Trip around Australia with Kathy & Bruce Butler - Barcaldine, Australia
At last our trip is a reality , Kirsty and Scott were married on 22nd April and we minded Ethan whilst they were on there honeymoon. Finally the day has arrived , 1st May 2016. Woke up to rain, started off at 8am and drove to Chinchilla stopping on the way at a small place called Moore ( purchased a pie and drink for morning tea) rain stopped at Blackbutt and was fine the rest of the way, refuelled at chinchilla and pulled into the Showgrounds, $15 for the night no power, very quiet lovely spot. Dinner consisted of rissoles and fresh steamed vegetables, it's now 7.00pm and the washing up has to be done.i 2nd May 2016 Packed up by 8.10 and on the road, two and a half hours to Roma , arrived 10.40am and parked van in Paul and Di's backyard , Paul and Di invited us to visit friends with them on a 500 ache property on the Tooroom rd, we had a very nice afternoon tea and a walk around the homestead area, rained all afternoon and the locals were very grateful. Rain didn't ease until well into the night. Kathy not well , has caught a virus and has headaches and coughing, into bed by 9am and watched a bit if telly. And 3rd May 2016 Our 42nd Wedding Anniversary , nothing planned , Kathy still not well. Went to Dr in Roma and was given antibiotics, I judged Surat ncamera club images today and heading to Surat tomorrow to present the results. Had a BBQ tea of steak and salad and jelly and custard for desert. In to bed by 7pm and watch TV. 4th May 2016 Kathy was awake most of the night coughing and had a vomit, stayed at home today and rested. Di and I went out to Surat to judge there monthly competitive ( negative space) I was welcomed by the ladies who were grateful to have a live judge , home again by 1.30pm and was in need of a sleep. Kathy is sounding a bit better even though she says she's not. Di has a hotpot curry on for dinner as we have to be at the Showgrounds by 6.00pm to judge the Rome Show photography section., got to the Showgrounds and Tom the organiser was not ready with the images so I have to go and judge tomorrow morning at 8.00am, cane home and had dinner and went to bed and watched TV, tomorrow is another day. 5th May 2016.p I ended up with the cold, woke up coughing, 8.00am at the Showgrounds to judge the photographic section, the quality of the prints were **** , went for coffee with Di and Kathy the the big rig and had apple pie and cream. Went to hardware store and purchased two hooks to hold water container inside van, have a roast chicken dinner for tea . 6th May 2016.j We still have the cold , not feeling to crash hot but off to the Roma show we go, very much like all shows but in a smaller scale, interesting farrier on the job shoeing clidsdales , purchased a little horseshoe from the apprentice farrier to have in the van, the rest of the show was pretty boring even the photography section that I judged was very untidy and not well presented, anyhow all good, home by 1.00pm for lunch. Paul and Bruce attached the hook to hold the Dessel fuel in the back of the ute, Kathy and I packed up all we could to make ready for our next leg. 7th May 2016. Left Roma this morning after saying good bye to Di and Paul, on the road by 8.45am, drove to Mitchell and had morning tea at the cake shop, very nice. Drove on to Augathella and arrived at 1.05pm ,refuelled and looked around town , not big, has a big levee going around the town in case of flood, found a free camp near the levee and set up camp, had a kip and then had afternoon tea, went for walk into town and photographed the BIG MEAT ANT statue and the theatre displaying SMILEY fame. Got an images of a pair of Marlee Ring Neck Parrots , walked back to camp and it was time to cook dinner of rissoles and veg. Kathy still not 100% but getting there, I'm not too bad and getting better. Noise from the pub if very loud. All good, tomorrow we head off to Lara's Wetlands . 8th May 2016. Woke very early this morning 5.30am , toast for breakfast, on the road by 6,30am. Had a good run, saw wedge tail Eagles, brolgas, brown kites , bustards and many unidentified small birds, A couple of kangaroos. Stopped and refuelled at Tambo, returned Kirsty phone call for Mother's Day as we were out of service . Drove onto Blackall and visited the BLACK STUMP so we are now beyond the Black-stump. Had morning tea in a quaint little park and then continued onto Barcaldine , what a lovely Aussie town, the Tree-of-knowledge is a great piece of art. Staying at the Barcaldine Tourist Park, nice park, very good amenities, had damper and Billy's tea complements of the park and a visit from a local historian (very good) , by the time we had finished with afternoon tea it was time to cook, what the heck it's Mother's Day so we drove down town to see what was open, all the five pubs and a little pizza shop called " Lounging Emu" well we had the nicest wood fired pizza we have ever had, delicious, had a very nice day. 9th May 2016 Kathy went to Dr this morning and he informed her that it had turned into asthma and prescribed medication, Kathy did sleep last night and is feeling much better. Had a nice day today just driving around and seeing a few of the sights and about four seconds out of town we came across a pair of Brolgas, three emus and a small mob of kangaroos , found the golf club , the racecourse and the railway station complete with the Spirit of the Outback train. Damper again this afternoon, corn beef for tea, after tea into town and photographed the tree of knowledge and we were not disappointed,it is a work of art. Oh I forgot I drove off with the arc pack still hooked up to the van power no damage thank goodness,live and learn. 10th May 2016 Off to Lara's this morning , left at 9.00am and arrived at about 9.45 great dirt road in and about 13 kilometres, well we were treated on arrival by Bill the caretaker and his dog Lara ( named after the place) payed our twenty dollars for one night as we only had that much cash, by the time we had set up camp Kathy had managed to find another $20 so we are now staying two nights. Just sat and watched the bird life for the first couple of hours, what a beautiful place. Collected some firewood for tonight, went for a walk to the hot spring and camp kitchen, all going good. Met up with some other caravaners that were from the central coast NSW . Had lunch and walked around the lake and saw an emu, collected more firewood and cooked tea of chops and snags and leftover veg. Time to light the fire and the people we have just met joined us for a relaxing night, looking forward to tomorrow. Kathy just found another $20. 