Day 13

Thursday 1st August 2002


  • Left Katherine

  • Pine Creek

  • Adelaide River

  • Camped overnight at Nook Caravan Park, Howard Springs - outside of Darwin

As I had seen Katherine Gorge and parts of the Nitmiluk National Park on my trip through Katherine in 1999 and the others didn't want to shell out the dollars involved in seeing it, we headed north towards Darwin. Ray was keen to get there to see his relations.
We had been travelling through Australia for 13 days straight - a long time for a native of New Zealand - and he seemed anxious to be in Darwin, our intended destination.

Our next stop along the Stuart Highway was Pine Creek.
The day was very hot by our standards for Winter, being from the Kingaroy/Nanango area in South East Queensland where most people would have been feeling cold or at least cool. Both humans and dogs enjoyed the break and drinks.

We ate at Mayse's Cafe and tied the dogs up across from there in the shade of a tree where we could watch they were ok. The staff were very busy but also very friendly.
Caravanners came and went, workers ordered their lunches and generally the impression was of a very thriving little town even though to us it only seemed to be another stop along our way to Darwin.

Back on the road after refreshing and roughly another 100km further north, we stopped for ANOTHER drink and a walk for the dogs at Adelaide River.
Along the way were signs of the construction of the new railway line from Adelaide to Darwin. As we enjoyed our ice blocks and drinks in a park in the centre of town, construction vehicles roared around creating dust in the hot air as they formed up the groundwork for the future laying of the line.

In the park is a memorial to a local Police Officer shot while carrying out his work.
It's was very sad reading about the events and his wife and young children left behind. Here is a link to an article about him and the event.

Knowing only certain Caravan Parks accept dogs, I had rung ahead months earlier to find suitable parks.
We had been told by the owner of the Wangi Caravan Park in the Litchfield National Park about 2 parks in the Darwin area. One was really expensive and the other was Nook Caravan Park, Howard Springs.
As we couldn't afford the other one and as
Nook Caravan Park was on the way into Darwin we checked it out. It didn't look luxurious but it looked like it would suit our purposes well, as others had their dogs beside their camping sites.

We booked in and set up camp under a lovely shady tree, as by our standards it was really hot!

As night drew on I found one thing that wasn't enjoyable, SANDFLIES! ( Biting Midges? )

I covered myself in spray but knew it was too late once I had been bitten, as I am allergic to them and once bitten my skin goes through stages from swelling to red spot to weeping wet spot to weeping sore to finally after around 2 weeks, a scab and full healing - all the time accompanied by an annoying itch!
From then on it was a matter of limiting the number of bites.

Next day we drove into Darwin and luckily no more insects but I knew we had to return to them.


Click on the pictures for larger versions

The dogs met a new friend as Judy, Coral and Ray enjoy the shade of the inviting park in the centre of Adelaide River.

Judy caught unawares by me.
Ray really enjoying his ice block!
Coral smooching up to Ray.


In the background behind the tree line to the left of screen is the ground works formed up ready for the laying of the railway track.

Last Updated : 28/01/2012 09:16 PM +1000