Close Nav

Last 12 months

  • June 2022 (0)
  • May 2022 (1)
  • April 2022 (0)
  • March 2022 (0)
  • February 2022 (0)
  • January 2022 (0)
  • December 2021 (0)
  • November 2021 (0)
  • October 2021 (0)
  • September 2021 (0)
  • August 2021 (0)
  • July 2021 (0)
  • Show All

Tags

Tagalong Adventures Australia

Searching for tag: Tag 1

Number of blogs returned: 1 to 5 records of 5

Our 4WD trip into Salvatore Rosa

We left Tambo after staying there for 2 days to catch up on washing and some internet and travelled 8km down the road, turned left onto the Wilderness Way and we were on our way into the western end of Carnarvon National Park, Salvatore Rosa.

The road soon turned to dirt and even though it stated high 4WD only it was actually a very well-maintained road and there were council workers grading and working on the road as we went through.  It deteriorated slightly as we entered the National Park but by no means was it high clearance 4WD.  The road through the National Park was windy but beautiful with the most spectacular sight just as you left the National Park.  To the left you could see the wide expanse of the ranges and they were a very unexpected and beautiful sight, so much that we decided to stop on the side of the road and have lunch so we could take the view in for a bit longer.  There was a station to the left of us and I  can only imagine how much they must love that view every day.

Time to move on, we turned on to the Salvatore Rosa Road and headed into the National Park, an easy drive and the camp ground was only a few kilometres in.  We arrived, there were 3 other campers there (I won the bet I guessed there would be 5 and Andrew said 7).  After setting up we decided to do the 19km drive through Salvatore Rosa today as we had the whole afternoon still, so off we went.  We drove right to the end of the drive which was a very sandy track, you could almost imagine you were on Fraser or Moreton Island instead of western Queensland.  At the end was Mitchell Springs, named after the famous explorer Major Mitchell but there was no water in the springs.  We started the road back and our next stop was Belinda Springs which surprisingly had some water in it running under the ferns and even a tiny waterfall.  Next stop was H hill which was a steep climb up some well formed rocky steps but the lookout at the top was worth the climb with the major attraction being Spyglass Peak.

We drove on a bit further rand stopped at Spyglass Peak which is really the best thing to see in the park and if we came again would come straight here and not worry about the other attractions.  It stated a 2km circuit walk which we though would be pretty good, it came up to what I would call the Great Wall of China. It was rock wall jutting out of the ground, probably a good 10 feet tall or even higher and went on for at least half of the walk, an amazing natural phenomen, with a few holes in the rocks where we could spy Spyglass Peak.  We kept walking and the track stopped and there were some rock hills which we could walk across and also looking for the other half of the track, wondering if we were returning the way we came.  Found some rocks piled on top of each other and assumed that was the marker for the track so followed that and found the other side of the track.  The view to Spyglass Peak from the rock hills was absolutely incredible and if you were there at sunset I could imagine the view would be amazing.  But we kept walking and did the circuit around the base of the hill and back to the car.  To drive the 150 odd kilometres into this park it was worth it just for that walk alone.   Very unexpected and incredible to see what nature produces and allows us to see.

Back to camp to our camp fire and sausages on the fire for dinner tonight.  It was going to be a cold night tonight predicted at 0 and we could feel the temperature dropping significantly so time to go in the caravan and turn the central heating on.

Posted in: Tagalong Adventures Australia at 27 May 22

Uluru and Beyond Safari 2021

We crossed the Qld border excited to be heading south and running our second safari of the year “Uluru and Beyond”.   We were only gone one day, and we learnt that SA had closed the border to anyone who had been in Brisbane which quickly deflated our excitement.

Nonetheless, we kept on driving, ever optimistic and ended up in Silverton waiting to cross the SA border accompanied by a couple of the safari members who were also from Qld.   After some phone calls with the local SA police, we were told that we were allowed to cross the border 14 days after leaving QLD, which would be the day the safari started, so all was good but until we crossed that border it was biting nails.  

We decided to make the most of our time in Silverton with some bike riding (trying to avoid getting a flat tyre from the bull heads but having no such luck!) a camp oven roast, pub dinner and a walk around the quirky town of Silverton.  I was sitting quietly in our caravan when the news announced that the SA border was officially open!  I immediately ran over to the others with great excitement to share the news. We eagerly completed our border passes and the next morning we were on our way.

