Day 12 and 13 – Daly Waters to Mataranka

Day 12 and 13 – Daly Waters to Mataranka
Mataranka, Australia

Mataranka, Australia

No rushing this morning. We need to drive a whole 150 kilometres in total today. We packed up camp and went off to explore the WW2 history in Daly Waters. We walked around the aircraft hanger and airport that is now Heritage listed. I really hope that they do restore this airfield to its historic glory. From here it was around the the Stuart Tree where one of our earliest explores (John McDougall Stuart) blazed his initials in the tree around 1850. When looking at the old black and white photos of once thriving towns and communities I find it very rewarding to think back to the time. I try to image life, laughter and real mate ship during the war time in our history. Our for fathers are to be admired as they certainly did it tough out here. Another short drive saw us in the bush exploring a former WW2 airfield. Again to picture all the planes parked in line down this incredible long and flat section in the middle of bushland that was cleared by man power and discipline. Inspirational. So we drove on and arrived at the Mataranka Homestead which is famous from the book and movie, ‘We of the never never’. Bathers on and down to the hot spring pools built by our soldiers for the officers during the war. The concrete and steps have stood the test of time and millions of travellers. 30.5 million litres of 33 degree water flow through this pool every day into the Roper River. A short walk down there found us a nice fresh water croc bask in the warm waters. We all had a great time swimming before venturing around to Bitter Springs Caravan Park where unpowered bush setting camp was attained. We hired some foam Noodles from the cam ground at $1 each and headed down to Bitter Springs for another swim. This is the same Aqua-duct fault line that feeds Rainbow Springs at the Homestead except this time there is no concrete, just natural river that floats you away. Another couple of hours spent swimming, floating and relaxing fore heading back to think about dinner. Tonight we had a campfire cook up in the Dutchoven which consisted of potato, pumpkin, carrot, onion, bacon and marinated steak cubed all chucked in together and cooked as a casserole with a nice red wine gravy finishing sauce. Desert – toasted marshmallows (on sticks of course). The camp ground at Bitter Springs was so clean, neat and well managed that in the morning another night’s stay was warranted so we decided two nights was now in order so more swimming and relaxing could be had.

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