A 93-day adventure by Callaways and a Camper
  • Day81

    Kakadu

    July 17, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    KAKADU (17/7 - 25/7)
    Today we arrived in Kakadu. The first thing we did was stop at Mary River Roadhouse. We got some info on where to camp and continued on. We stopped at the ranger station but there was no one there. We camped at Gunlom. We had a swim at the bottom of the waterfall and the water was quite murky. We walked up to the top of the waterfall and swam there. We went for a bit of an explore and found a little gorge to swim up. At the end there was a little waterfall that was warm.
    That night I made butter chicken for tea.
    Today we drove to Jim Jim Billabong. On the way we stopped at Maguk. The walk in wasn't very long, but the rocks were very slippery with sand. The water there was very clear and quite warm. We swam around a bit then swam out to the waterfall. We had lunch there then walked out. When we arrived at Jim Jim Billabong we set up, it was the first time we set every thing.
    The next morning we got up fairly early to go on a ranger guided activity at Nourlangie Rock. It took us up to a lookout where the ranger told us all about a rock on a rock ledge that was said to be a feather from one of the spirits headdress. We went down the stairs and came out at a rock art site. There was there was two main spirit people and lots of other people. There were some pigs in the park and they really enjoy having a good scratch on the rock art so all the peoples legs were gone. At the end of the walk we came to a shelter that the aborigines used thousands of years ago. They did an archeological dig there and found a bag, a spear tip, some grind stones and lots of other interesting artefacts. If you looked down into the cave you could see some grind stone holes. After that walk finished we drove to Nanguluwur Gallery. The walk into the gallery was hot and 3.5 km long, but was worth it. There was lots of different artworks of different things. There was a really cool one of a early European ship towing an aboriginal dinghy. We had lunch there. We were all hot after the walk so we went into Angbangbang Billabong and sat in the shade. We did a bit of a walk round the billabong and saw a crocodile and lots of birds. We went back to Nourlangie and did some school work. That evening we went back to Angbangbang and did a ranger activity and watched the sunset.
    Today we are going to Yellow Waters, the Cultural Centre and Cooinda.
    We first went to Yellow Waters. There we were planning to the board walk then continue on the 1 km walking trail then turn around and then come back. We started the board walk and saw lots of birds like egrets, sea eagles, rainbow bee eaters and jabirus. We came to the end of the board walk and saw where the path was supposed to be. It was all over grown and there was a gate blocking the way. We stayed at the end of the board walk for a while then saw a crocodile and followed it all the way back to the start of the board walk.
    We decided to go to the Cultural Centre for lunch and a look round. There were some cool displays and I bought a neck cooler.
    Next we went to Cooinda. Some other people at camp had told us that everyone just goes to the resort and has a swim, and the staff are completely fine with it. We went and had a swim got an ice cream and petrol.
    Today we are going into Jim Jim Falls. Everyone had been saying that the walk was very hard. When we got there we discovered that it was only 500 metres. It turned out that it wasn't that hard, and the hardest thing was a bit of rock scrambling. On the way Dad dropped his camera cap and mum quickly put her hand in the pool the cap fell in to get it. In doing so dad's phone fell into the pool. Also mum's binoculars fell in too. We got the phone and the binoculars out. We came to the base of the waterfall soon after that. Near the end we came to a junction, one person we met said to take the right hand path and that will take you to a little beach you could access the water easily from. We had to swim through a little freezing cold pool to get to the pool with the waterfall. We thought we would swim out to the waterfall, but we got half way and we were freezing because it was colder then the other pool, so we turned around. We went back to camp had tea and went to bed.
    Today we drove from Jim Jim to Merl. We went to the visitor centre and had a look round there. Again there was lots of interesting displays. We arrived at the campsite and quickly set up. After setting up we drove to the East Alligator River. At the Visitor Centre we had booked a tour on the East Alligator River. We boarded the boat and our aboriginal tour guide told us all about the landscape and how they used it. He told us how to make an oven using paperbark and stuff like that. At one point in the tour we got off the boat onto Arnhem Land and the guide gave us a spear throwing demonstration. All in all we saw about 30 crocs.
    After the tour we went up to Cahills Crossing where some people were standing on the crossing and we could see big crocs 20m upstream. Cahills Crossing is the only way to cross between Kakadu and Arnhem Land.
    Next we went to some of the rock art sites and a lookout to watch the sunset.
    At the campsite there were heaps of mozzies so we had to eat tea in the tent.
    Today we got up, packed up and started off. We decided to go to 4 Mile Hole, just inside Kakadu. Before we went there we went to Mamaluka Wetlands. We did one walk around the edge of the wetlands then went and got our school work and lunch to go and do in the bird hide there. We watched the birds saw a couple of lizards and relaxed in the shade. We walked out and drove to 4 Mile.
    After we set up Ben and I built a shelter which was very hard because it was so windy. We built the shelter because there was no shade whatsoever. Again we had to eat in the tent because of mozzies.
    In the morning the boys went fishing. They came back and told us that they had caught lots of little barramundi (rats), run over a crocodile and saw the worlds fattest crocodile.
    We didn't do much for the rest of the day, just relaxed and did school work. Just before tea we made signs for Nan and Pa to welcome them to Darwin the next day off the Ghan.
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  • Day80

