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Judy’s Travel Diary

Monday, 23 Jul 2007

MapWant to change our page to Wewandawanda - have seen so many geratics driving cars with a tyre cover Adventure before etc. hang my head in shame….

We were going to drive out to Jim Jim Falls the next morning and then take the Yellow Water Cruise on the wetlands . The drive into Jim Jim Falls was impossible, the road was roughly corrugated and difficult. After 30ks and one hour, we decided to give up and turn back, just could not stand the road anymore. We then drove down to take the Yellow Water cruise. Wetlands are just so beautiful, water with thousands of waterlilies, with grass banks that float on the water. There were so many crocs on the banks and in the water it was amazing. I know now that they were at the Roper and in Shoal Bay, scary stuff. The birdlife was wonderful. There were lovely black and white ducks called Rajha ducks they have white bills they call them $10000 ducks in the NT as they are protected and if you kill one you are fined $5000 but they mate for life and the partner will die within days if its mate dies. so the government has fixed the fine at $10000 because the pair would die if you kill one. The little brown ducks are whistling ducks and are a major food for the aborigines. They were there in their thousands too many to photograph. and then more crocs We got up quite close to a pair of herons beautiful birds.
We saw a kite fly down and pick up a snake from the water, and got up close to the 5 brumbies that are allowed to live in the Kakadu park by the traditional owners, they say the horse has an affinity with their relatives because of the work the aborigines did building up the outback and because they are great horsemen

We left Kakadu the next day and drove down onto Pine Creek and then Katherine. We had planned to go onto Kunnamurra the next day but decided that to drive 1200k to see one town was a little crazy and if we skipped it we could take a little more time with the trip home. We were very lucky to get accommodation in Katherine as the show was on. We thought we would go, but took a look at all the locals there and decided that watching a DVD would be better. Really on our way home tomorrow - God all those kilometres ahead of us. Peter had done some research for us on where Mikes Father Carl was during the war, and we have decided to take some time and visit where he was stationed.

Next day we dropped into Mataranka and visited Elsey Homestead, (We of the Never Never was written about this area and a replica of the homestead that they used to make the movie is now near the Mineral Springs

tracked down where Mikes father served and took our selves off the Daly Waters and Gorrie airfield where 9 Stores was stationed. The photo of the van on the red track is actually one of the original airstrips, when you stood on it you could see the length, but it had overgrown on the edges, and Mike had to back the van into the scrub to turn around to get out, and had to knock down a couple of saplings with the van - lucky it is off road. there are ant nests everywhere you go but this one was at Gorrie airstrip, great shape - it would be about 10 years old..
More daly waters photos, the dead tree was marked with an S by Stuart in 1860's when he tried to cross australia from south to north for the overland telegraph routes He had 3 attempts, making it to Palmerston on the third attempt. Photos are of the hanger at Daly Waters, Mikes father Carl was sent her in March 42 a month after the bombing of Darwin, Conditions were terrible by all accounts, They were then moved down the road to Larrimar, where the rail head was and he was at Gorrie airport.
We had a great night at the Daly Waters pub, have organised a job for you Jane if the other stuff fails,,,,

We did the tour of the gold mine at Battery Hill in Tennant Creek and Dad tried out a bit of the equipment which is 89 - 90 years old and still worked - you needed those ear muffs.