Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Northern Territory - Week 3

14/07/11 12.8oC at 7am. 5 Brolgas in the main street of Kynuna. Drove all the way through to Mt Isa, checked out the lookout, our old house (which is up for sale), Townview State School (where I went for most of my primary), and went out to 
Lake Moondarra to have a bbq dinner. Lots of birds, including a firekite in her nest feeding her young. 

Light rain all night.

15/07/11 Woke up late as it was dark because of the cloud cover. Went into ID in Mt Isa to do the training presentation. On the road to Camooweal was a memorial to the men who constructed the original highway during WWII. 

Camooweal Caves National Park – sinkholes in the dolomite. Nowranie Caves – beautiful orange colours in the stone, can be up to 75m deep, with unstable edges. Apparently at least 80 of them, but we saw only 2. 

Waterhole – lots of birds, we counted at least 19 species, including an owl, flocks of darting budgerigars, corellas, willy wagtails, firekites, quail, galahs, pee-wees, a falcon, apostlebirds, ducks, a couple of varieties of waders and bustards. Strangely, none of the finches featured on the National Parks sign. 

Mud mounds around the edge, maybe yabbies, or there are remains of small crabs. Only one other couple, Vanessa and Tim, from Newcastle. You know you are in the outback when everything is covered in fine red dust, and you have to start doing the Aussie Salute!

16/07/11 Such a nice spot, decided to stay another day. A very relaxing day sitting by the waterhole, watching all the birds, going for a short walk and reading. With all the corellas nesting in the trees, and 'talking' all night long, this should be called Corella Waterhole. Darryl baked delicious gluten-free bread. The neighbourhood went downhill fast when several other campers arrived towards evening.

17/07/11 Back through Camooweal – the most expensive fuel so far - $1.859/l for diesel. A long, (448km), straight, boring road through to The Three Ways, right turn north, and then another 50-odd kms until a designated camping rest area. 130Km/h speed limit in NT. Lots of lovely wildflowers and plenty of other campers. A good nights rest despite the B-double trucks roaring past during the night.

18/07/11 Another long day of driving. Saw some wedge-tail eagles, red-tailed black cockatoos, and purple-flowering Turkey Bush. Fuel $1.96/l at Daly Waters. Had a look at historic Elsey Cemetery, where many of the characters from 'We of the Never Never' are buried. Arrived Elsey National Park – near Mataranka – very nice oasis. A lovely waterfall to have a spa under, and then free hot showers (solar powered). The only bad thing is the Aedes egyptii mosquitos.

19/07/11 4Km walk to Mataranka Falls on the Roper River – fed by springs. Very interesting trek with lots of unusual plants and strange decomposing limestone rock – precipitated calcium carbonate (tufa), so looks like it was once caves which have broken up. A bower-bird nest with lots of shells. Walking through flocks of black and white butterflies. Darryl had a few casts to see if he could catch a barramundi, but no luck. Got back to camp around 1.45, then had lunch and a quiet time until 4 when we went for another waterfall spa. All night long the peace and quiet was broken by a donkey almost screaming out (we now believe she had lost her foal).

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you are having a great time. I love the photos.