Sydney – Tamworth
On Monday, the first day of our 4200-kilometre drive home, we left Sydney just after 11.00 am and drove through the Hunter Valley passed vineyards, coalmining, horse breeding and sheep and cattle rearing country to Tamworth, stopping only at Wilberforce for fuel and Bulga to eat lunch.
We got to Tamworth around 6.00 pm.The information centre was closed but we managed to find the tourist park we’d stayed at before.
Tamworth – St George
We did a bit of shopping before leaving Tamworth next day, then stopped for fuel at Barraba and had a pitstop at Warialda Apex Park. After getting an hour back when we crossed the Queensland border, we stopped for lunch in Goondiwindi and visited the information centre and the statue of Gunsyng.
We got to St George just after 4.00 pm, checked into our cabin and went for a walk along the Balonne River.
St George – Barcaldine
On Wednesday we left St George for Barcaldine. On the way we saw an echidna, a very special privilege, scurrying into the undergrowth by the side of the road; and, a couple of herds of cattle being driven along the ‘Long Paddock’; again, not something you get to see every day..
We stopped for lunch at Meat Ant Park in Augathella, then fuelled up and drove on to Barcaldine through Tambo and Blackall.
Barcaldine – Mt Isa
Before leaving Barcaldine on Thursday morning, we visited the Shearers Memorial and the remains of the Tree of Knowledge.
Longreach was our first top for fuel then Winton where we watched the reconstruction of the Waltzing Matilda Centre while we ate lunch. The original was destroyed by fire in 2015.
We had a pitstop at McKinley and fuelled up again at Cloncurry before arriving at Mt Isa around 6.00 pm..
Next day we intended doing a tour of the Hard Times Mine but it was closed for maintenance so instead we just had a walk around town, drove to the lookout, went back to the cabin for lunch, then drove out to Moondarra Dam.
Mt Isa – Renner Springs
We left Mt Isa at 9.15 am and drove to Camooweal where we stopped for fuel before crossing the border back into the Northern Territory and getting back another half an hour, so it was now 10.55 am not 11.25 am as it was in Queensland.
We stopped at the Barclay Homestead around 1.oo pm and ate lunch, then at the Threeways for fuel at 3.10 pm before getting to Renner Springs at 4.15 pm, where we stopped for the night.
The walking tracks were shortened by the recent rain but we saw plenty of birdlife around the motel and dam.
Found this pair on our way to dinner.
Sitting outside our room after watching our last outback sunset, I suddenly had a green tree frog land in my lap!
Renner Springs – Darwin
Between the resident cockerel and the ‘ventilated’ curtains, we didn’t need a wake-up call the next morning.
So we started the last leg of our journey and left Renner Springs at 8.40 Sunday morning. We stopped for fuel at Elliot and Mataranka and had a pitstop at the explorer Alexander Forrest memorial cairn. We were going to eat lunch at Bitter Springs but it was closed due to a crocodile sighting so we continued on to a roadside stop just before King River.
After lunch it was less than an hour’s drive to Katherine where we fuelled up, then on to Adelaide River for our last pitstop before the final drive home, arriving in Darwin at 5.30 pm.
It rained for a week after we got home!
Well that’s it, the end of another journey. Thanks for joining us. Hope you enjoyed it. Bye for now!