Thursday, 31 May 2012

156 - MT. Bundy Station (2)

This is "Charlene", "Charlies" Lay

Can't say enough of how good this place is. We could have spent the whole winter here. There were a few travelers that do that. In all of the places we have stayed on our travels through NT, this was the first camp that actually had a communal camp fire, with someone breaking out a guitar and just generally having a great time with a few drinkies. Definitely going to stay there on our way back, which at this stage will be sooner than later.

Here kitty, kitty, kitty

Looooooooook out............... Charlene is about to charge!!!!!!

Camp fire, sausage sizzle and a few drinkies

The pool @ Mt. Bundy Station

Ready for a cooling swim?

Next stop Berry Springs our destination at last!!!!!!!

155 - Adelaide River Mt. Bundy Station

The bride under the Banya Tree at Mt. Bundy Station

So here we again. Out of Katherine and heading for our next stop Mt. Bundy Station at Adelaide River. Now what I have seen in most of these NT towns from Three Ways, is an abundance of "locals" aimlessly wandering the streets, in various groups under trees, with housing looking like a demolition site. I figured Adelaide River would be much the same.

But surprise, surprise. What a great little town. Yeah I have to call it little, as if you blink you would miss it. But it's claim to fame is the war cemetery, the Adelaide River Inn and rail museum. However "Georgy GPS" sent us down the road before the actual town ship to Mt. Bundy Station. Why Mt. Bundy Station. Well Camps 5 gave it a big tick, and when considering my poor judgement with places to stay, I figured I couldn't go to wrong with this.

"Charlie" the water buffalo from Crocodile Dundee at Adelaide River Tavern 

Another view of "Charlie"

The WW2 remembrance garden at Adelaide River

Very emotional time at the war graves

So with much apprehension and about 3kms off the main highway we were greeted at Mt. Bundy Station. Yahoo!!!!!!!!!!was the cry from the drivers seat.......we have finally hit a good one. Now those who haven't been to Mt. Bundy Station it is actually a working cattle farm and horse stud. Geartic Gypsies like us are given sites, here there and everywhere, amongst the trees and what a great atmosphere.

Adelaide River Inn....great pub.

Two nights was the cry at reception. We settled in and met the cows, dogs, water Buffalo's and horses. Our hosts were Sue and Scott (owners) lovely, lovely people, and the Caretakers, magic people Liz and Trevor.

One of the gee gees @ Mt. Bundy Station

More on Mt. Bundy Station next post. Stay Toooooooned!!!!!!!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

154 - Katherine NT

Cough, cough, wheeze, splatter, sniff was the morning greeting that was bellowed out of the RetroLiner on the morning of our departure from Mataranka. We did the usual pack up in record time for us, and the other joy was only a 105km run into Katherine.

How long we stay in Katherine will determine seeing a medico for both of us. A minimum of two days I guess, depending on Medicos. So it was "on the road again."

The bride at this stage, and rightly so, was ready to tear anything and everything apart that even look like red dirt, so we ventured out of the dust bowl of the Homstead CP and hit the black top for what should be a leisurely 105km run into Katherine.

The run into Katherine was uneventful again, however the bride was "not well." Once we hit the outskirts of Katherine, we came across our first set of traffic lights, and what seemed on first impression a neato town. We made our way to the info centre of which we missed the turn off first time around. Once there we noticed a very modern info centre which was extremely busy looking after all us Geriatric Gypsies. Although we were advised by others that the best park in Katherine, was the BIG 4 Low Level park, however for what ever reason, we endered up at another park Top Tourist  Lakeview, which was about four or five kms out of the town on the Victoria Highway, which is the main drag to WA.

Why there.............instead of the Low Level....well the bride was still barking and wheezing so we just had to get our feet on the ground quickly and get medicos sorted. So we pulled in and got our Top Four discount....and guess what........every site was red dust, no grass, and the sites were as tight as a fishes arse, however there was a good amount of shade. The sites were so tight that every time someone came in close to us, every body had to move their cars, cause there was no where to turn or manoeuvre. I recon this park was designed 40 years ago, the days when, Morris Minors were pulling 12 foot tear drop plywood caravans.  Try to put a twenty something foot caravan, with a fourby is just a joke, let alone the Val with a turning circle like a Mac Truck.

