Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Katherine, NT to Mount Isa, Qld.

On leaving Katherine we planned on travelling distance and not staying very long in any one place. Somehow we caught a 'bug', an ailment, the need to get home to Queensland. Predominately our stops were at Free Rest Areas along the Highways. The Rest Areas we stayed at were, King River, Warlock, Newcastle Waters, 41 Mile Bore, Avon Downs and Georgina River Waterholes at Camooweal. We also stayed at two paid stays, the first at Daly Waters Pub and the second at Banka Banka Station.

While travelling South from Katherine on the Stuart Highway we drove through many areas of 'burning off'. These 'burn off's' were of low intensity but created large volumes of smoke. The 'burn off's' came up to the edge of the sealed highway and 100's of Kites lined the sides of the highway waiting for the fleeing residents of the roadside bushland. The Kites must have had a great feast as many of them had major difficulty in launching themselves into the air as we drove through. Fortunately we didn't hit any!

Daly Waters Pub is quirky and lives up to it's well known reputation, although now it has 6 different beers 'On Tap' and delivers a fabulous Beef or Barra Dinner with Salad for $29.50. I was served this massive fillet of Barra, two thirds of which satisfied me but I was still able to devour the remainder. Along with several Pints of Great Northern Beer.

The stay at Banka Banka Station is almost a 'must do' for travellers on the Stuart Highway. At $10 per head per night for a fully grassed camp site with reticulated water but no power. There is a huge Fire Pit for the evening Happy Hour and the shower/toilet facilities are great.

The free camp area alongside the Georgina River, outside of Camooweal, is huge, maybe several kilometres along the river, although we didn't investigate all of the area we could see it on our mapping.

After our 'breather' in Camooweal it was onto Mt Isa for a longer stay, this time with Family. It has been nearly 12 months since we last saw them so we have much to catch up with! I have also planned some innovations to the caravan, more news on that at a later time. 

When we eventually leave "The Isa" our direction of travel might surprise some people. You will need to check back in a couple of weeks when the Blog resumes reporting.

The Main Street of Mataranka. We had planned on visiting the Hot Thermal Pools here but as it was a holiday Weekend in NT the parking was in extreme short supply.

A giant Termite Mound in a park at Mataranka. I am not sure whether it is natural or man made!

We stopped in Larrimah beside the burnt out Road House for a morning tea break.

Jude outside The Iconic Daly Waters Pub.

Jude alongside traffic control lights in the beer garden!

About to book a helicopter flight over Daly Waters.

The Camp Kitchen Area at Banka Banka Station. The huge Fire Pit is located behind this building.

The Power House for the station. Nothing for the campers though!

At the Reception Area of Banka Banka this huge spider, about 1.5 metres across the legs.

From the Look Out looking over the station buildings and the campground beyond.

On the walk out to the Water Hole, Jude asked, "I wonder who carried these drums of rocks out here?" Just joking! The whole 2 km walk is a continuous rock scramble.

The overview of the Water Hole.

And a Close Up.

Back Home in Queensland! The first town we came to was Camooweal. A long way from anywhere!

The busy main street!

Copper Statue outside the Camooweal Town Hall in recognition of the Stockman from the early days of the area.

The Camooweal General Store is no longer in business.

Alongside the General Store is the Camooweal Heritage Centre.

Our riverside camp site at the Georgina River Water Hole. It is an easy 20 minute walk into Camooweal from here. We totally enjoyed our two day stay here.

We had some noisy neighbours for most of each day. A tree full of Corellas. Every time the shadow of an 'ever circling' Kite came over the tree they would take flight in a raucous manner.


  1. Thanks for the great Blogs, enjoy following your travels.

  2. I carted cattle out of Banka Banka in 1974 when it was still a working cattle station.
    Our friends Barry and Gale have been camped at Corella Dam for the last week.

    1. Hi Bruce, Funny you should mention that, about Barry and Gale, we would have called into there but for a late decision to travel south to Birdsville. Nearly crossed paths! Hope to see you in HB around mid November. Cheers Noel and Judy