3 Day trip from Darwin to Alice Springs
Another early start, 5.40am pickup from the Hostel. This time we were travelling in a bus, there were 23 people in total on the tour. Our Guide for this trip was Jason. Basically the 3 days we were spent driving the Stuart Highway all the way down to Alice Springs. Lots of road and lots of fuel stops..... Our first stop was at Adelaide River Inn for breakfast. Then stopping off to pick firewood. We got to our camp at near Katherine Gorge about lunchtime. Emptied our bags from the trailer and prepared lunch of burgers. After lunch we went to Katherine Gorge. There were a few options to see the gorge, one was a river cruise but it was too expensive, the second was canoeing, but I didn't fancy being that close in the water with the crocs (ok there freshwater crocs but still...), the third option was to bushwalk, but this involved about 200 steps and in a 34 degree heat, I decided on the easy option of going to the edge of the creek and relaxing, so didn't actually get to see right into the gorge itself but was still nice. After spending a few hours there we got back on the bus and headed back to the camp, stopping off to get beer supplies. I helped prepare and cook the dinner of morocan lamb and veg. Then we sat around the fire and talked. An early night as to be up early again.
It was a 6am start, breakfast and pack up camp. Onto the Stuart Highway again. Our first stop was at Mataranka to Bitter Springs. These are thermal pools, that get heated up by the water coming off the rocks. Had a small swim here, which was kinda refreshing as again the temperature was in the mid 30's. Our second stop was to a pub called the Pink Panther at Larrimah, this was not on the original itinerary but our guide knew the owners and they have a few animals there, which Jason gets out for us to hold. The animals in question were snakes and a blue tongue lizard, needless to say, I kept my distance...... On the road again to a second pub for lunch, The Daly Waters pub. It is one of the most famous pubs and is visited by backpackers, who leave momentoes there including bras.... After lunch, it was a long drive down to Tennants Creek, were we were camping for the night. The camp was actually based on a horse stud farm at Juno. Helped again with the preparing and cooking of dinner, Beef Goulash and veg (we eat well on these tours).
The third day. A new addition to the itinerary for the morning was a trip to an aboriginal Music Centre just outside Tennants Creek. It wasn't very enjoyable as the kind of music they were playing was western style, but it was interesting to meet them and hear a bit about the different tribes they have and cultures. Our second stop was Devil's Marbles at Wauchope. They were fascinating to to see these great big bolders just kinda balancing on one another. Next stop was at a pub in Barrow Creek, where we had lunch. This pub is quite famous, the walls are lined with signed bank notes, there is even one signed by the parents of the murdered british backpacker, Peter Falconio as this is where it happened. A bit further down the highway we stopped at Ti Tree at an aboriginal arts and crafts centre.
Now on the final stretch to Alice Springs, one final stop in Aileron, again not on the itinerary but Jason knew about it. Here we saw Red Kangaroos and also a Wedge Tail eagle, this eagle is the 4th largest eagle in the world. We eventually arrive in Alice Springs about 7pm, it was a quick checkin wash and change to go out for dinner.