Anyway we settled in, however couldn't get any satellite TV reception, because of the trees. Now this made the bride even more one broke out an ice cold "Pure Blonde", and wandered off to the camp kitchen..........................say no more.

The bride about to head to the Katherine Hot Springs

A'h very invigorating

Can you help an old lady out please mister

A couple of back scratchers hang'n out in the pools

 Anyway we ended up staying for three nights, mainly because of the time needed for medicos. We did the sights of Katherine, and visited the hot springs, which incidentally was right behind the park. Of course the tour of Katherine Gorge was high on the agenda. My final impression of Katherine, a nice town, however the locals seem to rule the roost and add a bit of tension, if you get my drift.

Our cruise boat for the Katherine Gorge cruise

The Katherine Gorge was spectacular

We have a thousand photos of Katherine Gorge, however will only post a couple.

Just awesome

A croc that's scary


I can scratch Katherine Gorge off my bucket list now

Sunset @ Katherine NT

After three nights we have "been there done that." Saw the medicos, did the Gorge, checked out the park we should have stayed at, bought over priced booze, saw the locals at their worst......Mmmmmmmmmmm.

Next stop Adelaide River. Stay toooooooned

Saturday, 26 May 2012

153 - Mataranka

The entry way to the hot springs at Mataranka Homestead 

We readied our selves for anther 200 kms run from Daly Waters to Mataranka. Ho, he, ho, hum here we go again. Also at this stage the bride was suffering from a chest infection, barking like a drovers dog, and feeling quite unwell. The heat and the dust was starting to take its toll.

We were not to sure where we were going to stay here. I saw a travel video from Caravan and Motorhome, and they advised the Mataranka Homestead was a nice place to stay, and close to the hot springs. So being a couple of terribly un adventurous soles we are, we decided this would be the go. There was another park in town called The Manor, more on that later.

So we arrived in Mataranka and followed the signs to Mataranka Homestead. Mmmmmmmmmmmm! On arrival, the reception, bar and entertainment areas was quite inviting. "One or two nights," I said to the bride...."lets do two." was the answer amid coughs and choking from the bride...poor ditums.

So we drove to our site and what did we dust. Red dust everywhere and not a blade of grass to be seen. Bugger!!!!!!!!! The bride definitely needs more red dust likes she needs a hole in the head.

As we were walking around we again ran into the crew that we had dinner with a Daly Waters. They said the Manor was a much better park. Bugger again!!!!!!!!! However the negative of the Manor was the "Bitter Springs" another hot pool area was miles away and no where near as nice as the Homestead pools. Okay you win a few and loose a few.

The walkway to the pools

Initially when walking down the path way it all looks a little untidy with palm frons down every where. Looks like a cyclone has been through. However reading the signs this is a natural occurrence because of the bats that frequent the area. So many of them hang from a branch, they (branches) just breaks off through the sheer weight of these little blighters.

Now we have heard all the stories of the smell of the bats, however that wasn't evident during our stay. We were a little early in the season to see these critters, and apart from that, the rangers have installed these huge sprinklers that stand about 15 metres in the air. These get turned on quite regularly to deter the bats from hanging around (pardon the pun)

The Hot Springs

Watch out for the crocs

Nice, clear, warm

Our camp spot at Mataranka

Just a pose from "mya" just outside the tavern.

One of the locals hoping in to say g'day

Now there is a fair bit of history about the Mataranka Homestead. There is a replica homestead on the grounds of the original homestead. For the life of me I cannot remember what I read, as I have "KRAFT" disease........(Kant Remember A F.....................k'n Thing) however I will show some fotties of the history of Mataranka below. But I do remember however, they made the movie "We of the Never Never" here.

The replica of the original Mataranka Homestead

A bit of history...hope you can read it?

