16th – 18th September, 2016.
We had been tracking our mail forwarded from RV Homebase and expected that it would be in Katherine when we passed through on Friday. The Express Post article had been scanned through Winnellie NT sorting facility on Wednesday afternoon so one would think it could make the additional 250km journey to Katherine over the next 24 hours but no. It wasn’t there and no one had any idea where it was or when it would arrive. The lady in the parcels section of the Katherine PO did her best trying to get some answers from the Winnellie facility but to no avail. After a couple of hours hanging around in Katherine, we decided to head south to Bitter Springs for the weekend and wait to see what Monday brought with regard to the mail.
A stay at Bitter Springs had been on the agenda for the trip home so we couldn’t think of a better place to spend the weekend. Bitter Springs is just a couple of kilometres east of the town of Mataranka, approximately 100kms south of Katherine. It is certainly obvious that the tourist season is almost at an end as there were only about a dozen rigs at the caravan park. The attraction here is the thermal spring on the edge of Elsey National Park where the water is 34 degrees all year round.
The best way to enjoy the spring is to float on a pool noodle 200 metres downstream with the current, climb out walk back to the start and do it all again. Very relaxing!
The caravan park was a very casual place where you are given a map and told to choose your own site. Our site had bush close behind which was home to lots of wildlife. Families of wallabies visited the vacant sites next to us in the mornings and afternoons foraging for tasty morsels.
There was also a lot of varied birdlife to keep us entertained as well.
A Sulphur-crested Cockatoo.
A Blue-faced Honeyeater.
A Yellow-tinted Honeyeater.
On Sunday we drove out to the Elsey Historic Cemetery and to the site of the original Elsey Station Homestead. Unfortunately we neglected to take a photo of the impressive entrance to the cemetery where there is a monument to Mrs Jeannie Gunn, author of “We of the Never Never”, and her husband, Aenaes Gunn.
Cairn and plaque commemorating the Homestead.
As rain was predicted for Monday, we packed up as much of the outside gear as we could on Sunday afternoon and this little fellow followed Erich around like a puppy.
Overnight we had around 70mm of rain so we were happy to have packed a lot of stuff away the day before but it was still a messy and slow process to do the final break up of camp and get on the road again.