11th May 2016. Slept in until about 7.30am had ham and eggs for breakfast, cold wind blowing , stoked up the fire and sat around it for awhile , people in the next van made damper , coals much too hot and it was burnt offerings , as it happened she made two and the next one turned out OK so it was damper and cocky's joy for morning tea, Kathy suggested we go and have a dip in the thermal pool, even I got in as the temperature was not boiling, the caretaker run cold water into it to keep the temperature down, very relaxing, we skipped lunch as we were still full from damper. Kathy decided to cook a rice desert for after tea (very nice) , set up cameras for some star trails as the sky was clear as crystal , all done and into bed , packing up in the morning to go to Longreach. 12th May 2016 Woke early are had breakfast, packed up and was on the road again, leaving Lara Station was with a bit of regret as this is one beautiful spot and we will return one day. Drove to Longreach and walked the town but was not impressed with the commercialness of the town so we gave the hall of fame a miss and continued onto Winton, arrived about 2pm and set up camp at the Tatts pub caravan park and went looking for a grocery store and a butcher, well the butcher took some finding two blocks back from the shopping centre, all good shopping done so we went over to the pub and had a beer. Next was the washing and I had to put up our own clothes line to dry the cloths , that done we went to the pub again for tea, Kathy had Lambs Brains and I had A Mixed Grill very nice, home and settled in for the night by 7pm ( Home and away time) . 13th May 2016. Friday we woke, had breakfast and headed to the Australian Age Of Dinosaurs , a nice drive about 25ks out of Winton toward Longreach, it is up on a hill called the jump- up , well what a great experience , we saw bones that are almost as big as me, dug up after 94,000,000 years , what a find , you have to pay for the privilege to dig and clean the bones, there is a two year waiting list. That took all morning and the view from the jump-up was just great. Next was the boulder opal shop, boring and expensive. Next was the craft shop and shopping centre,that was ok, Kathy purchased a new pair of thongs as she had a blow-out with her crocs. Had to have a kip before we set off for a drive around town, found the original site of Winton and it was called pelican waters . Next was Arno's wall, well that was just a messy junkyard items encrusted into cement, an eye-saw I think but different and they call it art. That was about it, had tea and settled in for the night. 14th May 2015. Well we say goodbye to Winton, we really enjoyed your town, packed up the van and on the road by 8.30am heading to Cloncurry , on the way we refuelled at Kynuna and drove on and had a drink at the Walkabout Creek Pub at McKinley (. Crocodile Dunn Dee fame) got to Cloncurry and decided the drive to Mt Isa and catch up with Mike Byers, Mike and his new lady Dot come around to the camping area with Millers Lime Beer for us all and what a nice beer that is, well we talked until dark and we are meeting up tomorrow for a field day, looking forward to that, then out again for a star trail shoot ,looking forward to that also, went to the restaurant here at the caravan park for tea, discount for inmates. Very tired tonight so into bed by 8.30pm. 15th May 2016. Woke at 7.00am to a cloudless sky, had breakfast and went looking for a supermarket, none open in Mt Isa they have a non seven day opening policy , that was OK as we were driving the two way informed us that only corner shops are open on Sunday's ( thanks truckers) we only needed a loaf of bread and when we found the shop it was $5 a loaf, glad we didn't have to bye our groceries,. Headed back to the van and stopped at a little water way just off the highway and photographed Redwing parrots , Pardalotes little shags and Rainbow bee eaters, very pleased with that and will go back tomorrow, Mike and Dot picked us up at 11.00am and we drove to Moondurra dam for more bird photography , not disappointed as there was plenty to take, the scenery around the dam is very beautiful, next to Peacock Park and then a FWD around the dam where Kathy found a piece of crystal Quartz. Into town for a McDonalds experience and waited 3/4 hour for our meal, not impressed. Off into the bush about 20k to look at an old abandoned Holden SW and then to a rock formation called the Raiser Back, back home for a hours rest and than we were picked up and had a picnic dinner on a property about 35k out of town , we set up our cameras and took images of the Milky Way with red rock formations in the foreground, I found some rocks which contained Mica , what a great night, back home and in bed by 9.30pm , it's now 7.35am on the Monday and Kathy is still asleep snoring , that was one very busy day and thanks to Mike and Dot we will remember for a long long time. 16th May 2016 Slept in this morning and having a very lay back day, washed clothes and sheets and had them dry by lunch, went into town to get provisions for our next leg , it was getting hot so I thought I'd put on the air-con and as I did the car become very noisy and no air-con, rung Mike Byers for a recommendation of a reparable repairer and will ring him in the morning. We then edited a few 1images and put them up on Facebook, very relaxing day. 17th May 2016 I actually slept all night, woke at 5.30am, rung the air-con man at 7.30am had the car fixed by 9am it was only a belt that was supposed to be renewed at the last service in Beerwah. So that fixed we decided to stay another night, went for another drive to Lake Moondarra, not as many birds as Sunday but we managed to take images of some zebra finches, went into town and had Supway for lunch by far the cheapest way to go, come back to the van and slept for two" hours then watched a