Port Augusta to Jabiru - Part 2 - 2010

Denis and Colleen - Free camping on the Road
Free camping near Kingaroy 2009

May to August 2010

Trip via Broken Hill, Port Augusta, Alice Springs, Jabiru and return via Mount Isa,
Charters Towers to Glass House Mountains


2010 Caravan Trip - Part 2 - Port Augusta to Jabiru

Map 2

Click on Photos for larger view
24-25 May
Port Augusta Shoreline CP


Stocked up on food and other supplies for the trip North.  Also added extra 30 litres of water for emergencies.

Photo on the right is M & M on the wharf in Port Augusta
M & M checking out Port Augusta
25-26 May
Mulga Well Rest Area (Camps 5, Site 512)


Cold, windy, No TV, No Radio but 3G Mobile Phone.  Good trip up from Port Augusta with a stop at Woomera.  225km from Coober Pedy

Photo on right is Mulga Well Rest Area.  Other photos below taken on the way
Mulga Well Rest Area (Free Camp)
Woody's Place, Glendambo Gran at Woomera Grandad talking to Maggie with Gran looking on! Lake Hart
Early morning Road Train passing the camp site Early morning - Sun on the way Early morning - Sun still coming M & M out for an early morning pee
26-30 May
Coober Pedy Stuart Range CP


26 May - Helped a lady and man (in a wheel chair), change a tire 200km out from Coober Pedy (Both locals of Coober Pedy, doing a trip to Adelaide).  They were very luckily, as the car came off the road, both in a little bit of shock but OK!  Early driving in fog but good trip to Coober Pedy.  All water at Coober Pedy has to be purchased (20c for 40lts) plus showers are 40c for 3 minutes (Poor Gran)!
27 May - Granddad did tour of Coober Pedy today and it was great.  Gran doing it on tomorrow.
28 May - It rain overnight and we have a lot of mud in the caravan park and town!  Very strong winds from the North, which is making it very cold!  Gran did Coober Pedy tour but miss the last part because of the dirt roads being wet.  Coober Pedy to William Creek road in a bit of a mess so we are still trying to work out if we can get to William Creek tomorrow for the planned fly over of Lake Eyre! 

We have had to cancel the trip to William Creek because of the weather and condition of the road.  We will most likely leave Coober Pedy in the morning, if the winds are suitable for towing North, for the Free Camp just inside the NT border (NT-SA Border Camps 5, Site 71).

Photo on right is M & M arriving in Coober Pedy.  Other photos below taken in, around and under Coober Pedy
M & M at Coober Pedy

Dingo Fence, 15km from Coober Pedy
Underground Home Underground Home - Ventilation Underground Church The Breakaways
29-30 May
Desert Oaks Resort, Erldunda


485km today - nothing to look at and the free camps were not suitable.

Photo on the right is M & M checking out the Resort Sign
Centre of Australia - Erldunda
30 to 2 Jun
Yulara Ayers Rock CP, Uluru


30 May - Great drive out to Uluru.  Setup and had a lookie plus watched the sun set over Uluru.
31 May - Granddad spend sometime in the Cultural Centre watching traditional artists and an old Pitjama man talk about his cultural - very interesting.  Later he climbed Uluru (Ayers Rock) and visited Kata Tjuta (The Olgas).  Kata Tjuta are higher then Uluru!  The local Aboriginals don't understand why the white man climbs Uluru, as there is no food on the rock - it is all at the bottom!  Gran looked after M & M and after a lot of looking, they did find the big red rock!  Tomorrow Gran is going to have a lookie by flying over the area in a Helicopter.
1 Jun - Helicopter: No doors, no Gran!  Instead Gran did a drive around the National Park and a visit to the Cultural Centre.

Photo on the right is M & M looking for a big red rock!.  Other photos taken in and around Ayers Rock, the Olgas and at Yulara Resort
M & M looking for a big red rock!

We found it!
Mt Conner on the way to Uluru Uluru from the campsite Denis and Colleen at Uluru - Sunset Uluru at sunset
The base of Uluru  Its along way up for an old man  Done it!  I now understand the Aboriginals!  No food up here!  The cairn at the top! 
One of many rock pools with water on Uluru  Uluru - Ayers Rock from the desert  Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)  Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) 
2-4 Jun
Kings Canyon (Kings Creek Station)


Camping at the Kings Creek Station because M & M not allow at the Kings Canyon camp ground (National Park).  Hope it doesn't rain as lots of red dirt!  Kings Canyon area is beautiful with the rich red rocks of the escarpment.  Wild flowers are also in the canyon at present. No Mobile, Radio (FM or AM) or TV available however the station owner broadcasts the TV channel he is watching, from his satellite system.  Imparja appears to be his main viewing channel!

