14th to 15th September 2017
Katherine to Palmerston (Darwin) to Howard Springs 325kms
Today is all about business, and that means a quick ride to Darwin to get it done. It was easy to get up and moving early, after a couple of good nights sleep in a comfy bed. So we actually left Katherine around 8am. It was definitely a lot cooler. No cruising and enjoying the scenery, which wasn’t too bad, and only a short break at Adelaide River, for a cold drink, fuel and some food. Then, we just carried on to Palmerston, about 20 kms outside of Darwin city. Wow, things have changed so much. Palmerston was just beginning, way back when we lived here, but now it is a city on it’s own. There was a bank here, so we didn’t need to go all the way in to Darwin, and the business went easily and quickly. Thank you very much. Time to celebrate and make a plan.
Okay, it’s pretty hot, we don’t want to hang around in the city for a whole week, so we’ll just head back 10 kays and stay at Howard Springs Caravan Park. Nice spot, and close to a tavern and a supermarket, but at $43 a night in our tent, it was the most we’ve paid so far. But, we were close to the pool, the toilets, and the camp kitchen, oh and we had grass and shade. We enjoyed a couple of dips in the pool, which wasn’t that cool, but with a bit of breeze, it was refreshing enough.
It was a very nice spot with lots of birds and a ring tailed possum. Love the Peacocks.
Next plan, is to head out to Litchfield Park and spend the weekend there. Lots of beautiful spots to camp, and enjoy. So we walked the 800mtrs to the Howard Springs Tavern, (which was the limit for my dick knees today) and enjoyed dinner, then walked back (pain is my friend, right?). It was dark as, no moon, and no street lighting, so we should have thought about that and brought our head lamps, but instead, we busted out the good old smart phones’ torch app. Got to love apps, hey?
16th to 17th September 2017
Howard Springs to Wangi Falls (Litchfield National Park) 120kms
Up nice and early, and it was already warm. The humidity is gradually getting higher, which makes it pretty sweaty. We rolled, we ate, I packed and Will shopped. The team work is going really well, we seem to have a good system, and a good understanding of what we need to do. When Will got back, we finished the loading of the bikes, and headed off towards Berry Springs just after 10am.
Some revisiting of places we’d enjoyed in the 1990’s, pre-kids, and we are in a bit of shock. Berry Springs is a nice safe spot for a picnic and a dip, with lots of shade and grassy areas. Now it has a huge car park, a kiosk, picnic tables, and much more cleared space. It must get pretty busy. No swim for us this time, we just sat and enjoyed our thermos of coffee. Wow, same same but different.
This is an easy drive from Darwin, and it was a favourite back in the day.
Continuing on the Cox Peninsula road, which goes out to Dundee Beach (this used to be a great spot too, but not for us today), we turned left onto the Litchfield Park road. This road loops around, through the National Park, and comes out at Bachelor, and back onto the Stuart Highway. The first time we did this road, in an old bomb 1972 VH Valiant sedan, it was all gravel and rough as hell. Then last time, was in our first Landcruiser, a 60 series, and this half of the road was still gravel. Now, it’s sealed, except for about 30kms, which they are working on now. It was an easy, enjoyable ride, through to Wangi Falls, which were always the easiest to access, with the biggest swimming area.
Pit stop on the Litchfield Park road. Just after this we hit the short gravel section, which was getting worked on. Lots of rocks and a few soft slippery bits, but mostly okay.
Another, wow what happened, moment, when we saw the massive car parks, the cafe, scenic flights office, and established campground and Day use areas. Bloody hell, things have really changed a lot! But hey, the campground is very well set out, some nice grassy communal areas, with free BBQ’s, hot and cold showers, flushing toilets, and all for $6.60 per person per night. We signed up for two, and located a nice private site at the back. The falls are still amazing, and the pool is still a winner. We really enjoyed a swim and a relaxing evening.
It’s all dirt for camping, but there’s is shade, and the nice communal grassed area with BBQ’s. The falls are still spectacular, and not as busy as expected on the weekend.
The water was divine and the falls were quite strong. No Freshies found today, and a couple of locals were showing us how it’s done. A few coldies, some tunes, and some snacks in their floating cooler. Good work ladies.
It really was a great afternoon of cooling down and relaxing in this beautiful spot.
Sunday, and with the sun came the heat, and we got up. We’ve left the fly off the tent, which was a winner last night, letting the breeze cool us off and we both slept pretty well. Busting out our little old MSR burner, we made some coffee, ate the usual nuts and berries, and chased the shade. Oh and smacked the rotten March flies. Those little ones, they are the only ones that I have a bad reaction to, and they love me. So we also busted out the super Bushmans spray, chucked on the sunscreen, and our bathers. Time for swimming and relaxing. I’ll let the pics tell the rest of the story. Ripper of a day!
We went swimming, and we met Andy and Dianne, from Alice Springs. They were a lot of fun, and very interesting to talk to. They were having a month off and exploring the region while catching up with friends.
Andy and Dianne offered us a few cold beers from their supply, which was super appreciated (we had nothing cold left), and we all enjoyed the afternoon drinking, relaxing, swimming, and then napping…ha ha ha…heat and alcohol does that hey? Thanks guys, you really made our stay.