Mindil Beach Market pre crowds
(Click on the image above to see images of Mindil Beach Market and sunset on the beach)

A well known attraction in Darwin is the Mindil Beach Sunset Market and this is where we ventured to today.  The market runs on Thursdays and Sundays in the dry season between the 26th April and the 25th October. The website says it opens between 4pm and runs until 9pm however it was pretty much in full swing when we arrived at around 3.30pm.  As usual, I always like to be early for everything and on this occasion it assured easy parking two rows back from the market itself.  When we left at around 7pm, the parking area was absolute bedlam and people were still pouring in looking for a parking spot.

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Whistling Kite - the most dominant raptor around
(Click on the image above to see images of the wildlife and birdlife on the Billabong)

Today we enjoyed a drive out to the Corroboree Billabong Wetland Cruise.  The cruise takes place about 100 kilometres from Darwin heading out on the Arnhem Highway towards Kakadu National Park.  You can catch a shuttle bus from Darwin if you wish.  A shuttle also runs from the Corroboree Creek Roadhouse for the last 20 kilometres so you can avoid the section of gravel road also.  We stopped at the Roadhouse for a coffee and a walk around before continuing out to the meeting place for the cruise.

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Lower reach of Katherine River downstream of gorges
(Click on the image above to see images of our trip through the Katherine Gorges and Adelaide River War Cemetery)

Travelled through to Katherine today which was only a short run of about 100km from Mataranka.  The caravan parks here are starting to get into the upper bracket of price with some around $45 a night for a powered site.  In my opinion that's bloody outrageous. We opted to stay about 13km out of town at Manbulloo Homestead Caravan Park for only $25 a night on an unpowered site.  This caravan park is right on the Katherine River too which is a bonus.  There were some lovely walks along the river.  Of course, this is croc country now, so you don't walk too close and certainly don't go for a dip.

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The Roper River
(Click on the image above to see images of Little Roper Stock Camp, Mataranka Springs and Bitter Springs)

We hung around Daly Waters until after 9am as the place we wanted to stay next had been booked out last night when we rang. We had to ring after 9am to see if they had a spot available for us. Fortunately, they did have a spot for the next three nights so we packed up and departed the dust bowl that was the Daly Rivers Pub Caravan Park.

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The caravan park at Daly Waters Hotel
(Click on the image above to see images of the Daly Waters Hotel)

We had intended to stay at Renner Springs for our next night, however a Google search in Tennant Creek revealed there were no springs there of note and just a roadhouse. It looked OK as a camping spot as we drove past, but it was easier to put more kilometres under us given the time of day. Consequently, we headed for Daly Waters and the famous Daly Waters Hotel. We arrived around 4pm having travelled 521km for the day.

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Devils Marbles view
(Click on the image above to see images of the Devils Marbles and Daly Waters Pub)

Jude was up very early this morning so we were away by 7.30am which is extremely unusual. Because of this we got to the Devils Marbles before 8am when the light was great for photos and there were very few people around. We still had to leave Boof in the car as it was a National Park. As the temperatures have been climbing during the day, it was good to have him in the cool of 14 degrees.

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Chunky rockface at the top of Trephina gorge
(Click on the image above to see images of our visit to Trephina Gorge and the John Hayes Rockholes)

A visit to Trephina Gorge was on the agenda this morning and with an hour walk ahead of us we wanted to get going before the sun got too warm. It is only about 15km from Ross River.

We had already been told of the great walk around Trephina Gorge and it certainly didn’t disappoint. From the floor of the gorge on entering you climb a remarkably built stone path to the top of the gorge. This presents several magnificent photo opportunities along the way. An early morning venture is always best before the sun gets too high and makes the light strong. It is also best for the great colours that present themselves in the array of rocks which make up the gorge.

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The old Barrow Creek Telegraph Station
(Click on the image above to see an image of the Barrow Creet Telegraph Station and wall art at Wycliffe Wells Service Station)

After heading into Alice Springs, just a short 85km hop, we did a big shop to fill the fridge and freezer for the trip north.

The Devil’s Marbles was our next target, but the distance was probably a bit much for a single day after doing our shopping. We had decided to stop at Prowse Gap that is around 168km north of Alice Springs.

It has at least put us back on the road and we were in our free camp by around 2pm at which time we enjoyed a late lunch.  I didn't take any photos of the camp area, but there are plenty available on Google by following this link.  They are all copyright, so I couldn't publish any on this page.  You will have to follow the link.

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Government area at Arltunga_Historical_Reserve
(Click on the image above to see images of our trip through the Arltunga Historical Reserve and Hale River Homestead)

Arltunga is an old gold mining town established around the 1880’s. It seems the gold was mainly fine and had to be panned or crushed to find the valuable metal.

We travelled out from Ross River Homestead with the intention of visiting Arltunga and also checking out the road to Hale River Homestead. This place was rated as 5 stars on WikiCamps so it obviously attracted our attention. Knowing that the road to Arltunga and beyond was dirt, we wanted to check on its suitability for our caravan before deciding to venture out there to camp. Unfortunately the road was far too corrugated to take the van out to the Homestead and that was decided in the first 10 kilometres of the track.

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