Trip Start Jan 06, 2009
28Trip End Nov 24, 2009
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After leaving Karumba, we went back through Normanton and down the Burke and Wills Highway to Cloncurry and west to Mt
On one stretch of road in the middle of nowhere, we were driving along and came across swarms of locusts flying all around us. As we drove through each swarm, they would hit the windscreen for about 60 seconds continuously, they sounded like microwave popcorn. I was of course ducking them as they hit the windscreen.
We left Queensland behind and made it into the Northern Territory late one afternoon. As we stopped to take a picture of the “Welcome to the Northern Territory” sign, a small pick-up truck traveling in the opposite direction stopped, turned around and headed back to where we were pulled over. Two big men got out looked at us and then started taking photos of the sign as well. We looked at their truck and noticed cages and dogs in the back – probably hunters we guessed
We continued West on the Barkly Highway until we arrived at The Three Ways, intersecting with the Stuart Highway and headed south to Devils Marbles (Karlu Karlu) via Tennant Creek. Here we found impressive round granite boulders lay scattered, precariously balanced on top of one another. As the sun was setting, these boulders almost glowed. We were as close to the centre of Australia as we will get on this trip.
We will have to do Ulura (Ayres Rock), Alice Springs and surrounding areas on another trip, as we are running out of time. We went back through Tennant Creek and did a short detour to Daly Waters Pub which is set in the middle of nowhere – a real outback pub
Next stop heading North is Mataranka, which is made famous because Jeannie Gunn lived here and wrote the book “We of The Never Never”. We visited the Thermal Pools where the water temperature was a perfect 34 degrees C. and flowed into a beautiful natural swimming hole. This lush palm fringed water hole is home to colonies of flying foxes (bats). See our little video. The bats hang upside down in the trees all during the day, then at sunset they take off for food and return again at sunrise.
Onto Katherine Gorge where we relaxed around another natural swimming hole before taking a hike to the lookout on the Baruwei track to watch the sun go down. That night we listened to some live music at the campground while we had a glass of wine and barbecued lamb chops. Next morning we were up early for a boat cruise up the Katherine Gorge to the 1st and 2nd gorges. There are 13 natural gorges in total carved through sandstone by the Katherine river with rocks and boulders separating each gorge. At the end of the 1st gorge we walked about 600 meters to the next boat that took us to the end of the 2nd gorge. Spectacular !!!
Moving on to Edith Falls where we swam in a huge swimming hole set against dramatic sandstone cliffs. We did a short but very steep hike to the upper pools where we went for another swim. We have really hit the hot and humid weather now. Any opportunity for a swim and we are there.