Camooweal to Katherine

Wednesday July 15th. Renner Springs to Katherine via the A1 Stuart Highway.

Today’s drive was 483 kms and fairly unremarkable. The highlight was our lunchtime stop at the Larrimar Hotel/Pink Panther Cafe at Larrimar. The place was little more than a shack but the beef pie I had was out of this world. Despite its cruddy appearance the place was full of character, probably due in part to the fact that in WW2 it was the Officers Mess for the local RAAF camp. It also had a remarkable collection of wild birds in aviaries to look at as well as couple of crocs in pools. After  Larrimar we drove on to Katherine where we are stopping over for the next 3 nights before going on to Darwin.

ODO reading from Clarenza = 5174.8 kms

Tuesday July 14th. Camooweal (QLD) to Tennant Creek & Renner Springs (NT) via the A2 Barkly & A1 Stuart Highway

Another long drive today (638kms) with a short diversion to visit Tennant Creek the famous old Gold Mining Town. Before we set off from Camooweal we had one of those moments which make this country so fascinating. Two flatbed utes with trailers pulled up at the pumps and they were loaded with ATV quads and at least 10 dogs. A guy got out of one ute looking for all the world like a character out of a western movie. Stetson, thick jacket with collar pulled up, jeans and rugged boots. A soon as he saw me looking at his rig he said “G’day mate” and we got chatting. It turns out they were itinerant feral pig hunters, hence the ATV’s and the dogs. They had about 10 dogs in total, they were a mix of Beagles, Greyhounds and Irish Wolf Hounds. They were well socialised with humans but I don’t fancy the pig’s chances. We did a quick detour to Tennant Creek and visited the old Battery Hill Mining centre and had a look at the town itself. We decided not to get of the car in TC town centre as the black fellas, hanging around in large mobs looked decidedly unfriendly. Tomorrow we have a 500k drive to Katherine where we are stopping over 3 nights to see the sights.

ODO reading from Clarenza = 4657.4 kms

Monday July 13th. Richmond to Camooweal via the A6 Flinders Way & A2 Barkly Highway.

A fairly long drive today of 593kms. Like yesterday the road kill was prolific but was augmented today by three large cows and what appeared to be a large deer. One of the spin offs from this road kill is the amazing amount of raptors including eagles that it supports. We passed through some interesting small places, Julia Creek, Cloncurry and Mt. Isa. Cloncurry holds the record for the hottest temperature recorded in OZ at 127.5 f. Just after we left Cloncurry we saw a huge dust storm on the horizon, spiralling and whirling hundreds of feet into the clear blue sky. However as we met up with the storm a few minutes later we got the shock of our lives as were in the middle of a storm of locusts and we were forced to stop until they passed. It was a truly amazing sight. Mt Isa is famous for its mines, the largest of which sits almost bang slap in the middle of the town as you approach from the east. It is the largest single mine for the production of copper, zinc and other minerals in the world. Journeys end tonight is a road house with basic accommodation in the middle of nowhere, Camooweal. Tomorrow we have a similar day on the road as we leave Queensland for the Northern Territory and Renner Springs.

ODO reading from Clarenza = 4019.4 kms

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