Travel

Palm Cove – Bell Girls Weekend 2014

 

IMG_5139There are soooooo many blog posts floating around in my head at the moment with our whole camping holiday to share still, but I’m going to start with a post from a few weeks ago to fill you in on the awesome weekend I had with my mum and two sisters.  This weekend really kicked off ‘holiday season’ for me as this is the best, and really the only time of year, that we can squeeze a bit of time off from the farm at Blue Sky. Continue reading

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Guest Post – Sarah & Malte

Today’s post is the first ever ‘Guest Post’ to feature on the Are We There Yet? blog.  I asked Sarah & Malte if they wouldn’t mind sharing with us the adventure of their time travelling around Oz.

Sarah and Malte were the first ever backpackers to work with us on the farm at Blue Sky Produce for three months last year.  They set the bar pretty high for all our other workers going forward. They were two of the most hardworking and lovely people we have ever met!  Added to that they enjoyed teaching us ‘Wizard’ – a really fun German card game and then whipping our butts at it!! Lucky they taught us a few German swear words too!!  Malte and Sarah are just about to head back home to Germany and we are sad to see them go – they spoilt the kids while they were here at Blue Sky and we loved getting to know them and learn a little about their lives in Germany.

They have seen so much during their time in Australia – more then most of us Aussies will ever see!! Thank you Sarah & Malte for sharing your travels here and best of luck for your futures ahead – I hope we get to see you again sometime!

Sarah & Malte after a hard day of mulching - not the most fun job!

Sarah & Malte after a hard day of mulching at Blue Sky – not the most fun job!

Continue reading

Categories: Camping, Travel | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

Flashback Friday – The Hanstede Family Visit

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This week’s Flashback Friday post is about a visit we had only a bit over a month ago now.  I didn’t get a chance to write a post about it at the time and really want to share it tonight because I have just realised we haven’t shown you much of the beautiful places we have to see up here on the Tablelands!

The Hanstede Family are friends of ours who made the long drive up from Brisbane to Cairns in early January.  Connor and Jack were the best of friends back at school in Samford, so Jack was just sooooooo excited to have the Hanstede’s come and stay with us for a weekend before they headed home!  It was amazing to see how easily the boys just picked up again as mates – right where they had left off!  We took the opportunity while we had some visitors, to do a little bit of a sight-seeing day out on the Tabelands with them and here is just a tiny bit of what is on offer in our pretty special part of the world!

Our first stop was the Curtain Fig Tree, located just outside a lovely little town called Yungaburra.  The tree stands 50 metres tall and spreads to 39 metres wide at the base and is believed to be over 800 years old!

Curtain Fig Tree

Curtain Fig Tree

Impossible to get it all in one photo!

Impossible to get it all in one photo!

Hanstede & Fealy kids

Hanstede & Fealy kids

From here it was only a short, but compulsory drive to my all time favourite place on the Tablelands, Lake Eacham.  If you are ever up this way you MUST make the time for a swim here – the water is so refreshing, just do it!  Lake Eacham is a volcanic crater lake fed by underground springs, so it retains a constant water level and is unaffected by drought.  There is a great 4km walking track around the lake and if you are brave and keep your eyes out, you will spot a couple of tall trees which you can jump out of into the Lake – fun!  It was a bit rainy on our visit but we still enjoyed a swim and a picnic lunch out there.

I'm putting it out there to say, Lake Eacham is the best swimming spot in all of Australia!

I’m putting it out there to say, Lake Eacham is the best swimming spot in all of Australia!

Nowhere better!

Nowhere better!

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

Enjoying a swim!

Enjoying a swim!

Hello Carole and Gerrard!

Hello Carole and Gerrard!

From Lake Eacham we had a very quick stop at the Malanda Dairy Centre to see if we could spot Grandma and Grunda’s photos on the wall in the museum showcasing some of the local dairy industry history!  The kids scored two free milkshakes to share as the centre was just closing and had the milkshakes left over so the kids thought that was fantastic!  The Dairy Centre is really well done – definitely worth a look for the gold coin donation!Our last little bit of sight-seeing for the weekend was much closer to home here in Mareeba and that was a trip just around the corner from our place to visit the Skybury Australian Coffee Centre.  I had never been here before and I thought it was just a beautiful spot!  The coffee drinkers said the coffee was pretty good too!  You can take a tour of the coffee and tropical fruit plantation or just relax like we did having something to eat and drink at the cafe.  I would definitely like go back for breakfast sometime!!  Oh, and I even spotted the young farmer who works the farm and who featured on the tv show ‘Farmer Wants A Wife’ a few years ago!!  Definitely on our ‘must take all visitors here’ list as it is only five minutes from our place (we think we could even see our shed from the cafe!) and a really lovely spot.

