Wednesday, 24 July 2013

A long ride - Palmer River, Croydon, Normanton, Mt Isa to Darwin

Over the hills and far away is Darwin. 
Our route through Mareeba, Atherton, Croydon, Normanton, Mt isa, Tennant Creek to Darwin is about 3,300km. 
So let's get started.

Narrow strips of seal. One lane bridges.
Watch out for road trains.
They have right of way.

First stop,  Croydon hotel.
She is a grand old dame, built during the gold rush in 1887. There were 33 hotels in the town then.  
The Gulflands train does a tourist run from here to the Gulf of Carpentaria near Normanton. A five hour journey. We'll be there and beyond in that time.

Checking in at reception. 
A bank of CCTV monitors reveals an image of a swimming pool.
It was very refreshing after a long hot day. 

Settled for the evening. The washing dries very quickly.

On the road to Normanton.

Kris the  Savannah King.  A replica of a crocodile shot in 1957 by Krystina Pawloski. Claimed to be the largest authentictaed  crocodile  to ever be shot. 8.63m long (28' 4") weighing estimated 2 tons.

A big barramundi.
Barra is the main fish in the north. Some are farmed. Good eating.

Yes, watch out for road trains!  Up to 50.3m long. Towing three or four huge wagons.

A panorama shot  captures the massive size of this road train. There are normal vehicles parked at the petrol pumps. 

Lunch stop at the Burke and Wills Road House


Big rig arriving at Mt Isa.
Getting rid of some of the red dust.

Mt isa is dominated by the mining scenes.
Northern territory landcape just over the border from Queensland.
A well travelled two year old!
Mella has done 60,000km. Dick and I have done about 56,000 of then together in the last two years.
These huge mining machines arrived at Mt Isa and departed early in the morning. We caught up with them at the Queensland/Northern Territory border.

Grey nomads - vintage style.

A monument commemorating the work of Charles Todd and the teams who built the Telegraph from Adelaide to Darwin in 1877. Near Dunmarra. The telegraph line shortened communication with the UK from many days by ship to a few hours by morse code overland from Indonesia and eastwards.
Our journey up the York Peninsula followed another telegraph line  which was built around the same time.

Daly Waters historical pub. A legacy from gold mining.
Onwards to Adelaide River and the WW11 Commmonwealth War Graves Commission memorial

The memorial commemorates 287 members of the Australian armed forces, seamen, airmen, a nursing sister who died in operations in the region.
The Japanese bombing in this region began on 19 February 1941 about 10 weeks after Pearl Harbour and was much more severe.
We have seen numerous signs for WW11 airfields and a couple run parallel to the main road.

It has been six days riding since we left Palmer River.
The roads have all been sealed (bitumen roads).
The majority of vehicles have been white 4WD towing caravans. It is the height of the grey nomad season. Retired folk on the move roaming around Australia.

Sunset in Darwin.

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