Including Darwin, Mindil Beach, a Fab Trip (Red Class) on the Ghan to Alice Springs via Katherine & Tennant Creek, Buying a Didge, Uluru, the Olgas & Sunset Heaven
NOTE all words in ITALICS were either written on the trip or before we left (labelled HISTORY).
UPDATE 29/5/2008 We have now left the Outback State Loved NT. Nice, remote and relaxed. Flew out over the various deserts, gr8 views. Bought a Didge from Andrew made by aboriginal who lives between Katherine & Ddarwin, Top end. Also visited Old Ghan Museum, train spotters that we are! Plus had a Didge lesson and went to the marvellous Andrew Langford's Sounds in Starlight Theatre for a contemporary Didge show and joined in. Plus 19hr round trip from Alice to see Uluru & The Olgas, immense! Wildlife count to Uluru and back was 3 camels, 20+roos, 4 dingos, numerous birds and bats. Spent the day in and around Alice by Explorer bus. Arrived on the Ghan (Gr8 fun) in Alice Springs (cooler at 27c) from Darwin via Katherine (4hrs), Tennant Creek (5hrs but night) after 27hr journey, not for the faint hearted! Average 33c in Darwin. Went to Art & History Museum Darwin (we liked Darwin) Plus Gr8 day in Darwin, visited the town, did the tourist bus (tour tub), chilled by the infinity pool and went to the sunset market at Mindil beach, spectacular Arrived and met the v helpful Lorraine at our apartment in Darwin
HISTORY Arrive in Darwin via air from Broome 21/5/2008 and then catching Ghan on Sat 24/5 @ 9am thru to Alice Springs stopping off at Katherine for 4 hours. (We will see the gorge + town) In Darwin we will be staying in a Central Motel (Unit 1 @ 4 Barossa Street, Larrakeyah) and taking trips out and about in NT for a few days. In Alice we are staying at the Aurora Alice Springs for 4 nights and taking a 17hr trip to Uluru & the Olgas in Red Rock country on the 27th, looking fwd to it!
Darwin is a fabulous place and was my top city after Sydney. The Ghan journey we will remember for the rest of our lives and the school of the air in Katherine as well as visiting the magical Uluru (and not being allowed to take pictures, its a sacred place) and staying in Alice, seeing the Starlight theatre performance and having Andrew Langford try out our Didge before we bought it. See our 1995 trip here and we just had to go back for our 4th , but hopefully not final time in 2013. We visited Alice again in 2017. We travelled in 2 motorhomes in our 10½ months away, the one on the eastern side being our home for 105 days. If you want to learn more about motorhomes, click here. No question Annie & I love Oz both as children & adults FACT!
Summary: NORTHERN TERRITORY 9 days , Day 209-217, 21/5/2008 - 29/5/2008
See Western Australia fo Day 209 and Southern Australia for Day 218, thanks
Day 210 - Thursday 22nd May 2008,Darwin
Walked into town, about 12ish then Hop on hop off bus, with drivers mum present $60AD saw most sights Stopped at Sky city casino had some drinks by the infinity pool then walked over to the Mindil Beach Sunset market (ace) Darwin is a nice city better than we expected.Loved the Mindil Beach Sunset market,Loads of folk at market which we went to in the eve and watched the sunset across the beach,Mindil Beach Sunset market, spray can artist, eMDee band, sunset and many many revelers (5k+),
Day 211 - Friday 23rd May 2008,Darwin
Went by taxi to the Museum & Arts center, spent about 2.5hrs there V interesting especially the Cyclone Tracy stuff then walked back in 33+c heat to bus stop where drunk and his even drunk aboriginal partner told us about buses Caught no4 into City center Did shopping My BNT Mosquitos shirt, Annies Tshirt and perfume plus food shopping 4 Ghan trip Then back to Unit 1, 4 Barossa st, Larrakeyah to chill ring Chris & Mum Thai meal Massaman chicken and 2 bed not too late after packing. Loved My NT rugby shirt, sweetheart the croc.photo of of ‘Tracy you bitch’ car a treat from cyclone experience in museum
Day 212 - Saturday 24th May 2008,The Ghan, Darwin to Tennant Creek via Katherine
White Cockatoos,Brummy bus driver in Katherine, 2 ozzie ladies in seats behind us on Ghan , Loved the Red North, long journey with very little sleep after a very early start.