Skybury Coffee Centre Cafe

Skybury Coffee Centre Cafe

Pretty good coffee, we even bought some home to try in the stove top coffee maker.

Pretty good coffee, we even bought some home to try in the stove top coffee maker.

Cheers!

Cheers!

It was so nice to have some familiar faces visiting from Brisbane, thanks so much for coming Hanstede family!  We’re open for bookings now for our ‘hopefully’ quiet winter off season, surely there’s some takers after seeing these pictures!!  We have ‘rustic worker’s accommodation’ or the 5 star (not) homestead accommodation, and even free kids club/babysitting – come and visit okay!!

Mates!

Mates!

Categories: Atherton Tablelands, Flashback Friday, Travel | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Middle Lagoon

20130821-202412.jpgFrom Broome we headed north to the top of the Western Australian coastline and spent a glorious week relaxing and ‘taking a break from our holiday’ at Middle Lagoon.

Our week went a little something like this ……………………………………

Swimming

Swimming

Kayaking

Kayaking

The mission to build the biggest and best sandcastle we have ever made!

The mission to build the biggest and best sandcastle we have ever made!

Hard Work!

Hard Work!

Getting There

Getting There

Family effort with the help of some ringins!

Family effort with the help of some ringins!

The finished product - not a bad effort!

The finished product – not a bad effort!

Sunsets

Sunsets

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And lots of campfires!

And lots of campfires!

What it is all about!

What it is all about!

Middle Lagoon is a two and a half hour drive from Broome along a pretty rough, red sand and dirt, corrugated road, but it is worth the drive.  We did get a bit of a surprise when we reached the Middle Lagoon turn off the Cape Leveque Road and then realised we still had just over 30kms still to go!  And the road in to Middle Lagoon was rougher than what we had already travelled on the Cape Leveque Road so it was a very long drive!

The road in to Middle Lagoon

The road in to Middle Lagoon

Red sand and corrugations all the way

Red sand and corrugations all the way

We stayed at Nature’s Hideaway Campground at Middle Lagoon on an excellent site called site 5 on the Terraces (or Snob Hill as Trice and Geoff called it hehehe!).  Although it wasn’t directly overlooking the water like you can see in this picture (and those sites were spectacular!)

Beautiful ocean front sites!

Beautiful ocean front sites!

we really liked our site because we could still see the water but we had lots of shade too which the ocean front ones didn’t.  The shade was really nice to have in the afternoon when it was too hot at the beach and we just wanted to be chilling out around camp.

Our lovely shady spot - still with water views - the kids had lots of friends come to visit and play lego with them!

Our lovely shady spot – still with water views – the kids had lots of friends come to visit and play lego with them!

Relaxing watching a movie in the camper one afternoon.

Relaxing watching a movie in the camper one afternoon.

We did lots of relaxing at Middle Lagoon but we also had lots of fun as it just worked out that also here at the same time were the family we had meet at Lake Argyle (Geoff & Trice and the kids), plus the Rollason family we met at Cable Beach and another family we had met in the caravan park in Broome!  The kids had a ball having lots of friends to play with and Matt and I enjoyed some friends to talk to as well!  We were lucky enough to be given one night, a dinner’s worth of freshly caught spanish mackeral from a lovely couple at a neighbouring campsite.  This fish came to us filleted and all so all we had to do was cook it over the fire – it was so delicious!!!

Getting our hot plate ready to cook our fish

Getting our hot plate ready to cook our fish

Fish and Chips Middle Lagoon Style

Fish and Chips Middle Lagoon Style

Our delicious dinner - best fish we have ever tasted!

Our delicious dinner – best fish we have ever tasted!

