Townsville to Katherine 2008



First outing with the bus. Giru with the tropical Coast Wanderers.


After stacking all of our worldly possessions in a container and cleaning the house we are on the way. The first four days were spend with the Tropical Coast wanderers, which is a chapter of the national motorhome club, at Fletcher Creek. 40 KM east of Charters Towers. Beautiful weather and pleasant company. We only spend one day at Charters Towers with Mary and Wim Dinkgrave. A bit of work had to be done on the powersupply section. Three new batteries were purchased and with Wim a new cradle for the batteries had to be made. We also found out that our mobile phone had it's best time. The warranty ran out last month. In other words a fair bit of money was spend in our first stop.
6 June.  Only 80 KM from Charters Towers towards Mount Isa and we stopped at a popular rest area for the night. 
The next few days travelled towards Mount Isa with overnight stops in Richmond (There was a field day which we visited) Hughenden (Visited the show) and stopped for a few days at Dick and Betty in mount Isa. They are Dutch and members of the motorhome club. Now we are a few days on the road we found out that a few modifications had to be made. Luckily Dick has a wide variety of materials in his backyard and the shops we needed were open on Sunday. Hopefully no more water leaks or other mishaps.

16 June Mount Isa

Dick and Betty in Mount Isa.

Only 190 KM to Camoweal. We are still in Queensland "only just" and heard that our house is rented to a single lady. We camped at a spot near the bridge but the next morning someone told us that there was a much nicer spot just one Km further. We spend half an hour in Camoweal and set up camp beside a billabong with plenty of wildlife.

Camoweal billabong.

Thursday the 19th of June: On the way to Tenant Creek. Not much to see. Flat country, yellow grass and a few shrubs. We spend the night in a rest area beside the road. Next day put a few litre of diesel in at the Barkley roadhouse, $2.24 a litre the most expensive so far and on to Tennant Creek. The wind has picked up and it is getting very cold. A lot of aborigines walking in and out of the bottle shops. Our camping book said that there was a free camp at the dam but that was false alarm. On to the next one The Pebbles "this is a heap of rocks spread over a large area and is a sacred site".
Next morning a bit of shopping and an internet cafe a cup of coffee and on the road to the Devils Marbles. We visited these 25years ago but the place has been opened up and a nice camp site is attached. Two nights here before we head back towards Darwin. The wind is still blowing strong and early morning and nights are bitterly cold. I still have a cold and I am  restricted from taking my usual "medicine" for it.


I nearly lost the cook.

23 June. Direction Banka Banka. This is a cattle station 100Km north of Tennant Creek. A very popular place and it was close to full when we got there at 3PM. Just in time for happy hour with two couples across the road. When Susan was doing the washing she heard  Dutch being spoken and invited the couple with two children over for a cup of tea. They were already travelling for ten month around Australia in a four wheel drive and a tent. A pleasant evening was had.
The next day we made a short walk to the hill behind the camping ground and after dinner watched the slide show they put on every night to show what is done on a cattle station. Here were another group of Dutch tourists. Eleven four wheel drives and they were just about finished with their outback tour of North West Australia.


Banka Banka station.

25 June. Travelled only 120 Km to a rest area just before Newcastle Waters. It is only four O clock and the place is just about chockers and more to come. We are having happy hour with two Dutch couples who got here before us. We are not chasing them but they seem to turn op everywhere.
26 June.  Daily Waters. When we got there it looked like a caravan convention. A few tourist busses just arrived and the bar was packed.

The Daly Waters pub. Inside, outside and petrol station.

27 June:  Mataranka has cleaned up it's act and got rid of the thousands of bats which were hanging of the palm trees five years ago. It will never go back to the unspoiled pool it was 30 years ago. Just like a picture from Adam and Eve. Clear water bubbling up from the earth and palm trees all around. We have been swimming in here but not this time as the water is to cold for our sensitive Queensland skin.

Mataranka Bitter Springs.

28 June. We did not spend much time in Katherine. Internet cafe', shopping and on to Darwin. The Goedegebuur family planned to be there after the weekend but have arrived there already and Susan is keen to meet up with them. Whatever we miss on the way up we will do on the way back as there is is only one major way down and towards West Australia.