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.

Kanazawa – Shirakawa-go – Takyama

Japanese tunnels are magical, you can go in one end in Spring and come out the other in Winter!



The above photo should be at the start but I don’t know how to  move it. 

Not the recommended method of sightseeing though, spending 90% of the trip in tunnels.



Today I perfected the art of tunnel-gap photography: In dark tunnel, turn camera on, wait for light at end of tunnel, view-finder to eye, point and shoot as soon as it’s light, hope for the best – you can edit or delete later, enter next tunnel.



A Day in Kanazawa

Woke up to a beautiful sunny day. Still cool to start but warmed to a two-layer day at one stage!

Got the bus to Kanazawa Gardens – scenic beauty overload: cherry blossoms, snow-capped mountains, Japanese garden.

Saw a few bridal couples in traditional attire – beautiful and fitting for our wedding anniversary.







Kyoto – Kanazawa

Got the Thunderbird 29 train from Kyoto to Kanazawa after hobbling to see the nearest temple to Kyoto Station. My feet gave up around the halfway mark of this trip and the only thing keeping me going is medication – Brufren and Panadine, so I’ll probably end up with a stomach ulcer by the end of it. But the Hotel Kanazawa, just outside the station, is the most luxurious we’ve stayed in so far. Each of the twin beds is as big as some of the double beds we’ve had up till now.



Okayama – Kyoto

Lucky I took Aisling’s advice and uploaded photos to Facebook while we were in Okayama, because they very next day the card in my camera failed. Fortunately I brought a spare.

From Okayama we took the Hikari train to Kyoto and because our hotel was too far from the station to walk, got our first taxi in Japan. We’d avoided them up to now because we’d been warned that they were very expensive but it only cost about the same as Darwin and it was very clean with linen and lace covers and trimmings on the seats.

That was one of the few things I liked about Kyoto. It didn’t help that it was wet and cold; the only room available in our expensive hotel was Smoking and stank; the location was in the city but not close to anything; it was the most crowded place we’ve been to here with the most rude people we’ve met so far; and, to top it off I got hit by a bicycle – shared footpaths here. So glad we only booked one night there!

Room with a view!   


Despite all that we enjoyed our visit to the Imperial Palace.






Can’t share those photos today because my iPad’s full. Need to find a PC to do some downloading.

It’s been a mixed day. Weatherwise it started fine but then the rain came in and lasted all day. But then if we didn’t have rain we wouldn’t have cherry blossom and flowers so we have to take the good with the bad.

In terms of the hotel and Booking.com, it’s an ongoing saga. I will now try to demonstrate the difference between what you think you’re getting and the reality.







  Carpet at lift exit on our floor – positively dangerous