To some of our dismay we had to take a covid test on arrival in SA, so we set up camp in Peterborough whilst awaiting our negative result, nevertheless grateful that we had finally made it over. After two long days of twiddling our thumbs, we were raring to get back on the road, and with only three days to do a reccie of the Flinders time was of the essence. 

The next few days were hectic as we toured the Northern and Southern Flinders. Many kilometres and a second covid test later we made it to Spear Creek where our safari was set to begin the next day. Having finally had a night to relax, we were disappointed to discover that our inverter had given up the ghost which resulted in an eight-hour return trip to Adelaide to pick up a new one. Luckily, we made it back a few hours before the safari started. Wow, what a start to our trip for us!

With all of that out of the way, the safari had begun!  Everyone had arrived and we decided that a campfire was a good way to kick off the adventure ahead. With the fire warming our hands and toes, it was a relaxing social evening that allowed everyone to get to know one another. Soon, we all headed to the function room for a buffet dinner. 

The first day on the road is always tricky as everyone is still getting used to travelling in convoy, but lucky for us we had an easy road to take us to Coober Pedy in a couple days’ time. Our original plan to stay at Glendambo Caravan Park was dismantled when we discovered that it had been closed since Summer, so we went with plan B; an overnight stop at Lake Hart which overlooks the huge Salt Lake and the train line running right along it.

We did see a couple of trains snaking their way along the horizon, the contrast amongst the red and blue colours of the outback is a special sight all on its own. The moment you leave Port Augusta you feel like you are far from civilisation and in the true outback, with the spectacular colours of the red dirt and blue skies and not a building in sight.

Coming into Coober Pedy you can see the mounds of dirt where mines or test holes are dug, and you can’t help but wonder about what beautiful opals are hiding down there.  Coober Pedy is an interesting little town. While it can feel a bit daunting walking down the main street, it is worth the effort once you see the opal shops on both sides and the bigger tourist opal shops in the centre of town.  Most of the bigger shops are dug into the side of a hill as are most of the houses.  With a cool 18 degrees all year round, you can understand why the locals live underground, especially in Summer. You could climb the stairs and walk over the top of one of the bigger shops which provided a lookout over the whole town.  

We had hired a tour bus which took everyone around the town and interestingly we saw land that was for sale which was actually a patch of land with the cut-out already made ready for someone to dig their home into the wall of the hill. I always wonder how they know when to stop so they don’t dig into their neighbour’s lounge room or bedroom!  

We also drove past the golf course, and interestingly but not surprisingly it was a dirt golf course with black sump oil instead of grass over the holes to mark them.  Further down the road and a small way down the Stuart highway we drove into a 9-mile opal field with markings of sites everywhere and testing holes, and if you didn’t know what you were doing you could easily step into one of these holes, so we were happy to be observing from the inside of the bus. We also spotted a 12-mile opal field in the distance with one of its mines featuring on the TV show “Opal Hunters”.  Driving through the opal fields we came to “the Breakaways”.  The beautiful colours of the hills and landscape is paint worthy, but it would be very hard to capture the beauty of these colours in a painting. We then continued on past the “salt and pepper”.

Leaving Coober Pedy, we had a couple of overnight stops before making it to Uluru. We spent the first night at Marla Roadhouse and the next at Erldunda Roadhouse. We had told everyone that the chicken burgers at Erldunda were pretty good and thank goodness they still were because quite a few people went and bought one for lunch.  I don’t know if it is still the same chef, but they sure do a pretty good job for a roadhouse in the middle of nowhere.  We had a bit of a rainy afternoon which proved to be our first cold night. However, we woke up to the usual blue sky and warm weather as we set out for Uluru.  

The excitement was building now as we were getting closer. Some got excited when we stopped at Mt Connor which could have been mistaken for Uluru, but it meant we were almost there – just around the corner and there it is, the Olgas in the background and Uluru off to our left. We finally rolled into the campground without too much fuss, and everyone set about organising their tours and what they wanted to see in the couple of days that we were there. In saying that, not too many turned up for happy hour that afternoon!

We got up the next day at the crack of dawn – actually, before the crack of dawn for our bus trip out to Uluru to see it at sunrise. We made it just as the light was turning into that beautiful morning glow and along with all the other tourists, we made our way out to the viewing platform so that we could get that perfect photo. With the sunrise done we did a small tour around all of the important sites at Uluru and learnt a bit about the cultural significance of certain areas. It is amazing to see the real colour of the rock where the rain washes the coating away and leaves a grey black colour. By mid-morning the fly nets were out which didn’t really stop them hitching a ride on our backs into the bus.  