movie , had tea and packed up what we could to head for Camooweal tomorrow morning , it's now 8.30 pm and still sitting outside in the cool air and with not an ounce of sleep in either of us. 18th May 2016 Awake and away by8.30am on our way to Camooweal 182k of daily straight road, a few large cattle along the way and they make you sit up and take notice, arrived in Camooweal about 11am and refuelled the car $1.40 Lt. It's been cheap up till now.found a dump-point and the shop to buy some fruit and a loaf of bread, headed out of town to the free camp about 2k out. Set up camp next to the most beautiful lake, birds abound, water lilies by the thousands, Kathy suggested curried egg sandwiches for lunch and went to put on the eggs, the water pump had **** it's self so I syphoned out some water, all good, keeps us on our toes. Cameras to the ready and we have seen " Brolgas, kingfisher, egrets, whistling kites, little ducks, brown honey eaters, lewens honey eaters, galahs , magpie geese, Pe-wee, and above our head is a nesting pair of Nankeen Kestrels which are feeding, the male carried in two 4" lizards while we were watching, what a sight. Kathy went for a stroll while I looked for a in-line fuse on the water pump ( couldn't find), had tea and face-timed Kirsty, TVs reception consisted of ABC only, off to bed for tomorrow's another day. 19th May 2016. Woke to the most beautiful sunrise, had to wake Kathy up to see it but she was glad I did I think,lol. Today we saw a few more bird varieties such as crows, zebra finches, jackie winter, corella's, white necked heron, glossy ibis, straw necked ibis, brown honey eaters, this place is alive with birds. We went for a nice long walk in the morning and drove into town to post a parcel to Ethan Buckley, sat around the rest of the day and just relaxed, oh Kathy did make a delicious Apple and Cinnamon cake ( very nice ) watched a movie ( the Sapphires again) and that's it for another day in paradise. 20th May 2016. On the road by 8.10am and had a really nice drive to Barkly Homestead, refuelled the car ($1.65 Lt ) booked into the back caravan park and they are all drive through . Had a toasted BLT for lunch and a beer. Set up the van and had a kip, 4pm Happy Hour at the the Bar with stubble $4 , met some very nice travellers Glenda and Mike and exchanged stories , meeting people with many different stories to tell and I suppose ours is also, enjoying meeting people of all walks of life. Spaghetti Bolognese for tea, yum. messages from Kirsty informing us that they are moving in two weeks To Morafield . Off to camp about 60k north of Three Ways tomorrow then the Daly Waters the day after. 21st May 2016. 180k to Three ways where the fuel was $1.58 Lt ,left at 8.00am and was there by 11.00am had a bite to eat and drink and decided to go onto Banka Banka out station another 78k , nice spot and it pays to start early and pull in early as we got site number 1 by 4pm it was packed with another 28 or so Vans, very popular spot, $10per person per night, we met up with Glenda and Mike who happens to get the site next to ours ,and we chattered till dark. The entertainer " Just George" a country singer had started so we hurriedly got our tea and went to listen, it was a very pleasant night with an almost full moon and the temperature mild, we all sat around the camp fire of Gidgea wood. Into bed by 9.10pm to get some sleep for another trip tomorrow. 22nd May 2016. Up early again and on the road by 8.10am, off to Daly Waters pub, disappointed when we arrived to see a dust bowl and at least 8 caravans waiting to book in to very cramped sites, so we decided to back-track 5ks to the other DalyWaters camping ground called "Hi Way Inn, very nice grass sites $28 plus two free schooners of beer, had lunch at the Inn , Kathy ordered a large plate of Potato wedges and I ordered a large plate of chip and a BLT between us, well the plates of chips and wedges were huge they must be used to feeding truckies. Went back to van with tonight's tea of left over Chips and wedges.lol. Set up the rest of the camp, Kathy decided to cut her hair and I went for a stroll looking for things to photograph, as I got back Kathy was ready to cut my hair , that done up to the Inn ( pub) for our free schooners of great northern, warmed up the chips and wedges when we arrived back at camp , that's tea done and dusted, gave Kirsty a call and into the van for the night. 23rd May 2016 Nice sunrise this morning at Daly waters , can't wait to leave as the smell from the paddock next door was wafting our way. On the road by 8.40am and off to Mataranka bitter springs caravan park, $31.50 per night because we are staying three nights, all set up by 1pm so we decided to stroll down to the bitter springs and have a dip, 32c and gently running, we hopped in with our noodle sticks we hired for $1 , well what a special experience , while floating down the stream going past lilies with dragonflies everywhere at there level, no camera as we don't have a waterproof one but it was special. Back to camp for lunch . Kathy got a message from Louisa Bayne about a job prospect in retail, Kathy to send resume , luckily found resume on computer and sent it off. Time for a nanny nap, up at four for happy hour, scotch a-clock. Kathy cooked a chicken curry for tea, very nice too, watched a pre recorded movie after tea, Bridesmaid a bit funny and silly at the same time, 10.45pm time for bed, 24th May 2016. Slept in this morning , awoke at about 7.30am and layer in bed until 8.30am, having a quiet day , went for a run into town to see the sights, not too many of though, the airfield, the park with the talking ant hill, went out and seen the replica of the home-stead from the movie " We of the never never" come rack to camp and decided to go for a swim in the Bitter Springs, just shear pleasure floating letting the current take you. Latter in the afternoon Kath and I went back to the stream to photograph it and it was very tempting to go in again , the images do not give this place credit , we saw two fare size turtles but no bird life, too many people around as it is very popular, after tea we played a game of "Kings Cribbage" Kathy for some unknown reason gets very frustrated with me, all good and off to bed to watch a movie " The Water Horse" as there is no TV reception, also downloaded the book " We of the never never' looking forward to reading it. 25th May 2016. 