There seemed to be quite an exodus from the Caravan Park this morning and judging by the number of caravans on the road the exodus starts about the same time everywhere. Our goal today was to get to Aileron rather than all the way to Alice because it allowed us to stop and look around the Devil’s Marbles. Anyone who wants to camp at the Marbles needs to get there early because it’s become a popular spot for free camping.
Flaked rock shows the real colour on the flake
Ring of boulders
Our next stop was Barrow Creek, it hasn’t improved since our last stop.
This set the scene for our stop at Barrow Creek- man checking the toilet cassette
Key to the toilet
Ti Tree wasn’t much further down the road and we also stopped there. We keep leapfrogging the same buses and cars. The Highland Tours bus was at Lake Maryanne when we were there and also at the Devils Marbles.
Roadside hotspot – put phone on the red spot and talk
Highland tours bus again.
We haven’t stopped at Aileron before and it’s been interesting. The hotel has interesting photos and information about the early settlers in the area, they certainly were resilient people. Aileron Station Has been run by the same family since 1920.
Anmatjere Man overlooking Aileron
Details of Anmatjere Man
Memorial to Maggie Milligan
Child on the memorial statue
Man and woman in sight of each other.
The ashes were mixed together and buried under Anmatjere Man overlooking their old home.
Red seeds used in Aboriginal bracelets etc
Humour at a hotspot
Our first little expedition today had to be to the “Michelangelo Exhibition”. Why? Because of the sheer insanity of being in a small mining town at least a thousand kms from the nearest big population centre where survival seems to be the first priority and Renaissance art a totally alien concept.
I’ve decided I prefer Leonardo after reading this.
A Michelangelo creation
Marble columns in Tennant Creek?
My favourites were the carvings created for families.
Michelangelo -his appearance
Michelangelo – the bust certainly matches the written description of the man.
Second excursion for the day was to Lake Maryanne created when a wall was built damming the river. It’s a recreation area and also seems to be a place people abandon domestic fowls. Who knows where the Peacocks came from?
Natural watercourse beyond the dam wall
Spoonbill and Ibis
After the lake we went to see the display at the Mine Battery. I found the photos and displays really interesting because there were lots of personal stories. In 1925 a linesman working on the Overland Telegraph Line found gold in the ranges and along with a couple of pastoralists, one a woman, he staked the first claim. Lack of water made things very difficult and it wasn’t until the 30s when the government decided it was worth setting up a town and providing bores and basic services that Australia’s last gold rush really started.
Termite mounds were also used for house floors
“Aspro” was simply aspirin
I can see a young boy doing this
Tomorrow we leave Tennant Creek and continue south, probably to Aileron and once again expect to be out of internet range.
We’re already noticing a difference in the weather and we were glad the quilt was back on the bed last night. I’m a bit jealous of those caravaners heading north. Newcastle Waters is a place we discovered in 2002 and we’ve been back since. The first time the area was dry but last time there was a lagoon so we were keen to see how it looks now. We weren’t disappointed there was plenty of water and birds too. It’s Saturday so there were no children at the school and everything was quiet.
The Drover – he’s changed colour
Vintage petrol bowser
Raptor of some kind
Heron or Egret
ONE car came through and scared them all off.
After Newcastle Waters we called in at Elliot. Reading the information boards makes me think of Dad who came back from New Guinea at the end of the war and would have passed through here. It was an overnight stop for convoys coming down from Larrimah. The memorial statue seems very different to me from the usual ones which show tall, slim soldiers with standard facial features and holding a gun. This one is more stylised and has a knife in his belt. I think it’s probably a better representation of the “average soldier”.
An unusual depiction of a soldier. Elliot
After Elliot we continued on to Renner Springs for a drink and stretch of legs.
A daunting prospect but we were just making a wee stop off the main road.
We arrived in Tennant Creek mid afternoon and we were both ready for some lunch. We’re staying at the Outback Caravan Park and Happy Hour is from 4:30 until 6:30, that’s a NT Happy Hour.