Tag Archives: Daly River

Hendrix and Nath fishing off the rocks

Day 451 – Day 455: Daly River Esplanade – The Lodge at Dundee

Wednesday, 27 to Sunday 31 August 2014                                                       344.1kms

We left camp at 9am headed north. We were thinking of checking out Daly River, but as we left camp later than expected, we ditched that idea and continued north. We stopped along the road side many times looking for didgeridoos. Unfortunately we didn’t find any.

Our lunch stop was at Robin Falls. We ate in the car park, before making our way along the short walk alongside the creek to the falls. The creek was beautiful and very inviting. There were a few small waterfalls along the way which added to the ambiance.

 Creek at Robin Falls
Creek at Robin Falls

We climbed up a fig tree’s roots to get to the middle pool where Elokin and Hendrix paddled in the cool water. Nath went under the waterfall while I wet my legs in the cool water and it was refreshing. We left the waterfall feeling revived.

Further north along the road we stopped again to look for didgeridoos. Again we came out empty handed. Nath is determined to get one for himself.

We finally made it to the Lodge at Dundee late in the afternoon. We are staying for 5 nights, unpowered and it is only costing us $100. The unpowered area is huge and we chose a spot among trees for plenty of shade. We found the swimming pool just before sunset and the kids thoroughly enjoyed their swim. This is going to be a great place to relax and spend a few days chilling out.

For the next few days that is exactly what we did. Nath also had to pull apart the front right hub of the Patrol to try to identify where our mystery noise is coming from. He thinks it is either the brake pad or we need a new calliper.

Nath pulling apart the front right wheel to work out where the noise is coming from.
Nath pulling apart the front right wheel to work out where the noise is coming from.

We spent time lazing by the pool and swimming in it. We walked along the beach, watched boats get launched and retrieved by a loader which was interesting; and fished off the rocks. Hendrix hooked a blue-nose salmon but lost in at the rocks. Nath also caught a shark and kept all of the kids and adults entertained, getting them to feel its skin.

We met Bruce and Ally from near Newcastle and spent a bit of time with them. Nath went with Bruce in his boat fishing and for once was the one catching all of the fish. He caught a metre long Queenfish and a barracuda. We followed them to Finesse River, watched the tide come in over the flats really quickly, and met Sammy a professional crabber that gave Bruce some crabs that he can’t sell as they have no nippers. He was an interesting fellow that lives in a shanty on the edge of the river. I would be scared to live there with all those big crocodiles around.

After they left we went to Boss Creek for a look. It was low tide, so Elokin and Hendrix had a swim in the pools that remained. We also found some nice shells. We then met Ed and Anne and that night Hendrix and Elokin busked in front of them as a practise for Darwin.

 

The downsides to our time at Dundee were the plagues of sand-flies and the weekend crowd. We will never EVER camp near a bottle shop or bar on a Saturday night again. Down the beach from the park was a beach party with very loud nightclub music playing until about 2am. The pub had a band playing until around 11am, then the drunkards had fisty-cuffs and yelling and finally the police were called but didn’t arrive until 4:30am to take the 3 lads that couldn’t hold their liquor or their temper away. Then the best one was the football team that decided to camp near us and compete with the beach party music. Over the pub and the party, none of the other campers knew these clowns even existed, but we did. We watched them stumble around, attempt to dance naked and then fall over. One idiot decided it was a cool idea to ride on the bonnet of a car while his drunk mate backed up multiple times in an attempt to flick him off. The bozo in the car thought he was too cool for school and did donuts in the paddock. Thankfully he drove away for a while and the rest of them decided to call it a night and bed down in their tents and swags about 3am. The car then returned after all was quiet and thought he would show off his drunk driving skills by backing up to a tent and stopping millimetres from his sleeping friends before driving away from them. He went head on at a swag with his lights shining his mate in the eyes, again stopping millimetres from him. When none of the guys got back up he decided to do more donuts, this time near our camper. He narrowly missed us and both Nath and I were ready to get up belt the guy, or crash into his car with our bulbar, but then that wouldn’t make us any better than him, so we let it be. Finally the bozo got the idea and left, thankfully. So eventually we did get some sleep, but it wasn’t for long, as then the brawl at the pub started. What a crappy night! The following morning I went and found the car and got his number plate. If you know the guy tell him to pull his head in before he kills someone. He drives a black Toyota Kluger.

Until next time…. Happy and Safe Travels.

Our mezzanine level view of the river

Day 448 – Day 450: Oolloo Crossing – Daly River Esplanade

Sunday, 24 to Tuesday 26 August 2014                                                                46.8kms

Sunday we had a relaxing day of fishing and playing board games. Unfortunately no fish were caught. We saw water buffalo on the opposite bank just after sunset which was cool. We spotlighted for crocodile eyes that evening and saw 2.

Monday morning Nath went to check the trap and caught one cherabin overnight.