8.00am again where does the night go, eggs on toast for breakfast , decided to go for a drive to find the waterfalls, took the Roper H/W road about 25k and come yo roadworks that split the the road in two directions, decided to give that a miss and drove back to camp. Mataranka Thermal Pond was next so I drove towards ponds and detoured down the John ????? Drive and found where the waterfalls were but too far to walk so we opted for the ponds, very nice but not as interesting as Bitter Springs where you just float down stream and admire the nature of the place. Home for lunch ( wraps of Salmon and salad) , nap time, Kathy decided to cook some muffins ( in the oven as I type) Blueberry Muffins in tqhe Webber were a success , getting late in the afternoon so decided to pack up what we can before we leave in the morning, Ian and Kate our caravan neighbours were having a camp fire so we joined them and another couple , nice night into bed by 9.30 pm . 26th May 2016. Up and on the road by 8.20am, 109k to Katherine where we stopped and did some shopping for food and a pair of shoes, had to pay $1 to use the toilet in the mall ( never had to do that before) , refuelled and on to Pine Creek and had a look around, it was very hot so we decided to drive to Kakadu , arrived at 3pm and greeted by Brett. Brett drove us out to look at the out station and where we would put the van, too late in the day now so we camped at Coorindi until we can sort it out, Brett organised a Sunset Cruise so onto the boat at 4.15pm, well that was just something else, we saw our first croc in the wild, birds everywhere, absolutely picturesque, in again by 6.30pm by this time Kath and I were starving, off to the restaurant for tea. That over and done back to the van to set-up and sleep, as I was putting the water hose to the van I remembered Brett had left the generator going out at the out-station so Kathy gave him a ring and Brett and I drove out and turned it off, not a cloud in the sky and no moon, the night sky was ablaze with light. We have decided to stay at Coorindi to rest up for a couple of days then move out to the station. 27th May 2016. Slept in after yesterday's big day, had breakfast and sat around for a while, Brett popped in about 11.15am and informed us that he had passed his power-boat licence ,he can now take out cruises. Brett picked us up at 12.15pm to drive to Jabiru for a dr appointment, Kathy and I walked around the little town and visited the supermarket , with that all done we drove home but on the way Brett detoured to see some aborigine rock art at NOURLANGIE ,what he didn't tell us that it was rock climbing in the middle of the day, very tired by the time we had finished but it was great , the art, the views , wow, thanks Brett. Home at about 4pm and had a rest, Brett and Louisa came over for tea and by 9pm we were spent, great day. 28th May 2016 It's 8.19am and we're still in bed. Up about 9am, had a bite to eat and just sat around, I decided to edit some photos on the computer and put my latest images in town order, we was going to do done washing but all the lines were full and they were lined up at the machines, Will do it latter, I put some images up of Kakadu Yellow a Waters Cruise on Facebook, that bought us to lunch so we devoured the leftover marinated chicken wings, the humidity is killing us so we went and lay on the bed with the air-con on frigid , that did the trick and we went for a swim in the small pool ( no kids) and that was very refreshing. Kathy made a salad for tea while I put on the small shade cloth to stop a bit of the morning sun and heat hitting the van. We got a load of washing done and went for a stroll stopping to bye an ice-cream from the shop, ended up at the billabong , back to camp we went to settle in and watch a movie. 29th May 2016. I don't know what time I woke this morning but we had breakfast about 9am, just sat around and talked , sent messages to Brett and Louisa for when they woke up to give us a call, Brett rung about 10.30am and we asked if Louisa would like to come for a trip around , she then messaged and said she had awoken and would love to come, met them both in the bar and had coffee, Brett had to start work at 12.30pm at Bowali visitors centre, Kathy,Louise and myself went off and called into the Warradjan aboriginal cultural centre and met Louisa's two aunties , they were weaving mats and string bags and one Aunty had just made damper straight over the hot coals, delicious , this is where Kathy will be working in the retail shop . We then went on to the Bowali visitors centre and met up with Brett and had a look at the great display, very interesting, that took about half hour and we were off to the Mamukala bird hide about 25 minutes drive towards Darwin. We will have to revisit here as there were not many birds, great bird hide and a very pleasant drive, back home and had a rest , out again by 5.15pm for a BBQ aboriginal style with chicken and Buffalo cooked over hot coals, very nice but the buffalo was very tough, the chicken was scrumptious. By 9 pm we all had had enough so home to bed. 30th May 2016 Nothing mush to write about today, lazed around camp and did a load of washing, dry in no time as its a fairly warm day. Kathy was supposed to have an appointment about her job but it has been postponed till 9.30am tomorrow. Had a little kip in the afternoon with the air con on. We decided to have tea early because of the mozzies and finished tea a besides to go to the pub for desert, we met Louisa coming home from work and invited us to go on a star watching cruise, well that was just great, we had two aborigine elders on board and they explained some of their dream time stories, the waterways were just beautiful under the star lit sky and we did see some crocs by spotlight, on the way home in the bus we saw two families of burdekin duck (Radjah Shelduck) with chicks , these ducks mate for life and there are big big fines if you kill them, we also saw a dingo, and a couple of stone curlews, what a great night. Wow this place has soooo much to offer. 