A trip to the Northern Territory. Part 13.

The End Approaches.

Hi There!

You may have guessed from the last post or even from the heading above that our trip to the Northern Territory was drawing to a close.  In some ways it was good to think that we would be home soon because really deep down at the bottom of your hearts there is no place like ‘HOME’.  This old saying(if that’s what it is) is so true on so many levels it’s not funny!  In other ways it was sad to be leaving the Territory, this natural beating heart of Australia Its grandeur, its beauty, its harshness, its isolation, its story, its cultural significance and many more its.  We have only seen but a portion of it.

Our last day here dawned bright and clear albeit slightly chilly.  We were of to have a camel ride!  These animals having been introduced to Australia, certainly have taken a likening to the Outback and many thousands, roughly 300,000(2013 estimates after a cull which started in 2009, which estimated there to be 600,000 in 2009) roam the outback.  Apparently we are the only country in the world with feral herds of camels and the largest populations of them, seriously??

Here’s a few lined up ready to go on some long tours, we were only going to do the 20 minute version.

Old Tom’s waterhole, not sure who old Tom is.  You can see our rig in the car park all packed and ready to head south(home).

getting up close with our ride!  Here we go!

Time to head towards the Stuart Highway and start our 2,381 kilometre journey home!

Right it is!

A far too common sight on the side of the Stuart Highway.  Rolled and crashed vehicles, obviously too expensive to retrieve out here, wont be long and they will be scavenged and rusted away in this harsh landscape.  Another common sight is road trains, the lifeblood of the outback!  Click HERE for some interesting information on road trains.A couple more photos of these largish trucks!.

Not real great fun overtaking them either as you watch the individual trailers moving around!

We were heading for Marla, 5ookm away in South Australia, our first stop on the way home.  When we set up camp behind the Road House we realised there were seven of us instead of the usual six.  We had picked up a hitch hiker!

Poor little fellow, thought he might like a holiday, we caught him and placed him on the side of a tree at Marla much to the disgust of our youngest who thought we could take him home.

Next morning we continued south to Coober Pedy to have a look at this interesting place, click HERE to find out more about this bizarre place!  You know you are getting close when you come across these mounds.

There is some serious mining for Opals here, it is also known as the opal mining capital of the world with over 70 opal fields.  To me the unfortunate thing is it leaves the landscape looking like the above and below photo’s, interesting but quite ugly!

There are a lot of houses here that are mostly underground or partially underground to escape the searing heat experienced here.  You can see the ventilation shafts in the photo below.

Here’s a panoramic view from the lookout.

Another view.

Time to move on.  unfortunately we found Coober Pedy to be dirty, unappealing and creepy.  Not a glowing endorsement considering plenty of other people find it amazing.  I should also say that we didn’t do any of the underground mine tours or building tours, apparently these are quite good.  We can recommend the Coober Pedy Outback Bar and Grill, we had a really great lunch!  Time to hit the road again and get as far along as we could before it got dark.

Another road photo, not really exciting.  Lots of road to look at.

Last night on the side of the road,  plenty of firewood required for a nice warm fire!

Toasty feet.

It was a cold windy night.  We had one more night before we got home and we decided to book a house at a campground which was sort of nice not to have to unpack and set up the camper trailer, a last night of luxury.  Sort of!  I apologise for all the blurry/grainy photos above, they were all taken on a IPhone 5a, b or c, who would know…Well after 6500 kilometres and three weeks on the road, it was great to be home with a whole heap of memories and experiences which we shall never forget for all the right reasons!  Now the fun starts…..Unpacking!!

That’s just me with my family poking fun at me, never seemed to have the camera away from my eyes!  Oh, and a small bald spot!

Just in case you missed any of my posts on the Northern Territory, here is a recap for you with links to them.

Part 1 – A long time ago now!

Part 2 – Alice Springs – Olive Pink Botanic Garden

Part 3 – Alice Springs Reptile Centre
Part 4 – National Road Transport Hall of Fame.
Part 5 – Alice Springs Desert Park
Part 6 – Alice Springs, a few last glimpses.
Part 7 – Serpentine Gorge
Part 8 – Ormiston Gorge and the Ochre Pits
Part 9 – Kings Canyon
Part 10 – Kathleen Gorge
Part 11 – Uluru
Part 12a – Kata Tjuta – Valley of the Winds
Part 12b – Kata Tjuta – Walpa Gorge
Part 13 – You’re already on it!!
I will finish here with a tribute to the Northern Territory using lyrics from a hugely popular and loved classic of the screen and Broadway.  I couldn’t have said it better!!
“There’s a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall
And the bells in the steeple too
And up in the nursery an absurd little bird
Is popping out to say, “Cuckoo”
Cuckoo, cuckoo
Regretfully they tell us cuckoo, cuckoo
But firmly they compel us
To say, “Goodbye”, to youSo long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good night
I hate to go and leave this pretty sightSo long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu
Adieu, adieu, to you and you and youSo long, farewell, au revoir, auf wiedersehen

I’d like to stay and taste my first champagne

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye
I leave and heave a sigh and say “Goodbye”, goodbye

I’m glad to go, I cannot tell a lie
I flit, I float, I fleetly flee, I fly

The sun has gone to bed and so must I
So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye


A trip to the Northern Territory. Part 10

Kathleen Springs

Hi There,

Having spent 2 nights at Kings Canyon, it was time to move on towards the ultimate destination in the Northern Territory, maybe even the whole of Australia??  If you’re not sure what that might be stay tuned for part 11 while we have a quick look at Kathleen Springs.  We stopped here while travelling onto that great destination.  Kathleen Springs is an easy 2.5km return walk through lots of interesting flora to a permanent spring.  Along the way there are remnants of old cattle yards which show its previous history and descriptive marker boards relating to Aboriginal activities here.

img_2276img_2281Below is quite a bizarre looking plant called the Orange Spade Flower, Hybanthus aurantiacus .  This is a small erect shrub to about 40cm and quite widespread although I only saw it in a couple of places.  The flowers have five petals, four very small ones and one large one shaped like a shovel!!


Here is a closeup of the shovel!

img_2271Here’s some more sea ripples, although the indigenous people have a slightly different story about these ripples.

img_2293If you remember in Part 9, we saw some of these ripples on the Rim Walk at Kings Canyon.  See below for a different take on these!

img_2292I don’t particularly want to meet Inturrkunya!!

img_1568-1 img_2278Golden Orb Spider with its young, we get these at home as well although this one was massive!  Below we have Hibiscus leptocladys also known as the Variable Leaf Hibiscus.


It grows to about 1.5m or occasionally to 2m and is quite widespread in the Northern Territory.

img_2320 img_2314Another piece of rock…

img_2326This is Abutilon leucopetalum, also known as Lantern Bush, grows to about 1m or less.

img_2317img_1560-1This one I think is Swainsona flavicarinata, Known as Swainsona or Yellow Keeled Swainsona.  This is a prostrate herb.

img_2296 img_2295More rock!

img_2294This one is quite possibly Indigofera basedowii, a perennial shrub to 1 metre with grey-pubescent foliage with inflorescences to 11cm long.

img_2304 img_1535-1Here’s a close-up of the flowers

img_2306Some more plants

img_2321 img_2303A small creek

img_2299This one is Senecio gregorii , alson known as Annual Yellowtop, grows to 40cm high and is an annual.  Widespread throughout all states.

img_1563-1This is Scaevola parvibarbata a perennial growing to about 50cm, widespread on sandy areas.img_2318img_1560-1 img_1525-1So there you have it, a short interlude at Kathleen Springs on our way to another great destination in the Northern Territory!