Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Natures Territory

A new day and a new Territory. Peter has been to the Northern Territory, but I have not, so it is a bit exciting. Not sure what to expect - lots of red dirt? wild camels? We will see. After toilet, dump point and coffee stop in Camooweal, we headed 15km to the state border. It was a mostly straight and good highway and we drove about 200km before our first stop in the Territory, Wonarah Bore.
The area is large and started to fill up after we arrived. There are picnic tables and bins, but that is all, so one needs to be self contained. We are about half way between the border and three ways – the Stuart Highway.
Next morning we drove 43km to have a look at the Barkley Homestead. This where one can fill up with petrol if needed and have some food. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner and have a caravan park attached. Apparently it was very packed last night, so glad we didn't stay there.
The road is straight and very good. We stopped at a few other camps along the way to see if they were good and there were a number. Once we arrived at the Stuart Highway at Three Ways, we turned north to see the Rev. John Flynn Memorial.
We did a u-turn and headed south on the Stuart Highway. The Stuart Highway runs north to south from Darwin to Tennant Creek to Alice Springs to Port Augusta in South Australia. It is named after John McDouall Stuart, who was the first European to cross Australia from the south to the north. Our overnight stop is at the Devils Pebbles. 11Km north of Tennant Creek is Kunjarra, or the Pebbles. It is an outcrop of granite boulders. This is a sacred site where Aboriginal women would come for women ceremonies and dance. Men can only attend when they are invited. There are fire places set up, some tables and long drop toilets. There is a notice board with good information, and an open invitation to visit – just show respect. Sadly there was a campervan parked right next to the information board, almost under the shelter and the place smelt of smoke. They also had a big dog that barked when people came near to look at the sign or to go to the toilet. A poor little girl was so scared she gave the dog a big berth and walked right up to our van to get past the dog. Some people have just no consideration for others.
The turnoff is just before the old Telegraph Station when travelling south. The road to the free camp is about 6 km of unsealed dust. It was a little bumpy in places, but ok. One can camp close to the Pebbles and the view was mystical. There is a gravel path around the pebbles and signage about a near threatened Pebble Mound Mouse, and showing respect by not climbing on the rocks.

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