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Into the NT

After leaving Adels Grove we travelled along the unsealed Gregory Downs/Camooweal Road on our way to the Northern Territory and to spend the night at the Barkly Homestead Roadhouse.

We had originally intended to spend the next night at Elliott but found a good recommendation on WikiCamps for a little place a bit further north and so we continued on to Dunmarra.

What a lovely place to stay – the staff were welcoming and friendly, the facilities were good (even if they are getting a bit old) and the bird life was amazing. We went to ‘happy hour’ at the local bar ($5 for a pot of beer!) where we got chatting to Graham, the guy who had shown us to our site. Turns out that Graham and his wife are from Tuncurry, NSW and spent a few weeks in Dunmarra on a trip north nine years ago. They have returned to Dunmarra every year since then to spend three months helping the owner out during the peak tourist season and he certainly had a few interesting stories to tell in relation to some of the travellers who pass through!

Our destination the next day was Katherine and on the way we stopped in at the Daly Waters to see the iconic Daly Waters Pub followed by Mataranka Springs and Bitter Springs for a refreshing dip or two (we thought Bitter Springs was much nicer and better than Mataranka Springs).

Our next stop was Darwin where we only spent a couple of nights before heading south again …


The car and the camper …

The car …

We booked the car in for a mid-service oil change in Darwin as the standard service interval will have been exceeded by the time we get to Perth in September.

We also replaced the missing windscreen washer bottle guard that we purchased from another FJ Cruiser owner and which we had sent to Darwin.

The camper …

We suspect the spirit level gauge fitted to the drawbar was hit by a rock as we drove along the unsealed Gregory Downs/Camooweal Road as it was cracked and no longer contained any fluid when we arrived at Barkly Homestead Roadhouse. Fortunately I had a spirit level app on my iPhone that we were able to use until we were able to buy a replacement gauge a few days later.

Also, while we were in Darwin we met a couple who have a Stone Stomper stone guard fitted to their caravan and car. Based on their experience and recommendation (plus very positive reviews we read on a number of forums) we decided to order a Stone Stomper to protect the camper from further stone damage – apart from the spirit level gauge we have also lost three reflectors and the front of the camper has sustained quite a lot of stone chip damage. The Stone Stomper should be in Broome by the time we get there and we’ll be able to fit it before we continue on our travels.