Darwin and Surrounds

Published: July 16th 2017
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Darwin is a beautiful city! The beautiful sunsets over the water, the beautiful green gardens, the unbusyness and laid back lifestyle and history around every corner! Driving in to the city on the main road in at 10am on a Monday morning, Nathan and I had one other car traveling the same direction as us on a four lane highway!! Would definitely have been much busier in Brisbane lol.

We stayed for 5 nights at a little WikiCamps place called Lucy’s Rest (Lucy being the the lovely dog who visited us daily with lots of Licks!). It is very much a bush camp and only about 20 minutes outside of the city centre.

Nathan and I went to the Military Museum which holds so many items and information about the wars that Australia have been involved in but mostly about World War II. There is a lot of information about Darwin being bombed twice in 1942 with over 250 bombs over two separate attacks. It was well worth visiting and I definitely recommend it to anyone interested in war history visiting Darwin.

While staying in Darwin we also visited some other areas so we could leave our vans safely.

Adelaide River Jumping Croc Tour, wow this was an amazing tour! Our guide took us out on a large punt (with minimal guards) and the only rule was not to stick anything outside the boat. We headed first to a large croc called Dominator who is around 6m in length, he jumped up beside the boat right next to Nathan and I. It was quite scary, thinking if we had a hand or our head out it would be gone!! We traveled along the river stopping now and again to some of the other crocs. Another large one is Brutus who is around 5.5m and over 100 years old. Brutus was jealous of a smaller female close to the boat and chased her away, he could move very fast for being so old, he actually looked like he was running on top of the water!! The tour was amazing and scary at the same time!!

That night Courtney (Sos) had to fly home and back to uni, it was sad to see her go and we all often made mention that we were waiting for her, or it felt weird that she wasn’t there!

Next we went to Litchfield National Park. We planned to stay the night camping in our rooftop tents and Nathan and I in our self-contained duel cab (Which Nathan said for $6500 you can buy when we get back lol). In the park we saw an old tin mine, a few beautiful water falls (Wongi, Tholmer and Florence). At Wongi Falls I went walking around taking photos and chatting to other tourists, the others went swimming. While chatting with a couple from Esperance I saw a water monitor sitting beside the lake and also a creamy yellow coloured snake with black stripes which was about just over a metre long. We also went to the remains of Blythe station which is where the older sons and daughters of another station around 25 miles away lived, mining tin and ran some cattle before World War II. We planned to spend the night at Surprise Falls but the 4wd track was closed still after the wet season, so we went on but found all the other camp sites were full! Being school holidays here and the dry season makes for very full camp areas everywhere! We decided to just continue looking at as much as we can see before dark (luckily you can still see to around 7pm here). We lastly drove down a thin 4wd track to the lost city, an area of rock structures that look amazingly like a city. Some looked like castles, others like transformers (think Megatron type transformer!!) and one even looked like a side profile of a lady’s head. We walked around until we almost couldn’t see and then drove back to the main Litchfield road in the dark. We then left Litchfield and headed back to Lucy’s Rest arriving at about 8.30 at night. We were disappointed we didn’t get to try out our ‘roughing it’ camping but with still 7 weeks to go I’m sure we will get the opportunity at some stage.

We then left Darwin and headed to Dundee beach, on the way our caravan had something go wrong with the tyre and Nathan had to change it. I noticed that the quilt he was lying on was either my sisters or mine from when we were kids. (Heather remember the brown floral single quilts we had!). How Nathan ended up with it and using it for laying down on when working on something I have no idea!! It has definitely come in handy though this trip Jamin and Peter have both borrowed it when they need to get under their car/caravan.

At Dundee Beach we stayed at an amazing free camp camp at Stingray Head. We set up on a cliff (it wasn’t too high but we were careful not to get too close to the edge anyway) over looking a bay. This was one of the most perfect spots we have stayed at with a beautiful view, watching saltwater crocs and stingrays swim past and gorgeous sunsets going over the ocean! We saw fisherman standing in thigh deep water fishing and even families and dogs swimmimg, pretty crazy when from our spot on the head/cliff we could see crocks happily swimming along.

It was a little hard to find and get in with very rutted roads, Jamin had to be our scout, having the smallest and highest clearance he can go in to places and check if the other two vans will safely make it. He found a spot and even had to do a bit of chopping of low hanging branches but we all made it in. Fish was plentiful here and right from when we first arrived some threw a line in over the cliff and started catching straight away, it’s just a shame they were cat fish. Out in the boats, Rock Cod and catfish were caught and a feast of Rock Cod cooked in foil over hot coals was had (all but me who is allergic to fish enjoyed it).