 

We headed back to camp for lunch and a quick siesta, and then we were on the bus again to visit the Olgas.  Some of us did the short walk up into the gorge, and there was water lying around in spots from the recent rain. It was also nice to see some of the wildflowers here and there.  While the Olgas are not as much of a tourist spot as Uluru itself, they are well worth the visit and just as spectacular in a different way with the massive, orange-coloured walls all around you. However, on a hot day it does get very hot in there, so we were lucky for a mild afternoon.  After our walk into the gorge, we headed back to Uluru for our sunset nibbles and drinks and watched the sun set over the stunning rock.  There were many bus groups there to see the sunset, but luckily, we had our own area with a great view. While watching the sun set in the moment it was hard to notice the subtle changes in the sky, but upon looking back at photos taken at two-minute intervals you can really see the change of colour as the shadows move across Uluru as the sun goes down. Everyone was having a great time with the champagne and wine flowing and lots of laughter. It was a great end to a huge day and I’m sure that our tour guide was glad that the day was over too; she did a fantastic job talking to us and looking after us all day.

The next day was a free day for everyone, so we went with a couple of the other safari guests and rode our bikes around the base of Uluru. As we had stopped at all the significant sites the day before it was a bit more about the exercise and experience, but of course we still took a few more pics of things we hadn’t seen before. It ended up being about 14 km all up once we rode back to the car, so it was a nice bit of exercise for the morning.  A rest in the afternoon served us well before we got back on the bus at 7:05pm to visit the field of lights. The bus wasn’t just for us this time, so it was jampacked with people who had tickets for this time slot.  Once we got there we were let loose into the field and stumbled our way around following the little lights on the edge of the path. The colours are an amazing sight and a massive job it was getting it all set up - they say if you strung the lights in a straight line, it would take you all the way to Alice Springs. We heard the call and made our way back to the bus - “Think the bus was over that way?”, we could hear as we made our way back. Once we got on, we found there were no seats left; we figured some bus jumpers must have decided to catch the early one back. But not to worry, we waited for a bit and sure enough another bus came along and took us back to camp.

The next day we said goodbye to Uluru and watched it disappear in our mirrors as we headed to our next stay at Curtin Springs. Driving past this roadhouse you could be forgiven for thinking that it was just a bush overnight stay and a fuel fill-up on your way back out to the Stuart Highway, but stay overnight and see what they have to offer - they have really diversified and made the bush work for them. Walk across the road to the old abattoir, once you get inside it is actually their paper making factory; they make paper out of the spinifex and other natural grasses found on their property along with other paper products that they sell in their shop.  It is definitely worth a stop and a tour with the property owner who will explain how it all began and let you have a go at making your own paper.  After doing this tour we sat around the fire and had some fines, a raffle and sausage sizzle fundraiser. There were lots of laughs and some happy winners, so it was a great night to socialise under the stars. 

It was a much longer drive the next day as we set out for Kings Canyon, but we stopped at a rest area on the way for a coffee and tea break.  A call went out on the UHF that there were some major Mitchell cockatoos sitting in the tree so all those with cameras tried to take pictures of the beautiful birds and their lovely pink colours. That was a real treat to see them cuddling in the tree.

As we arrived in Kings Canyon it was a surprise that they had Telstra service now and apparently only hooked up 3 weeks before we arrived, so we now had mobile service. After Andrew giving everyone the spiel on the rim walks and what to expect a handful set off in the morning to brave the 6km walk with 500 metres of vertical incline at the start and the rest did the other various walks.  We decided to do the Kathleen Springs walk as we hadn’t done it before, and it was well worth it.  With old cattle watering stations and yards along the way, many wildflowers and then a waterhole at the end.  Reading the history along the way it all made sense.  I love the way that Kings Canyon is still fairly untouched and yet still as spectacular as Uluru and has much to offer by the way of walks and spectacular sunsets/sunrises

We only had 2 nights at Kings Canyon and then set off for Erldunda once again but first dropped in to the Karrke Aboriginal Cultural Experience.  We had been here once before, and Peter and Natasha give a very interesting insight into the food, medicine and tools used by the local Indigenous.  We went around to different areas that they had set up with each area dedicated to what they were talking about such as food or medicine, dot painting or tools.  A fabulous experience and one that I will never get tired of seeing and listening too.