    Harriet Creek

    July 16, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    16/7
    We packed up and said goodbye to the Hearns only to see them at the Mataranka market. We all sat together while watching Nathan "Whippy" Griggs. Again we said goodbye and again saw them at the supermarket in Katherine. One last time we said goodbye. That night we camped just outside of Kakadu at Harriet Creek because our permit didn't start until the next day.Read more

  • Day79

    Bitter Springs

    July 15, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    15/7
    This morning we went over to the chickens that they keep in a pen. We were allowed to go into the pen and pick them up. We had a lot of fun picking the chickens up. After a while the parents called us back to do some school work. We did our school then played cards till lunch.
    After lunch we drove to Bitter Springs. It was warmish. We floated down and the water was so clear. The flow was quite strong and when we got to a log it push us really hard up against it. We sent the little camera down on one boogie boards while it was videoing, and Ben had to swim after it. We floated down a few time then Molly, Bronte, Ben and I found a log that was slippery and we slid down it.
    We got back from Bitter Springs and we played round for a bit. We had a communal Mexican Tea. After, we played spoons with 8 people and it was very crazy and violent.
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  • Day78

    Mataranka

    July 14, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    14/7
    This morning we went fishing again. While we were fishing we saw a croc and dad caught an egret.
    The road out was quite rough. We missed the turn off to the petrol station and shop at Roper Bar. When we found the shop we got petrol and a fishing ruler.
    We arrived in Mataranka and we camped with the Hearns at Little Roper Stockcamp. After we set up Ben and Michelle went shopping and Molly and Bronte stayed behind. We taught Molly and Bronte how to play spoons (to play spoons you need at least 3 people and 2 spoons, you always need one less spoon then the amount of players. You can have as many players as you want. The object of the game is to get 4 of the same number and if you see someone else take a spoon you can take a one. No one wins, you can only lose. You lose by being the only person without a spoon. You can play with other things, pencils, tongues etc.)
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  • Day77

    Towns River

    July 13, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    13/7
    Today we left Lorella Springs. We decided that we would travel with Hearns for a little bit. Our first stop was The Lost City (another one.) We thought we would only do a bit of the walk but we ended up doing the whole walk. The city was very cool.
    We drove for a bit longer and then stopped at Butterfly Gorge for lunch and a swim. The gorge was sort of shallow and Molly, Bronte, Ben, Dad and I swam out to the waterfall and jumped off the rocks.
    We kept driving and heard someone say over the radio that there was a broken down car in the middle of the road. It turned out that it was the Hearns' old mate who they had helped in Lorella Springs. We stopped to help them. After we helped them we continued on. We stayed a Towns River. We went fishing and Molly made damper for dessert.
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  • Day63

