Kings Canyon to Alice to Darwin

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September 20th 2008
Published: September 20th 2008
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Sep 15 to 20th
6155km to date, Sep 20, 2008
Costliest petrol, at Elliott: $1.99 per l.

Sep 15.
New tyres for the van. The rear tyres had very little tread left. No issue with Calypso Campervans about getting the tyres. They paid!
Visited Royal Flying Doctors and School of the Air. Both organizations that provide a fantastic service. The RFDS would be similar to our STARS, except they use airplanes. School of the air provides a great education to children that live in remote areas. Whether it’s a small community or an outback station (ranch)

Sep 16.
Alice Springs to Wycliffe Well.
Wycliffe Well the UFO capital of Australia. Lots of extra terrestrial figures around and walls covered with UFO sightings/info. Had a pretty good Chinese meal in the little restaurant. The owners were just putting away their weekly shopping. They drive the 400km to Alice, do the shopping, then drive back. Likely pretty typical of the out of the way places here.

Sep 17.
Wycliffe Well to Devils Marbles to Tennant Creek.
Devils marbles, another fantastic job by Mother Nature (!!). Roundish boulders sitting atop of other ones. Have never seen anything like it.
Did an underground mine tour at Tennant Creek. With Bob. Bob is a retired underground miner that has come back to do the tours, in the busy season. A real fount of knowledge about the process, because he has ‘been there, done that’. By the way, it’s a mine that was used to practise with explosives, so they didn’t do anything to the real mine. Gold mine, that is. Nothing happening right now, but there are possibilities in the future. Also stopped at the, now unused, Telegraph Office. Quite a life these guys had. In the middle of nowhere, with not much of anything. Including people and water.
Stopped in Elliott for the night. Cannot recommend the caravan park, Midland, at all.

Sep 18.
Elliot to Katherine.
Linda was driving and had to pass a slower caravan. The first time either of us had passed anything on a single lane highway.
Stopped at Daly Waters Pub. Historic, built in 1930. Walls, ceiling all covered with souvenirs people have left them. Badges, stickers, hats, flags, bras, panties, money, T-shirts, expired student cards, etc. They had 2 parking meters out front, a traffic light permanently red, sight that said angle parking only (any angle mate!).
Well worth the 6k that the pub is off the highway.

We have gone from barren desert where you can see for many, many kilometres, to trees, trees and more trees. Stopped at Mataranka Thermal Pool for lunch and a short cool off in the 34 degree hot pool. Sorry to say that swimming and I don’t get along any more. To get to the pool we had to walk through a little forest, every tree had 100s of brown flying squirrels resting in them …. Well some were flying around too. They call them squirrels, we call them bats!!!!! They are not there all the time, we just timed it wrong……
We actually saw 3 rivers with water in them. Haven’t seen that in 5000km. Until now, all rivers had been dry, dry, dry.
Overnight at Katherine.

Sep 19.

Called the campervan company about oil change. Here it’s only done every 10,000k and with 20/50 oil. At home it’s every 5000k and with 5/20, 5/30 oil. If memory serves me, since I get mine done at the drive thru!!.

Spent most of the day on a river cruise of the Katherine Gorge. There are 13 gorges and we managed 3. In this season, to get to the 4th gorge you need to walk 2.4 Km. 1998 there was a major, major flood and apparently the high water mark is about 18 metres above the current river level. Had a couple of swims along the way. Some did anyway. An awesome trip, warm water, the second gorge being the best. Sandy areas along the way are croc nesting areas. KEEP OUT signs all over. They are fresh water crocs and not dangerous unless provoked. The salties are just plain mean.

Sep 20.
Katherine to Darwin. Actually Harold Springs just a bit south of Darwin.
Quick stop at Edith falls. Since it is nearing the end of the dry season, there wasn’t much of a falls. And we weren’t in any mood to do any walks.
We had RAIN. Heard someone say that it hadn’t rained in 6 months. Pretty good downpour for 15-20

I actually put up the awning about half an hour before the rain. Of course the rain filled up the awning and needed to be poked to get the accumulated rain out of it. The rain snuck up on us as we were trying to get under the shade of the awning. It surprised a whole lot of people.
Thought we might actually rent a van or a cabin for tonight, but as the cheapest was $120, we just found a powered site for the campervan.

Maui Campervans appears to have left Darwin. Not really, but there sure were a whole lot of them going south. Likely just a relocation. And no one told them that they need to wave to fellow travellers

Temperature is so hot here that chocolate bars are kept refrigerated!!

Additional photos below
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21st September 2008

your trip
I keep checking in with your trip info. Looks like your seeing alot! Hope you have lots of sunblock! looks very hot! Stay Safe! love kim

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