The Wandering Tops

The Wandering Tops

02 June, 2016

Back in the Territory

It's been a while but ........ we,re back!

On the Barkly Highway noticed the increase of Caravans and after stopping at a Rest Stop 70 km from the Stuart Hwy for afternoon coffee, picked up a passenger who was on her way to Darwin but the fan belt in her Ford had broken. Took her into Tennant Creek where she could get road assistance - we stayed the night at friends property.  Wonderful to catch up with Megan, Andrew, Sydney-Jack, Lilah-Rose and Jayvontaye - thanks guys!

Headed up Stuart Highway to Longreach Waterhole just north of Elliot.  It was a very slow drive in the 12 km from the main road as the track was quite corrugated and sandy in parts, however the effort was worth it as the Waterhole had a lot more water than when we camped 3 years ago.  There was a flood plain branching off from the main waterhole and with some of it drying out we maneuvered the van through the trees and found a great spot with a million dollar view!  Quite a few vans camped up (approx 30) but once again the birdlife was amazing.  Next morning rode the bike up the track to see where we camped last time, but found it was underwater.  So much birdlife to watch - only stayed for 2 nights, could have stayed longer but we were keen to get to Darwin.

Longreach Waterhole, about 2 meters higher than when here last in 2013.


We managed to find a way over to the other side to camp

Dart drying it's wings.

On dusk the pelicans start gathering for feeding

Jabaru 


Rainbow Bee Eater


Just so nice didn't want to leave.
Gorrie WWII Air strip

Reluctantly we left our paradise and drove to Gorrie WWII Air strip where we camped the night. Glad to have the sun go down as very warm today (at 9am it was 24 degrees!). Had a massive drive next day to Mataranka (80 odd kms!!!!) where we stayed at Territory Manor - had not stayed here before so decided to try it out.  Not a bad place although our site was near a leaking sewer pipe!!! Had a rest day so watched the Barra feeding in the morning, had coffee & scones (not recommended!), drove to Mataranka Homestead for swim, drove to Bitter Springs for float down the creek on noodles.  Hels brought out her new croc noodle much to the amusement of travellers.  Huge problem - we ran out of plunger coffee so had to have instant OMG what a catastrophe!!  Glad to be in Caravan Park as needed to put air conditioning on to cool van down.

Barra feeding at the caravan park

Enjoying a noodle down Bitter Springs


From Mataranka we drove to Katherine where we stocked up with fuel, food and coffee!!!  Had to wait for a long time in line to fill up with diesel and when I finally pulled next to the pump realised the fuel filler was on the other side of the car! Grrrrrr Why did Toyota swap fillers to different sides between the 100 & 200 series? Went to Ausfuel Depot which did not have all the other caravaners filling up.  Drove up the Stuart Highway to Hayes Creek Caravan Park where we stayed the night.  Had a great cool off in Hayes Creek swimming hole which is a spring fed creek with no crocs!

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