This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.


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2007 Travels June 8

FRIDAY 8 JUNE   TENNANT CREEK TO DUNMARRA ROADHOUSE   360kms

Before doing anything else this morning, I sent an email to A and T, to send mail to Kununurra. Also sent emails off to son and daughter in law.

Today’s was a very routine pack up and move, straight north up the Stuart Highway – “The Track” in local parlance.

There were heaps of caravans heading north. The grey nomads well and truly on the move. Not many of them had stayed in the same caravan park as us though. It really had not been very busy at all. We seemed to spend all morning passing vans that were slower than our little rig.

I was a bit distracted by the passing scenery, but not enough to keep from feeling anxious about son.

We reached Dunmarra , which was just the Roadhouse, camping ground and associated buildings, about 3pm.  Refuelled – $1.58cpl.

Took a powered site in the rather pleasant little campground – $17.50 for the night. There was ample shade, and the amenities were adequate.

Pleasant overnight stop at Dunmarra Roadhouse

Only needed the basic, quick overnight unpack, being able to keep van hitched up.

Then sat around in the shade which made for very pleasant relaxing, watching the groups of apostle  birds that gathered around us. The antics of these very sociable birds were always entertaining – we had encountered them before.

The birds……..
Apostle birds

Went for a stroll around the establishment, which did not take long, but gave the illusion of a little exercise.

A couple of really creepy looking characters came into an area of the roadhouse surrounds, that we could see from where we were sitting in camp. They were in an old sedan, with no plates or registration sticker. We noticed that they parked the vehicle off to one side, out of sight of the highway, before going into the roadhouse. They came out after a while, and drove away. I was pleased they were not staying.

We spent some time discussing tomorrow’s move. Essentially, everywhere west of the Stuart Highway, through as far as Broome, would be new ground for M, whereas we had visited those parts three times to date. It was not a part of the country we tired of, and there were still plenty of places we still had not gotten to.

We would take the unsealed Buchanan Highway to the NW. The issue was whether to continue through on that, to the main Victoria Highway, a route that John and I had taken before. It passed through the large Victoria River Downs station and then the Jasper Gorge. I wanted to take the Buntine Highway north from Top Springs, in order to visit the eastern section of Gregory National Park, which would be new for me and which had some walks to do.  For once, I won!


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2000 Travels June 19

MONDAY 19 JUNE   TENNANT CREEK TO DUNMARRA   373kms

Under the impact of seeing L and P pack up and head off for Karumba, John decided we would go today, after all. We left the park about 10am.

John put some grease on the van wheels before we left.

We went straight to the Post Office. The mail had arrived! We’d have been rather inconvenienced if it hadn’t.

We then went to the Education Centre and saw John’s bowls friend. It seemed to me to be pretty disorganized in there. The aboriginal students were older teens or adults. They were at least using computers, which was something. From what I could see, there was a huge need for materials development, to support such learning. The centre also offered VET programs, such as health work, but we didn’t get any indication as to successful completion of same.

Neither of us was tempted to change our plans for this!

We left there after midday. It was quite hot. We ate lunch as we travelled.

It was fairly monotonous country, mostly flat and featureless grass and scrub country.

North of Elliott, we passed a big Trakmaster van, made contact on the CB, and pulled over for a talk. They were Victorians, from Wedderburn, who had been travelling for a week longer than us. Theur van was 19 foot long and was the first full caravan that Trakmaster built. It was more spacious inside than our minimalist rig. They had also had electrical/wiring problems, running three solar panels and two batteries – installation of that system done by the same man as did ours. Hmmm…….

We got to Dunmarra about 5pm. This is essentially a roadhouse and motel, with a basic caravan park area, for overnighting, adjoining it. We paid $10 for a powered site at the Wayside Stop and did not need to unhitch. It was a pleasant enough place to overnight.

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Late afternoon at Dunmarra Roadhouse camp

We had passed one wayside rest area, not far south of Dunmarra, where there were about ten units all setting up for the night. They were all crowded together – much more crowded than here.

On dusk, we had a short walk around the camping area and saw a bush thick knee, hiding by a bush.

06-19-2000 bush thick knee dunmurra

Bush Thick-knee (Curlew)

Tea was soup, pasta with tuna, caper, olive etc sauce, and pears.

I phoned K. The dog is going fairly well and seemed to be happy enough.

Being by the main north south highway, there was a lot of passing truck traffic through the night.

06-19-2000 to dunmurra.JPG