One night we also cooked a roast in the camp ovens over the fire. Nathan and I had a little roast beef and some potatoes (bruised from the rough roads). It turned out perfectly, the potatoes were cooked beautifully full of flavour from the beef and the roast so tender. Nathan said he thought it was the best roast I’ve ever made, and thinks we may have to make a fire and use the camp oven at home to make roasts in the future lol.

The one downfall of this beautiful place was MOZZIES!! The first day was fine but right after the sun went down the mozzies came out in droves. They were a thin pointy type that felt like you were getting a needle stuck in. We all went to bed early to get away from them. Our van was full of them and Nathan spent most of the night up hitting them with a dishcloth, I slept not too bad with my head under a sheet but Nathan did wake me up quite a lot from hitting me trying to kill the mozzies. Us and Peter, Sonia and Ethan had a bad night with the mozzies but Jamin and Ashlee were fine and said they didn’t have a problem with them. The next day we taped up any holes we found in the screens and plugged up anywhere we thought they may have got in (shower and sink drain etc) and hoped for the best.

The next night we went off to bed early again to escape them and then we went around killing any that had got in the door. We waited and no more seemed to come in so we had a great night. The third and final night something went wrong in Jamin van though and they were swarmed so bad thy left it and went and slept in with Pete, Sonia and Ethan.

We left Dundee Beach and headed back to Darwin to get tyres fixed and stock up on groceries again. After we did all we needed to, we headed back down south ready for our trip west.

We detoured at Pine Creek and followed a tourist drive, it was quite a thin and windy road, cars coming the opposite way (as well as myself) got quite a shock when they came over a rise and saw a caravan coming towards them! We stopped at Robin Falls and while we were driving in Peter and Jamin commented over the UHF’s that they thought they saw naked people. We stopped our cars and parked as best as we could in a car park not meant for caravans and then walked the very rocky (climbing up and over big rocks at times) walk to the falls. We all had on thongs as we didn’t expect it to be so rocky. Once there it was quite a beautiful, a waterfall falling down on to a small rock pool. They all went swimming except Sonia and I didn’t think it was hot enough so we took photos.

We retuned back to our vans and decided to try and find a place amongst the other campers to stay the night. Peter and Sonia got a nice spot right beside the creek. I then noticed everyone was whispering and averting their eyes, I asked Jamin what was going on and he told me the neighbours are naked. I looked over at the exact moment a naked man decided to bend down and pick something up so I got a view of his naked backside haha. We all just tried not to look in that direction as our spot was too nice to give up. The next morning the nudists left quite early so we didn’t have to find somewhere to look while having breakfast which was good lol.

The next morning we did some washing (we are very thankful to Peter and Sonia for sharing their washing machine and generator with those of us who don’t have one) pumping water from the creek. We then left for Edith Falls just north of Katherine. Edith Falls were quite popular but being late in the day when we arrived it was too populated. There is lovely grass along the banks to sit and enjoy the shade which I did and caught up on some reading. The either blew up tubes and air beds and went swimming. We stayed the night at a free camp back at the highway which amazingly had lots of space for us even late in the day. (We usually find all the grey nomads have stopped and made camp much earlier than us and so at times there is no room for us).

Yesterday we crossed the West Australian border putting our clocks back another 1.5 hours which means we are now 2 hours behind home. To get in to WA we are not allowed any fruit or veg and definitely no honey. Poor Peter and Sonia forgot about that and bought a huge container of honey just before leaving Darwin. We all had to spend the last couple of days eating all our produce and honey. I think some of us might have been a bit over honey towards the end! We crossed with no problems and headed for Kununurra. We bought groceries o stock up on our fruit, veg etc and then headed to Celebrity Park for lunch. Kununurra being on the Ord River and being surrounded by lakes and dams has no shortage of water, the grass is beautifully green all around the town and the park was just gorgeous with beautiful shady trees. Any celebrities that come to town are offered to plant a tree at Celebrity Tree Park, I looked around at a few and saw trees planted by Bud Tingwall. Baz Lurman, Cate Cebrano and Grant Denier.

After lunch we headed west then north on a dirt road to Button Crossing to camp the night. Its not very busy here, in fact last night we were the only ones here but today there has been quite a few local fisherman arrive to fish in the river. We saw a croc this morning when driving along the bank so definitely no swimming here, not that we were going to anyway lol.

That brings me up to date so til next time....


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