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Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: Northern Territory

  • November 20, 2017
  • By 50 Shades
  • 2 Comments
Travel Around Australia in 185 Days: Northern Territory

We finally crossed the border from Western Australia into Northern Territory early one morning after departing Lake Argyle. We were on day 159, or just over 5 months, of our travel around Australia in 185 days and we were looking forward to delving into the Territory.

The Northern Territory is a vast outback region in the true heart of Australia and features desert landscapes, the arid Red Centre, ancient aboriginal lands, croc infested rivers and spellbinding national parks.

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days

The old Banka Banka Homestead in NT

This wasn’t our first foray into the Territory as years ago we had journeyed on the Ghan Train from Adelaide through the centre of Australia up to Darwin, where we spent a few days. Prior to leaving on our trip we decided that we would leave the Top End of Australia for another day, so we virtually crossed the Territory in a straight line from the WA border en route to the town of Katherine. After a few days here we headed true south until we veered east towards the Queensland/Northern Territory border.

Day 159 – Victoria River/Timber Creek

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days

Joe’s Creek Picnic Area near Timber Creek

Distance: From Lake Argyle 331kms

Where we Stayed: Joe Creek Picnic Area

Cost: FREE

Rest Area Facilities:

  • Toilets
  • Picnic Tables
  • Creek location
Travel Around Australia in 185 Days

Gregory’s Tree marker in Gregory National Park

Local Attractions:

  • Victoria River
  • Visit Judbarra/Gregory National Park
  • Gregory’s Tree
  • Timber Creek

HOT TIP: If you have time take a boat cruise down the Victoria River to see the crocs in their natural habitat or try your luck Barramundi fishing.

For more information on this region read my post Venturing into the Victoria River Region

Day 160 to 162 – Katherine

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days

Happy hour at the Caravan Park near Katherine

Distance: From Victoria River 379kms

Where we Stayed: Manbulloo Homestead Caravan Park

Cost: $35 per night powered site

Caravan Park Facilities:

  • Large grassy sites
  • Camp Kitchen
  • BBQ Area
  • Dump point
  • Showers & toilets
  • Farm animals
  • Live weekly music entertainment
  • Walking distance to Katherine River
  • Katherine 12kms
  • Dog Friendly
Travel Around Australia in 185 Days

Edith Falls in Nitmiluk National Park

Local Attractions:

HOT TIP: Station stays are generally cheaper and more spacious than a traditional caravan park. Plus you have the benefit of interacting with the farm animals.

Day 163 – Mataranka/Bitter Springs

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days

Mataranka Thermal Pools

Distance: From Katherine 108kms

Where We Stayed: Bitter Springs Cabins & Camping

Cost: $35 per night powered site

Camping Ground Facilities:

  • Informal camping sites
  • Many sites with shade
  • Bore Water
  • Toilets & Showers
  • Coin Laundry
  • Kiosk
  • Near Little Roper River and Bitter Springs Thermal Pools
  • Wallabies in abundance
  • Dog Friendly
Travel Around Australia in 185 Days

Elsey Homestead at Mataranka

Local Attractions:

  • Bitter Springs Thermal Pools
  • Little Roper River fishing & boating
  • Wallabies
  • Birdwatching
  • Bushwalking
  • Mataranka town 3kms
  • Mataranka Thermal Pools
  • Elsey replica homestead (We of the Never Never)
  • Barramundi feeding

HOT TIP: This camping ground was a gem. I loved the bush setting and the close proximity to Bitter Springs Thermal Pools.

Day 164 – Daly Waters

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days

The famous Daly Waters Pub

Distance: From Mataranka 168kms

Where We Stayed: Daly Waters Pub Caravan Park

Cost: $32 per couple for powered site/ $18 per couple unpowered site

Caravan Park Facilities:

  • Toilets & Showers
  • Adjacent to the historic Daly Waters Pub
  • Dog Friendly
Travel Around Australia in 185 Days

Interesting decor at the Larrimah Pub

Local Attractions:

  • Daly Waters Pub memorabilia and live entertainment
  • Barra and beef dinner at the Pub
  • Daly Waters Aviation Complex
  • John McDouall Stuart tree marked with an ‘S’
  • Larrimah – Pink Panther, Zoo, Big Stubby and Drover’s Statue
  • Remains of historic WW II building at Gorrie Airfield, Larrimah

HOT TIP: These Northern Territory towns are all quirky and interesting in their own right. Make sure you stop to check them out along the the Stuart Highway.

For more reading on travelling between Katherine to Tenant Creek through the centre of Australia check out my post titled Through the Centre: Larrimah to Tenant Creek

Day 165 – Banka Banka Station

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days

Banka Banka Station Campground

Distance: From Daly Waters 305kms

Where We Stayed: Banka Banka Station Camping Ground

Cost: $20 per couple unpowered sites

Campground Facilities:

  • Large grassy and shady sites
  • Camp Kitchen
  • Drinking Water
  • Communal Fire Pit
  • Dump Point
  • Hot Showers and Toilets
  • Pet-friendly
  • Live musical entertainment
  • Licensed Bar
Travel Around Australia in 185 Days

A fire pit and a country & western singer at Banka Banka Station

Local Attractions:

  • Historic mudbrick homestead
  • Walk to the lookout or to the bush watering hole
  • Authentic station stay experience
  • Tenant Creek 100kms
  • Devils Marbles 198kms

HOT TIP: Make sure you join in with the around-the-campfire live music entertainment at these station stays. It is a great way to socialise and meet other fellow travellers.

Day 166 – Rest Area near Barkly Homestead Roadhouse

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days

Our sunset view from the Rest Area on the Barkly Highway

When we arrived at Banka Banka Station we realised we had a flat tyre on the caravan, so the next morning we changed the tyre then set off to Tenant Creek to get the punctured tyre repaired. We spent most of the morning in Tenant Creek looking around.

Distance: From Banka Banka Station 290kms

Where we Stayed: Rest Area east of Barkly Homestead Roadhouse

Cost: FREE

Rest Area Facilties: N/A

Local Attractions: This is flat, barren and desolate countryside. East is the border to Queensland and the town of Camooweal and west is Tenant Creek, otherwise there is very little to see or do.

HOT TIP: Our intention was to spend the night at the Barkly Homestead, however with the hefty price tag of $35 per night we decided to free camp instead. If you don’t need power or a shower then these rest areas are perfect for an overnight stop.

Travel Around Australia in 185 Days

We had hundreds and hundreds of kilometres of this on the Barkly Highway

In a short space of eight days we were done with the Northern Territory and we crossed the border into our home state of Queensland. We were excited to enter Outback Queensland to experience some of the country hospitality that we had been hearing about.

If you would like to read more about our travels into the Northern Territory read this post titled Touring The Territory: Katherine & Mataranka

By 50 Shades, November 20, 2017 <p>Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 4 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now 60. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.</p>
  • 2

50 Shades

<p>Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 4 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now 60. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.</p>

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