On the road again with an overnight stop at Erldunda for more chicken burgers, not as good this time, they may have had a different chef on disappointingly.

We were heading to Alice Springs for our 2-day break where it was free time for everyone to explore the surrounding areas and enjoy Anzac Day services.  Once you start looking around at Alice Springs there is quite a lot to see, from bike rides to the old telegraph station, a drive up to memorial hill with views of Alice and for a longer trip a drive out to either the East and West MacDonnell ranges where there are gorges aplenty.  We decided to stop in at the Desert Park and take in the bird show.  The eagle, hawks and kites all come on command and the beautiful white owl popped out of a log when requested. I’m sure it must take them a long time and a lot of patience to teach the birds to do this, but it resulted in a pretty good show, and I learnt some more about these birds.

After our hiatus at Alice Springs, we ready to be on the road again and set off in the morning for Devils Marbles Hotel.  The camping area out the back was quite small and had been left free for all of us to squeeze into.  We had a stop a morning tea stop at Aileron and had a look at the impressive statutes of the Aileron Man and Aileron Woman and Child then a lunch stop at infamous Barrow Creek stopping outside the telegraph station.  A good rest and then another quick stop at Wycliffe roadhouse on the way to take photos of the aliens and ufo’s that are in abundance there.  Was a sight to see some water in the creek under the bridge and then off to our overnight stop just up the road.

Driving into Devils Marbles it looks like a another dusty roadhouse on the long drive north but walk through the gate into the courtyard and you will see a sparkling pool, green grass and a great happy hour shed.  We all gathered there for happy hour drinks and dinner and as always, the chef served a delicious dinner.

Waking up the next morning we drove 5km down the road to the actual devils’ marbles for a morning tea and time to do some of the walks.  They are quite amazing; you can actually see where the rocks have cracked and broken in half or more pieces and how it would all fit back together into one piece again like a jigsaw puzzle. Erosion over the years have turned them into the rounded boulders that they are now and eventually they will erode away into sand.  They are scattered throughout the park along with the wildflowers.  Take a walk up the hill  and you get a great view of the camping and picnic area.  

Time to move on again to our next short break which was on the northern side of Tennant Creek at the old Telegraph Station.  It looks as though some work has been done here since our last time 3 years ago and it is pretty well kept.  An old cemetery also lies there which tells the tale of 2 pioneers who came to the area.

After our lunch we drove north and turned right heading east towards Qld and onto the Barkly Highway, as always there was a headwind, but we only drove 70km to our overnight stay in a bush camp on the side of the road.  There was plenty of room far back from the road, so the road noise didn’t really bother any of us too much.  It was the perfect night for our RFDS sausage sizzle although we decided to do steak sandwiches this time for something different.  The moon was full, the fire was roaring and the poetry was flowing.  We played a game passing gifts left and right, right again then right and left until we were all confused but eventually ended up with a gift.  

We set off down the Barkly Highway into the headwind again stopping in briefly at Barkly Homestead to catch up on text messages and emails and of course all important coffee and fuel.  That night’s stop was at another bush camp at Avon Downs, opposite the police station.  The police station was put there many years ago to help stop the cattle thieving from the local stations.  

The next day we arrived at Mount Isa, our home for 2 nights.  A busy day the next day starting off the day with a tour of the Outback at Isa learning about Riversleigh fossils then catching up on shopping and a bit of a rest in the afternoon.   We set of for our next stop being the Blue Heeler Hotel.  The Blue Heeler put on a good night with a BBQ for dinner, and we all sat around the front waving to the road trains and watching the sunset.  I was a bit disappointed the brolgas didn’t turn up for a feed this time but it was still a good night.  

