On the road northwards again

It was a very cold night, getting down to 3 degrees in the early hours of the morning. I was very pleased to hear that the boys slept well in their swags. It’s good to know they are snug and warm even on those very cold nights. There was a brisk breeze blowing and it was cold whilst we packed up our camp at the Big4 Stuart Range CP in Coober Pedy.

We are all really getting into a good routine for packing up camp now and everyone is co-operating. It’s great to see.

We both had to use the dump point and fill up with fresh water before we left the park. It cost us $2 to fill our water tanks at the metered tap.

Farewell to the Big4 Stuart Range Coober Pedy

Our first stop was to the town sign where we stopped on arrival but were surrounded by rally cars. We were able to get our photos taken and now have that great memory of our trip.

We headed off northwards and for 30-40km you travel through the Coober Pedy Opal fields. There are literally hundreds of thousands of little conical piles of dirt made by miners sinking an exploration shaft.

It makes for quite a bizarre landscape.

It was a bit exciting when we approached one lot of mining to see dust flying and realised it was a miner in action. We slowed right down to watch as we went by. It had been the only mine we’d seen that was operating.

We use our UHF to keep in contact as we travel along. We made comments along this part of the journey how impressed we were with the road. It is a really good wide tar road. There are RV’s of all descriptions out and about and the the road trains out there are three or four trailers long.

Around midday we drove past Marla, population 245, with its huge roadhouse. Lots of vans and trucks were pulled in there.

We continued on and pulled off the road at a spot marked in WikiCamps as Mount John Rest Area. This is not a true Rest Area just a track off to the west of the highway into the scrub, however it leads to some large flat areas away from the road. There’s lots of trees so you wouldn’t get much road noise at night. It was here while we had a lunch break that Ben found ‘camel tracks’. Well, at least he decided that’s what they were. He was quite excited by his find. What do you think? Do they look like camel tracks to you?

Ben’s camel tracks

We just had to stop at the SA/NT border and take some photos. Love the one of Katie and the children with one foot in SA and one in NT!

We stopped for fuel at Kulgera Roadhouse which is only 19km past the border.

With only 250km to go to get to Alice we pulled into truck stop that showed on WikiCamps that there was plenty of camp spots at the southern end. We arrived there to find lots of red dirt tracks leading into the bush and plenty of good spots to camp. We found a spot well away from the road and quickly set up camp around a previously used fire. Once camp was set up the children set off to scavenge for wood. They are pretty good at this now and in no time at all we had a lovely little fire going.

I’d put on a beef casserole in the crockpot in the morning and it had been slow cooking all day. I cooked some broccoli and heated up some garlic naan to go with it and we all sat around our little fire with yummy bowls of stew.

While setting up and sitting around we fire we were joined by the cutest little native animals. They looked a bit like mice but had much bigger ears and they hopped. There were hundreds of them. They even came right up under our chairs. They were so quick. At first Maddie was a bit scared of them but after a while she realised they weren’t going to do anything except hop about and she relaxed and watched them. They were funny to watch as they scurried aobut searching for food. Hopefully we will find out what they are called when we go to the Desert Park in Alice Springs.


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