31st May 2016 Well Kathy had here interview this morning and starts work tomorrow morning at 5.45am. We went for a drive this morning to Jabaru for some groceries and on the way back we called into three camping areas that were near billabongs. Took some photos of native flowers that we saw, one was Kapok ( the stuff they used to use for mattresses ) a yellow flower the size of fifty cent piece. Got back to camp about 2.00pm and watched a movie ,went for a swim in the big pool, very relaxing. Had tea early and went to the shop and had an icecream, into the van before the mozzies get us and into bed for another movie and an early night. 1st June 2016 Kathy's first day went very well and she is now recovering on her bed, lol. I had a day on the computer and deleted over 2000 images that were ****, also transferred 158 movies that I found on the desktop to an external hard-drive . Went on line and changed a few things on My-Gov. The weather was very pleasant today and less humid. Been invited out for tea at Brett and Louisa's and looking forward to that. Nice tea of spaghetti bog , full as a pig, thanks Louisa and Brett. 2nd June 2016 Kathy's second day and her feet are hurting, 7am breakfast and I went out to the Out-Station to look where the sun was shining for the van on Saturday. Come back and copied movies from Brett's supply , went out to Red Lily after Kathy finished work and fad a good look around, come home and had a rest , got tea and watched a movie. 3rd June 2016 7.00am and were awake and breakfast is ready, toast and honey and a cup of tea. Kathy's off to work, I'm out to the the out-station to mow the grass. Back home and packing up the van ready for tomorrow, Kathy finished at 1pm so we had lunch and went into Jabiru for some supply's , found a lake with Jacana and chicks and on the way home we saw a red tailed black cockatoo in flight ( just taking off) with the sun shining through the red tail , it was beautiful. Got home about 3.30pm and had a rest and will be ready for tea at the bistro at 6.30pm with Louisa. Had a great tea and a few beers, great company with Louisa and her cousin Mandy. Home by 9.30pm . 4th June 2016 Up at 6.30am on the road by 7.30am and waited at the gates for Brett and Louise , 8.00am well underway to setting up camp at the Red Lily Out-Station. Set up everything by 10.30am and collapsed in a screaming heap. Recovered enough to do two loads of washing in the little wind up washing machine. Had a banana sandwich for lunch and then a sleep, washed the car and it was time for tea, BBQ snags and rissoles, Brett had left his cigarettes behind so we went for a drive into Coorindi and had an ice-cream for desert. Home and watched a movie. 5th June 2016. We left for Darwin about 7am and had a good run, a bird hit the windscreen but no damage. Purchased our new satellite dish from RTM . Arrived about 10.30am and our room wasn't ready so we left the car and walked to the "The Tap" bar and had a early lunch and a beer, very hot and humid, after that Kathy and I found refuge in the Coles supermarket ( thank goodness for air-con), we were told that our room would be ready by 1pm so we strolled back ( it was so hot we were dragging our feet, room was ready so up we go, very nice room with king size bed and very cold air-con, TV on and a nice lay down so we could be ready for the markets and sunset, 5pm off to the markets and wall to wall people, more heat and humidity but well worth it as the sun begun to set the people from the markets just ascended down to the beach to watch the spectacular sun set, we sat on the beach and watched the sun set and got a taxi back to our cool air-con, I think we watched tv for a while but it was a big day and falling asleep was easy. 6th June 2016 Breakfast was at 7.30am in the dinning room of the Darwin Central Hotel, that finished we checked out and loaded the car, off to woollies for supplies, searched for mr minute for a good half hour( already hot and humid) found a shop that sold vapour cigarettes so purchased one for Brett, found a key cutter, off to Bunnings and got the screen patches, off to find millers , they closed down two years ago so it was best and less for some work shorts for Kathy. On our way home at last , three hours later we arrived at Jabiru for an iron we had forgotten to get in Darwin, home by 3am and just finished unpacking and a jcar pulls up and it was Aunty Violet ( Louisa's Aunty ) she saw the gates open and came in to see us, had a cup of tea and another car pulled up , this time it was Jason from P&G checking the place as the gates were open ( he does the controlled burn-offs) and low and be hold Brett arrives to do some work in the yard. It was time to assemble the satellite dish, all good until the setting up, not so easy, gave up, BBQ time , very nice steak and snags , Brett left about 7.40pm to pick up Louisa , we were buggered and into bed by 8.30pm , a very busy day. 7th June 2016 Kathy at work by 5.30am, I got up at 8.00am pottered around did a load of washing, Brett turned up at 10.30am with his and Louisa's white goods for the house, Brett and I then set about getting the satellite working, well at 1.30pm we were about yo through the lot to the shithouse and it all finally worked, what a lot of mucking about. Picked up Kathy and went on line and retested the sat dish , have to wait for registration to go through so the rest of the set up has to wait till the morrow. Brett and Louisa, three others From Coorinda plus Kath and I had a roast dinner that was finally ready to eat by 8.30pm , by 9.30pm we were in bed . 8th June 2016 Well our satellite registration went on about 1.30pm but only ABC and SBS stations were on . Picked up Kathy at 2.00pm and had a rest before we drove out to Ubiir to watch the sunset and then have a Thi dinner, it was delicious , on the way Home (Kevin a friend of Brett and Louisa )spotted a black headed Python on the warm road, stopped of course and took photos, home and in bed by 9pm , I switched on the tvs and all the channels were up and running, a very happy Kathy. 