Photos on the right is Kings Creek Station!.  Other photos taken in and around Kings Canyon!
Kings Creek Station - Office and Fuel

Kings Creek is a working Station
Kings Canyon Wild flowers in Kings Canyon Wild flowers in Kings Canyon Kings Canyon creek
4-9 Jun
Heritage CP, Alice Springs


4 Jun - Arrived Alice Springs and what a great little town in the middle of nowhere.  Problem at the caravan park - they were all booked out with the Finke Desert race starting in a week. It appears they get into to the area early, to check the track, etc.  Anyway we got an unpowered site for the first night, which was good because the "Heritage" is the only park in Alice Springs that takes dogs!  No power, no heating, so a bloody cold night as the temp dropped to 2 degs!  However good TV, radio and mobile phone signals!
5 Jun - Moved to powered site for the remainder of our stay in Alice.  Shopping done to stock up on food for the next week or two.  M & M had a bath to remove all the red dirt, etc after spending a few weeks in the dust looking for big red rocks, etc.  Found Robert "Blue" Gilfillan (Ex 104 Sig Sqn, SVN, 68/69) in the same caravan park.  Blue and Maureen are also travelling north and it was good having a few beers with my old army mate!
6 Jun - Had a look around Alice.  Took M & M for a dry swim in the Todd River.  Very impressed with the old overland Telegraph Station which linked Darwin and Adelaide plus Australia to the world in 1872.  The station received and retransmitted messages in morse code.  This type of communications was still being used over HF radio networks in the Vietnam War.
7 Jun - Out to the West of Alice to view the West MacDonnell Ranges.  Stopped at the grave of Rev. John Flynn (Started the Royal Flying Doctor Service),Simpsons Gap and then continue to the old Hermannsburg Mission.  The mission was the first in central Australia and was started in 1877.  It was also the home of the famous Aboriginal artist, Albert Namatjira.
8 Jun - Out to the East of Alice to view the East MacDonnell Ranges.  Stopped at Emly and Jesse Gaps plus the sacred Corroboree Rock.  Continued out to the Ross River Resort area.  Looks run down but did the big 4x4 river crossing (dry).  In the afternoon, girls had free time at the caravan, while Granddad visited the Alice Springs Desert Park, which is great!

Photos on the right and below were taken in and around Alice Springs
Maggie enjoying the treatment

Missy getting the treatment
First morning at Alice Springs - Get out of bed girls! View from ANZAC Hill, Alice Springs Colleen and Denis on ANZAC Hill, Alice Springs Alice Springs from ANZAC Hill
Three girls in Alice Springs Station Manager Residence with Kitchen and Barracks behind Post Telegraph Office M & M swimming in the Todd River ???
Gran, M & M at John  Flynn's grave Simpsons Gap Old Mission Church in the Hermannsburg Historic Precinct Albert Namatjira memorial
Corroboree Rock Interesting Memorial near Ross River Alice Springs Desert Park Gran at Jesse Gap
9-10 Jun
Taylor Creek (Camps 5, Site 28) (322km)


Arrived just after lunch at the Barrow Roadhouse/Pub to refuel before going on to the planned free camp site (Taylor Creek Rest Area) after 300km of driving.  The only diesel pump was U/S and two blokes working on it.  The next fuel was 90km up the highway and it was about 100km back to fuel.  Towing the caravan, we would not make it in either direction as we can only travel about 350km towing normally, so waited.  It was clear it was not a nice place to be overnight with lots of locals drinking, etc.  Waited two hours and spoke to the guys trying to repair the pump again.  They were having no luck, appeared to have no ideal on the problem, had bits of pump all over the place and were now trying to hook up the pump's diesel tank to the Roadhouse/Pub generator, as it only had a few hours in it tank before the Roadhouse/Pub had no power!  As it was mid afternoon we decided to slowly move to Taylor Creek (40km), uncouple the caravan, if safe and I would continue on to Wycliffe Well (50km), refuel and returned.  One problem was we had no Telstra mobile phone coverage in the area.  M & M became real guard dogs!  Plan worked and I arrived at Wycliffe Well Roadhouse with about 10 litres of fuel!  It also started raining overnight.

Note:  North of Barrow Creek was were Peter Falconio and his girl friend were ambushed and Peter murdered.  Wycliffe Well is the UFO capital of Australia!

Photo of Barrow Creek Roadhouse/Pub, with the graves of the Telegraph Station Master and lineman killed by the natives in 1874.  Also saw some aliens at Wycliffe Well!


