Far From Home, But at Least on Home Soil
Leaving Kakadu behind, we headed south stopping at Mataranka to check out Rainbow Springs Thermal Pool at Mataranka Homestead.
I’m sure when the temperature is cool the water is warm but was very glad it was the other way around. Due to the air temperature being rather high, the water felt pleasantly cool and taking a dip was very refreshing indeed.
We considered staying, but I was calculating our remaining distance and thought we should keep going.
We made it as far as Daly Waters, Location No 89 and our last stop in the Northern Territory. Having heard (a lot) about the ‘Historic’ Daly Waters Pub, we decided we would camp there for the night. We’d travelled 528 kilometres (328.1 miles), and although that doesn’t sound like much, it becomes tiring when towing a caravan.
The pub was home to the biggest collection of eclectic paraphernalia that I’ve ever seen. Attached to the walls and ceiling, as well as rafters and lines of wire (or string) were business cards, shirts, hats, undies, bras, foreign currency – OMG, you name it – the paraphernalia was everywhere and left by visitors from every corner of the globe. (I was afraid to touch anything.)
We left Daly Waters early the next morning, really early. It was raining and the water in the hotel caravan park area was ankle-deep and rising. We were concerned we’d ‘get stuck in the mud’, so as the rain continued to come down, we departed, and set out to complete the long journey to the Queensland border.
The roads were clear, with very little traffic in either direction and by lunchtime we reached a major intersection, or perhaps I should say, a major roadhouse. Located at the junction of the Stuart and Barkly Highways, and an ideal place to take a break, the Threeways Roadhouse marked where we finally turned left and commenced heading east. Although we still had 433 kilometres (269.9 miles) between us and the border.
I found the following image painted on the wall of the Threeways Roadhouse most impressive.
We refuelled, and continued.
We were excited.
Our home state was within easy reach, just five hours away, five hours that melted away and it felt so good, so very good, to cross over that line and finally be on home soil.
Location No 90 – Camooweal, North West, Queensland
After an epic 11 hour day, all we wanted was to stop, and with 829 kilometres (515.1 miles) behind us, neither of us cared where, as long as it was on the right side of the border.
I laughed and laughed when I spotted this sign at a roadhouse, but we knew we were back in familiar territory when we saw the maroon pool table in the pub as well as all the framed and signed rugby league jerseys decorating the walls. I’ve never been so please to see Queensland State of Origin, Broncos, and Cowboys paraphernalia. It was so much better than that adorning the Daly Waters Pub.
Oh, the wonderful feeling of being ‘Home’. We stayed at the Camooweal Post Office Hotel, and again, rolled out early the next morning.
Location No 91 – Mount Isa, North West, Queensland
After travelling 1,357 kilometres (843.3 miles) in two days, an additional 188 (116) to reach Mount Isa was such an easy drive. Yesterday we arrived in Mount Isa, with every intention of simply having the car serviced and moving on.
Mount Isa came into being due to the vast mineral deposits found in the area and (according to Wikipedia), Mount Isa Mines is one of the most productive single mines in world history, based on combined production of lead, silver, copper and zinc. The city also has of the most intensive air quality monitoring systems in Australia.
We had a quick look around, but with the car at the mechanics all day today, there wasn’t a lot we did see.
And now for a change of plans. Our car has a minor issue, most likely a warranty issue, that requires repair and as it will take more than a week for the necessary parts to arrive in Mount Isa, we’ve decided to drive to Townsville to have the repairs attended to. With lots of family and friends in Townsville, this will be a much nicer place to be should we have to wait for parts to arrive from elsewhere.
So much for seeing Normanton and Karumba in the gulf. They’ll just have to be added to our ‘Next Time’ list and when we reach Cloncurry tomorrow we’ll be continuing east instead of heading north.
Those distances you travel in OZ are crazy. I always say this but you don’t realise how big Australia is until you travel around it. I remember going from Bundaberg to Agnes Water & 1770 and onto Hervey Bay and Fraser Island- just a quick trip my relatives told me LOL. Fantastic!!!
Ha ha Gill. That is just a quick trip. 😋
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Good Luck with car repairs but you will be close to family and friends! Getting closer to home. I hope you do not stop blogging when you do arrive home.
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