We woke to sunshine and clear blue skies but still needed the diesel heater to warm things up before starting our day. It was so peaceful at our freecamp, other than the millions of birds there, that we had thought about staying another day. But then it was only 1 degree overnight so we decided to keep heading north in search of warmer weather.
We left the Barrow Creek freecamp at around 9.30am and noticed how narrow the exit gate was as we went through. It seemed bigger yesterday for some reason.
Back on the Stuart Highway, about 5 kms from where we had stayed, was Taylors Creek and a crowded freecamp. It did have a toilet and it was bituminised but it would have been very noisy as it was right beside the highway.
At the recommendation of other diners at Gemtree we stopped for fuel at Wycliffe Well. Diesel was an amazingly cheap $1.279 per litre! This is an interesting place to visit as it bills itself as the ‘UFO Capital of Australia’. The buildings and caravan park are all covered in UFOs and similar themes and the roadhouse has a huge range of UFO souvenirs etc. Fuel was all that we purchased. We never got to understand the UFO link.
Next stop on the highway was the Wauchope Hotel and Caravan Park (also sign written as the Devils Marbles Hotel) but it looked deserted. We assume that business would pick up later in the day – it is Saturday after-all. We stopped for coffee in the rest area outside the hotel.
From Wauchope we drove to Devils’ Marbles – one of our ‘bucket list’ places to see! Pulling off the highway there were signs to the day stopover and the camping area. We chose the camping area as we had contemplated staying here for the night. It would have cost $3.30 per person!
The marbles themselves are spectacular and seem to be miraculously stacked on top of each in weird and wonderful ways. The photos just don’t do them justice. Visitors can wander around at will but are requested not to climb on the rocks as this is a sacred place to the original inhabitants of the area.
The camping area has great facilities including toilets, BBQs, seating, etc. In the carpark we caught up with a couple who we had crossed paths with a couple of times this week.
We walked for what seemed like hours and took lots of photos, which was a bit of a challenge given the quite strong winds.
All of the carparks became very crowded at lunchtime so we had a quick lunch in Bertha and decided to keep heading north.
We continued up the highway to Tennant Creek and as we already had a map of the town we took a scenic route around town.
Not much seemed to be open so we booked into the Tennant Creek Caravan Park at the north end of town. We had intended driving further today but the time we spent walking and talking at the Devils’ Marbles meant that we arrived in town later than we had anticipated.
This is a very nice caravan park with friendly new owners in a lovely garden setting and great security at night. It is Saturday after-all. After showing us to our site and making sure we knew where everything was, the owner asked if there was anything else he could do for us. We had 2 empty gas bottles which he took away to refill and then delivered them back to our site very promptly. He should do well here with service like that!
There is very much an international feel about this place. I had a great chat in the camp kitchen while using the BBQ with a young Finnish couple and an older couple from Tasmania sharing stories about our travels, places visited and still to visit, and so on. For the first time in a while there were also several other motorhomes other than rentals.
Finally we have power, gas and water, and more importantly mobile phone coverage, TV reception, and internet access!
We look forward to a relaxing evening with all mod-cons before heading off tomorrow.