Tuesday, June 29, 2010


No...we haven't dropped off the face of the earth...just no Internet service and no McDonalds anywhere for free service. Tonight I've got an Internet booth, but can't post pics due to no flash drive access. Hope to soon though!

The drive to Tennant Creek from Alice was interesting. Aileron was an interesting stop with a huge Aboriginal man with a spear looming over the roadhouse from the hill behind. Beside the roadhouse there's a huge statue of an Aboriginal mother and child too. They are probably around 6 metres tall and look very effective out in the dry landscape.

Next stop was The Devils Marbles. Wow! Couldn't get over how many of them there were. That Rainbow Serpent really did lay a lot of eggs in the Dreamtime! We had lunch there....quite warm too, so had to sit beneath boulders to get out of the sun/heat. After a quick bite and cuppa, we walked around the rocks/boulders and then took off for Mataranka.

When we got there, we only just squeezed into the Homestead Campground and ended up in a bus area. It was a nightmare finding a site, as you just go where you want and hope you're lead is long enough...it's all just dust and ghost gums too....and half the power points don't work either! Finally we got settled and went down to Rainbow Thermal Pool...and it was awesome. A constant 34 degrees in the water. The pool is lined with huge native palms and the water is a jade green colour and flows quite quickly through the pool. No bats either....thanks to the sprinkler system that have installed to scared them away!

Got a few birds here too Golivers! Pheasant Coucal, Greater Bowerbird and shining flycatcher.

On the second day we went to a market....or really a car boot sale (around 5 stalls all up!) and then went and saw a free Barra feeding show in a lagoon. That was interesting, as the man hand feeds barra and then grabs them, lifts them clear out of the water and shows everyone! The fish didn't smile for my photo though. Georgia was lucky enough to feed one using a fishing rod (with no hook though!).

After the fish feeding, we went to Bitter Springs. This spring is much nicer than the commercial one, as it's less crowded, is much bigger and felt even hotter. You get into the spring (which looks like an aqua clear creek) and float down the stream/spring for about 800m between palms, paperbark trees, logs etc. The scary part is you float under heaps of huge spider webs that have massive orb spiders sitting in them, looking at you...."The spiderman is having me for dinner....tonight!". Anyway...once I got over the shock and learnt not to look up, Frey, Georg, Dad and I took to floating down the river (as the current is quick) on pool noodles. Frey actually used a life jacket....thanks Andrew and Mandy for that! It's been very useful.

We got Bec, Heather and Mum in too. That was hilarious, as they all enjoyed it, but didn't do it again. Don't think they liked the "natural" features of the pond, like spiders, weeds, slimy logs, water bugs, etc.

After a bbq tea, Dad, Frey, Georg and I went on a night walk. We walked along the waterhouse river and spotlighted.... On the way we killed around 12 cane toads....Georgia was the best at spotting them! Frey didn't like how their guts came out of their mouths when Pop or I stomped on them though!!! Lol...but we explained how we were doing our bit for the environment! When we went to the river, there was a large freshwater croc. just sleeping on a log where the thermal water flowed into the river! The s loved that! We also saw a lot of agile wallabies.

In the morning, we had a decent coffee in town (hard to find up here) and went canoeing on the Waterhouse River. Dad and Frey were in one canoe and Georg and I in another. We spent an hour going under pandanus palms, around logs and up and down the small creek paddling away. We saw heaps of birds too: flycatchers, bee-eaters, azure kingfishers, ies and more. We even had a large freshwater croc swim across in front of our canoe. Cool!

After lunch we went back to Bitter Springs to do it all again. We floated down stream and had a ball in the 30 degree sunny weather. I'm sunburnt! The only thing different about this time was we had Merten's Water Monitors crawling along the bank in the weeds. Cool! Georg and I did a bit of snorkelling too, as the water is crystal clear and quite deep...so you can see all of the logs and weeds and things. I even caught a little native turtle in the main pond...but let him go! Of course!