Day 213 - Sunday 25th May 2008,The Ghan, Tennant Creek to Alice Springs
Moored up at Tenant Creek (John Flynn – 1st RFDS) from 1.30am to 6am Noone allowed out weird station no platform Neither of us slept that well in our Day/Nighter seats but gr8 trip Lots of red soil as we moved thru to Alice Springs by 11.15am 26c Caught shuttle to hotel had to wait 35mins to check in (not best pleased) but Uluru trip receipt had been faxed by Vaitor.Saw 5 red roos, 2 to keef, 3 to annie. Met 2 ladies behind us on red kangaroo (steerage class) cabin R seats r13-14 daughter in Esperance son in Darwin oh and Sid the Sloth He and his girlfriend slept (supposedly) all 27 hrs. Remember the Ghan, Annie slept for 2.5 hrs when we arrived at Aurora A-S hotel (v good with pool) deluxe room. Henley on Todd (boat race with a difference, no water so they have to carry them with their legs thru as though the River Todd had water in it which it does for very few occaisions a decade, let alone a year. Loved the the soil getting redder and redder as the Ghan travelled south.
Day 214 - Monday 26th May 2008,Alice Springs
Now been away 7 months,1st day on round Alice bus ticket. Telegraph station. Hot , Lovely views over Alice and trip round.
Day 215 - Tuesday 27th May 2008,Uluru/ Olgas trip from Alice Springs
Very long day 19hrs Got up 4.50am (having stayed up previous eve to see England thrash the Kiwis at cricket 2nd test) 1000k (625m) round trip. Just a very special day back in bed by 12.30am having washed our feet and red dust.Saw Mt Connor, Uluru & The Olgas, plus we did 3 walks.Met Brian the guide, pint sized ozzie who was v friendly but it was his first day guiding.Loved Uluru but really the whole day We had sparkling wine and a picnic as the sun went down over Uluru Really strange colours on the rocks.
Day 216 - Wednesday 28th May 2008,Alice Springs
Up late after long trip yesterday. Had brekkie (full English) at the Red Ochre Grill attached to our hotel, the Aurora, then showered, caught 2nd day on the Alice explorer out to the Old Ghan Museum (gr8 fun) then back into Alice and the Todd mall. Did Didgeridoo lesson booked tickets for evening show. Nice 3 course meal in restaurant Barramundi & Ginger, Steak/Fish&Chips, Pear & Apricot strudel & homemade ice-cream all for $38AD reach. The food at the hotel was very good value. Met Andrew Langford – Didge show, which we both saw and practised didge playing, fun but hard especially circular breathing. See the Sounds of the Starlight theatre images below, click HERE. Sadly the website is not secure so I have removed it and Andrew stopped running this in about 2012 and folk in Alice told us he sadly now runs the town bus. Plus no one in particular apart from drunk Aboriginal lady who wobbled into restaurant (sad) and security called the police.
Day 217 - Thursday 29th May 2008,Alice Springs to Adelaide
Up 8-ish Had gr8 cooked brekkie, then over to see Andrew and bought a Didge. Very pleased with it, made by aboriginal between Katherine & Darwin. Had it mailed home with free booklet. Then sent Craig note to say it was on its way Checked out of Hotel about 10.15 took longer cos I thought we had paid, we had not. Then shuttle bus ($34AD) to airport V nice airport Then flew to Adelaide Shuttle bus to Rockford. Not bad room although had to ask for 3 bits of maintenance Supposedly an upgrade and view of river Torrens, maybe!Annie took loads of gr8 piccies out of the plane of the Simpson & Mackay deserts and Lake Eyre.Met Andrew Didge man , plus yanks on shuttle bus to hotel in Adelaide who were very loud & opinionated
From our travels, gap year, Northern Territory Australia,9 days in total, during the period 21-29 May 2008, Ghan, Alice & Uluru, in 3 parts reconstructed Nov2020, including 159 images being a summary of the much larger collection, covering plus a whole lot more the following,Darwin, stations, tenants creek, sunset, mindil sunset market, museums, poems, artist, infinity pools, Katherine, Devonshire teas, didge, Andrew Lansford, aurora hotel, Unit 1, 4 Barossa st, Larrakeyah, Darwin, nice land lady , food, drive to ghan station, cyclone tracy 1974,museums, salt lakes, tropical flowers, Gibson and simpson deserts, aborigines, mount connor, albert Namatjira, artist, graveyard alice, telegraph & signals stations and museums, the old ghan, camels, the tub tour, stolen generation, river Katherine, sounds of starlight theatre, spray can art,the olgas, early morning coach trip, sunset picnic at uluru, cave art,school of the air, walking around the base of ayres rock (old name), red class travel, world hepatitis day, sleeping rough, red ochre café, camel steaks, roo steaks, telegraph camel men, history, traversing a very hostile terrain , baobab trees, frank gorton poetry, tea towels, ballooons, jim's place road house, singing dingoes, rock paintings and images of the past, lasseter highway, past kings canyon - coach swapping point
We bought our willow bark didge from Andrew Lansford, it was made in the top of the Northern Territory by an indigenous man, Andrew gave us lessons on how to play, to this day (2022) I have not yet really mastered circular breathing which is essential to playing but can make the authentic didge sound. There was a fab Didge band playing at the Mendil Sunlight market in Darwin