We were getting down to the pointy end of our safari now with only 2 more stops with Winton being the next one which was a 2-night stay.  Winton was going to be a busy 2 days with 2 tours and tickets to the Waltzing Matilda Centre.   We were picked up early in the morning for our tour of Bladensburg National Park and the old homestead and shearing shed.  Our guide for the day was Vicki from Red Dirt Tours and she knows an amazing amount about the local area.  It was great to learn all about an area which we hadn’t been into before.  I have always wanted to see the red kangaroos in the wild but learnt that actually only the males are red, and the females are a grey/blue colour, so I probably have seen plenty of them and didn’t even know. There were many kangaroos around and one lone wild dog but surprisingly hardly any tourists in the park.  We stopped at Scrummy Gorge which had a big drop off, you could walk around the edge but after looking at the giant cracks in the surface on the top it was wise to stay a few metres away from the edge.  Vicki and the bus then left us to go to our morning tea stop and get it organised for us while we walked the 700 metres along the side of the creek.  After our morning tea we continued on, crossing a creek and stopped at Scrummy Lookout where we could see Winton in the distance and the beautiful colours of the Mitchell and Flinders grasses, the pink colours really standing out.  

While this was the end of our morning tour, we were picked up again in the afternoon to go to a “jump up” 10km out of town on a private property.  The rifts on this property are incredible, some metres deep and we could actually walk through the bottom of one and then back up the top to our sunset area to watch the sunset with nibbles and drinks.  The private property allows the locals to come up and enjoy the area on the jump up and we could see an area marked off that was earmarked for glamping to be set up, this area is definitely on the move.  Heading back into camp the bush poet was all set up and ready to go for an entertaining night.  We decided that we would have our last happy hour in Winton as the next couple of nights were going to be busy so we had an early final happy hour and we were treated to another great poem written by Fiona, you can find that on our website, awards, fines and thankyous made the night complete.

Last day on the road together, it was a bit sad, but all good things have to come to an end eventually.  We hit the road and was a short day of travel ending up in Longreach.  It was a bit of mayhem going into the caravan park as we had one safari ending and another starting 2 days later so there was some confusion there.  Eventually we all found a site and got ready for our Smithy’s outback tour that afternoon. 

We were picked up by the bus and taken to the Thomson River for a great sunset tour which included turtle feeding and bird watching.  The sunset did not disappoint as we cruised back to the jetty where we were then escorted into the dining area. As always, they put on a great meal and singing entertainment with lots of laughs and a bit of dancing to end the night and to the end of another great safari.  Until next time.

 

Posted in: Tagalong Adventures Australia at 30 May 21

Darling River Run Safari 2020

Exploring the Darling River is an experience not to be missed.  To follow the river and see how it impacts towns and stations along the way and to hear the stories from station owners such as Kallara Station on how they manage the water is a very special experience. 

We stayed at Kallara a couple nights and the station owners were so welcoming and happy to share their stories and even take a few of us out for a drive around the station showing how they manage the water and keep their farms going.   Sitting in front of boiler with the fire going and cooking up a camp oven for dinner was a great way to relax and spend the afternoon.

When we ran this trip a year ago the river was fairly dry and when we stopped in at Tolarno Station there was basically no water at all in the river.  We were able to camp on the banks of the river at their Station enjoying a campfire at night, the stillness of the outback, it was magical.

Travelling through Bourke the river was very low and we were unable to experience the paddle vessel 'Jandra' at that time, but going into the Back o' Bourke Centre and the Stockmans Show was fantastic and really looking forward to seeing that again.  Bourke has a lot to offer and while we were a local tour guide took us on a tour through a cotton gin learning about farming sustainability.

To be able to follow the river again this year will be a different experience, some water has been flowing into the Darling and we will be able to see the changes it has made as we head down to the river.  I'm looking forward to visiting these stations again and to hear their stories on how they adapt to the changes and keep their stations running.

Another great place we visited was Brewarrina with a great free camp right on the Barwon River and if you head into the information centre in town you can get a tour of the ancient Aboriginal fish traps, another insight on how the water in the river was used

Seeing a part of outback NSW that you don't normally get to see is a truly unique experience and the landscape is incredible with the changing colors and scenery that only this part of the country offers.

Check out our youtube video below showing the highlights of this fantastic safari following the length of the river.  This is such a diverse tagalong including Lightning Ridge, Silverton and Mungo National Park, something for everyone!

https://youtu.be/lfti0dOqhow

Posted in: Tagalong Adventures Australia at 20 July 20

Uluru and Beyond Tagalong Safari 2018

Port Augusta in South Australia was the starting point for the Uluru and Beyond tagalong Safari 2018.  This was going to be an epic trip away with 37 other fellow members.  We were all looking forward to travelling and exploring new country over the next 21 days.

