Travelling Oz…We’ve done it!

Turned north at Threeways and are heading up the Stuart Highway towards Katherine. I’m wondering what the difference was last time when we couldn’t bring ourselves to keep heading north. I think we were travelling earlier in winter when I could remember the heat of summer and wanted to stay in cooler weather. This time we have had a good winter experience and feel more able to tackle the heat. After yesterday afternoon I have suggested that we take powered sites at caravan parks where possible so that we can use our air conditioner. It is still cooling down overnight, but later and later in the evenings.

On our first day of travel after the rest day we managed about 350kms. We called in at a roadhouse, but they wanted $38 for an unpowered site and we knew there was a spot about 15kms up the road where we could sleep, so opted to keep going. By driving until about 4.30 p.m. we avoided the warmer part of the day as well. Our parkup was at Excellent Gravel Pit Stop, and that is it’s official name on Wikicamps. For our purposes it was indeed excellent, though a bit tricky to get a level spot. After we had finished driving around to get level two other small RV’s showed up and parked near to us. I think they too were wanting level ground and it made us feel a bit safer than being there on our own, especially as we were visible from the highway.

The secret to being able to travel so far in a day was that Stephen did over half the driving. But, I also think it was because we were eager and rested, it didn’t seem hard work.

Our second night on the Stuart Highway is at the Daly Waters Hi-way Inn Caravan Park. It really filled up during the afternoon and because we arrived early, about two p.m., we were able to get a good spot on the rear fence overlooking the cattle paddock. There is lots of birdlife, but also the sounds and smells of the farm. They have good facilities here, toilets, showers, a bar with an open area and with a singer/musician playing, and a couple of indoor areas as well. The trucks park out the front and side, there is plenty of room.

We had chosen a rest spot for a break when driving yesterday, but had to go to the next one as it was very busy, with cars only allowed, and chairs set out under a large shaded area. We wondered what was happening. On our walk around the roadhouse/caravan park yesterday evening we encountered a vehicle with the sign we had seen and asked what the gathering was about. It was a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the overland telegraph.

Stephen has given up on having the vehicle inspection and change over to WA licence in Kununurra, so we don’t have quite the time pressure. The licence is due for renewal on the 19th September, and as long as we are home a few days before then we can more easily get it done in Perth. We have to take it to a weighbridge, then it has an inspection, then licenced. That will all be much easier at home where we have a base to stay and a second car to help with drop offs and pickups.

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