Photographs and Adventures

Posts tagged “Northern Territory

Roadside Birds on Tablelands Highway, N.T.

Tablelands Highway stretches on for hundreds of kilometres through the Mitchell grass plains which was all very dry in this time of drought. These are some of the birds we spotted along the way:

Bustard, which is quite a big bird. Bigger than I had imagined.

Bustard, which is quite a big bird. Bigger than I had imagined.

Bustard in flight.

Bustard in flight.

Wedgetail Eagle perched on roadkill. (From a long way away!)

Wedgetail Eagle perched on roadkill. (From a long way away!)

Which also took off on our approach.

Which also took off on our approach.

Brolgas in front of termite mounds. The young one doesn't have the red on it's head.

Brolgas in front of termite mounds. The young one doesn’t yet have the red on it’s head.

Windmill at a roadside rest area, to provide water from the artesian basin for travellers.

Windmill at a roadside rest area, to provide water from the artesian basin for travellers.

The water at the rest areas attracts lots of little birds in this arid area.

The water at the rest areas attracts lots of little birds, such as these honey eaters,  in this arid area.


Free Camping is Great!

Following are just some photos I took in a few different free camps that I thought I would share. When you think of free camping, you tend to think of dusty roadside stops, but if you choose carefully, there are some wonderful places you are able to camp absolutely free of charge.

Free camping spot off the Carpentaria Highway in the Northern Territory.

Free camping spot off the Carpentaria Highway in the Northern Territory.

The beautiful sunset was also free of charge.

The beautiful sunset colours were also free of charge.

As was the trumpet serenade.

As was the trumpet serenade.

I don't know if you have heard of Geocaching?We found this Geocache

I don’t know if you have heard of Geocaching?

Geocaching is a real-world treasure hunt that’s happening right now, all around the world. Apparently there are 2,468,534 active geocaches and over 6 million geocachers worldwide. We have found one cache….accidentally. It was tucked away in a hole in a rock beyond the edge of the camp area.

Following are a few photos of some of the birds we spotted fluttering around our camp.

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Bitter Springs near Mataranka

Mataranka, in the Northern Territory, is famous for it’s hot springs. Bitter Springs is just down the road at the north east end of Mataranka township, and much less commercial and therefore more appealing to people like us. The headwaters of the Roper River inside Elsey National Park (where crocodiles are managed) are popular for bushwalking, birdwatching, canoeing, swimming and fishing. These pools flow at a constant 32 degrees C. and are still very much in their natural state. Swimmers can glide with the current downstream to view the beautiful riparian vegetation and birdlife along the way. With a mask and snorkel, small fish and turtles can be seen as the water is fantastically clear. I don’t have too many photos from Bitter Springs, as we were too busy swimming and enjoying the warm waters while we were there.

The first glimpse of the stream as you approach Bitter Springs doesn't give away the secrets awaiting when you arrive at the swimming area of the springs.

The first glimpse of the stream as you approach Bitter Springs doesn’t give away the secrets awaiting when you arrive at the swimming area of the springs.

The warm, crystal clear waters are ideal for a relaxing swim…or float down the stream.

The warm, crystal clear blue tinted waters are ideal for a relaxing swim…or just float down the stream and enjoy the weightless sensation of floating in warm gently flowing water.

Native growing tall palm trees add a tropical touch.

Native growing tall palm trees add a tropical touch.

It is easy to spend hours relaxing in the warm, clear water.

It is easy to spend hours relaxing in the warm, clear water.

Mataranka thermal springs are definitely not to be missed if you are travelling in the Northern Territory. In fact, we visited twice on this trip, both on our way up to Katherine and when we began our trip back down south. It is a very special place and not a crocodile in sight!


Galvans Gorge & Adcock Gorge

We have been to some very remote places on this trip, and often the GPS doesn’t even know where we are.

This is what the middle of nowhere looks like on the GPS.

This is what the middle of nowhere looks like on the GPS.

And this is what it looks like through the windscreen.

And this is what it looks like through the windscreen.

One particularly beautiful place we visited was Galvans Gorge which is not far from the Mt. Barnett Roadhouse.

One particularly beautiful place we visited was Galvans Gorge, which is not far from the Mt. Barnett Roadhouse.

It is lovely to swim in, and quite easy to climb up and sit below the waterfall.

It is lovely to swim in, and quite easy to climb up and sit below the waterfall.

We all enjoyed a cooling swim in the clean waters.

We all enjoyed a cooling swim in the clean waters.

The walk in to Galvans Gorge runs alongside this water lily filled creek.

