Day 56 - Monday 1st June 2009
Jabiru to Batchelor - 283 kms.

Weatherwise still great but the flies have returned.

As I was packing up camp Martin and Rita introducedd themselves, they have been reading this website. Martin, if you read this, please send me an email and I want to stay in touch.

We left Jabiru about 9am and went to empty the shitter at the Jabiru Dump point. We stopped at the Kakadu National Park boundary and took photos, then as we crossed the Adelaide River, we spotted a croc in the river. At Humpty Doo, we stopped for some food supplies, I just happened to park out the front of the Bottle shop, so naturally, I bought a 30 can slab of VB. We arrived at Big4 Batchelor Resort Caravillage at 12:45pm, we setup camp and I tried to setup the Satellite TV, but to no avail, we do have some tree coverage, so I blame that, we can receive Channels 2, 7, 9 and SBS, but very snowy, but we can still hear it clearly.
Mid afternoon, at a rather warm 33.7c, we went to the pool for our daily routine of having a swim, it was cool, but we soon warmed up or cooled down, whichever. At 5:45pm, the park feeds the native birds, so we went and took a look. They weren't many birds. Dinner tonight, was bacon and egg sandwiches, bloody yumma.
Tonight, we will again have the Air Cond on, all night. From memory, we have had the Air Cond at night since we were in Katherine about 2.5 weeks ago, it has been that hot at night.

Tomorrow, we are off touring the Litchfield National Park, probably swim at Florence Falls and eventually get to Wangi Falls about 55kms from camp and then return.

Batchelor Resort Caravillage.

Batchelor Resort Caravillage.

Batchelor Resort Caravillage.

Day 57 - Tuesday 2nd June 2009
visiting Litchfield National Park.

Weatherwise still great but the flies have returned.

We left camp about 9:30am and headed to Litchfield National park, the first stop was the Magnetic Termite Mounds, the termites weren't magnetic and the mounds weren't magnetic, it was that this breed of termite actually builds their mounds facing North/South, so the sides face East/West to maximise the heat of the sun. Next stop was Buley Rockhole, this was brilliant, we swam in the various rockpools for about 90 minutes. There were heaps of people but it was still awesome. From here we drove to Florence Falls, but you had to walk about 1km and up and down steps to get there, we gave it a miss. We then drove to the Monsoon Cafe which was past the Wangi Falls about 65kms from Batchelor. We had toasted sandwiches for lunch and I had a double sars. Yumma.
On the way back to camp, we stopped at Wangi Falls, this area was closed to swimming as the water was still too high and that salties (read big mother f.... crocs are still present in the area). In about a month or two's time the water will be low enough that the rangers will open Wangi Falls for swimming. It is an absolute brilliant area. Check out the photos when they are uploaded. I will get around to it soon.

Back at camp, we went for our daily dip and it was so refreshing. About 5pm, Marg and I went over to the Death Adder bar, which is at reception, then Marg went into the pokies and I went and sat with Bob (one of the park workers) and had a couple of chilled refreshers.
Dinner tonight was ham steaks with pineapple and vegies. Yumma.

Tomorrow, we are off to Katherine and will be staying at Low Level CP where we stayed before, just for an overnighter.

Entering Litchfield NP.

This termite mound is called "The Cathedral".

Buley Rockhole and a lady in red.

These signs are everywhere.

View from Tolmer Falls' lookout.

Wangi Falls.

Day 58 - Wednesday 3rd June 2009
Litchfield National Park to Katherine - 248kms.

Weatherwise still perfect. It is still 31c in Katherine, so it is still very warm.

We left Batchelor about 8:45am and headed to Katherine about 250kms away. Our first stop was at Emerald Springs and then we went straight through to Riverview CP, Katherine. We originally decided to stay at Low Level CP, where we stayed last time we were here about 2.5 weeks ago, but we thought as we are only doing an overnightr that we will stay at Riverview CP, which is about 200m from the Katherine Thermal Pools.
We arrived, setup camp and went into Woollies at Katherine for some supplies. About 2pm, Marg and I wandered down to the Thermal Pools and they were beautiful. Just to add to it, a tour bus arrived for a 30 minute swim and a German girl started talking to us, she was a stunner.

Just to show what a great guy I am, if there is any doubt, I am 'shouting' Marg dinner at the Katherine RSL tonight, yes I know they have pokies, but Marg doesn't realise that I am 'shouting' her dinner our of her Long Service pay that has finally come through. Gee, I am considerate and caring, basically, just a great all round guy.
The Katherine RSL was great, the beer was cold during happy hour a 10oz(pot) of VB was $1.90, great value. Marg lost on the pokies, we were a winner with dinner, it was steak night $18.50 each, I had a T Bone with vegies, yumma as usual, Marg had lamb shranks with vegies, that was yumma also, I naturally had to finish Marg's leftovers.

Tomorrow, we are off to Hi Van Inn near the Daly Waters Pub, just for an overnighter.

Day 59 - Thursday 4th June 2009
Katherine to Daly Waters Hi-Way Inn - 277kms.

Weatherwise still perfect. It is still 30c in Daly Waters.

We left Katherine about 9:00am and headed to Daly Waters about 270kms away. Our first stop was at Mataranka for a break, then we stopped at Larrimah, and then we went through to Hi-Way Inn, Daly Waters, which is on the Stuart hwy and about 3 kms past the Pub turnoff. We originally decided to stay at the Daly Waters Pub, but we heard from fellow travellers that the Hi-Way inn was good value, $20 for a powered site and you get a free schooner of beer or a house wine, and as we had already stayed at the Pub coming up, we decided the Hi-way Inn this time and I think it is very good. Nice grassy powered sites without prickles.

