Wolfe Creek meteorite crater camp site

Trip Start May 02, 2009
Trip End Jun 07, 2009

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Flag of Australia  , Northern Territory,
Saturday, May 9, 2009

Up bright and early - the birds and cows were welcoming the dawn.

Had brekky, packed and set off - still quite a big day of driving ahead.  The plan was to reach Sturt creek for tonight's camp - that is still about 400 km of dirt rd away.

The Tanami continued to be a reasonable road.  Plenty of fairly smooth sections which we could do 60-70 kms/hr; interspersed with some corrugations that slowed us down a little, but still not as bad as the first section. 

The track is really wide in most places and you drive on whichever bit is the smoothest - we found ourselves driving up the right hand side many times.  It is also a significant freight route and is used by road trains - these are pretty scary - 3 trailers and a total length of 53m travelling pretty quickly.  They throw up a lot of dust and you cannot see much when they pass.  We were lucky to be travelling at the weekend as there are not so many of them.

After a couple of hundred kms we arrived at Rabbit Flat roadhouse - one of the most isolated roadhouses in Australia. Our guide book described it as " a green oasis in the dry, brown desert".  Well .... there was some greenery, but it was a really tacky place.  The entrance was hard to find in the unkempt greenery. Then you go through a bar lounge type area (not very big) into a tiny room where there is a "window" through a steel mesh barricade where the person serves you after you ring a bell to get their attention.  They have some supplies hidden in here, but it was too hard to see what there was.  We needed fuel, so the lady sent us to the pump where she met us (eventually).  They know how to make up for being remote - $2.20 /l for unleaded.  The most expensive we had seen anywhere else was 1.70. 

The biggest issue we had though was discovering that the Anderson plug (that connects the battery in the trailer to the  car so it charges when travelling) had come adrift and been banging on the Tanami  - result: no plug left so we cannot charge the trailer battery.  We will need to get this fixed but ideally need an auto electrician - not going to find one of those at Rabbit Flat!

We headed off again - the next major event was reaching the WA border in another 150 km.  The road was still good until about 30km before the border when it got very much rougher; and our speed got considerably slower.  The border was a real disappointment - a battered sign and little else. We continued along and the road remained rough - bad corrugations and potholes with very little break.  We arrived at Sturt Creek in the mid-afternoon - it was a nice spot, even had some water. But we were not the only ones there and in the end decided to push on a bit further.  We bounced our way to Wolfe Creek. The road to the crater is 23kms long and as it is a National Park, we expected it to be well maintained - wrong!  It was at least as rough as the main track, but we got ther in the end and the campsite is actually quite nice.  Not a lot there apart from a long drop toilet, but they have little private sites scatterred around, so even though there were about 10 groups camped, we had plenty of privacy.  Enjoyed a lovely sunset, had dinner and turned in.
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