The walk in to Galvans Gorge runs alongside this water lily filled creek.

This water monitor was unperturbed by people passing his rock perch.

This water monitor was unperturbed by people passing his rock perch.

Later in the afternoon, we also visited Adcock gorge, but didn't swim there as the water was in shadow and quite cold.

Later in the afternoon, we also visited Adcock gorge, but didn’t swim there as the water was in shadow and quite cold.

There are so many gorgeous gorges on the Gibb River Road, and we are doing our best to visit most of them.


Somewhere near Timber Creek, N.T.

We arrived at the Victroia River in Gregory National Park at dusk, just in time for this sensational sunset.

We arrived at the Victroia River in Gregory National Park at dusk, just in time for this sensational sunset.

There were lots of people camping in the campground, so we set up camp under the trees near the boat ramp.

The evening colours were a a range of beautiful pinks and yellows.

The evening colours were a a range of beautiful pinks and yellows.

I walked down to the river again in the morning. I didn't see any crocs but...

I walked down to the river again in the morning. I didn’t see any crocs but…

I did see this oh-so-cute dog

Dog at Victoria River

Dog guarding the  Victoria River boat ramp.

The birdlife was quite prolific.

The birdlife was quite prolific. I think this was a Buzzard sitting in the gum tree. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Bird of prey, in the twisted branches of a boab.

Bird of prey, in the twisted branches of a boab.

These little corellas were noisy companions in the tree top.

These Little Corellas were noisy companions in the tree top.

Our last avian discovery was this Great Bowerbird in his bower. He had collected lots of white stones and green glass to decorate his love nest.

Our last avian discovery was this Great Bowerbird in his bower. He had collected lots of white stones and green glass to decorate his love nest.

 


Longreach Water Hole, near Elliott, N.T.

A friend suggested we visit Longreach Water Hole, just north of Elliott. It is a free camping area, suitable for bush camping, with no facilities provided. It is also an absolute  heaven for birdwatchers. There were literally thousands of birds of many different varieties, both in the air and on the water.

Longreach Waterhole

Fishing at Longreach Water Hole.

Pelicans in their thousands fishing in the waters of Lake Woods.

Pelicans in their thousands were also fishing in the waters of Lake Woods. This is only a small portion of the enormous flock.

Rainbow Bee Eaters were prolific, flitting through the trees.

Rainbow Bee Eaters were prolific, flitting through the trees.

White egret fishing in the shallows.

White egret fishing in the shallows.

Birds of prey filled the air, circling endlessly.

Birds of prey filled the air, circling endlessly.

The young Spoonbill followed it's mother, calling incessantly to be fed.

The young Spoonbill followed it’s mother, calling incessantly to be fed.

Another Rainbow Bee Eater. The long tail feather indicates an adult bird.

Another Rainbow Bee Eater. The long tail feather indicates an adult bird.

A less welcome find were the Cane Toads which seem to have taken over the shallows.

A less welcome find were the Cane Toads which seem to have taken over the shallows.

In the evenings, we enjoyed  a cosy camp fire.

In the evenings, we enjoyed a cosy camp fire.

Wading ibis silhouetted by the sunset.

Wading ibis silhouetted by the sunset.

A perfect, stunning sunset over the peaceful waters. This was a truly beautiful place to stay.

A perfect, stunning sunset over the peaceful waters. This was a truly beautiful place to stay.


Devil’s Marbles revisited

We couldn’t pass by the Devil’s Marbles without stopping to go for a bit of exploration . These are such interesting rock formations, and well worth a visit if you get the chance.

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Kings Canyon…again

We are re-visiting some of the areas in the Northern Territory that we first travelled to three years ago. Kings Canyon is one place we didn’t want to miss, but I didn’t think I would take many photos this time. I was wrong. It is impossible not to be impressed by the majesty of the whole area. It is approximately a 6km walk around the top of the gorge, with a steep climb at the start. It is worth every step of the way. I hope you enjoy the photos.

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Pound Walk at Ormiston Gorge

We thought a four hour walk around the gorge and pound was energetic. These people had hiked all the way through the ranges from Ellery Creek Big Hole to Ormiston Gorge.

We thought a four hour walk around the gorge and pound was energetic. These people had hiked over several days all the way through the ranges from Ellery Creek Big Hole to Ormiston Gorge. And they were still smiling!

The pound walk was quite a climb, but very beautiful.

The pound track was quite a climb, but very beautiful.

We climbed to the lookout at the top of this hill, which gave a magnificent of the pound below with the creek running through it.

