Day 3 - Erldunda to Tennant creek
What a day and we haven’t even arrived at Katherine yet. Today’s trip took us from Erldunda roadhouse to Tennant Creek. A distance of 700km. We started off with breakfast at the Erldunda roadhouse. Well we don’t realise what we have in Melbourne until you don’t get it. We went into the breakfast area and out of the five cereal boxes only two had cereal in them and there was very little else. Let’s just say basic is basic. By 7 am we were off onto Stuart highway. In the first few minutes a road train passed us going in the other direction and I was sprayed by rocks. Windscreen copped it and I now have a cracked screen. Looks like a new windscreen is on the list for when we return. We had morning coffee in Alice Springs (McDonalds). As we were driving out of Alice my son Paul started screaming with delight on the UHF radio. He had just seen a sign for the sale of fireworks. My son has a fireworks fetish and soon he was diverting to stop and buy some. Now we googled why the hell
he could buy fireworks in the first place. Apparently TODAY is the anniversary of Territory day reflecting 40 years of independence for the Northern Territory and on this one day of the year anyone of legal age in the Northern Territory can buy fireworks even without a licence. Well he bought a heap of fireworks. Not sure what he is going to do with them. The first planned stop was to take photos at the site of the passing of the Tropic of Capricorn. Well I wanted to stop but we were going so fast by the time we realised we should have stopped we were already 3 km up the road. I was promised we would stop on the way back. The next stop was at Ryan’s Well. This was the first of many Wells we have seen today. They are no longer in working order but are a leftover of an era where water was scarce. Following this we stopped at Aileron roadhouse. This roadhouse was nothing special except that they have two enormous aboriginal statues. They are 17mtrs tall and weigh over 8 tons. A good interruption to the road trip. Next we stopped at the Red
Hill Mango farm. Now I had researched this farm and all of the reviews stated that the mango ice cream is to die for. Now this farm has mango trees, olives and grape vines. Now I was expecting a great farm with cellar door tastings for the wine and even ice cream and olive oil tastings with cheese and biscuits. Well no, that is not how it is done in the bush. Yes there were lots of mango trees, lots of grape vines and even heaps of olive trees BUT someone forgot the tastings or anything close. There was a tiny shop which struggled to handle more than five people at a time and I am sure it started to shake with the nine of us in the room which included the three grandchildren. Yes there were pre packed icecream tubs that you could purchase from the freezer. The shop was in a converted container. Well the icecream was nice and the rest was an outback experience to be remembered.
There were more road trains but this time I stayed well away from them after yesterday’s close call. The biggest truck I have ever seen was a
four trailer Toll truck which was over 50 metres. I have added a picture.
The next stop was at Barrow Creek. This is a one pub town. Now why would we stop here. Well in 2001 this was the pub where Joanne Lees was dropped off by a local trucker after he found her walking dazed on the Stuart Highway. She had been kidnapped and her boyfriend (Peter Falconio) was killed and dumped in the bush and was never found. The pub was old and dilapidated and was surrounded by the locals. We had an interesting chat with the local publican.
The next stop was Wycliffe Well which is the self proclaimed UFO capital of Australia which comes with all of the normal UFO merchandise to support the claim.
The last stop was to visit the “Devils Marbles” which are of great cultural and spiritual significance to traditional aboriginal owners. They looked like a bunch of round rocks to me and my grandchildren agree. Haha.
We have finally arrived at the Tennant Creek caravan park and we weren’t here more than an hour and the fireworks have started. Apparently the locals are allowed to
set off fireworks until 11 pm and lets just say Paul is excited. . Let’s wait and see.
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