And more history

And a little more to finish off

On the second day I went for a drive up to Mataranka proper to have a look at the Manor CP, yep the nicer park alright, however a little close to the town, and long way away from "Bitter Springs" What we have been taught by most is to stay as far away as possible from towns due to the locals, if you know what I mean.

At this stage we are not quite used to the NT grog laws. So one has to wait till 2pm to get 'takeaways'  and in the process one has to get security checked, to make sure you are not on the bad buggers lists. Plus can't get any 4 litre casks of wine, only two litre and absolutely no TAWNY PORT. Geeeeeeeeeezus no port....we would kill for a glass of port. Pity that a small majority, stuff it totally for the majority.

I also went for a walk when back at the Homestead and headed to Mick's Hole. It is about a 2.5 kms round trip. Now Micks Hole is another swimming spot, but once I got there it was a little to croc friendly for me. Would have been great for a "skinny dip" but all the warning signs were enough for me, so I took a couple of pikkies and quickly retreated to the safety of the RetroLiner.
Mick's Hole. Very croc friendly I am sure you will agree.

We were glad to move on from Mataranka and if it wasn't for the pools, there is nothing else to see. In my opinion we were there 1 day and 23 hours to long. 

Also I am getting very low on my medication for my "Jelly Belly" and the bride is going down hill very quickly with the a doctor is on the agenda for our next stop Katherine.

Next stop Katherine.....stay tooooooooned

Friday, 25 May 2012

152 - Renner Springs to Daly Waters

No more excuses! I am a slacko in adding new posts, however here we go again.

We are doing a lot of nothing here in Darwin. We are camped at a retreat near Darwin River Dam, more Berry Springs actually. We have found out we are about 80kms out of Darwin. So a round trip does become heavy on the wallet for fuel. So we will get the touristy things out of the way in Darwin, then concentrate on attractions in our neck of the woods.

So lets get back track!

Our trip from Three Ways Roadhouse to the Daley Waters Pub, was like all the drives we have done....long, boring and hot! But however, we are grinding away and looking at all the destination signs for Darwin, slowing going down in kms yet to travel. Beats the 3000 odd we saw when we left Bribie Island. Geeeeeezus know wonder we are joining the poor house.

The  stop at Renner Springs was a fuel and food stop. Nothing here apart from a road house

The bar at Renner Springs Road House
The dining area

The clientele

We felt that we must push on to Daly Waters Pub. Now we have heard a million good things about this icon, so away we go. Yep you guessed it another long, boring and hot trek to this famous icon.

We arrived at Daly Waters Pub, and we were not disappointed. What a great joint. We were directed into our site for the night or two by Brian who is he caretaker for the caravan park. It is really "Rafferty rules" here. You get jambed in every where, but that's half the fun.

Power not an issue, water well you have to fill a bucket then pump it into your tanks. Not an issue. So of course we did all the normal things and got the van set up for a couple of days. We stayed hitched up however.

So off to explore the site have a beer or three and take some photos. Yep we weren't disappointed here. We met a million people and did the show on the first night. The entertainment wasn't the usual "chook man" however we were entertained by "Chilli", a comedian, come story teller, poet and singer. For an hour and a half we had a good time at the show. Of course we had the Barra and Beef meal, which was sufficient, although in my opinion a little expensive. But that's me.....hate paying out for anything....especially when the bank account is showing lots of out goings and very little incoming.  A' well I'll get over it one day.

Most people will only stay for a night. We opted for two, as I need a break from behind the wheel.
On the third day we packed up and headed further north towards Darwin.

The little craft shop and servo at Daly Waters, opposite the pub

Set of traffic lights always on red outside the pub 

The outside of the Daly Waters Pub

The bride having a dip in the pool

The Rafferty rules CP at the pub

This is the entertainment / show and eating area of the pub.
This is the crew we paled up with at Three Ways.

Lots of fun memorabilia here

Now what size are you madam???????

One of the evening cooks

Blimey...I thought my spelling was bad!

Your fee today is two beers

Our camp site at Daly Waters

We headed back south for a couple of klms to the Hi Way Inn road house to fuel and food up for our next leg to Mataranka

Business class please

Stay toooooned for Mataranka