The next day Matt and the boys were lucky enough to go out with Geoff in his tinnie and try a bit of fishing themselves!  Even though they came home empty handed they were so lucky having got to see whales, dolphins, a big sea turtle and lots of different types of fish!  The boys had a great time and Geoff we are so grateful to you for taking them all out!

Off fishing in Geoff's boat!

Off fishing in Geoff’s boat!

We really didn’t do much at Middle Lagoon – we spent a big day trip out exploring Cape Leveque and surrounds but other than that we just ‘stopped’ and although it was a little hard to make ourselves do it when there is so much to do and see – we’re really glad we did as it was a great rest.

An easy place to slow down for a week!

An easy place to slow down for a week!

Campfires every night.

Campfires every night.

On our last night at Middle Lagoon we decided to head off and explore some of the 4wd tracks around the lagoon – we ended up on our own private little beach to watch the sun set – it was beautiful!

Our own little beach all to ourselves!

Our own little beach all to ourselves!

Come and see .........

Come and see ………

A sunset picnic

A sunset picnic

Seen enough photos of this ugly mob yet???

Seen enough photos of this ugly mob yet???

Sunset

Sunset

20130821-203249.jpg 20130821-202859.jpg 20130821-203324.jpgMiddle Lagoon was probably my favourite place of the whole trip – it was worth leaving Broome for!

 

 

Categories: Camping, Travel, WA Camping | Tags: , | 6 Comments

‘Toes in the Water’ in Broome

We’re jumping ahead a little with the blog posts, but we just wanted to share the fun we have been having here in Broome over the last few days, before we head out of reception tomorrow. We have loved, loved, loved our time in Broome. We will write a proper blog post about where we went, where we stayed, what we did etc when we are back in reception.

Enjoy Broome – Fealy Family style to the sounds of Zac Brown Band ‘Toes’.

Categories: Travel, WA Camping, Zac Brown Band | Tags: , | 15 Comments

Edith Falls

DSC_0494 DSC_0395 DSC_0399 DSC_0389 DSC_0253 IMG_0059 DSC_0354Well looks like I am going to have to get two blog posts done tonight as I missed getting a post done last night due to the fact that I was feeling far too relaxed after having a bottle of champagne at sunset on Cable Beach (thanks Ang & Hans – we finally felt the time was right to crack the bottle of champagne you gave us and it was goooood!).  So, where were we?   Hmmmm – ok once we left Mataranka we headed north to Katherine and decided to camp for two nights just outside town at the Shady Lane Caravan Park.  We had received the news when we left Tennant Creek that the farming opportunity was going ahead so we needed a few days in Katherine to sort our heads out and decide exactly what our new plan for our last four weeks on the road was going to be.  The Shady Lane Caravan Park was lovely – the cleanest and nicest amenities we have come across so far on the trip and lovely big drive through sites.  We spent a morning shopping in Katherine to pick up a birthday pressie for Toby who was turning 6 while we were there, and also got Matt a new hat as we finally had to concede that we had lost his very trusty Ergon hat somewhere past Winton!!

After a morning in town we headed out to spend the afternoon at Edith Falls which is about 40km’s north of Katherine.  It was a beautiful spot and we had a ball swimming and lying around on the lovely green grass at the picnic area – it has been soooooo long since we had seen green grass!!!  We even got the trusty green kayak down and the kids thought it was pretty neat to be able to kayak right up to a waterfall!  We did the easy 3km return walk to the Upper Pools at the falls and it was well worth the walk!  It was so nice here, and we were happy to see at least one waterfall as we had now decided that we were not going to be able to make it through Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks in the time we had left.  The National Park Campground at Edith Falls was lovely, and cheap – only $15.90 per family per night – we would definitely recommend camping there and checking out Edith Falls!

The view from the Upper Pools

The view from the Upper Pools

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Matt & Jack swam right under the waterfall in the upper pools

Matt & Jack swam right under the waterfall in the upper pools

Tobes loves to kaya

Tobes loves to kayak

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Jacko got a shot of these fish using his underwater camera

Jacko got a shot of these fish using his underwater camera

Fish nibbling Matt's toes

Fish nibbling Matt’s toes

A lovely spot

A lovely spot

Categories: Camping, NT Camping, Travel | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Tennant Creek to Mataranka

DSC_0164We have been doing and seeing some amazing and beautiful things over the last few weeks and I have fallen behind with the blog entries again! I am excited to share some of our photos with you so will hopefully get all up to date while we are here in Broome this week!  Broome is spectacular by the way!

