5 November 2016
Another day trip with the Toyota Landcruiser Club, Darwin.
Didn’t think we were going to make this one so were a late addition but boy, I’m glad we did make it. This was a really fun day, which saw an assortment of weather, challenges and tracks along the way. There was nothing ordinary about this day whatsoever.
There are lots of photos in this one, so bear with me because, as they say in the classics, a picture says 1000 words (and in this case, it’s true). I’m not a poet or a writer so can’t possibly convey in words what we all did that day.
We all met at the Noonamah Tavern, a short 40min drive south of Darwin. We were actually right on time (though I was sure we were going to be late) and assembled there already were: Chris (our fearless leader), a visiting traveller by the name of Kirri and her car full of kids, Damian and myself, Dennis, Paul and tail end Charlie was Tony & Mandy.
Kirri is a trooper, and hats off to her – she drove those tracks and I don’t do anything other than take photographs (well that is what I do after all) and take up the passenger seat. More on that later…
We headed off up the road towards Adelaide River and the service station there.
We took the opportunity for a comfort stop then headed off on the trip. Just past the Adelaide River servo is a turn off that goes over the railway so this is the track we took. Not long after, we reached ‘the big hill’ or ‘Telstra Hill’ depending on whom you talk to. Everyone aired down, had a little chat, Chris confirmed that Kirri COULD do the track after she visibly recoiled at the sight of it.
So, we all headed up ‘the big hill’ – not much to it really.
Once we finished that we travelled on the main track and took in the amazing views as we got higher and higher (well I took in the views – Damian was too busy concentrating and driving).
Obligatory Group Photo
Everything was going smoothly and Kirri managed to get up that track with a minimum of distress and then we happened upon our first water crossing. I swear I heard Kirri swear but I can’t be sure – after all, there were kids in the car… Chris went through first and then got out of the car to guide her through by radio and she did a grand job – congrats Kirri.
The rest of us followed at a suitable pace but not until I got out of our car and raced to the end of the crossing to take photos.
After that, we headed along the ridge and some rocky areas.
…and then Kirri hit ‘that big effing rock’… We were in the car behind her and I looked up from my camera in time to see her get caught up on it. We radioed her to STOP and then everyone stopped to help.
That big rock! Now, on the face of it, it seems an easy thing to remedy but she was on the top of a hill that she could have easily slipped down so the guys put their thinking caps on and decided that the pickaxe that Chris just happened to have in his vehicle would be useful. With minimal damage, besides losing the sidestep, the guys eventually got her out and we went on our merry way to Orchid Creek.
The day was hot and the weather was closing in. We arrived at Orchid Creek to find it already busy with a group of campers but we headed just a few metres away and came across another great spot. We pulled up stumps and all got in the water to cool down. Ahhhh it was so lovely.
We spent quite a bit of time here just idling the time away, chatting, eating, getting to know one another, having another dip in the water but really needed to get going so we headed off. The Director of Photography (aka Chris) arranged for us to stop so I could photograph the view from the ridge line.
Figure 16 – the weather is closing in but the view was spectacular Then we headed to GOLIATH HILL. And what happens as we get there? Of course – it rains which made the steep shale track even more slippery. I went with Chris in his car because I wanted to photograph the cars coming down the hill. There was a swear moment (from me) but we made it to the bottom in one piece then Chris went back up the hill on foot to bring Kirri’s car down. By this time, it was pouring much too hard for me to take my camera out but luckily it petered out to a sprinkle so I grabbed my camera to photograph everyone else.
So, we all made it down by which time the rain was still sprinkling away nicely. Knowing there was black soil ahead, we continued cautiously but it was fine – there hadn’t been enough rain to make it slippery.
Track was a little bit slippery but nothing to be concerned about We decided at this point that we were better off at the Adelaide River pub so we headed off there only to be stopped by the only train coming along the tracks that day, week or month… Eventually made it to the pub where I froze because the temperature had dropped considerably and I was wet from photographing everyone. There were major storms in Palmerston that afternoon and by the time we got through to Palmy, you could see the evidence of the storm along the roads with greenery down.
A great day was had by all Personally, we had a ball that day and can’t wait for the next trip. Cheers for the trip Chris – great job as usual.
© 2016 Vanessa Laverty Photography and Exploring Oz in Style. All rights reserved on all photographs.