Barrow Creek Roadhouse and graves

Old Telegraph Station at Barrow Creek

Alien sighting at Wycliffe Well



10-12 Jun
Tennant Creek - The Outback CP (174km)


10 Jun - Arrived Tennant Creek after stopping at the Devils Marbles (Camps 5, Site 24) for a Capt Cook.  It was very cold today so after checking out the Tennant Creek Bill Allen lookout and a drive around the town, we spent the afternoon in the caravan.
11 Jun - Had a look at the old Telegraph Station just North of Tennant Creek.  Great old buildings and was the first settlement in the area because of the water.  However after one of the lineman found gold Tennant Creek town was setup.  Also checked out the Mary Anne Dam and Kunjarra (The Pebbles), which is a sacred site (significant women's dancing place for the Munga Munga Dreaming).  We also visited the Nyinkka Nyunyu Art and Culture Centre which had lots of info on the history of the local Aboriginal.  Return to the caravan p.m. and the "cook" prepare a great baked meal!

Photo at Devils Marbles and the Tennant Creek lookout on the right.

Granddad at the Devils Marbles

Lookout at Tennant Creek - Note the notice!
12-13 Jun
Newcastle Waters Rest Area (Camps 5, Site 94) (285km)


Good camp site with views over the country side with many packed into the rest area by night fall.  We had a good spot however by getting to the site early!  Only ABC TV and ABC Radio!   Great sunrise for those out of bed - Only Granddad saw it!

Photo at Newcastle Waters Rest Area at sunrise on the right.
Sunrise at Newcaslte Waters
13-14 Jun
King River Rest Area (Camps 5, Site 132) (328km)


South Warloch Rest Area (Camps 5, Site 101) (243km) was almost full so we continue on to King River.  We arrived at about 2pm and there was only a few at the site, so setup - no TV, Radio or mobile phone service.  Had planned to refuel at Larriman  but the two service stations were no more, so we continue on to Mataranka.  However from now on will carry some extra diesel fuel because it can be a bit tricky with only 350km endurance towing in the outback!

We also had a look at Daly Waters (Old WWII site) and will try an spend a night on the way home at the Pub caravan park, as it is a hoot!

Lots of termite nests now and no more spinifex plus the weather is getting warmer as we go North.  It will be shorts tomorrow for the first time since leaving paradise.  M & M now sleeping without their coats "Buck Naked"!

Photo of M & M in their beds under the table at King River (Right) plus Daly Waters on the right and below.
M & M ready for bed "Buck Naked"!

Gran at Daly Waters
Gran plus M & M having a walkie at Daly Waters "Found the pee post Maggie?" I think they need help, Dad! Inside the Daly Waters pub
14-19 Jun
Riverview Tourist Village CP, Katherine  (49km)


14 Jun - Arrived Katherine early and it is nice and warm.  Public holiday, so in the morning, will look to see if the doggies can get a bath and grooming before going to Jabiru later in the week.  They have to look nice for Star!  Also haircuts for Gran and Granddad!
15 Jun - Arrange for M & M to be clipped on Thursday at the local Vet and booked a tour of Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge while the girls are getting some TLC.  Had a look at Springvale Homestead which is the oldest original homestead in NT.
Have a little problem with the Navara, the rear parking, license plate and tail lamps are out.  This circuit also lights the caravan clarence, license plate and tail lamps.  Cannot locate the problem but is most likely in the Intelligent Power Distribution Module (Fuse 37) and discussed with Nissan in Darwin.  They will fix when it has the 40K service in the next few weeks before we leave Jabiru.
16 Jun - Humans team members had haircuts and a swimming in Katherine Hot Springs.  Great win for the Maroons!!!!
17 Jun - Doggie team members had a day at the local Vet for a bath and grooming.  Gran and Granddad did a boat tour of two of the Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine) Gorges.
18 Jun - Big shop up for our stay at Jabiru and checked out the car and caravan for the trip up and stay.

Photo of us all at Katherine Visitor Info Centre after arriving on the right.  Others in and around Katherine.
At the Katherine visitor info centre

Springvale Homestead - Oldest original in NT

Rock art in Nitmiluk Gorge

Fresh Water Crocodile in Nitmiluk National Park Gran in Nitmiluk National Park Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park M & M after lots of TLC at the Katherine Vet!
19 Jun
Jabiru (305km)


Arrived just after mid day, after a pleasured drive up and all were pleased to see us.  Parked the caravan in the back yard and have a month to work out how we get it out!  Sharon, Mr T, Pieman and Star all well.  M & M very pleased to see them!

Trip so far - travelled 8549km, using 1512 litres of diesel (17.91 litres per 100km average).

End Trip Part 2.  Next "2010 - Stay at Jabiru", see below.
Kai and Tasuika and the caravan in the back yard.

Caravan in Backyard, Jabiru
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Click Goto Part 1 - GHM to Port Augusta (Completed)
Click  Goto  Part 3 - Stay at Jabiru (Completed)
Click Goto Part 4 - Jabiru to GHM (Completed)
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