We had tea at the resort and had fun talking to Kev, John and Jenny from Hollands Buslines in Maryborough! They bought in 4 busloads and surrounded our van with 150 Year 11 students. Groan! But, they were quiet and we managed to have a good sleep.

Tonight I'm in Cooinda...which is in Kakadu. I'll write about here soon...but I'll give you the hot tip....it was 34 degrees here today and it was stinking hot! Right now it's 9pm and i'm sitting in wet bathers and a tank trying to stay cool!

Anyway...off to spot crocs off the jetty in the dark with a torch. Greg tells me their eyes glow red in the dark...so hope I see some red neons over the billa !

Hope you're happy now Brett.....the latest addition is up mate! Shaun....met a guy Reynolds here...works for Qantas in Yulara and knows you...plays cards with ya! Small world hey!


  1. Small world isn't it, fancy meeting Hollands. Glad to hear they do not have the bats any more, swimming in guano soup last time we were there. Enjoy the heat as it is absolutely freezing and very wet down here. Are you taking the Yellow Waters boat ride? They have a good happy hour at Cooinda as well. Make sure you go and see the Aboriginal paintings. Keep enjoying, great to hear what you doing. Best wishes to you all. Glenda and Gary

  2. It was funny meeting Hollands. They are in Cooinda tomorrow night with us as well! You two will enjoy Mataranka now it is bat free. Just don't stay at the homestead. We had a terrible time there with blackouts and had to share a 4 shower block with 150 students. Nightmare. We are booked into Yellow Waters in the morning for the early sunrise and breakfast cruise. Just had a look down there this morning and got a pied heron and rajah shelduck. There's so much water around though. Yellow Waters was shut until recently...water even in the carpark. Jim Jim Falls only opens today and Twin Falls is still shut! We're planning on doing the art at Ubirr and Noarlangie...but that will be when we move up to Jabiru. Driving down to Gunlom today to do the waterfalls! 33 degrees again today. Took until midnight for me to go to sleep last night cause I was so hot...no sheet even! Then was woken at 5.30am by dingoes howling outside our Expanda! Lol. One even came into the annex area to say hello to Heather, Frey and Georgia. Anyway...this is an essay! Talk soon guys...Love MBGF

  3. Hi MBGF Sounds sooooo warm its FREEZING down here we have also had a lot of rain too. Sounds like there are amazing natural things up there. I like all the animals you have been seeing too like the Cane Toads. Love to here more soon.

  4. Kath: We had a dingo in our annex last night. Scared the heck out of Mrs Mac, Georgia and Frey! Lol. Woke us up at 5am howling outside my van...right beside my bed! We have even seen lots of geckos...last night Georgia and I counted about 12 on the roof under a light...they were catching insects outside someones motel room. When I had a shower, I was watching them on the roof of the shower block too! Lol. Did a night walk last night and Mrs Mac came. She didn't like all of the cane toads and things. One jumped on Frey's leg and scared her to ! We went looking for crocodiles, but didn't see any in the dark....just a few barramundi...their eyes look red in the dark too!

  5. Hi MBGF
    Sounds like you have found some great animals the dingo must have been annoying. I like Geckos too. Must have been scary whe the Cane Toad jumped on Freyjas leg. Hope you are having lots of fun.

  6. Sorry MBGF if you get this message 2s.

    Sounds like a scary trip from Alice to Tennant Creek, like i would of become really scared if i saw an aboriginal. Yer i agree with Kath, it is really cold down here i wish i was up there with you. I am so glad that it is school holidays.

    P.S Mr.P i made a new Ned Kelly hat cause my other-one got steped on by my sister, Sooooooo, who is the bush ranger under the sea Sponge Bob-Kelly (lol)
    From Ellie. L

  7. Ellie! Lol....you just made me laugh! The bushranger under the sea is Mick Dundee....ask Mum who he is! Thanks for the message and enjoy the rest of your hols! Mr P

  8. LOl,Ellie...
    Mr.P, I laughed when she said that at school too.
    Mr.Bean and Brodie were really fun the last week of school, using pretend attitudes when they disagree.
    Can't wait till you all get back!

    From Annabelle!