Tomorrow, we are off to Banka Banka Station to see Alex and Fiona.

Daly Waters Hi-way inn CP.

Daly Waters Hi-way inn CP.

Daly Waters Hi-way inn CP.

Day 60 - Friday 5th June 2009
Daly Waters Hi-Way Inn to Banka Banka Station - 297kms.

Weatherwise still perfect. It is still about 30c at Banka Banka Station.

We left Daly Waters Hi-Way Inn about 9:00am, after I topped up with diesel and air in 8 tyres and 2 rear suspension gizmos and then headed to Banka Banka Station about 300kms away. Our first stop was at Elliott for more diesel, it hasn't changed since we were last here, about 3 weeks ago, it's still near the end of the earth. Next stop was Renner Springs for a break and then arrived at Banka Banka about 1pm. The place was jumping, there were at least 20 vans here before us, but Fiona said either 18 people or 18 vans stayed from yesterday, anyway now it is 5pm and there are over 40 vans here. Talking of vans, Marg was bored today, so she counted vans, motorhomes etc heading North, while we headed South. For our 4 hour journey south, she counted 148 vans heading North. The migration has well and truly started.
During the afternoon, I washed the mighty Navara and also washed the awning, as it had bird shit on it, it is now all clean. We also walked upto the top of the hill at the back of Banka Banka and I took some more photos and as Marg is now well compared to the last time that we were here, she took some rocks, don't tell Fiona and Alex. We had the world famous Banka Banka sausage sizzle for dinner tonight, originally, Marg wanted two and I wanted three, but as usual, I had four and Marg had one. They were yumma. At 7pm, it is cooling down, both Marg and I are wearing a long sleeve top, as we went and watched the Banka Banka slideshow, there were probably 30 people watching it.
Don't forget that there is no power here, only your own. At 8pm, as I am writing this, most of the caravans are in total darkness. I can't see if any are rockin'.

Tomorrow, we are off to Barkly Homestead, just for an overnighter.

creating fire breaks.

On our way to Banka Banka.

Us at Banka Banka.

Day 61 - Saturday 6th June 2009
Banka Banka Station to Barkly Homestead - 264kms.

Weatherwise still perfect, although, there was some high level cloud and a little chill in the air.
It was 34c at Barkly Homestaed this afternoon.

We left Banka Banka about 8:30am, and drove to Threeways, where we topped up with diesel and we stopped there for 30 minutes, while we logged onto the internet. We stopped twice along the Barkly Hwy, at both Rest Areas. We arrived at Barkly Homestead about 12:30pm and setup camp. When we paid for our powered site, we also received a food voucher for a roast beef tonight for $12, which was very tasty, but there was a stuff up in the kitchen and our meals took 40 minutes to arrive.
There was no TV reception, so we watched some shows that I had recorded earlier.

Tomorrow, we are off to the river just west of Camooweal and will be in Queensland. Yippee.

Are we there yet?.

We didn't expect an Army escort to take us to Qld.

Barkly Homestead..

Day 62 - Sunday 7th June 2009
Barkly Homestead to Camooweal - 272kms.

Weatherwise at Barkly Homestead at 7:45am, Blue skies, no wind, no clouds, 10c outside, 17c inside van. Should be a pearler of a day. It is now 4pm and it is a pearler at 27c and very little cloud.

We left Barkly Homestead for the 270km drive into a 15kt head wind (Easterly), I still set cruise to 90kph but with the head wind, my fuel consumption increased to 21 litres/100kms. The worst to date
We stopped at Soudan RA and Avon Downs RA opposite the Police Station. Nothing out of the ordinary except at Avon Downs we saw the Great Australia Bike Ride, they are upto 30 cyclists riding around Australia. These guys are bloody mad, I had enough trouble riding the Great Victorian Bike Ride of 600kms in 9 days, these guys started riding in March and plan to finish in October. truly crazies.

About 1km west of Camooweal is the free camping area beside the river, we drove along the smooth gravel road for about a kilometer and passed about 15 vans, picked a spot beside the 'river', got out and checked it out and decided that we would camp in town at the CP. It was pretty and peaceful, but we are very happy at the Post Office HotelMotel CP. We setup camp, visited the Hotel and had a chilled refresher and it is now 4pm and I am watching Hawthorn leading Sydney by 10 points at 2:45 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter, while I update our website.

Tomorrow, we are off to Cloncurry.

NT/Qld border.

Are those clouds? I don't believe it.

Fill her up!

Day 63 - Monday 8th June 2009
Camooweal to Mount Isa - 190kms.

It is getting cooler at night, during the day it is cloudless blue skies about mid 20s, but windy. At Camooweal, it was 8c when we got up.

We left Camooweal, after emptying the 'shitter'. The wind had got up and it was a nice headwind. I set cruise to 90kph and away we went.
We were originally planned to drive to Cloncurry, but as usual, there was a change of plans. As the mighty Navara is due for its 40,000kms service, we decided to stay in Mt Isa and have the car serviced and then just recharge our batteries.

We are staying at the Copper City CP in West St, Mt Isa, the Nissan dealer is also in West St about a kilometer from camp, so it is very convenient for us. The CP is nothing startling to look at but it will do us for the 5 nights that we are here. It is a Family Parks member and the price with member 10% discount is $28.80 for an ensuite or $23.40 for a non ensuite powered site, so we went for a bit of luxury with an ensuite site.
Internet is Full strength and standard TV is channels 2, 7, 9, SBS and NITV. Tonight it was early to bed as we are both buggered.

Tomorrow, I have to try and book the mighty Navara in for a service.

*2009 - Index page*

**NEXT - Heading to Mount Isa**