After spending our forced week stop over in Tennant Creek with our car/camper issues (the problems all stemmed back to Karen Camper and some worn out wiring on the electric brakes – Matt will give you the details), we finally headed off to Mataranka which was about 5 hours drive north of Tennant Creek.  We have to admit though that we did enjoy our time in Tennant Creek despite being a bit stressed and cranky about the car!  All up we had 6 nights there – 4 nights in the camper in the Caravan Park and then 2 nights in a cabin in the same caravan park – thankfully all paid for by RACQ with our Ultimate cover – very grateful that we had that cover!  We stayed at the Outback Caravan Park which was one of the nicest caravan parks we have stayed in so far!  We had lots of time to get some school work done, do some baking, catch up on our washing and the kids enjoyed the warmer weather and the pool (even though the water was freezing still!).  We again spent some time at the library which we always enjoy – new book for Jack to read, toys for Toby & Lexi to play with and the librarians are always happy to chat away to me!

Lexi loves to bake!

Lexi loves to bake!

Jack doing a maths riddle that Matt made up for him

Jack doing a maths riddle that Matt made up for him

Lots of pool time - great pool but freezing cold!

Lots of pool time – great pool but freezing cold!

Warming up in the sun on a rock at the pool

Warming up in the sun on a rock at the pool

The kids checking out the old gold mining trolley on the walk to the library in Tennant Creek

The kids checking out the old gold mining trolley on the walk to the library in Tennant Creek

When we finally left Tennant Creek we had a quick stop to check out Lake Mary Ann on the way out – it looked quite nice but not a very big dam and unfortunately no camping there.

Lake Mary Ann - Tennant Creek

Lake Mary Ann – Tennant Creek

And then we once again passed the camel man being pulled along by his camels on the highway.  We have since discovered from other travellers that his name is Klaus Menzel and he is actually quite famous!

Klaus Menzel and his camels - they got further than we did in 3 days!

Klaus Menzel and his camels – they got further than we did in 3 days!

We stopped for lunch at the Daly Waters Pub which was really interesting – definitely a pub with lots of character – would be a fun place to camp, and the food is very reasonably priced and pretty yum!  It gets very busy though!

Daly Waters Pub - Lunch stop

Daly Waters Pub – Lunch stop

All kinds of things hanging up in the Daly Waters Pub - it did smell just a little inside!

All kinds of things hanging up in the Daly Waters Pub – it did smell just a little inside!

Bras - Daly Waters Pub

Bras – Daly Waters Pub

Thong Tree - Daly Waters Pub

Thong Tree – Daly Waters Pub

And then at last we made it to Mataranka where we met up with Matt’s dad & Rema – we were all really excited to see them!!

Hello Poppy & Rema!

Hello Poppy & Rema!

We camped for two nights at the Mataranka Homestead campground which had heaps of room for us to choose our own spot in the unpowered area and was just a short walk to the Rainbow Springs Thermal Pools.

Our campsite - Mataranka Homestead

Our campsite – Mataranka Homestead

Peacocks and Wallabies everywhere around the campground

Peacocks and Wallabies everywhere around the campground

The campground was a little tired and a bit dusty but the thermal pools were sooooooooo good!  They were beautifully warm and we all spent hours swimming – such a treat after being so cold for the last few months!!!  We also got to watch a really great family band (Mum, Dad, 16yr old son and 12 yr old son) who played some great music and it was really inspiring to watch a family travelling around Australia – all sharing something they love!  It has been amazing on this trip to see all the different lives people lead – such a great country we live in that we have the freedom to do this!  The kids loved seeing other kids not much older than them up on stage playing the electric guitar and drums – hopefully they will remember this when we go back to their piano lessons when ‘normal’ life returns!

Mataranka Hot Springs

Mataranka Hot Springs

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Matt & I at the Mataranka Hot Springs - photo care of Jacko

Matt & I at the Mataranka Hot Springs – photo care of Jacko

The movie “We of the Never Never” was filmed at the Mataranka Homestead Caravan Park and the replica of the original homestead is still part of the attractions here, so we had a wander through – will have to watch the movie now!

