Sunday 4 December 2016
Day trip with Toyota Landcruiser Club, Darwin.
We love being a part of the Toyota Landcruiser Club in Darwin. We get to meet lots of new people with similar interests to us; we get to see a lot of the countryside around Darwin and the NT in general and we get to use the Troopy for the purpose she was intended for – that’s always good, right?
This particular warm sunny Sunday morning in early December saw 6 club members and their 4WDs assemble at the Berry Springs Caltex ready for another great day out in the bush.
On the trip were Chris (trip leader); Ian in his triton; Lucy and her boyfriend driving a hi-lux ute (it was Lucy’s first time on one of our trips); Damian and I in the troopy; Steve in his Cruiser with a couple of guests and tail end Charlie was Greg and his son.
After a group discussion and giving Chris a good listening to, we all headed off looking forward to the day ahead.
A short trek on the black tar before we turned off onto Litchfield Road then off into ‘the bush’ then we were on our way to Annie’s Creek Mine. This was an old mine which was full of rusted equipment and a gorgeous looking lake. We stopped here for a while as Chris had identified it as a great spot for the group photo.
I actually spent quite some time photographing all the relics noting how nature had taken back some of her property before Chris subtly let me know it was time to go.
Time to keep going and Chris led us on what he thought was the track (not the first time he’s done that) so while some went round and round in a circle, others waited til he’d made up his mind…He finally found the right track and we headed on toward what is simply known as ‘the shed’ but not before stopping for another photo of the lake from a different angle.
Arriving at ‘the shed’, we poked around and discovered a serene body of water filled with lily pads and water lilies as well as 2 very calm Lace Monitors. They were quite happy to stand still for their photo shoot as everyone who had any semblance of a camera took their photos. I risked it and ran back to the Troopy to grab my long lens but needn’t have bothered running – they were still holding court when I returned.
After that, we were off to Walkers Ford…and that’s when the fun started. I rode in the lead car with Chris so I could take everyone’s photos coming through what turned out to be a pretty epic water/mud crossing. Given it was Lucy’s first time 4WDing – she did an awesome job getting through this first time. Her vehicle is the one almost completely covered in water.
Passing by some magnetic termite mounds, which stood like sentinels guarding grave sites, we kept going toward the Ford.
Another water crossing but Chris decided he needed to test the depth of this one and as there’s always the threat of crocs, he used the age old method of the putting the biggest stick he could find in the water to see how deep it was.
No problems at all for anyone on this water crossing with everyone handling it well. I managed to go with Chris again so I could get out and photograph everyone as they came through.
Then came across another wet patch of the road, which required some track modification. Steve got out his trusty handsaw and before long we were on our way again.
Not long after this, we came across yet another boggy part of the track and this time unfortunately Lucy got bogged. Not to worry – that’s what friends are for. Damian was behind her so quickly rigged up the snatch strap and towed her out backwards – easy peasy. However, she got bogged again so had to repeat the exercise. She did a great job though when she finally got to put her foot down with the ute nearly careering out of control, she contained it and steadied her vehicle just in time to avoid hitting a tree. Well done Lucy!
Eventually we all made it to Walkers Ford for a well earned lunch break almost right on midday. We found ourselves some shady spots and then wandered around. We found a bit of a waterfall and after carefully checking the river some of us risked standing on the rocks of the waterfall just to cool down – it was a very hot day. The river was quite pretty and it was a lovely spot to stop.
Time to start to head back as Chris wasn’t sure how long it would take to get back to the main road. It could have taken anywhere from 1-4 hours but as it turned out, it was fairly sedate and there were no real problems getting back to the highway and then on to Sand Palms Tavern at Bynoe.
Unfortunately, Greg’s alternator packed it in and rather than head off to the pub with us, he decided he needed to go home to sort it out. All in all, it was a great day and personally, we are loving the Club more and more. We get to see the countryside and meet new friends almost every weekend – what’s not to love?
(c) Vanessa Laverty Photography & Exploring Oz in Style. All rights reserved.