long, made of bitumen, and not another soul to be seen. We parked on the side of the runway, on a paved area in the shade, perfectly flat and ideal for the van. Camps 5 doesn't mention this place but “Priceless Campsites & Rest Areas in the NT” does. Most travellers we have met use Camps 5. Here we had self-caught fish plus vegies for dinner, washed down with one of the wines we keep in the van for these occasions. (and isn't every night an occasion?)

Additional photos below
Photos: 9, Displayed: 9


Bore 41Bore 41
Bore 41

Lots of places here to camp the night well off the road.

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