9th June 2016 Got out of bed at 9am after watching the news, first time in a while, we have full coverage now on tv thanks to the satellite dish, very happy with it. Did the washing and the housework, after lunch we drove to Jabaru for more mosquito spray ( most expensive item) . I scrubbed part of the verandah of crow **** (they have to go) early tea to get away from the mossies and watch tv. 10th June 2016. Well we had the most comfortable day weather wise , there was a nice breeze blowing all day and the temperature was warm but not hot. Kathy and I decided to scrub the verandah of crow ****, we did all but the part where all the ****** stuff is, we are leaving that up to Brett and Louise. The rest of the day we just sat and breathed in the scenery , had a walk around the out station and found a half hollow log suitable for a bird feeder to chain up in the tree. Feeling very relaxed. 11th June 2016. The alarm went off at 7.00am, up and had breakfast and off to Jabiru for some food at the supermarket and back by 10.15am , Kathy did her first haircut since we have been on the road and that looks promising. Louisa and Brett have gone to Darwin as Louisa has a very bad tooth and has an appointment at 1.30pm. Kathy is preparing a camp oven dinner complete with damper and banana upside down cake in the Webber . Brett and Louise arrived home at 6.30pm and the dinner was delicious thanks Kathy. All done by 8.30pm and into bed by 9.00pm , another great day. 12th June 2016. Up and about early and lazed around, I made a swinging bird seed holder to encourage the bird life into Red Lily Homestead, I also started clearing for the fire pit Brett and I will be making, Kathy did some colouring in. Lunch time we decided to go into Coorindi for lunch ( a plate of chips for me and wedges for Kathy ) on the way home we kdetoured to have a look at JimJim Billabong( very pretty) then home. Watched a movie called Radiance ( parts were made in Hervey Bay) . Tea time , I had a bite to eat but Kathy was still full from lunch, into bed to watch telly, I edited some images and put up onto Facebook . 13th June 2016 8.30 am and still in bed ( what a life, it doesn't get much better than this) up at about 9am. Kathy had to start work at 12noon so we just lazed around until then, picked up Brett from Coorindi and came back out to Red Lilly out station and built a BBQ/Fire-pit , by 4pm we had finished and so were we, very happy with the result and looking forward to christening it. Took Brett back home and back home myself , just sat down and Brett and Louisa turned up to have a look at our handy work, all happy, shower time and a bit of TV . Kathy finished work at 8.30pm . 14th June 2016 Nothing exciting today, Kathy worked, I just pottered around the out station. 15th June 2016 Another day of work for Kathy , she starts at 12noon till 8.30pm so I have to amuse myself until she gets home, so today I decided to get the 180mm macro lens out and dust it off, there is a nest of green ants that I have been watching so here we go, this lens is so shallow in DOF and these ants are very busy , it was luck that I got many good images, I then got out the lumex point and shoot , so different but easier to control , the results were very different. Went to Coorinda for lunch when I dropped Kathy at work, had a burger and a Lemmon squash $29.50 not worth the dollars. Drove home and thought to myself as there was no-one to talk to, I think I will wander down into the collection of stuff that has been left at Red Lily Out Station , all I really saw was rust, rusty bits everywhere , so as a project I would do a series of close up rust images edit them and put them up on Facebook, just about to start editing and I received a call from Brett and Louisa saying that they were coming out for dinner and to get the fire going, so I did and we had a great meal of char-grilled chicken and steamed vegetables, picked Kathy up at 8.30pm and sat around the campfire until we were all tired out, into bed by 10.30pm, 16th June 2016 We had two visitors from the electricity company this morning telling us that the diesel fuel will not be here until tomorrow, so Brett is coming in to dip the tank to see if would last until then otherwise we will have to go free camping until the fuel arrives. Well there was still some fuel in the tank but not a lot , we will see how it goes. Well it's 9pm and the electricity has run out so on to free camping equipment, all good until tomorrow. 17th June 2016. Well they came and put 500 Litres of diesel in the tank and the electricity is all up and running again, Brett came out about 10am and at 12 noon we all went into Jabiru for our supplies, back by 2.pm and Brett mowed the back lawn and that took until 4.30 pm, we all went to Coorinda for dinner and Kathy and I had our first taste of " Crocodile, Kangaroo, Buffalo and Barramundi" all were nice and I enjoyed the Croc and Kathy liked Barramundi, they were all very different to what we were used to, but we have done it now. Ice cream for desert and off home to watch a movie. Anne rung as we were getting into bed about Fraser getting the star award this week for " Oz Kick" very happy with him and so are we. 18th June 2016. Brett and Louisa arrived at 7.30am on the road by 8pm , off to the water fall at Maguk , it was a bit of a struggle as the rocks were covered in sand which made the going very slippery, I managed to slip and hurt my shoulder, the falls were fantastic and there was barramundi,black bream,angler fish and even fresh water pike in the pond, the next stop was Rock Holes ,here we had a picnic lunch , then off to Fern Creek and that also was beautiful, Louisa and Kathy had a paddle in the falls and that was really relaxing, next was Bukbukluk lookout and the view was a very wide view of Kakadu , heading home now and we arrived home by 3pm and we were all exhausted , a round trip of 240 kilometre , an easy tea was had of toasted sandwiches, into bed and we ended up watching two movies. 19th June 2016. In no hurry to get up today, eggs and bacon for breakfast and a lazy morning, Brett and Louisa came around at 12noon and they cooked eggs and bacon for their breakfast/lunch. After that we set the fires going ready for a camp oven dinner that was roast pork complete with crackling and roast vegetables plus Apple sauce and gravy, wow what a meal, meal over and the kids went home and we were in bed watching tv by 8pm, another great day. 20th June 2016 Nothing exciting today, lazed around and Kathy finished off Frasers scarf and beanies , watched a movie in the afternoon and I fell asleep ( that's easy) early tea, settled in and watched telly. 