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Published: September 9th 2007
It certainly did not take very long for us to get used to travelling again, but once again I have been very slack with this blog and it’s updates, so here goes. The time we spent in Kakadu was amazing due mostly to the un-seasonal rain that was received in April and May. Needless to say there was water in every Billabong and water hole we went to see and water still flowing over falls that are usually dry by this time of year. The rock art at Ubirr is very interesting and well worth a visit when you are in these parts. We hung around out there for a magnificent sunset over the floodplain that is thriving with bird life thanks to the abundance of water. A very early morning rise was required (0510), but not necessarily enjoyed, for a drive out to Yellow Waters for a dawn boat ride along the South Alligator River and through the adjoining floodplains. Again we were just amazed at the amount of wildlife that thrives in this magical area. Apart from being able to view the large amount of crocs inhabiting these waterways we were very lucky to see a very rare bird
called the Little Kingfisher. This bird is only slightly larger than your average finch although looks every bit like its larger relatives. As you can imagine our guide was very excited as it was her second season and only the first time she has spotted it!!! After a week of billabongs, floodplains and countless kilometres of walking trails we left, bound for Katherine. A few nights were spent here to get the car serviced and catch up on some shopping. The weather was beautiful, around 30deg as opposed to 36deg in Kakadu. Managed a trip out to Edith Falls for a refreshing dip that was cut short when Janie spotted a saltwater croc trap! The morning we were to leave Katherine we were awoken by the sound of rain this was a very big turn around as the top temp for the day only managed 18deg, this did make for a slow and steady trip south to Mataranka Hot Springs. Out came all the winter woollies we owned, jeans, a jacket and thick socks. As the camping grounds were very boggy and not much else to do whilst it was raining, we spent the better part of the afternoon soaking
in the waters of the thermal pools, very relaxing. A short walk the next morning and another dip before we hit the road making our way further south on our way towards Alice Springs. Some very cold nights were spent with only a blanket and the ducted gas heating to keep us warm (the heating is a very nice touch). Note to self, NEED WINTER CLOTHES, aaarrrggghhh, how will we cope, very nicely once we had spent up. We spent enough time in Alice Springs to drive out to Palm Valley, visit Standley Chasm and Simpson’s Gap as well as getting on the treadly/going to the gym and watching the Henley on Todd all of which was very interesting even without any water to be seen for miles. Pushing on from Alice saw us end up at “The Big Red Rock”, Ayres Rock. If you have never been here you must make it part of the things you should see before you die, I think it is just the sheer enormity of it that does it. Went out to the Olgas and walked the loop trail over undulating rocky ground which winds its way through these ancient rocks, 7kms and
Catching our breath
very rewarding. Whilst in this area I came to the conclusion that no matter how many photo’s you take (close to 100 between Janie and myself) of these amazing natural formations it never truly does them justice. Packing up fairly early we found our way out to Kings Canyon resort, and managed to get a nice site with uninterrupted views out to the Canyon. Although you are in some amazing country the prices that are charged well exceed the quality, and if you come to these places don’t expect much change out of $35 per night for a powered site with dodgy old (but clean) shower blocks and minimal facilities. We managed the rim walk around the perimeter of the canyon and even managed to get Janie (with her fear of heights) to a lookout that took in the full length of this amazing place. After our stay at the Kings Canyon we made our way south again towards Coober Pedy. An overnight stop was all that I thought was required as the area is very dirty, dusty and very lacking in water. We did manage to have an awesome feed at Tom and Mary’s Greek Taverna that included fantastic
So clear, so warm...
Baklava and Greek coffee, very strong. Up early the next day to make the long trek down to Port Augusta via Woomera. Spent a few days in Port Augusta so as to get the car serviced and the Bull bar looked at again due to loose bolts and vibration AGAIN, honestly if they haven’t fixed it this time I think it may be worth more as scrap metal… While here we tripped around a little taking a look at a lot of the outlying towns including Port Pirie, Whyalla, Hawker and Quorn. These places are a bit of a blast from the past with a lot of stone buildings or art deco architecture. I suppose it is more amazing that they have stood the test of time as more of the Aussie coastal areas are being bought up by the wealthy and the old places being demolished in the name of progress and holiday homes. We are currently in Cowell and eating up big on the $6 per dozen oysters (which I have learnt to shuck), 3 dozen between us yesterday…. We will be heading off down, around and through the Eyre Peninsular region over the next couple of weeks
so as to appease the fishing bug that has been biting since Chris’s “fishing” trip, it’s alright Chris I am sure there are some down here. After exploring this region we will be aiming for Adelaide around the start of October but in the mean time will aim at keeping this thing a little more up to date. More updates soon.
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