We had a fellow arrive in camp and start marking the big trees with a white X. Turns out they are mahogany trees planted back in the 60’s to provide shade for the camp sites, but now that they are old and huge, they start to drop dead branches and there is potential of someone getting hurt. Plus they drop seed pods and are easily seeded, so before us are at least 4 generations of mahogany trees. Parks and Wildlife have decided they want to make this area look like native Australian scrub and not a South African mahogany forest. So of course, guess what that means for us! Pack up camp and move on. Damn it!!!!

So after leaving camp and driving along a few tracks, having a difficult time turning around a couple of times, we found the Daly River again downstream from where we were. Before we could set up camp, we headed up the road to get some reception to re-direct the mail. After that was done, we headed back to make camp.

We have a nice spot under a huge mango tree complete with a mezzanine level for our chairs to sit, drink and watch the river from up high. Nath caught another cherabin in the trap while we bathed at the water’s edge in the afternoon.

The next day Hendrix practised on his didgeridoo while Elokin wrote stories to accompany the didj. The idea is to get them to busk in Darwin. They worked hard at it for hours which was fantastic. Hendrix has picked up his sounds really quickly.

In the afternoon we took a drive back to Oolloo Crossing to see what the loggers had done to our camp site. The place looked completely different. There were remnants of mahogany trees all over the place. They clearly had not finished cleaning up the area yet. All the shade that had made the place really inviting was gone. To be honest I really liked the South African Mahogany forest. It had a mystical feel that you would expect to see as the set of a kung-fu movie. I was left saddened by the whole thing. What was remaining on the ground before us was the useless bits to the big company so who knows what was going to happen to it. So much waste! They took the lengths of trunk they could use and threw the rest away.

 

Until next time…. Happy and Safe Travels.

Elokin and Hendrix with Ted

Day 444 – Day 447: Flora River – Oolloo Crossing

Wednesday, 20 to Saturday, 23 August 2014                                                  462.9kms

Wednesday we left early and headed into Katherine. While we were shopping we found Kellie, Mark, Oscar and Ethan and went for coffee with them at the Coffee Club. Camped for the night 10kms north of Katherine at an unmarked rest area.

Camp at roadside 10km north of Katherine
Camp at roadside 10km north of Katherine

The next morning we headed out to Top Didj to look at the beautiful Aboriginal Art and didgeridoos. Turns out I have rather expensive taste as I there were 3 pieces I really, really liked, and they were all about $2500. We met a couple, Jon and Rhonda, from Crescent Head in the room with the didgeridoos. Jon was playing them all and gave us some pointers for Hendrix. Turns out, the didgeridoo will choose you, not the other way around. And he was right. The first one Hendrix picked up, he was able to toot out a drone easily. Nath thought it must be an easy didj to play, but couldn’t get it to work. Hendrix tried many others, but returned to that first one, time and time again. So that is the one he now owns. Elokin bought clap sticks, plus we bought an instructional dvd for Hendrix and Nath to learn with. While we were there, Elokin got to hold a 6 ½ month old agile wallaby named Ted. It was the cutest little thing, all bundled up in his pouch. Hendrix got to feed an older one named Balla (Aboriginal for “Fella”) a piece of sweet potato.

From here we continued out to Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge) and set up camp. The washing machines got a work out from us in the afternoon and they are $4 per load. We met a family camped near us in the evening and Elokin and Hendrix enjoyed playing with Jarrah and Keira while we chatted with Jodie and Josh.

Friday saw us do school work in the morning and go for a swim in the pool after packing down the camper. We then headed to the visitors centre where we had intended to go for a walk to the Katherine Gorge lookout, but spent too long in the centre chatting, and the kids played with Lex, that we had to go straight to town to collect the mail. As all of the school work didn’t arrive, or any of the other packages we were waiting on, it put us in a bit of a pickle that left us unsure what to do with ourselves for the weekend. Do we hang around Katherine, which is going to cost us loads to potentially get the mail on Monday if it arrives; or do we go somewhere close by and come back on Monday, although there is nowhere we want to go close by; or do we say stuff it and head north and get the mail redirected to Darwin? Over a cup of tea in a park we decided to do the later. It’s not worth waiting around for mail, even though Elokin has no school work for next week and Hendrix does. Oh well, we get the week off to catch up and take a break. After coming to a decision, we attempted to start the car to discover we had a flat battery! I finally managed to flag down a lovely family in a patrol from Coffs Harbour to give us a jump start. It was then McDonalds for dinner and driving north into the night. We arrived at Douglas Hot Springs after 9pm, pulled into a big open area and went to bed. What a day!

 

Camp at Douglas Hot Springs
Camp at Douglas Hot Springs

The next morning we went for a swim in the Hot Spring before driving the 45 odd kilometres to Oolloo Crossing on the banks of the Daly River.

We found a lovely shady camp in amongst tall trees on a concrete slab and set up camp.

Nath and Hendrix flicked lures around in the river and the water was so crystal clear we could see the Barramundi come in to give them a tap. No hook ups this afternoon, but there is always tomorrow.

The family watched the Didgeridoo dvd in the evening and practised on the didj. The boys are getting really good at it.

Until next time…. Happy and Safe Travels.