The Big Lap - Down the Centre, Mataranka to Alice Springs



Mataranka to Alice Springs is around 1,000k’s, so we had to break up the journey along the way.  First stop for the night would be Dunmarra Wayside Inn, around 200k’s down the road. 




We stopped off at Daly Waters Pub.   This place is popular and we could see why.  The Pub is filled with quirky memorabilia and lots of cards, photos, hats, bras etc left by visitors from around the world. 

Last time we came through Daly Waters was on the Savannah Way from Borroloola.  I had planned for us to stay at the Daly Waters Pub.  When we arrived at the T-Intersection where the Daly Waters Hi-Way Inn is located, I thought it was the Daly Waters Pub.  It’s not until now that I realise it’s not the Daly Waters Pub.  At the time we decided not to stay at the Hi-Way Inn but drive to Mataranka as the pool at this Inn was disgusting.  So again, we by-passed the Inn  and headed towards Dunmarra. 

By the way, the pool at the Daly Waters Pub looked clean and blue.  Very nice indeed.




We parked ourselves in the shade here.  The only other thing it has going for it is the pool.  The main facilities were dated and dirty and the BBQ should be fully removed.  Say no more. 

Filthy BBQ & Dirty Donga Amenities in background.

Tookie liked it here as there were plenty of birds around for him to check out.

Hubby had a beer and of course the bird had to have a taste.  He was probably more interested in trying to pull the ring off the tinny than tasting the beer.  

Anyway, he must have realised that I was filming him because I got the Tookie hawk frown and stare.  Sheesh!  If looks could kill!




Three Ways Roadhouse is just before Tennent Creek.  Hubby decided to top up with fuel here as we planned not to stop at Tennent Creek owing to it having a ‘dangerous’ reputation like a lot of other places in the Northern Territory.  

We actually had enough fuel to get to our next overnight spot, but you never can be too careful outback.

  Anyway, Three Ways Roadhouse was a total rip-off with Diesel costing over the $2 mark.  I made sure we just bought fuel here.  We were not going to give them any further patronage.




As I said, we drove straight through Tennent Creek.  It didn’t look inviting at all.  I took a couple of photos from the car.

The other side of Tennent Creek I noticed that the clouds were pure white.  Sometimes just the simple things in life can put a smile on your dial.  😊

Then in the middle of nowhere, this big letter box appeared.  Gee, that dude must have some mail!!  Haha.


There were also pockets of land where the termite mounds were prevalent and then just a little bit further and ..... none.  Weird indeed.  Seems like all over the Territory there is a clothe the termite mound theme.  What is it with Territorians?....




The Devils Marbles were nice.  Just off the highway and plenty of places to park a car and van.




This place is real nice.  The Tavern is inviting.  It has a beer garden, clean pool and landscaped gardens.  We shared a steak meal here inside in the air-con.  The steak was done perfectly and the chips were good as well.

We were luckly to get the last site that they had available.  It seemed touch and go for a few minutes while the Host went out the back to check.  We backed on to the pool so super close, and the amenities were right beside us.  Great spot.  😁

There was a thunderstorm late in the afternoon here which cooled things down, so we were able to turn the air-con off and open up the windows for a great sleep.  We felt safe too as the whole place has a big fence and it is gated off.






If we couldn't have stayed at the Devils Marbles Hotel, there was plenty of room just down the road a bit at the Wycliff Well Roadhouse.   What a quirky little place!  Full of colourful UFO and alien pics everywhere.  

After the rain the night before, we were able to get some good reflection shots.

Of course we had to buy some food and a couple of iced coffees to give them our patronage.  Pies for breakky lol.  It’s small towns like this in the middle of nowhere that make travelling around Australia such fun.  😊




Next stop for the night,  Aileron Roadhouse.  This is where you can find the Big Man and Woman statues.  We had a nice shady spot for the night and were able to keep the car hooked to the van which makes it easier in the morning pack up.




I missed taking a photo of the Tropic of Capricorn when we passed it in Western Australia.  I had seen photos of it here in the Northern Territory and did not want to miss it this time. 

It sneaks up on you real quick.  Lucky there was no one behind us so we were able to pull up in time for the turnoff. 

Hubby ran the water from the water tank into a tray for the birds.  How thoughtfull.  😀 

Before we arrived here we noticed that the scenery had changed significantly as we were bordering the Tanami Desert.  The trees were now large bushes and became more spaced out amongst the golden grasses of the desert.  Then it seemed like all of a sudden the landscape was changing.   The road was lined either side by green grass that looked like someone had planted roadside parks.  

Strange indeed, but very nice.

Tropic of Capricorn - Burt Plain



Next page - Alice Springs.


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