21st June 2016 Kathy worked today , I mowed the grass and watched a movie, Brett and Louisa came around and cooked chops on the open fire with mash potatoes and peas, picked Kathy up from work at 8.30pm and we settled into bed, big day tomorrow off to Darwin. 22nd June 2016 Off to Darwin this morning to see Kathy's girlfriend from school, Cathy and Greg Mc Tavish , they are staying in the caravan park on the Steuart highway before you get into Darwin , arrived there about 11am and booked into a cabin $80 for the night , not very comfortable but ok, Cathy and Greg were out shopping , so we decided to go shopping for some supplies, there is a Woolworths next door. Bought some beer and got back to the cabin and I think Cathy was waiting on the doorstep,very excited and very pleased to see us, we hadn't had lunch so we had a chat and went back and had a bite to eat , back over to Cathy and Greg's van and beers and wine were called for and the stories of the old day started and continued for hours, what a great afternoon and night, BBQ dinner of T bones steaks and potato bake , delicious. We watched the first half of the State of Origen and continued to tell stories until we had had enough , off to bed. 23rd June 2016 Awoke early and had breakfast as we were heading back home to Red Lily after some shopping in Palmerston shopping centre ( very disappointed in this centre) said our goodbyes to Cathy and Greg ( tears in Cathy and Kathy's eyes) these two people are great company , we really enjoyed our short time with them. Shopping was very quick and we decided to get going, on the way home we saw a dead cow on the side of the road, a little while after we came across a very thin Dingo, Kathy had to use the bathroom so we stopped and the Dingo just stood there and eyed us off then walked towards us and onto the road and stopped and eyed us again, she was in poor condition and after food or one of our legs, managed to get some great images of her and we were back on the road, we also saw two wedge tailed Eagles , called into Jabiru shopping centre to get some spaghetti Bol ingredients and invited Brett and Louisa to dinner, Brett came around early as Louisa had the car , Kathy cooked another great meal, I was in charged of the garlic bread and burnt it. 24th June 2016 Up early and I moved the stuff from the car into the spare bathroom to make the place look less untidy, Kathy Cleaned the inside of the van from top to toe, Brett came around about 10am with his mate Michael to help him cut firewood, we all joined in and scrubbed the verandah of crow **** and the place looks great. That done the boys went home and we went and watched a movie in the cool of the van, Louisa rung up and said there was a band playing at Coorinda and would we like to come in, of course it was a night out, so we went and enjoyed the band very much ,they were called " Black Rock Band" from jabiru, got home about 9.00pm and into bed and watched a movie till midnight. 25th June 2016 Didn't rise until 9am , off to Jabiru to post Frasers birthday present and a small parcel for Ethan, while we were there we seen that there was a little market in the community hall so we had a peak in, a lady asked were we here for the tour , we inquired to what to tour, the uranium mine conducts tours of the mine every month for free with free gifts , so we booked on the bus for 11.30am and had a great time, very interesting , huge hole in the ground , they do not mine now as they have until 2021 to have it all back as was, I think the town of Jabiru will die as the mine supplies all electricity and half the housing, I think all very political, back by 1pm , and home by 2pm , Kathy decided to make some scones and invited the Brett and Louisa for afternoon tea, that grew to four as Kevin and Karen came also, the scones were a great hit, didn't need any tea but I was hungry by 8.30 so I ate a tomato and a bit of cucumber and had heart burn, asleep by 10.30pm but was woke up early by fire alarm battery. 26th June 2016 Up at 4.45am, Kathy's working and as we were driving out the lights in the house went out and came on again, took Kath to work and came home to darkness, went and checked the generator and it was not going, started it and it run for about a minute and conked out. Well still no power until tomorrow . I ended up mowing the grass, washing, and a bit of carving on a set of aboriginal music sticks , Kathy finished at 2pm and the day has got very hot, no aircon, 12 volt fan is getting a workout , had a very early tea and took the rubbish into Coorinda and home and inside by 6.40pm and settled down for the night to watch telly, an hour latter the tv stopped, we had overloaded the converter but that was easy to remedy , all good, thank goodness we have a 12 volt system. 27th June 2016 Electricity mob came out and we had run out of fuel, was told by one of the men that we shouldn't have the big generator on just running a caravan, Louisa was not happy and is trying to fix the situation, had tea in at Coorinda , home and watched tv. 28th June 2016 Still no electrics, Kathy worked, Kaleb arrived at 4pm and we had dinner with Brett and Louisa at their place, home and into bed. Batteries are running low, we may have to take freezer into Brett until all is fixed. 29th June 2016 Still no electricity, Brett , Kaleb , Kathy and myself went into Ubirr and had a wonderful day, seen all the sights and took many photos of the beautiful rock formation of the escarpment, many many aboriginal art work dating back thousands of years, stopped in and had a snack at the Border store, then went to Cahill crossing that leads to Arhnam land , on the crossing there was three men fishing, as we were standing on the lookout we saw a log-like object that turned out to be a 3.5 metre crocodile , every ten minutes or so he would rise to the surface eyeing everything and then submerge again, there was another on the bank about twelve foot up the opposite bank, I for one would not be fishing there. Back home and the four of us had a swim ( really only three and a half, Kathy only got half wet) pizza for tea and the worst pizza I have ever had, enough sola power to watch a movie, end of a great day. 30th June 2016 Still no power, getting very concerned as to wether it is going to happen. Quiet day today, went to jabiru to get some supplies. 