We climbed to the lookout at the top of this hill, which gave a magnificent of the pound below with the creek running through it.

The view from the top...

The view from the bottom of the pound…

This dingo was hiding in the rocks beyond Ormiston creek that runs through the pound.

This dingo was hiding in the rocks beyond Ormiston creek that runs through the pound.

The sandy 'beach' on the creek. The dingo was in the rocks on the other side.

The sandy ‘beach’ on the creek. The dingo was in the rocks you can see on the left hand side.

The track certainly had it's ups and downs.

The track certainly had it’s ups and downs.

Peter liked the sound of the trumpet echoing around the gorge.

Peter liked the sound of the trumpet echoing around the gorge.

This spinifex pigeon was pecking around at the side of the track.

This spinifex pigeon was pecking around at the side of the track.

If you look closely there are all sorts of bugs and insects camouflaged amongst the rocks and plants.

If you look closely there are all sorts of bugs and insects camouflaged amongst the rocks and plants.


West McDonnell Ranges

From Alice Springs, we turned left into Larapinta Drive to explore the West MacDonnell Ranges. The drive west of Alice is glorious with glowing red rocky mountain ranges lining both sides of the road.

Rock formation along the road.

Rock formation along the road.

Ellery Creek Big Hole is serene and beautiful, and way too cold for swimming at this time of the year.

Ellery Creek Big Hole is serene and beautiful, and way too cold for swimming at this time of the year.

Clear waters of Ellery Creek.

The clear waters of Ellery Creek.

Ormiston Gorge waterhole is another superb and peaceful spot.

Ormiston Gorge waterhole is another superb and peaceful spot.

There were flocks of zebra finches and these were frolicking in the waterhole.

There were flocks of zebra finches and these were frolicking in the waterhole. This one is for you, Mel!

Rock wallabies sunning themselves on a rocky ledge.

Rock wallabies sunning themselves on a rocky ledge.

The rugged ranges around Ormiston Gorge.

The rugged ranges around Ormiston Gorge. The tiny blue-green speck on the left is the camp-ground.


Into The Northern Territory

At the border of South Australia & The Northern Territory

We stayed in the free camp at the border of South Australia & The Northern Territory, where we walked in the bush behind the camp. We came across this tree with very rough cork-like bark and a wonderful twisted shape.

The wind makes patterns in the red sands from the grasses that grow in the desert.

The wind makes patterns in the red sands from the grasses that grow in the desert.

The first emu for the trip.

The first emu for the trip.

These yellow throated miners were prolific at Kings Creek Station.

These yellow throated miners were prolific at Kings Creek Station.

I love the colours of the desert, with a deep blue sky, red sand and the casuarina trees against the light.

I love the colours of the desert, with a deep blue sky, rich red sand and the casuarina trees drooping in the midday sun.

 


Devil’s Marbles – The Eggs of the Rainbow Serpent

We camped a couple of nights right next to Devil’s Marbles, where we lit a campfire and Melanie cooked dumplings with golden syrup in the camp-oven for all the neighbours to share as we sat around the campfire at night. What a magic spot! I couldn’t stop taking photographs; the colours and shapes of the rocks seemed to constantly vary with the changing light. Every time we went walking we found a spot even more spectacular than the last and it was hard to leave.

 

The trumpet sounded wonderful echoing through the rocks

Looking through a crevice

Split Rock

Melanie and Rhonda

Melanie doesn’t know her own strength

Grasses at sunset

Our camp next to the Devil's Marbles

Beautiful ghost gum

The trumpeter

Unbelievable sunset colours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


On the road again…

Even though it is a very long road up North, there are lots of interesting places to see along the way. Lots of the little towns have something to catch your attention as you pass by. Aileron is famous for it’s gigantic statue of the aboriginal man up on the hill and when we stopped to look, we found there was also a huge sculpture of an aboriginal woman and child, still under construction, with an exceptionally big goanna at their feet. Absolutely beautifully done.

Aileron man

Aboriginal woman and child

We came across this Mitsubishi Pajero at a rest area on the Stuart Highway. Who said it is hard to get spare parts in these remote areas?

I think this says it all!

As you can see from this photo, lots of people have taken up the offer of free spare parts!

Barrow Creek is one of the original telegraph stations from 1872 and has the buildings restored and a bit of it’s history to read, and further up the road Wycliffe Well, which used to be a watering hole for the stock route in the old days, is famous for having a huge number of UFO sightings and the roadhouse there is decorated with newspaper clippings and little green men! There is always something to see.

The blacksmith shop at Barrow Creek telegraph station