After a disappointing revelation that we wouldn’t be able to drive the Savannah Way to Cairns due to it being un passable without a 4WD and that we would in fact have to go allllllllll the way back down the Stuart Highway to Three Ways, back through Mt Isa and straight through the centre of Queensland, we headed from Katherine to Mataranka to spend one last night in it’s peaceful bliss. A very groggy 4.30am start meant we made great progress the next day and made it all the way down to the Isa before sunset. We drove literally all day and clocked up about 1200km, there was a serious case of ‘are we there yet’ the whole way!
I’d tried to google free camp sites round there and quite a few road reserves etc. came up, so we drove out of the town towards Julia Creek, we only made it 60km before passing a road reserve with tons of people camping so we decided to pull up there. The ground was pretty hard so we didn’t bother with the tent, instead we sat on the roof of the car looking at the stars before a not so great nights sleep in the car.
I had an absolutely incredible time in the territory, saw wild dingos, buffalo and crocodiles, covered more kilometres than we have in any of our other trips and spent more time in the water than we did on dry land! Now looking forward to the next part of the adventure on the east coast. We set off from our roadside camp at 5am and after we passed through Cloncurry we were finally on new roads that we hadn’t already driven! One of my pet hates is driving the same road twice, especially when the drive lasts a whole day and there isn’t much in the way of scenery. We had our first car problem that morning too, a slow puncture! We stopped at a garage to pump the tyre up and luckily it lasted the rest of the day, I guess there could be a It was a huge relief to finally get to the end of the road and see the sea! The first town you reach from the highway is Townsville, and with sea, bars, restaurants and friends, it seemed like as good a place as any to stop off!