DSC_0210We did the 2.5km return walk from the caravan park into the Elsey National Park and checked out the Waterhouse River and checked out the swimming hole called Stevie’s Hole.

Checking out the Waterhouse River

Checking out the Waterhouse River

Stevies Hole

Stevies Hole

Some leaf boat racing at Stevies Hole

Some leaf boat racing at Stevies Hole

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We also spent a morning floating down the river at Bitter Springs which is only about a 10 minute drive from the Mataranka Homestead Caravan Park.  It was lots of fun letting the current take us about 200metres down the river and then walking back on the dirt track to do it all again!  On the way home from Bitter Springs we stopped in at the Territory Manor Caravan Park and checked out the free Barramundi feeding they do there at 9.30am and 1pm every day.  The boys loved it!

Floating in Bitter Springs with Poppy & Rema

Floating in Bitter Springs with Poppy & Rema

Jack - Barramundi Feeding

Jack – Barramundi Feeding

Toby a little scared at the Barramundi Feeding!

Toby a little scared at the Barramundi Feeding!

So yep – another great spot to add to your ‘must visit’ list if you haven’t already been there – we loved it, definitely could have stayed longer – next time we would like to kayak to Mataranka Falls from the National Park campground – putting on the ‘must return’ list!

 

Categories: Camping, NT Camping, Travel | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

8 weeks on the road

Boab Tree - now we are in WA we are seeing them everywhere - love them!

Boab Tree – now we are in WA we are seeing them everywhere – love them!

Today we had a very long drive and to fill in the last hour and stop the fighting and whinging before we stopped for lunch at Halls Creek, (after listening to a whole Famous Five audio book) we decided to go round the car and see what everybody’s thoughts are on the trip now that we have been on the road for 8 weeks!! It has gone so fast, but leaving Brisbane two months ago seems like forever too if that is possible!!

Fealy Family Interview

What have we missed the most since being on the trip?

Jack – having good friends – only friends now are the others (pointing to Lex & Tobes) and they’re not really friends.  Icecream, miss playing with my hockey team, the trampoline and my bike.

Toby – my toy cars drawer from home, Patrick and Ashlin.

Lexi – the house and my room, Jayde & Madi, icecream, Jerry & Slinky,

Matt – the chooks (eggs!), icecream, cups of tea/cold beer on the deck, miss Greg (Matt’s massage dude), company of good neighbours

Jess – time to myself!  Keeping up to date with my favourite blogs, having a long hot shower by myself, sitting on the soccer field in the afternoon at school pick up time chatting to my lovely mum friends and going to book club!

What we don’t miss!

Lexi – I don’t know
Tobes – the city & noise
Jack – the roadworks at Louie’s (neighbours) block, all the pollution
Matt – sitting in a fluorescently lit office, reheating dinner to finally eat it at 11pm cold, Louie’s truck noise
Jess – housework, going to work, school routine – lunchboxes etc, road noise

What are our favourite things about the trip?

Lexi – having icecreams, the campsite with the big long pool

Tobes – Uluru, my birthday

Jack – being free – not many people, climbing Uluru, seeing all the sights that most people don’t get to see

Matt – spending every minute with the family exclusively, going to bed and waking up at regular times, seeing something and doing something new everyday, no work, no schedule.

Jess – the thrill of pack up day and heading somewhere new with new things to see – not knowing where we will be next! The live music at the campgrounds, the feeling & sound in the evening at campgrounds of people socializing, relaxing & cooking dinner.
Eating out for dinner or breaky every now & then!

Our least favourite parts of trip

Lexi – I don’t like flies all over me

Toby- having to say goodbye to friends I make

Jack – having to do school work

Matt – paying $2 a litre for petrol

Jess – walking one child all the way over to the toilet at the ablution block only to come back and have another ask to go – grrrrr!!  Or the same child ask to go back again five minutes later!!  The cold nights!  The car/camper breaking down and having to spend a precious week of our now shortened trip in Tennant Creek!

Looking back on our blog posts has helped us realise that we really have seen and done lots of great things in the last two months and even though our trip has been shortened, we are really excited about what our last month on the road will have in store for us – bring on the beach – wahooooooo!

Getting in some 'relaxing' practice in readiness for hitting the beach - this was me in the pool at Lake Argyle Caravan Park yesterday - freezing but beautiful!

