Free camping

Trip Start Mar 07, 2011
1
47
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Trip End Aug 28, 2011


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Where I stayed
Newcastle Waters Rest stop

Flag of Australia  , Northern Territory,
Sunday, May 29, 2011

We had been told about a couple of good free roadside camps, so after filling the water tanks and ensuring the larder is stocked we head off down the Stuart Highway towards Daley Waters.
A guy at the Mataranka pool had told us about a great stopoff for home made pies called Fran's at Larimah. It wasn't hard to find as we counted 12 vans parked outside. The shop was a little old house or shed, not sure what it is was, Fran had no top teeth and was a real character. There was a handwritten sign saying that if customers didn't like the prices there were plenty of roadhouses down the highway. There were funny little signs everywhere. Camel pies, buffalo pies, egg and bacon and the list went on. Two couples from Mt Gambier were having coffees and were having trouble getting the sugar out of an old coffee jar, the sugar was set hard.
Fran came out with the pies and said they may be a "bit pricey love but they are homemade" and that she made 60 pies each day and  they were sold out by lunchtime, well I can tell you she makes  $600 by lunchtime every day, $10 a pie!  I had a plain pie, Ray went for the buffalo but after having a bite of each pie they both tasted the same. Good on you Fran, she is probably up cooking pies while we are all still in bed.
Our next stop off was at the infamous Daley Waters pub. We spent an hour or so just looking around at all the clothing, thongs, hats, bras, knickers and anything else people chose to pay a gold coin to have nailed up around the pub.There is nothing much else in Daley Waters but the camping ground is full up most nights with an overflow area over the road. There is entertainment each night which is apparently a great night. As it was only around lunch time and we were not ready to set up camp we moved on, although we still wished we had stayed the night.
We made camp at Newcastle Waters, a free camp about half way between Mataranka and Tennant Creek. We were there about 3pm and already the site was practically full. We counted 37 vans/campers.
After witnessing a beautiful sunrise we were on the road again, filling up with fuel at Renner Creek for $199.9 per litre, didn't quite make the $2 a litre, we went down to check out Tennant Creek. We had been advised not to stay, although it looked OK in the daylight.
After turning at the Three Ways junction we commenced our journey east.
Our next free camp was at Wonarah Bore, roughly half way between Three Ways and Camooeal. Wendy and Richard, a couple next camping next to us came over for a drink. We were sitting in the sun and Richard said "would you like a hat Wendy" I immediately answered "no thank you". How embarrassing, he was talking to his Wendy.
Tomorrow we head to Mt Isa, we have heard a lot about  "The Isa" from our friend Paula Kelly and we are looking forward to checking out the hospital where she worked at while she was here and also Boydies Pub where she worked part time.
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