         

Our meeting point was to be Spear Creek Caravan Park, a beautiful little park nestled in the base of the Flinders Rangers just outside Port Augusta, actually located on a working sheep farm. You may be discouraged by the rough road in, including some gravel road (in fact the gravel was better than the main road out front, but once you get past that you can settle down on the grass amongst the trees and begin to unwind and in our case meet our new friends (and tell a few yarns) that we would be travelling with for the next few weeks.

We arrived the day prior and to our surprise most of our new friends were already there getting to know each other, telling stories and so forth. Happy hour was started on the afternoon following and we all got to know each other better, followed by a BBQ dinner that night and a few more stories.

Our first day on the road together today, off we left en route Coober Pedy.  Due to the distance we would have an over night stop at Glendambo Roadhouse, passing through Woomera on the way for a lunch stop, with a member later telling us some stories about the rockets that were there from his experience. The next day we headed to Coober Pedy to stay for the next couple of nights where we had tours organised for everybody.

Our members had half a day to take in the sights at their leisure with lunch provided in the cafe and a half day tour where we were shown history, opal cutting and mining, an underground house and mine.  The tour included a visit out to the breathtaking Breakaways including a stop at the Dingo Proof Fence.  This is a fence that was built during the 1880’s to control dingo’s and wild dog movements across Australia.

      

Next we travelled north towards the township of Yulara (at the outskirts of Uluru) over 3 days, stopping over night firstly at Marla Roadhouse, where we formed a wagon circle around the grass and enjoyed an afternoon together.  A few members decided the local establishment looked good for dinner, must have been good as later that night one member came out from the hotel and had misplaced their motorhome, fortunately we were able to locate their home for them! The next day we kept heading north in anticipation of a famous Chicken burger from the Erldunda Roadhouse which was our next nights stop over, again nice grass sites and magical sunsets to see the day out.

The next day we arrived at one of the major highlights of the trip for everybody, Uluru, where we stayed at the Ayers Rock Campground for 3 nights.  The first day’s activity was a big day, up for a sunrise tour, coffee and biscuits, then onto a guided tour around the rock itself, lead by our trusty tour guide “driver” (that was his name seriously), then Driver dropped us back at camp for a couple of hours rest so that we were ready for our afternoon’s activity including a gorge walk at The Olgas, wine and canapés watching sunset on the Rock (unfortunately it was overcast so not much of a sunset this time).

      

After such a big day we all had a rest day the next day, sleep in and members went off to do their own thing including camel rides, helicopter flights and scenic plane flights to name a few, but we all had to be ready for our night excursion to the fabulous Field of Lights exhibit that night.

Unfortunately our time at Uluru had come to an end and it was time to head for Kings Canyon. Our time at Kings Canyon resort included free time to be able to visit Kings Canyon, either the 6 km rim walk or the gorge walk. About 15 of us braved the 500 metre climb to start the rim walk early in the morning while the rest of the group decided on the more relaxed gorge walk.  Dinner that night was at the Outback BBQ at the resort, we all enjoyed the meal, live music, great company then on the road again bound for Alice Springs over a couple of days. 

En-route we visited Karrke Aboriginal Cultural experience where we heard from the traditional owners about bush medicine, traditional food, hunting and dot paintings to name a few.  We all thoroughly enjoyed this experience and the way that Peter and his wife explained the traditional customs was very informative.

     

On our way to Alice Springs we once again stayed at Erldunda with some of us enjoying the roast meal at the tavern that night.  Leaving Erldunda we travelled to Alice Springs staying for 3 nights giving everyone a time to rest, rejuvenate and absorb our trip so far. 

We hired a mini bus and ferried members to the shops and some local attractions while others decided to take in some extra tours, camel rides, cultural visits and a drive through the East or West MacDonnell Ranges in their own vehicles or hire cars.  

Whilst we were at Alice Springs we remembered our Anzacs on Anzac day at the dawn service.  Andrew once again played “driver” to get the members that wished to partake in the service along to Anzac Hill, we followed this by our own morning tea at camp with donations for Anzac biscuits being made to the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Red Poppies made by a member with donations going towards the RSL.  One of the members shared a very informative story about the role women played in the war in particular one amazing woman.