Getting in some ‘relaxing’ practice in readiness for hitting the beach – this was me in the pool at Lake Argyle Caravan Park yesterday – freezing but beautiful!

Categories: Camping, Planning, Travel | 3 Comments

Alice Springs

 

After a busy two weeks exploring Uluru, Kings Canyon, Palm Valley and the West Mac’s, we headed back in to Alice Springs to find a hot shower, stock up on our supplies, collect our mail, do our washing, catch up on the blog and have a bit of down time as well as trying to do a bit of sightseeing (and yes – in that order!)  Toby was soooooo delighted to receive a parcel of letters from his class at school!  A big thank you to Jane and Prep D at Samford for all your effort as it was very special for Toby to receive those letters and he often gets his book out to re-read them!!20130716-211906.jpg

Jack helping Toby read his letters from his class!

Jack helping Toby read his letters from his class!

After having a one night stop at Heavitree Gap Caravan Park the first time we passed through Alice and not being that impressed with it, we decided to try the Stuart Caravan Park (the kids really wanted to go to the Big 4 but we just couldn’t justify the cost at $71 a night for our family of five!).  We had a really nice site at the Stuart Caravan Park close to the camp kitchen and amenities and lovely and shady, but it was very noisy with road noise from the highway at night.  Added to that it was freezing with 0 degree mornings for the four nights we stayed there!  The kids really enjoy the stay at caravan parks as there are other kids to play with and often a playground.  There was only a small playground at the caravan park, but just over the road was a huge public playground which the kids loved!

The boys playing in their dress up costumes we brought with us (thanks Uncle Jimbo) with a little mate they made in the park

The boys playing in their dress up costumes we brought with us (thanks Uncle Jimbo) with a little mate they made in the park

20130716-212328.jpgWe didn’t get a lot of sightseeing done as we just enjoyed being ‘homey’ at the park.  Jack has already written about our trip to the Desert Park which was a great full day out and great value for money – definitely recommend going there!

A great day out at the desert park - the kids loved the audio guides!

A great day out at the desert park – the kids loved the audio guides!

Awesome Bird's of Prey Show

Awesome Bird’s of Prey Show

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Family Photo with 'Labelle' the wedge-tailed eagle

Family Photo with ‘Labelle’ the wedge-tailed eagle

We spent hours in the nocturnal house!

We spent hours in the nocturnal house!

20130716-212222.jpg 20130716-212254.jpgOther than that, I took the kids to the free aviation museum which was just over the road from our caravan park and we all really enjoyed our afternoon there.  We also watched the sunset from the Anzac Hill lookout over Alice which was quite pretty but it was freezing!  After 3 visits to Alice Springs over the past month – we almost started to feel at home there!  Getting to know our way around all the shops – we quite enjoyed it!

Kids at the free Aviation Museum

Kids at the free Aviation Museum

Sunset over Heavitree Gap - Alice Springs

Sunset over Heavitree Gap – Alice Springs

Sunset over the West Macs

Sunset over the West Macs

 

Categories: Camping, NT Camping, Travel | Tags: , | 3 Comments

West MacDonnell Ranges – Part 2

Ok, prepare to be Gorge’d out!  There are sooooo many beautiful gorges in the West Mac’s!!

So – we will work through them from the Westernmost ones through to those closest to Alice Springs, starting with Roma Gorge (kids thought it was cool that this Gorge was the same name as their cousin!  Hello Roma!!).

Roma Gorge was a pretty long drive in and only accessible by 4wd.  Here we got to see some Aboriginal Petroglyphs which are carved into the rocks in the gorge.  It was 8km’s in along quite a corrugated and rocky creek bed track.  We enjoyed it as we had the whole place to ourselves but you do need a good couple of hours!  The walk into the gorge is only about 250metres from the car park, so not far once you have made the drive in.

Roma Gorge

Roma Gorge

Aboriginal Petroglyphs

Aboriginal Petroglyphs

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Short walk in to the gorge

Short walk in to the gorge

Toby getting creative inspired by Roma Gorge

Toby getting creative inspired by Roma Gorge

The next gorge you come to is Redbank Gorge and this was my favourite.  It was only a 2km walk in but was quite slow going for us with Toby and Lex and their little legs walking over rocks – definitely worth the walk though and we think the National Park campground here was the pick of them with quite secluded sites with your own fire pit, table and plenty of pit toilets around.

