We left Alice Springs and started the first day of a massive week in the car. To get us home we had to cover 2500 kilometres in 8 days. I even brought Alec a new DVD to watch on his little player. I needed something different to be played over and over and over.
We followed the Stuart Highway north for a short while than turned east onto the Plenty Highway. The Plenty highway started with bitumen but soon turned into the usual Northern Territory unsealed road. Dusty and corrugated.
The kilometres ticked over as we bumped and rattled our way along this so-called highway. We stopped for lunch at the Gemtree caravan park. Later in the afternoon we found camp for the night at Jervois Station. A lovely bush camp not far of the highway.
In the morning we got away early and just like the following day, we spent most of it in the car. Lunch was at Tobermorey station on the Northern Territory and Queensland border. A lovely grassed area was set a side for camping. We almost stayed the night. Unfortunately it was too early in the day and we hadn’t done our travel quota for the day.
We crossed the border and was surprised that the road improved. Still dusty and corrugated, just not as much. Maybe it was because we were not longer on the Plenty Highway. At the border it changed to the Donohue Highway.
Not far from the border we came across a couple of road trains parked near a set of cattle yards. It seem like a great opportunity for a photo. We drove across to the trucks and got a few good photo’s. It turned out the drivers were still about and we all had a good chat. Alec even got to sit in one of the trucks. We were told that 4 more trucks were on their way and will be loading in the morning. The property was de-stocking due to the dry conditions. The cattle were being moved closer to the coast where feed was more readily available.
We arrived in Boulia late in the afternoon and set up camp at the caravan park. We than treated ourselves with dinner at the local hotel. After another big day in the car the swag actually felt comfortable for a change.
Waking up slowly the next morning we packed up camp and found the local roadhouse. Then fueled the car and ourselves. Nothing like a greasy roadhouse breakfast to get the heart pumping.
As we digested breakfast we drove out of town and headed south. Our goal for the day, Birdsville.
Yes we are heading back to Birdsville. I really want to drive up Big Red. The trip down to Birdsville was fairly uneventful. The road was a mixture of good gravel and some bitumen. It was a lonely road and we didn’t see a lot of traffic.
We arrived in Birdsville and booked into a cabin at the caravan park. The same one as our last visit. Staying two nights in Birdsville, we used our day off to drive out to the edge of the Simpson desert. To have another attempt of driving up Big Red. With out all the weight of the fuel and water for the desert crossing we did this without a problem.
Once on top of the big sand dune we spent time soaking it all in. We were lucky enough to have the dune to ourselves. Alec and I had great fun running around in the sand.
Satisfied after driving up Big Red. We had an early dinner and got a good nights sleep. Tomorrow we would be back in the car, this time heading east.
As we left Birdsville, we crossed the causeway and the bridge that straddles the Diamantina river. Much dryer than five weeks ago when we crossed it with the tag along tour.
Windorah would be our camp for the night and again the trip was not that exciting. We had traveled this road on the tag along tour and not much had changed. As we got close to Windorah the road turned from dirt to bitumen. That was the last of the dirt road for the trip. Our adventure rapidly coming to an end.
We camped in the town camping area. The same spot we camped during the tag along tour. At least this time we weren’t worried about the water level of the Diamiatina river and if we could get in Birdsville. Again I was lazy and we walked down the local pub for dinner.
We had a great time down at the pub. A fire was going and Alec met a new friend to play with. It was the cooks daughter and the children got a huge plate of nuggets to share.
The next day we traveled 480 kilometres to Charleville. Another day of sitting in the car and not even the excitement of dirt roads to keep us occupied.
We stayed a little bit out of town at the Evening Star Caravan Park. An absolute gem of a place. Very welcoming, clean and with a bar and fire in the evening.
The next morning I woke up feeling a little worse for wear. I might have had a couple too many drinks the night before. So we slowly packed up camp and continued heading east. We made it to Mitchell and came across the Great Artesian Spa. Perfect, exactly what I needed.
After the swim and lunch we were back on the road. However driving was the last thing I felt like doing. 88 kilometres down the road we pull up and found a place to sleep. Roma was the town and a nice hotel for our last night for the trip was found. Only 287 kilometres was traveled. The next day was going to be a 500km day to get us home.
Leaving Roma the first thing I notice was the amount of traffic on the road. We were no longer in the remote desert county of central Australia. As Brisbane and home got closer the end of this adventure also got closer. We finally arrived home after 7 weeks of travel. But not the home we left 7 weeks ago. But a new home for me and Alec, but that’s another story for another time.
That’s a Bit Random.
Somewhere between Boulia and Birdsville I pull off the road to take some photo’s. The landscape was like the moon and just went on forever. This was the sort of country where you might pass one car an hour.
I climbed up on to the roof rack of the patrol to try to get a photo that really encapsulates the remoteness of this county.
As I was taking photo’s I notice a speck in the distant coming along the road. As it got closer I realised it was a bicycle. I watch the bike approached then a small wave and a nod was exchanged with the rider when he passed. As if nothing was out of the ordinary.
Maybe 6 weeks of fly’s and heat were starting to get to me.