Friday, July 31, 2015

Victoria Highway, NT.

Our primary objective on this trip was to explore as much of Western Australia as we could. We achieved this goal except for isolated incursions of inclement weather, floods or bush fires. Therefore, with our achievements behind us, it was now time to cross the State Border in Northern Territory. Although we were reluctant to leave the balmy Kimberley winter weather behind us.

After crossing the State Border, we very soon discovered several things, the road surface deteriorated markedly. Road Engineers in Northern Territory cannot, it seems, match road and bridge surfaces seamlessly. We were constantly and severely jolted into our seats as we entered and departed bridges. And there are many of them! The second issue is lack of mobile phone coverage and the third issue is Rest Area standards have dropped off dramatically. Where there are decent facilities they are poorly maintained.  Full to capacity Drop Toilets and over flowing rubbish bins leaves a dismal impression. Representatives from the other States should visit Western Australia and experience the high standard maintained there and set about matching it in their own domains. All it would take is a redirection of funds from their "precious" cities expenditure.

With the number of people travelling the highways, the tourist dollar value spent in small communities must be significant. Multiplying our own spending amount by the 10's of thousands of highway travellers and the amount must be staggering.

Apart from that, we pulled into Mathison Rest Area, on the Victoria Highway, only 95 km out of Katherine, and joined into a 3 hour "Happy Hour". A chance meeting by a group of like minded individuals. Yes, dinner was late, but who is worried! Not us!

Once in Katherine we stayed 3 nights at Shady Lane Caravan Park. This park is outstanding. It is very quiet, clean and shady. The management is unobtrusive but friendly and helpful when needed. We recommend travellers stay here at this park.


A high ridge alongside Saddle Creek RA, we were witness to a noisy rockfall during the afternoon. We are only a few 100 metres away.

Early morning at Saddle Creek taking in the ridge on the far side of the Victoria Highway.

Alongside the Victoria River, freshly baled hay.

The Victoria River.

The new bridge and the old over The Victoria River.

The Victoria River Roadhouse. No hot takeaway food available here, a traveller must order and wait. Even then, pies remain frozen inside. Be out of business very soon!

The Victoria River Roadhouse Caravan Park looks fairly good though.

Early morning at Mathieson Rest Area. What a glorious welcome to the day.