    LORELLA SPRINGS

    June 29, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    On Thursday the 29th we arrived in a place that I have been looking forward to for a while now, it is called Lorella Springs. When we arrived we checked in then set off to find a camp. We set up, had lunch then went for a swim in the springs.
    The springs were very nice. They were called Magical Springs. There were lots of fish in the springs.
    After the springs we had a shower and went up to Happy Hour.
    They have 2 little Freshies and they were supposed to be fed every 3 days but when they fed them they realised that it was only the 2nd day and they weren't vey hungry.
    The next morning we went to the reception to talk about what day trip we would do. It was a "cold" day so we decided we would go to Nudie Hot Springs (Nudie is just a name.)
    After a drive on a 4Wd track (all the tracks are 4Wd) that included getting bogged we arrived.
    It was about lunchtime when we arrived, so we had lunch before we went down to the Springs. When at the Springs we swam. After a good swim we followed the creek to the source. We also climbed the escarpment. There were good views from on top of the escarpment.
    The next day we went to reception again to plan another day trip. We decided we would go to The Arch, Musters Caves and The Waterslide.
    The first thing we did was The Arch. At The Arch we walked in and climbed up on top of it. The Arch was formed by erosion.
    The next thing we did was Musters Caves. To get to the first cave we had to crawl through a small hole. There was lots of bats and dragon flies. The next two caves had rock art. I went back into the first cave and saw three baby bats.
    The last thing we did was The Waterslide. To get to The Waterslide Ben had to find the pink markers follow and got us lost. We eventually found The Waterslide, which was a slippery rock that you slid down. There was two small pools at the top, one was about 3 metres deep.
    That day was Territory Day so they had fireworks that evening.
    The next day we chose to just hang round camp for the day. A family that we met in Tassie that we invited to stay at our house were camping near us we were so surprised. We spent most of the day in the springs and having water fights.
    The next day we packed up, we had decided to go and explore the coastal end of the property. When we arrived at Rosie River we setup it was hot and there wasn't much shade so we set up the awning as well. After we set up we went fishing. We were catching queenfish. I caught three fish in about an hour.
    The next morning we spent fishing and caught lots of fish. We fished to lunch time. After lunch we played cards then went to the barramundi pool, no luck.
    When we got up the next day we went out in the boat for about half the day. When we came back we spent the rest of the day relaxing.
    Today we packed up. We were going right out to the coast to camp at Secret Fishing Spot. On the way we stopped at Alaska Pool, a warmish pool that the mining company had dug out and Rhett had put a pump in. When we were almost there we dove past River Camping where there was a few spots. We drove for about 5 more minutes until we got to the coast. The camp spots there weren't nice and weren't shaded, so we went back to one of the camp sites on the river. It was called the Wauraliwuntya River (or Willy Wonka River as they called it.) We set up, did some washing and relaxed for the rest of the day.
    This morning we decided to fry eggs on the fire and cook damper on a stick for breakfast. After breakfast the boys went out fishing and mum and I stayed behind at camp. I decided to try out my water colours and pad that Granny gave me for my birthday. I drew a Paperbark Tree and a Rufus Whistler. I decided to give the Rufus Whistler drawing to Granny for her birthday. We restarted the fire and cooked bread, it was delicious smothered in butter and jam with the burnt crust cut off. The boys went back out in the boat and we did some washing, schoolwork and painting.
    Today we decided to go up to the coast for a day. When we got there the tide was right out and Dad went out onto the sand bar to fish. Ben and I went to sit in the shade and then decided to build an alien sandcastle. When we had modelled it, we decorated it with shells. The tide came in very high and fast. It was going to be a full moon that night so the tide came up very high, higher than usual. Because the tide was so high Ben and I were allowed to splash round in the little pools and we also made an island and a river system. ( normally you can't swim because of crocs.)
    Today is packup day. We are leaving the coast and heading back to the Homestead. On the way we stopped at Alaska Pool and had a quick dip.
    We got back to the Homestead and had lunch before setting up. After setting up Dad, Ben and I went to the hot springs for a swim. In the pool we met the Hearn family. Michelle, Ben, Molly and Bronte. Molly is 12 and Bronte is 8. We talked with them for a while then went in to happy hour with them. They live in the Snowy Mountains in NSW. At happy hour Molly, Bronte, Ben, me and some other kids played multiple running games. We had a 7:00 tea of sausages and bread.
    Today (10th of July) is dad's birthday. The other day we had made him cards and we had bought him a reptile book. Dad had decided that we would go to Fern Gully and Nannys Retreat. The first thing we did was Fern Gully it was a short walk into a lovely cool deep pool surrounded by lovely lush ferns. We stayed there for a while then walked out. We drove back to the main road and continued onto Nannys Retreat. It was a longer walk in and the gorge was amazing, the water was crystal clear and there were so many fish! When I was exploring under water I found a little archway that you could swim through. It was more of a hole that you swam down and came up on the other side. We swam round and had lunch. Then we went looking for the entrance to a little cave they talk about. We found the entrance and some bats greeted us as we entered. We explored the cave then waded up a little stream that lead us up the escarpment. We went back to the gorge and had a bit more of a swim. We walked out and drove back to the Homestead.
    We went up to happy hour and went out for tea with the choice of chicken or steak. I got steak. We had also got the cook, Maxine, to cook a gluten free chocolate brownie for cake. It was delicious. We went back to camp and had a game of Yahtzee.
    Today we spent most of the morning doing school work. After lunch dad and I went out to Rosie Rapids and Flying Fox Swamp. We went to Rosie Rapids first. There were two branches of the river and both were beautiful to explore. After a paddle we had a quick swim. When we got to the swamp there was a boat waiting for us. Dad brought his fishing rod and when I got sick of getting the paddle caught in the lilies I just let us drift. There were heaps of birds, ruffed whistling ducks, wandering whistling ducks, herons, spoonbills, egrets, ibises etc. We got back to camp and Ben had cooked us a delicious chilli con carne for tea.
    Today we are going to do the Crocodile Springs Loop. We drove a little way then stopped so Dad could put the yabby pot in. We marked the spot and continued on. We had decided to do Fossil Fern first. To find the ferns you had to walk 10 metres next to a pool then turn around to look back on a flat rock. Ben and I couldn't resist jumping in so we did it a couple of times then drove to Wildfire Gorge. It was about a 500 meter walk in. When we got there we were the only ones there. There was two ledges to jump off. Dad and Mum told us we had to jump off the bottom ledge first then if we wanted to we could go off the top ledge. The bottom ledge was only 1 metre high and the top ledge was 7 metres high. I was the first one to jump off the high ledge and it was awesome. It took some time to get used to jumping off the high ledge, but it was great fun. We drove back to the yabby pot and pulled it in. We had one last thing to do, and that was paddle up Crocodile Springs. Some people were already in the boat so we had lunch first, we also put the yabby pot back in. The people came back and we went out. We took fishing rods and I was the only one who got any hits. We came back and pulled the yabby pot in. We had two turtles and three fish this time. I was very excited about the turtles. Back at the Homestead they have a crocodile pond and they like it if people bring back little fish and turtles. We brought back the turtles and the fish.
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  • Day61

