Lewis' Exploring Oz

On and off the beaten track…………………….

Mt Isa, Barkly Hwy and The Devils marbles – Sept 2011

Posted by lewisfamilyexploringoz on October 11, 2011

Fountain Spring Rest Area

Barkly Homestead-Roadhouse

Frewana Overnight camp

Hi Everyone,

We packed up but the car wouldn’t start so we got a jump-start from a new neighbour who was way friendlier than the gennie Nazi! We were off finally and decided to do the cracking pace of 25km/hr on the crappy road out of Adels Grove as we don’t have a spare tyre and can’t afford to get a puncture at all.  We stopped every 5-10kms to check the tyres and made it safe and sound back to Gregory Downs and the bitumen.  It was the longest and bumpiest 90kms we’ve ever done! We stopped here to pump

Gorgeous sunset with windmill

Art at The Pebbles

Tennant Ck Visitor Centre

Kids climbing rocks

the tyres back up, morning tea and a toilet break. We made the Burke and Wills Roadhouse for a late lunch and once again burgers were the order of the day. They were pretty fast coming

Devils Marbles Camp

out and were delicious too. Back on the road which was dual lane bitumen all the way to Cloncurry where we stopped to get some fuel.  We rang our friend Annie in Mt Isa to organise a catch up and stopped for the night at a free camp rest area called Fountain Springs (#305 in Camps 5 book).  It is about half-way between Cloncurry and Mt Isa and we had full mobile phone service here in the middle of nowhere!  We stayed in Mt Isa again at the Coppercity Riverside Tourist Park where we had this same time last year. We found the place where we need to

Interesting shapes.......

How did they get up there

take our van tomorrow for new tyres and fuelled the car. We visited with Annie and met her new hubby Scott and several of the neighbours too.  We had a fantastic day drinking and catching up and the boys caught up with Billy too, speaking the language of teenagers = TV, games and computers.  Annie ordered in pizzas for tea which were delicious and amazingly there was even some

Rock formations

left over! We headed home in the wee hours of the morning after a great night, Thanks Annie and your neighbours are great too! Bloody hell got no photos again! – having too much fun we were.  The next day we picked up our mail, I shopped while Joel sorted the van with new tyres and re-set up again in the caravan park. More shopping, getting Daniel a pre-paid SIM card for his new phone, (which came in the mail) and a cover and screen protector as well.  While the boys looked through EB Games, I went looking through Annie’s new shop called Passion for Fashion.  She had some great clothes in there and some brilliant accessories too.  I bought a lovely, dressy singlet top and when we get into a house again I will get a catalogue from her for sure! I could have

Perfectly balanced

Sunset with smoke haze

Almost gone

bought a number of pieces but have no-where to wear them at the moment.  Wade and I bought new hats, Akubra style at Way out West and Daniel just wanted a canvas one.  The kids went with Annie back to her place to play games with Billy and Joel and I ran around getting spares and repairs for the van and car.  We joined them all later with some cake for the kids and after a bit of chatting we went back to the van.  We got Daniel’s phone working and now he has credit so he is one happy, little chappie! I rang and chatted to my sister who is on her way out of the country tonight to head to Italy.  She is so excited and i hope she has a fantastic trip.  She will be catching up with some of our relatives that we have never met and until a few weeks ago, didn’t even know existed!  I am so excited for her!   We left Mt Isa today and will end up doing a long drive as we have been this way before and know there’s not much to see.  We stopped to stretch our legs at the Barkly Homestead but want to get a few more kms in before we stop for the night. The kids did a heap of schoolwork today in the car and we stopped for the night at a free camp called Frewana Rest Area (#6 in the Camps 5 book).  It was a great, little spot and way out back there was a dam, full of bird life too.  We went for a walk down to the dam but the track was under water but you could still see heaps of birds and even pelicans!  There was a

Boulder cracked in half

Sunset makes the rocks glow

Sunrise at campsite

great sunset tonight and i managed to snap a lovely photo of the sunset with a silhouette of a windmill – a very iconic Aussie photo. Made spaghetti bolognese for tea and after showers and dishes we hunkered down for another episode of VM.

Not much to pack up so off to an early start.  We stopped at The Pebbles, just outside of Tennant Creek.  We had a bit of a walk around but didn’t think it was really worth the stop.  You can camp out here and there are new pit toilets as well and nobody else around! We continued on to Tennant

Red sunrise from too much smoke

Morning climb

Winery in the desert

Creek and stopped at the Battery Hill Tourist Centre to pick up a couple of maps of Alice Springs and The Red Centre.  We had our lunch in the car park then headed southwards to the Devils Marbles Campground where we hoped to camp for the night.  It cost only $7.70 for a family per night and there were pit toilets as well.  There were quite a few campers and vans here already and we managed to finally find a level site up the back of the campground.  It’s such a lovely place. The kids spent the arvo roaming around and climbing on the rocks.

So many fires

Wind funnels picking up the ash

Joel cooked a chilli con carne then went for a run while I wandered around taking some photos.  I went for a great walk down from the campground to the day use area and further up to a much photographed set of rocks.  When I got back Joel and I walked up onto the rocks to watch the sunset and get a few more photos. We got back to find even more people camping up and the guy next door was roaming around with his tomahawk.  I told Joel I didn’t like the look of it and I went inside.  When I went back outside the guy was still outside near our van and was about to chop down a living tree.  I asked him to stop and that it was a National Park and to take a good look around and see that there wasn’t many trees around anyway and did he really feel the need to chop this one down! He stopped it but his kids were picking up leaves and all sorts as they wanted to make a fire. I went inside as I was pretty upset (and wanted to strangle the bastard) so Joel went over and offered him our stash of wood off the roof of the car as his kids were only little and they looked like

Tropic of Capricorn

Welcome to the Alice

they weren’t really campers.  His very cute, little kids came over to invite us over to sit around the fire later.  We went over for a while and met another older couple who were travelling the same way as us.  We exchanged a lot of info about places to see and things to do.  I woke up early and got up to take some sunrise shots of the rocks.  There is still a lot of smoke-haze around and the colours weren’t really that great.  We packed up and started our trek towards Alice Springs.  We stopped at a little place called Ti-Tree.  There was a winery and a mango farm here, out here in the middle of the desert! I couldn’t believe it.  We stopped and bought some mango ice-cream, made on the premises and continued driving.  We made Alice Springs in the afternoon and are staying at the Big4 MacDonnell Ranges Holiday Park. 

Till next time

Ciao`

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