Tourism, travel, Queensland. Australia. Broome

Tags: Tourism, travel, Queensland. Australia. Broome

Our last stop was Uluru and as Richard had to fly back to Brisbane for work, Ginger and I were able to enjoy this amazing place for an extra week. It was well after Easter by the time we pulled up stumps and with a couple of stops and a one-nighter at ‘Three Ways,’ where you could turn off to Mount Isa and head back to Queensland, or keep on going north, we were well on the way to one of my favourite places on the trip…..Mataranka!!!

Featured Image(above): Boab tree

Tourism, travel, Queensland. Australia. Broome

Mataranka thermal springs

A little place in the middle of nowhere put on the map by a book called ‘We of the Never Never,’ it is surrounded by hot thermal springs and definitely has the vibe! We were leaving the cold desert nights behind, putting our bathers back on, and within a short stroll reached the sparkling clear springs, surrounded with palm trees like an Oasis in the desert. Although it was quite busy at the park, one still felt the connection with nature. So much so, that one night I thought we were being cleaned out, waking up Richard to get his stick, we pushed open the caravan door, only to see a stunned Wallaby going through the guinea pigs box of food and hay…

Tourism, travel, Queensland. Australia. Broome

Tyre marks on the road

However, it was not just ‘wildlife’ the park had to offer, but also nightly entertainment including a performance of a local, who is the World Whip Champion! That is what Ginger’s diary had to say. We were on our way to Broome and at Mataranka we saw the famous world record holder Nathan Griggs! [live] He is a whip artist, and has cracked the longest whip in the world [100 meters]! He can do hose golly whip cracking, stitch whip cracking, cross cracking with the whips on fire, and heaps more! {to crack a whip is to make it make a certain sound without hitting anything.] he has a record for the longest whip ever cracked, and the fasted ever with two whips!

Tourism, travel, Queensland. Australia. Broome

Nathan Griggs in action

He can do 120 cracks in one minute. [that means he can do more than one in one second!] Mum reckons that he is around 24. We bought two mini whips, the yellow one is mine, and it’s got his signature on it. Mum, later on, wore her whip on her hat at a Broome shopping centre and lost it! While we were frantically asking everyone in the shops if they have seen a whip, we spotted the guard playing with it! He must have been bored but he gave us the whip back and that is all that matters.

Tourism, travel, Queensland. Australia. Broome

Rig at the Boab tree camp

After all this whipping we were well behaved and resumed our route to Broome. Or so we thought, as at Katherine we missed our turn off, heading towards Darwin instead, and had to do a ‘U – turn’ with our 15-metre rig on the highway, by reversing into some dirt track!!! After that, we were so eager to stay on the road, that we nearly ran out of diesel between Halls Creek and Fitzroy Crossing!

Richard had to pull over at a very awkward spot, on the narrow highway, to get out the emergency diesel canister and fill up the Dodge so we could drag ourselves to the next petrol station. We also had major slowdowns for wild cows and horses meandering in the middle of the highway. No wonder the road is full of black tyre marks, telling the stories of emergency stops and the sides being lined with bashed up cars, which were not able to halt in time. Another feature along the road were those huge termite hills, with a good number of them wearing T-Shirts, sunnies, hats and even bras!

Tourism, travel, Queensland. Australia. Broome

Dressed up termite mount

When I saw my first couple, I thought I was going mad and did not even mention it to Richard and Ginger, however, once they got more frequent I knew I was not imagining things. Turned out it is a Backpacker joke to dress up those termite hills like humans. Observing those Backpackers on the road, we finally decided to join them at a couple of ‘free camp sites’, where you need to bring your own power, water, toilet etc… Our first night was great, with Richard and Ginger washing off their daily grind in a large wild river.

We felt we could handle this ‘free camping’ and decided to do it again the next night, stopping at the so-called ‘Boab tree rest area’, named after the famous Boab tree. We felt very connected to nature, and even some wild cows came to visit us at sunset. However, my connection with nature came to an abrupt end, when by the morning, officially being Mothers day, we ran out of water!!! With a long drive ahead and no water to use the toilet, make a coffee or have a wash, it left me rather cranky and looking forward to a proper caravan park in Broome! ‘The Long Way Round to Bribie’! sabine@svgdesign.com.au

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