Darwin to Sydney Roadtrip – Day 3

Tennant Creek – Mount Isa

9.35 Left Outback Caravan Park. Stopped at United to get ice – crushed $4 a bag.

11.45 Passed the Barkly Homestead – Mt Isa 460 km away – Carpentaria Highway, Booroloola T/O

13.00 Lunch stop at Soudan Bore rest area. More zebra finches.

13.25 Back on the road

14.00 Passed Avon Downs rest area and police station.

14.35 Paul Kelly sung us across the NT/QLD border – 10 km to Camooweal.

NT/QLD border

14.40 Camooweal: icecream and fuel stop – 30.04 L @ $1.669 per litre $50.14

30-minute time difference – turn all time-keeping devices forward 30 minutes.

15.30 Left Camooweal
17.20 Arrived at Mount Isa and checked into Argylla Caravan Village – $30.60.

Shopped at Woolies for dinner.

Cooked lamb chops, mashed potatoes and green beans in the camp kitchen.

Downloaded photos from my camera to my iPad Mini.


Huge camp kitchen: full-sized electric stove, 2 microwaves, 2 grills, toaster, jug, fridge freezer.

Argylla camp kitchen

Main shower block was at the other end of the park. At our end was a demountable comprising three combined shower and toilet units, which was fine untill three people were showering at the same time and someone needed to use the toilet!

You can give yourself more lunch-stop options by making your own sandwiches. I do it in the morning when I’m making toast for breakfast and have most of the ingredients and equipment out already.

I reuse either the plastic bag from the deli meat or the empty bread bag to wrap the sandwiches, then when we’ve eaten them, use the same bag in the car for fruit peel/skins.

The two fruits we find easiest to eat on the road are mandarins, preferably seedless, and bananas, with me, the passenger, peeling the fruit and feeding segments to the driver.


Darwin to Sydney Roadtrip – Day 2

Larrimah to Tennant Creek

Didn’t get much sleep between the flock of guinea fowl roosting in a nearby tree and the roadtrains – just as I’d be drifting off, one would roar past and when I did finally get to sleep one made me think a plane was landing on the tent and woke me up with a fright.

I made breakfast in the camp kitchen and checked out the aviaries of native birds while I was there. The squirrel gliders,so active last night, were asleep in their cage.

9.15 We left Larrimah.
10.15 Passed the Daly Waters turnoff (T/O).
10.20 Daly Waters Hi Way Inn, Borroloola and Carpentaria Highway T/O
10.40 Went through Top Springs and the Buchanan Highway T/O.
10.45 Checked out Dunmarra – diesel $1.73 a litre; neat, shady campsites.
11.40 Stopped at Elliott for lunch – 2 hotdogs with the lot @ $8.50 – and fuel: 20 L @ $1.70 – $38.56.
12.25 Left Elliott and 2 minutes later passed the Barkly Stock Route T/O and a sign ‘NO FUEL 500 km’.
13.15 Passed Renner Springs: 17 m pool, cabins and a caravan park.
13.50 Banka Banka Station also has a park and a WWII site.
14.10 Attack Creek is a rest stop with toilets, water and a barbecue.
14.34 The John Flynn Memorial; Threeways Roadhouse and Barkly Homestead T/O
14.40 We turned off for Kunjarra or the Pebbles, did the short walk and saw a flock of zebra finches. Not as impressive as the Devil’s Marbles but not so many flies either!
Kunjarra - The Pebbles
15.10 Left there and drove to the Tennant Creek Telegraph Station, just across the highway, a beautiful historic site.
15.55 Got to Tennant Creek, went to Foodstore, then fuelled up at United: 65 L @ $1.51 less 6 cents a litre AANT discount – $98.48; Odometer reading: 59983 km – 1021 km from start.
16.30 Checked into the Outback Caravan Park $30; big camp kitchen with microwave, toaster, jug, 2-ring cooker, barbecue and 2 fridge freezers; 2 showers and 3 toilets male and female, clean with hot water.
Set up camp then cooked dinner in the camp kitchen – burritos, using the new frying pan – worked beautifully. Enjoyed sitting out under the Southern Cross afterwards recalling what we’d seen on the road today:
roadtrains that let you know when it’s safe to pass by flashing their right indicator; wedge-tailed eagles we disturbed eating carrion on the side of the road; walkers pushing carts but we couldn’t see what for.
The wind got up during the night and it felt as if we were going to get blown off the back of the ute.

The cellar, Tennant Creek Telegraph Station

Darwin to Sydney Roadtrip

We are travelling from Darwin to Sydney via the Stuart, Barkly, Landsborough, Warrego, Carnavon, Newell and New England Highways, then the old Pacific Highway to Sydney.

I’ll try to write this blog whenever I have time and coverage and include photos whenever I get a chance to download them from my camera.

There’ll be comments on places we stay such as the fees and quality of the facilities; fuel stops and cost; the location of strategic turn-offs; and, how long it takes us to cover each stage.

We are travelling in a Nissan Navara D22 4×4 dual cab ute with a rooftop tent mounted on the well body.

Day 1 – Sunday 23 August 2015

Left Darwin around 12.30 pm, a bit later than intended as always. Within an hour we hit our first lot of roadworks at Coomalie but the five-minute delay gave us the chance to get the CDs out from under the driver’s seat and launch Bob Segar, always first on the playlist!

Drove past Adelaide River around 13.50; Hayes Creek 14.20; and Emerald Springs 14.25. Bob Seger finished so we swapped him for Adele.

Passed quite a few cattle holding yards packed with stock probably waiting for their overseas trip to Indonesia.

The Pine Creek turnoff came up 15 minutes past Emerald Springs and the one for Edith Falls 30 minutes later with nothing to distract us inbetween except occasional sightings of kapok trees and turkey bush and jet streams in the sky making me wonder where they were all off to.
Crossed the Katherine River around 15.45, fuelled up at Woolies: 56L @ 143.3 cents per litre (cpl) less 4 cpl discount $74.87. Odometer 59276.
Left Katherine 16.07. Passed through Mataranka an hour later. Sign warning ‘No fuel next 176 km’ which would be Daly Waters therefore no fuel at Larrimah, our destination which we arrived at around 17.50.

A fun place to spend the first night of our roadtrip

A fun place to spend the first night of our roadtrip

Staff members are welcoming, fun and friendly. A full dinner menu is available. Pies were advertised but not on the dinner menu. However, when I asked if I could have one, the cook insisted on baking a fresh one rather than giving me the last one left, baked earlier today, but earmarked for an elderly regular. It was delicious.
The facilities are basic: 1 toilet and 1 combined toilet and shower each for males and females.
Camp kitchen includes bbq, jug and toaster.
Cost $9 per person for an unpowered site.