1st July 2016 5.30am rise, picked up Brett and Kaleb , took Brett to work and continued to Humptydoo to buy firecrackers for Northern Territory Day, also purchased food from Woolworths, Kaleb was a great help as the crackers were very heavy ( $560 worth) plus two trollies of groceries. Arrived back at 2.45pm and the power was still not on, called Louisa and by 4.30pm the fuel had arrived and power was restored. Kaleb and I put up some fairy lights in the shape of NT for tomorrow nights BBQ. Into Coorinda for tea and to watch the staff fireworks ( didn't get tea the lineup was out the door so we had a drink instead, fireworks were good but we were tired so we came home and went to bed. 2nd July 2016 Cracker night was a huge success with well over $800 spent on fireworks, 22 people and a big mess to clean up tomorrow. 3rd July 2016 Clean up day, Kathy at work, Kaleb and I got to work and cleaned up the yard and took down the fairy lights, set fire to all the empty firework cases but only got through half, Kaleb and I had a go at doing some wood burning and engraving, very happy with the result, great little tools. Louisa's cousin arrived with a Guinie fowl for the avery , Peter another cousin was busy painting inside the house until 5pm. Kathy cooked Rogan Gosh and curries sausages with rice for tea, all done and into bed by 8pm. 4th July 2016 went into jabiru with Brett and Kaleb to see a NADOK display that was very boring so home again and Today I finished of the music sticks , Kathy worked. 5th July 2016 Not feeling crash hot today had a very lay-back day and watched tv, Kathy worked , BBQ tea with Brett , Louisa , and Kaleb with rid fillet and salad and fruit salad for desert, very nice. Home and watched tv. 6th July 2016 Up early and into jabiru to post Frasers birthday present for Brett, while we were there we went around to the lake to take some pics of birds, home by 11am , Kathy not too well so we payed down and watched two movies. Put the fire on at three to cook a roast dinner in the camp ovens , nothing beats a leg of lamb, Brett, Louisa and Kaleb arrived about 7pm, the meal was just great thanks to Kathy's vigilant cooking skills, in bed by 9pm and watched tv. 7th July 2016 Very quiet day, washed the care, did some washing, Kathy took all her images off the phone and transferred them onto the laptop, Kathy cooked nachos for tea, yum. Watched a bit of tv and went and turned off the generator, on the way back I thought I'd check out the place with a torch and low and behold I saw a 7ft olive Python at the back of the house , so I woke Kathy up and it scarred her as it was so long, got some photos and it just slowly turned and slid into the dark. 8th and 9th July 2016. Kaleb arrived at 6.30am as Brett had to start early, eggs for breakfast and on the road to Darwin by 8.30am, on the way we received a phone call from Fraser ( Birthday boy, 6 today) and talked for half hour. Seen a huge flock of Corella's at South Alligator river, arrived Darwin 12.30pm and went shopping, first to the caravan spare parts shop where we purchased a shroud for the caravan roof air con ($290) plus some air filter replacements and a gadget for the aerial, next on to Caserina for some shorts for Kathy and singlets for me, Kaleb got a new shirt. Shopping finished off to the motel to veg-out until it's time to put Kaleb onto the plane at 1.30am. Put Kaleb onto plane( got away on time) walked back to motel it is now 1.45am and time for sleep. 9th July 2016 Woke up at 8am and was on the road home by 9am , called into Coles for some stuff for Kathy's face and had breakfast at subway ( never again) , filled the car at Humptydoo and drove to the Coorinda turn-off ( Kathy had said the highway was boring ) so we detoured cross country via a good dirt road and had to cross the South Alligator River ( we were hoping that the water from the wet season had gone down) all good about 6" across the road between the two billabongs, very pretty and there was no crocs to be seen, a big flock of black cockatoos were there though so we tried to capture them. Then onto Coorinda and the road this side was a bit rough but not bad, we cut an hour off our home journey going that way, arrived home to see a generator sitting on the lawn, it is 12.45pm and we had to have a lay down , at 3.30pm I woke up ( it was a big day having broken sleep yesterday), 10th July 2016 7.30am and the temperature is a little cool, eggs and bacon for breaks, tried out the generator, very noisy but strong enough to run everything in the caravan, this will save heaps of fuel from the big one. Kathy at work, I did some wood carving (a relay stick for Louisa's cousin) . 11th July 2016 Quiet day, Kathy worked, while I was sitting having breakfast 6 wallabies hopped into the yard a few on the grass as I took their photos, it was quite a picture with the wallabies, three different doves and Georgie the Guinie fowl. Brett and Louisa came around 4.30pm and we drove down the back of Red Lily to the billabong/wetlands, saw many magpie geese, black kites, whistling kites, kookaburras, ibis, rainbow bee catchers, a dead cow carcass , very pretty views, very enjoyable. 12th July 2016. Kathy worked , I played with photos, Kathy finished at 2pm and we were on the road by 2.30pm, arrived in Darwin at 5.30pm, same motel as last week, had dinner at the Chinese across the road.had a good day. 13th is July 2016 Awake at seven ready for a day at Litchfield NP with Brett and Louisa and Kathy, Well we have had a great day , visited waterfalls and swimming holes in Litchfield NP , very enjoyable and the walks were medium to easy, got some great pics, prawn rolls for tea and down to the bar for desert and a couple of drink to end a perfect day. Kirsty got a new job and starts Monday and very happy about that. Into bed by 10.30pm. 14th July 2016. 9am start this morning , shopping for wool, Donna covers, pump for water, food, got all but the pump ( work in progress) good run home by 4 pm and unpacked by 4.30pm and laying down, big day.