Walk in to Redbank Gorge

Walk in to Redbank Gorge

Still walking in to Redbank Gorge

Still walking in to Redbank Gorge

Nearly there!

Nearly there!

Beautiful Redbank Gorge

Beautiful Redbank Gorge

Photographer in action

Photographer in action

Family potrait done using the camera timer as we had the gorge to ourselves up until just before we left

Family potrait done using the camera timer as we had the gorge to ourselves up until just before we left

Next is Glen Helen Gorge and this was the gorge closest to our campsite at Finke 2-mile – pretty much just over the road from where we were camped.  There is a resort/pub and campground there so one night we splashed out and spent some of our treat money on dinner and a shower there.  It was such a great night!  We couldn’t believe how much cleaner we all looked after a shower – we hadn’t realised how dirty we had gotten in 3 days bush camping!  We had crocodile and kangaroo spring rolls to share to start with and then Matt had the Kangaroo steaks which really were very delicious!!  The kids were in heaven to choose their own dinners from the kids menu and it was an extra special night as Lexi had gone her first whole day without sucking her fingers (a habit she has had since she was born and we are aiming to break on this trip!) so the whole family was rewarded with icecreams for dessert! Matt and I had a wine each and there was a lovely roaring fire going in the bar along with an entertainer who was fantastic!  It was the best night we have had so far – we all really enjoyed the treat!  And Trice – check out Matt on the spoons – I took the video just for you hehehehe!

Glen Helen Gorge

Glen Helen Gorge

The view from the back deck of the Glen Helen Resort Pub

The view from the back deck of the Glen Helen Resort Pub

Our 'treat' dinner - soooooooo yum!

Our ‘treat’ dinner – soooooooo yum!

A fire - so lovely and warm as a change from our freezing camper at night!

A fire – so lovely and warm as a change from our freezing camper at night!

Lex with her hard earned icecream for not sucking her fingers for the whole day!

Lex with her hard earned icecream for not sucking her fingers for the whole day!

Tobes just got tuckered out - so we put him on the floor with a pillow from one of the lounges and he was happy!

Tobes just got tuckered out – so we put him on the floor with a pillow from one of the lounges and he was happy!

Ormiston Gorge is the largest of the gorges in the West Mac’s and one of the most popular, so it was quite busy here.  We managed to be there for a Ranger talk which the kids loved as he showed them how to identifiy animals from their tracks and scat (poo!).  He had heaps of cool things for the kids to touch and look at as well – the Northern Territory National Parks are fantastic with their facilities and ranger information sessions.  We also did the Ghost Gum walk here which is about a 3km walk around the rim of the Gorge – pretty easy walk and lots of amazing views!

Ormiston Gorge

Ormiston Gorge

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View down into Gorge from lookout

View down into Gorge from lookout

View from Rim Walk

View from Rim Walk

Great ranger talk

Great ranger talk

We did do a drive in to the ruins of the old Serpentine Lodge chalets which was quite interesting.  The track in is only short but quite rough (4wd recommended) and we enjoyed reading about the lodge being the halfway point for tourists to stopover in the West Mac’s in the days before comfortable 4wd’s were invented!  Unfortunately it closed due to water shortage problems and there looked to be an interesting walk in to a dam that was put in there, but the kids were done with walking by the time we got here!

The final gorge we visited was Matt’s favourite, Serpentine Gorge.  It is the least touristy of all the gorges and no camping is allowed there.  It was any easy 1.5km walk in to the gorge (although we did have to bribe the kids with freddo frogs to get them to do this one) and Matt and Jack also did the short but very steep scramble/climb to the lookout which has spectacular views over the ranges.

Serpentine Gorge

Serpentine Gorge

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View from the lookout at Serpentine Gorge

View from the lookout at Serpentine Gorge

Jack at the lookout

Jack at the lookout

Matt at the lookout - photo by Jacko!

Matt at the lookout – photo by Jacko!

Family pic - Serpentine Gorge

Family Pic – Serpentine Gorge

A beautiful, beautiful part of Australia, we loved our time in the West Mac’s!

Categories: Camping, NT Camping, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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