. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: May 8, 2000

Monday, May 8, 2000
Barrow Creek to Mataranka, NT, Australia
Australia's FlagNorthern Territory's Flag

Mataranka, NT, Australia:
Latitude: 14° 55' 32" South
Longitude: 133° 4' 7" East
Altitude: 402 feet
From Seattle: 8473 miles
Lodging: Hotel - Old Elsey Roadside Inn

Today's Travel:
Country: Australia
Region: Northern Territory
Route: Car: Stuart Highway (A87, A1)
Start: Barrow Creek
Stop 1. Devil's Marbles Conservation Reserve
Stop 2. Tennant Creek
Stop 3. Daly Waters
End:Mataranka, NT, Australia
Road Miles:539 miles
Linear:530 miles
Weather: Sunny

Available Photos:

Scattered boulders Devil's Marbles Conservation Reserve, NT, Australia

Stacked boulders Devil's Marbles Conservation Reserve, NT, Australia

All photo images © 1997-2000 Anthony Jones - Images may not be used without prior written approval.

Click on map to Zoom in...
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 1124
Miles Driven:181833
Linear Dist: 215397
Countries Visited: 68
Regions Visited: 258
More stats...
Hotels: 374
Friends / Family: 293
Camping: 125
Hostels: 248
Transit: 70
Other Lodging: 13
Beers: 3974

Journal Entry:
Left Barrow Creek and headed up the highway. The first break in the flat bush land was the Devil's Marbles - a bunch of large round boulders scattered around and piled up in unlikely ways. But even more unlikely - there was an ice cream truck parked there! A good hour from the nearest town (and that population 50) out in the middle of the desert.

Tennant Creek (where I was planning on being last night) didn't look like much - a fairly typical outback town destroyed by tourist billboards and souvenir shops. A very long drive put me at Daly Waters an hour before sunset. I was thinking of stopping here and doing the final two hours to Katherine tomorrow morning. It's the site of the territory's oldest pub / hotel. It was funky, but nothing really grabbed me, and they weren't serving dinner for another hour so I decided to keep moving. Ended up at Mataranka a couple hours after dark and found a hotel, but couldn't find a reception office! Finally gave up and went to the nearby bar to see about getting food before driving the rest of the way up to Katherine - and was offered a room. Obviously the bar a hundred yards and several building down the street would be the reception office for the motel. The motel is boring with no character, but the bar is everything I've come to expect in the outback with scraps of paper and posters and old bits of rusty metal covering every square inch of the interior. Had a fantastic dinner of pork cutlets.

Today I crossed the Tropic of Capricorn - and the weather shows it! Where last night I sat in front of a roaring fire tonight I dragged a chair right in front of the air conditioning to write this. It's feeling very tropical - hot and sticky.

Related Sites:
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: Australia
CIA World Fact Book: Australia

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