Went to the Boulia Hotel for a meal the night before we left. Had the special, crumbed steak and salad for $12. The steak was so big it hung over both sides of the plate, it was huge but very tender. Pretty good value for money.
Headed off on the Donahue H’way which becomes the Plenty H’way when it crosses the NT border.
Once we crossed into the NT the road became very corrugated with lots of bulldust. There is work being done on the road and the Federal Government is taking it over however to call it a highway gives somewhat of a false impression. We did about 400 kilometres the first day and camped on the banks of the Arthur River. As you can see from the photos the Arthur River was bone dry.
The first photo is taken from the river bed and shows us just breaking camp. The second photo is of the dry river bed. Despite the lack if water it was a
When these rivers do flood this road becomes impassable. In fact it becomes impassable after most rain not just in flood.
The termites make very large mounds here. This is a well known landmark on the h’way and is marked on most maps
Following photo shows a 82 wheel road train approaching and the resultant dust as it
passes. As you can see we have pulled right over and given him all the road!
The McDonnell Ranges are an impressive site as you get further west. The camera does not do justice to their beauty and colour. The second night on the Plenty we camped at Gemtree. Once again very hot. Locals are telling us that this heat is vey unusual. With the heat of course come the flies and we have resorted to wearing fly veils. Because of the heat we have been breaking camp about 7:00AM and having breakfast once we have packed.
Gemtree was pretty desolate and we only stayed one night. However the hot showers where certainly appreciated.
There is a thick layer of fine red dust over, under and in everything and that includes us!
We passed some caravans on the Plenty but mainly it was the domain of camper trailers. The most common make of caravan we have seen on the unsealed outback roads has been the Bushtracker. A fairly big van but obviously about the only one built to take the punishment of these “roads”. Mind you we have seen some camper trailers that shouldn’t have been taken of the bitumen.
I’m not a fan of sealed roads when travelling, I much prefer the minor roads however after the Plenty it was nice to travel on a bit of tar. The Plenty is by far the worst road we have ever been on. The Birdsville Track is in far better condition.
200 kilometres from Gemtree, all on a sealed road and we reached Alice Springs.