Monday, June 25, 2018

2018 Kakadu Road Trip - Bitter Springs

We needed to time consider our options with the car. Colin had done some research and read that by disconnecting the battery overnight you reset the computer - so we gave this a go. Only time would tell when were back on the road again.

We would wait and see if it played up again and then decided to go straight to Darwin or do Litchfield as planned.

As it was Sunday we just had a rest day and explored Mataranka - starting with a yummy cooked breakfast on the camp kitchen. We then explored Mataranka Springs.

Cooking up a feast

Mataranka Spings

We were supposed to be feeding the Barramundi but they didn't show - ended up feeding a turtle. 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

2018 Kakadu Road Trip - Tennant Creek to Bitter Springs

Our original destination was Daly Waters Pub - apparently this should be on everyone's bucket list. We pulled in here at lunchtime and the campground was already packed full. We parked up down the side street and went out to check out what all the fuss is about.

The pub is definitely unique  - lots to see hanging on the walls. I am sure the food and entertainment would also be great but we decided to have lunch and keep going.

We had parked outside an abandoned building that used be the old post office amongst many things. The kids had fun exploring through this building. Out the back was old jail cells - a real step in time. We had a bit of fun in here as well.

The journey here had been challenging - more car trouble with the car shutting down while driving at 100k and then being stuck in gear and no power steering. We thought we were headed straight for Darwin but is was the weekend and nothing was open so we went to Bitter Springs (Mataranka). We were lucky to get a camp sport at the caravan park. Once set up at camp we went down to the Springs - these were amazing. 32 degrees and we just floated down the stream. The walk back to the start was a bit fresh though.

Lock him up and throw away the key!

Old Jail Cells

Bitter Springs

Bitter Springs Caravan Park

Apparently there could be crocs in here? 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

2018 Kakadu Road Trip - Somewhere past Camooweal to Tennant Creek

We arrive into Tennant Creek after a slight scare with the car. We pulled over and turned it off and it seemed to start fine again - nothing to worry about right?

After a quick set up at the Tennant Creek Caravan Park and a light lunch the girls and Amanda headed into the Tennant Creek Primary school to meet up with an old friend, Jan. Amanda used to work with Jan but he moved to Tennant Creek a year ago. We spent the afternoon in the gym helping with his Year 2 and Prep PE classes. What an eye opener - some of the kids were amazing and some had very sad stories. We really enjoyed this experience.

Later that day Colin, Nathan and Lauren went exploring Tennant Creek by bikes -  maybe a little crazy but you definitely get to see a different side of the town. A dinner out at the Memorial Club with Jan and his family and our Tennant Creek experience was over.

2018 Kakadu Road Trip - Boulia to somewhere past Camooweal

Today's goal was to keep driving for as long as could to make headway to getting to Tennant Creek.

A quick grocery stock up in Mt Isa and we were back on the road. We crossed the border into the Northern Terrorty and found a neat little camp along the Stuart Highway.

Welcome to the NT

Afternoon Tea Time

Stuart Highway Camp

Friday, June 22, 2018

2018 Kakadu Road Trip - Birdsville to Boulia

Before leaving Birdville we filled up with water and fuel and Colin wanted to visit the famous Birdsville Bakery. On his wish list was Camel Pie! However we were too early for these so he had to settle for a Kangaroo Pie - not bad but not what he thought it might have been.

More gravel roads for a bit then back to the black stuff. We stopped at some ruins to air up.

We stayed at the Boulia Caravan Park - and another encounter with Travelling Mike the singer. This time though some of the audience also put on a show. They were in their 80's and still travelling and performing.

Ruins - the roof was taken by the Government during WWII

Boulia Caravan Park

The evenings entertainment

Thursday, June 21, 2018

2018 Kakadu Road Trip - Big Red and Birdsville

After a cooked breakfast we headed out to explore Big Red. This turned out to be quite an adventure.

Driving up Big Red proved to be only a slight challenge for the Patrol however Colin did say it was harder than he thought it would be. We had lots fun climbing over the sand dune as well.

Driving up Big Red

Colin letting loose at the top of Big Red

Sand Angel?

Big Red fun

After a morning of fun at Big Red we did some exploring of Birdsville. We had lunch at the Birdsville Pub and then found the race track.

Colin and Madi have a piggy back race? 

Lauren officiating the race

Birdsville race stalls


Nathan not impressed with having to get out of bed

In the evening we went back to Big Red for the sunset. It was amazing and only about 5 other people there at the same time.
Big Red

Big Red Sunset

Colin on Big Red

Super models? 

Loving the Sunset

Love the colour!

Team Bray kids

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

2018 Kakadu Road Trip - Windorah to Birdsville

We soon turned off to Birsdville and the start of gravel roads. The road was corrugated but we could still maintain a decent speed. Colin adjusted tyre pressures in the van and car to make the ride more comfortable.

We drove into town to check out the information centre and found out information about Big Red and other Birdsville attractions. Amazingly Birdsville has a huge water supply from an underground artesian supply. There taps everywhere in town and out on the common so we filled up our tanks and headed out to the common to find a camp spot.

Colin letting down the air pressure in the tyres for the road

Very Dusty 

Colin went for a long walk at lunchtime

A Rainbow Serpent on the side of hill. 
A unique outback road sign
Welcome to Birdsville
Birdsville Campsite - on the common

Fly protection

Campfire in Birdsville

The road occasionally seconds as an emergency runway.