July 8 2014 – Melbourne to Halls Gap
Easing gently into it with a short (compared with what was to come!) to the Grampians. We were greeted with a bit of sunshine after the grey skies of Melbourne and spotted kangaroos and emu on the way to the campsite.

Then a quick trip up to the wonderland carpark to do the Pinnacle walk via the Grand Canyon (no not the famous one!).
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  • 272 km
  • Borough Huts Campground


July 9 2014 – Halls Gap – Mildura
A soggy start to the morning, not what we’d hoped for. Coffee in Hopetoun at the Butchers where we also picked up some excellent sausages, followed by a fruit eating binge before crossing into a fruitfly exclusion zone.

A quick stop in Red Cliffs to see Big Lizzie before heading into Mildura and sheltering from the rain in the shops. Cross the Murray River and sneak into New South Wales for the night, greeted by Pelicans and a torrential shower just as we’re setting up.
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  • 396 km
  • Buronga Riverside Tourist Park


July 10 2014 – Mildura – Leigh Creek
A day of driving, sunshine and rain showers. Cross into South Australia, we spot a twin in Morgan whilst stopped for coffee and plenty of wildlife along the way.
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  • 731 km

July 11 2014 – Leigh Creek – Coober Pedy
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Hiding from the fliesCamping Spot at Hutchison Memorial, Coober PedyWake up to sunshine and we’re confident we’ve put the cooler daytime temps and rain behind us. Time to go off road on the Oodnadatta Track. Wedge tailed eagles overhead and salt pans shimmer in the distance. Outside it would be quite pleasant if it wasn’t for those pesky flies!

A short diversion to see the mound springs bubbling, a painted dragon basking at the bottom.

Next stop, the strange landscape of Coober Pedy and the Stuart Highway.

A night under a clear sky and a spot of nightime photography at the Hutchison Memorial.

  • 491 km
  • Hutchison Memorial Rest Stop

July 12 2014 – Coober Pedy – Uluru
Coober Pedy SignMining around Coober Pedy
Leaving behind the mounds arising from the opal mining in Coober Pedy it’s a big push north to get into the Northern Territory and onto Uluru in time for sunset. We make it just in time! Australia, Uluru, Northern Territory

  • 756 km
  • Ayers Rock Campground overflow

July 13 2014 – Uluru

After going to bed under clear skies we woke up to a cold grey morning that soon turned to drizzle. Mocked by signs reminding us to drink plenty of water, we walked from the visitor centre to the rock and then around to Kantju Gorge, lovely and peaceful and out of the wind. A surprising amount of plants and other interesting things around for what looks fairly barren from a distance, we spotted quite a few of what we later found out to be mulga ant nests.

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Valley of the Winds walk amongst the Olgas in the afternoon. The upside of the rain was that we had the place pretty much to ourselves, and despite the name the majority of the walk was out the wind and really quite tranquil. Driving back to Yulara resort Uluru had disappeared completely in the drizzle.

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  • 120 km
  • Ayers Rock Campground overflow

July 14 2014 – Uluru to Alice Springs/Standley Chasm

Another drizzly start which looks unlikely to change so we divert from our planned itinerary of going to Kings Canyon and head for Alice Springs in the hope of finding some sunshine.

A spot of shopping there before heading to the West MacDonnell Ranges. Black footed rock wallabies at Simpsons Gap (less gormless looking than Kangaroos) and camping at Standley Chasm

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  • 492 km
  • Standley Chasm

July 15 2014 – Standley Chasm to Devils Marbles

Finally a morning of sunshine, this must be the end of the clouds now we’re this far north. A morning walk up Standley Chasm, a quick hike up part of the Larapinta Trail to reach an excellent vantage point and then a walk down the creek before heading north once more.

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  • 461 km
  • Devils Marbles

July 16 2014 – Devils Marbles to Katherine

A great site to wake up in, amongst the ‘marbles’ as the sun came up. Another long driving day, eased by the knowledge that it would be the last.

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  • 769 km

July 17 2014 – Katherine

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Enjoyed the warmth in Katherine, walked to the Hot Springs (more tepid than hot) for a dip before lunch. Kangaroo Steaks for dinner.

  • ~ km

July 18 2014 – Katherine to Umbrawarra Gorge

A 3 Gorge Cruise in Nitmiluk National Park. Arrive to a cacophony of noise from the flying foxes roosting in the trees above. Get a glimpse of a freshwater crocodile as we board the first boat but that was the only sighting. Enjoy a refreshing swim in the river before returning.

A short journey to Edith Falls at the other end of the park and another swim.

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  • 112 km

July 19 2014 – Umbrawarra Gorge to Gunlom, Kakadu

A peaceful walk at Umbrawarra Gorge, some nice swimming spots but too early and cool in the day to be inviting. The Cathedral Termite mounds have become larger and more numerous the further north we go. Many along the side of the highway have been dressed.

Umbrawarra Gorge Nature ParkCathedral Termite Mounds in the Northern Territory

  • 130 km
  • Gunlom camping area

July 20 2014 – Gunlom, Kakadu

A ranger guided walk to the lookout over Gunlom. Lots of pools to swim in and explore. Spend the afternoon in the plunge pool at the bottom. In the evening we look for crocodiles by torch light but only find a black footed tree rat and a file snake.

Infinity Pool, GunlomPools above Gunlom Falls, Kakadu NP, NTPools above Gunlom Falls, Kakadu NP, NT

  • 130 km
  • Gunlom camping area

July 21 2014 – Gunlom, Kakadu to Florence Falls, Lichfield NP

From Kakadu to Lichfield, to Florence Falls campsite, hugest sites I’ve ever seen. Plenty of water flowing here, but hot too so it’s nice to cool down with a dip in Florence Falls. Unfortunately the biting insects are out in force too. Spot a bower birds nest on the walk.
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  • 300 km
  • Florence Falls 2WD campsite

July 22 2014 – Lichfield NP

A morning walk to Buley Waterhole, a quick trip to Bachelor stopping at the Magnetic Termite Mounds and then a late afternoon swim and walk at Wangi Falls.

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  • 60 km
  • Florence Falls 2WD campsite

July 23 2014 – Lichfield NP

A trip to the ‘Lost City’ and a walk at Tolmer Falls and swimming again at Wangi.

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  • 60 km
  • Florence Falls 2WD campsite

July 24 2014 – Lichfield NP to Darwin

IMG_1398A visit to the Territory Wildlife Park included feeding the Fresh Water Rays. Into Darwin for sunset at Mindl Beach Market. Lots of yummy food.

  • 140 km
  • Wulagi

July 24 2014 – Darwin

IMG_1491Darwin Museum, Leanyer Water Park, East Point, Stokes Hill Wharf, Bicentennial Park, Doctors Gully, Cullen Bay Marina, Steak Dinner, fly home