ADELAIDE RIVER - A GREAT STOPOVER!
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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Where I stayed
Adelaide River Showgrounds
JOURNEY: Katherine, Pine Creek, Adelaide River
WEATHER: Already 29 degrees at 10am. Clear blue skies
MILEAGE: 21013 kms
Another hot dry day along the Stuart Highway, which now had a few curves and crests along its route; we had expected a more lush country side – perhaps further in away from the road!
Kath wanted to stop at Pine Creek because she had vague memories of this place from 40 years ago and the story of the barmaid with a black eye who had to have bolts and locks on the door of her room to keep away the guys! Well, the bar looked very welcoming and there were no signs of wild nights and rough customers at 1pm today.
The town is 90 kms north of Katherine; gold was discovered here around 1880 when workers, digging up ground for the Overland Telegraph Line struck a deposit; at one stage 2000 Chinese were working these gold fields. We noticed a Chinese name on the General store. It seems that gold mining went on until 1990s and a huge amount of gold was mined. We are not sure about today but the town looks more like a historical site for tourists.
We engaged in conversation with 2 couples from WA/QLD, also enjoying a coffee break under the shady trees and before we realised more than an hour had passed.
Just over 200 kms from Katherine we reached our day's destination- Adelaide River. The attractive Adelaide River Inn was recommended for the Barra Burgers and they were good. The chef was a French girl and the attendant German, both on working visas as they backpack around Oz. We asked the German girl about the oddity of her working in a remote bar in the heat of central Australia but she just replied that she had needed to work and this job was available!
"Charlie the Buffalo" of Crocodile Dundee fame stands stuffed above the bar and there are the usual touristy junkets to buy! Truth or myth?? Who would know?
We had read that Mt Bundy Station, 3 kms away was a great camping spot but this turned out not to be true so it was back to the main road and the Adelaide River Show Grounds or was it the Racing Track - probably both; (did we read somewhere that Adelaide River has the only turf race track in the NT).
Whatever! It was a green and spacious camp spot for $10 a night. At one stage late afternoon we had to listen to our caravan neighbour practise old style songs and waltzes on his electric piano but he was a nice guy and stopped by early evening. Silent night, black sky sprinkled with glittering stars and cooling breezes – what more could you want for a restful sleep? We met some of the other campers and enjoyed a happy stopover here.