    THE PEBBLES

    June 27, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

    We had just come from Alice Springs where we had "cleaned" our car and camper when we came to the turn off to The Pebbles and realised it was a dirt road. The Pebbles are just like a mini Devils Marbles. We only stayed there one night. The sunsets were pretty impressive there.Read more

  • Day59

    SIMPSONS GAP AND ALICE SPRINGS

    June 25, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    The next morning we got up early to go and see the if we could see some rock wallabies at Simpsons Gap. We thought it would be unlikely because people were saying that they were rare, but we were surprised when we got there there were wallabies everywhere.
    We stayed at Alice Springs for another three nights.
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  • Day58

    HUGH RIVER and ORMINSTON GORGE and OCHRE

    June 24, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    That day we made multiple stops. Our first one was Orminston Gorge where we did a short walk to a big pool where we had a swim in the freezing cold water. The next stop was the Ochre Pits which was a wall of coloured ochre that aborigines still use today. And last of all our final stop Serpintine Gorge. There was 2 walks there, one of them was to a look-out and the other one to the gorge. We did the one to the look-out first, which had scenic views of the MacDonnell Rangers. Then we did the walk to the gorge. Even though it was the smallest gorge it was probably the nicest.
    That night we camped at Hugh River. We had a "party" because it was the longest we had been out of civilisation at that point.
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