      

We had also decided to collect our cans and bottles during the trip ( a suggestion of a member at the start) and while in Alice Springs we took all the collection to the recycling centre and the money was also donated to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Off we go again on our next leg towards Mt Isa.  This was a long stretch of the trip happening over 3 overnight stays.  The first stop was at Devils Marbles Roadhouse with a beaut dinner at the roadhouse that night (the chef being awarded top chef in NT).  In the morning we stopped at the Devils Marbles, a must stop on this leg, continuing north through Tennant Creek and visiting the old Telegraph Station for lunch stop.  Here we bid farewell to a member as they left our convoy heading north toward Darwin and a further 6 months on the road.

We free camped on the Barkly Highway, enjoying happy hour, trying to ignore the heat, wind and flies. We did make a stop for morning tea at Barkly Homestead, with most of us enjoying a coffee and snack.  We then stopped again at another free camp on the Barkly Highway with some entertainment by a member and some more happy hour.

       

Mt Isa was out next stop, with time to explore the city that afternoon.  The next day we embarked on a bus tour taking in the Outback at Isa experience and a delicious lunch there, then we headed out to lovely Lake Moondarra, this was built for the mines and in fact the largest water scheme funded by private enterprise in Australia, it is quite spectacular and well worth a visit. Once again we said farewell to a member who was leaving us to head north towards Cairns.

Our safari was starting to get towards the end as we headed on towards Winton, this visit was to be a highlight with the opportunity to visit the newly opened Waltzing Matilda Centre.  We took a tour out to the Australian Dinosaur Museum with a tour of the collection centre and also Dinosaur Canyon.  What an amazing place this is.  We were treated to a sunset and nibbles and enjoyed each others company watching the sunset from the top of the jump up

        

Our time had come to an end and we needed to head towards our last destination of Longreach.  En-route to Longreach we stopped overnight at the Walkabout Creek Hotel, made famous in the movie “Crocodile Dundee”.   The flies were pretty thick here so most of us opted for dinner in the pub and a few games of pool and lots of laughs, what a great night and great hosts at this pub.

Off we went on our last day on the road ending in Longreach.   We ended the day with our last happy hour together with a few awards and presents being given out and a lot of laughs.

Our last day together we had a full day of free time and with everyone receiving tickets to the Qantas Museum and Stockman’s Hall of Fame, safari members were able to walk or drive and visit these venues at their own leisure.  The last night we all went on a sunset cruise on the Thomson River and enjoyed a great meal and entertainment at Smithy’s Outback Show.

     

Now this Safari was finished and new friends were made.  A time to reflect on the trip and the great times together and to look forward to possible new trips together to explore this great and diverse country that we live in.

See you somewhere around the campfire smiley

Andrew and Renee

Posted in: Tagalong Adventures Australia at 30 September 18

Small Town Surprises

Just got back from checking through our up coming Opals & Gold Safari this will run in October this year, taking in some great areas including Lightning Ridge, Hill End and lots more, see the tours section for more information. When setting up the routes we take, I quite often try to take the roads less travelled as you never know what you may find.  On this reccie we decided to pass through a small town called Carinda just south west of Walgett NSW.  A typical small country town with a sports ground (free camp) dozen houses or so and yes a local hotel.  Now we learned when we got there this hotel featured in a David Bowie film clip, so it just goes to show that we need to take the time when passing through these small towns as there is always something of interest to see.

Something which I had time to ponder on our last reccie was communication.  We live in a world where communication, specifically mobile phones, are becoming a “must have”.  When travelling outback it is expected that between towns you may not have phone reception and a lot of people will take a Telstra phone because they have the best coverage.  Now we travelled through a town recently that I would say is not remote, in fact would be less than 1 hour from Toowoomba.  We stopped at the Local for dinner and just out the back was a very nice free camp, no phone service at all, never have had phone service!.  The publican advised us that 5k either side of town you could get service. We need to remember that travelling throughout this awesome country we have, we cannot rely on our mobile phone’s, and I would suggest that all caravan’s, motorhomes and frequent outback travellers should at the very least have a quality UHF and antennae along with a trip plan that you leave with relatives and or friends.  We carry 2 x vehicle based UHF’s, a 5w handheld, Sat Phone, Spot gen3 (EPIRB) and a Telstra and Optus phones (yes there are places that Optus works and Telstra doesn’t)

 

Don’t be afraid to get out and Xplore our great country and experience its hospitality on your next Xciting Xpedition.

Catch you round the campfire

Andrew

 

Posted in: Tagalong Adventures Australia at 16 July 18