Heading towards the Centre – Stuart Highway

30 07 2014
How good is this!!!  Longreach Waters @ Elliot NT.

How good is this!!! Longreach Waters @ Elliot NT.

Along our trip there have been a few – pinch me now, I can’t believe we are really here – moments.  Being in Tasmania the first, the twelve apostles in Victoria, Gibb River Road in the Kimberley’s and I’m anticipating Central Australia will be next.  Therefore it is with excitement on my part that we move on from Darwin and begin the trip south towards the centre of Australia.

First stop – Mataranka.  I read about Mataranka in a book that a friend we met in Perth sent to me while we were on the station in the Pilbara.  The lady in the book grew up in the Mataranka General Shop and met her partner there as he passed by doing droving work for cattle stations.  The town has grown since she was there but I don’t think by much.  We chose to stay out at Elsey National Park.  It was a little out of town, cheaper than the caravan parks and gave each camper LOADS of space with camp fires aloud.  It was a win!  We loved it there and Daniel had space to crack his new whip that he bought in Darwin.  People wondered if we were shooting the birds but all was good – just whip cracking!  Here’s a word of warning though if you plan to stay in here…. the sprinklers on the grass turn on automatically every day and it could be in YOUR camp area.  It watered Dan’s swag, the table provided and our fire place! Hmmmm – the next day Stephen dismantled it – he’s no vandal though, he did put it back together for the next camper :-).

Enjoying Bitter Springs

Enjoying Bitter Springs

Having some fun in the Roper River

Having some fun in the Roper River

Lasagne cooking… been hanging out for this for AGES waiting till we could have a fire again.

Lasagne cooking… been hanging out for this for AGES waiting till we could have a fire again.

Look what is in the air line holder at Mataranka petrol station

Look what is in the air line holder at Mataranka petrol station

Once disturbed he poked his head out to say hi… we decided we didn't need air after all :-)

Once disturbed he poked his head out to say hi… we decided we didn’t need air after all 🙂

After three nights in Mataranka and enjoying the thermal springs we moved on down the Stuart Highway.  Approaching Larrimah we saw some signs for a free zoo!  What a funny little place.  The pink panther, pink amenity block and pink cabins were the beginning of an outback treat.  The zoo had snakes, lizards, birds of all kinds and even a salt walter crocodile.  We had an enjoyable break here, a quick bite to eat and then back on the road towards Elliot.  Another town I’d never heard of but has an amazing lagoon 11km down a dirt track completely alive with pelicans and other bird life.  We stayed here three nights enjoying natures TV of the day in the life of pelicans!  There were thousands of birds with the highlight being hundreds of pelicans in a group, herding the fish for a feast right past our campsite a few times a day.   It was not just a display in the water, but the sky was overflowing with pelicans flying in to join the fun and have I mentioned the sound of it all?  All quite a feast for the senses!

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Funny!

Funny!

Pelicans!

Pelicans!

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Cooking one of my make up on the spot cake recipes

Cooking one of my make up on the spot cake recipes

The end result… IT WAS GOOD!  Apple, cinnamon cake - hit the spot perfectly.

The end result… IT WAS GOOD! Apple, cinnamon cake – hit the spot perfectly.

The Devils Marbles.  What can I say?

Intriguing.. peaceful.. graceful.. beautiful.

The granite boulders scattered about the flat spinifex covered landscape with large open skies gives to breathtaking scenery that changes around every corner and every hour.  It was interesting in that the camping was super crowded and we had to squeeze ourselves into the corner yet it was still so peaceful and quiet.  Take a little walk around the boulders and you are completely by yourself with only the breeze rustling the odd tree to hear.

The crowded camping

The crowded camping

Tucked up in the corner

Tucked up in the corner

Push Matt!

Push Matt!

Golden Boulders

Golden Boulders

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Moving on we decided to stop at Ti Tree to say hello to some friends of friends.  After a quick hello outback hospitality was at it’s best with an offer to stay the night in their back yard.  Why not?  We set up camp, helped Hannes and Danielle unload the truck for their little shop and shared a lovely BBQ dinner together.

Now off to Alice!

 

 

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3 responses

30 07 2014
Bob Mc Pherson

Absolutely stunning. You’re on your way home but how will you put up with suburban Sydney? You will probably want to plan your next trip!

30 07 2014
Hit the Track

We definitely feel like we are on the homeward run now… Sydney suburban living sounds rather daunting actually – BUT seeing family and friends we’re looking forward to!

31 07 2014
Lorna

I can’t see you staying in the ‘burbs for long – the Great Outdoors has soaked into your souls & will always call you back.
Wonder what (& where) the next Great Adventure will be???
Blessings
L x

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