Kununurra to Darwin...is there much to do and see?

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 12:22
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Just planning a trip and Kununurra to Darwin takes up a portion of it.

I have been to Kununurra and done the tourist thing but never been into the NT and up to Darwin

So, for that stretch (Kununurra, Katherine, Batchelor etc) should I allow a good amount of time or just bee line my way to Darwin?

What is there to do a see up there?

Cheers
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Reply By: lynxxy - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 12:51

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 12:51
Andrew, I have some great photos of that area. send me your email and ill select a few to send back

Give yourself a couple of nights to get through Litchfield.

Suprise falls is wonderful. Jump from the top into the rock pool is something you must do...camp there the night...I assume you have a 4 wheel drive?

If you have time Dundee Beach is an overnight camp worth the stop over....

Once in Darwin just take a deep breath and expect the unexpected.

east point war museam is a good tour. Hire a cat down at Mindle Beach, then dinner at the trailer boat club to watch the sunset
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Follow Up By: Member - vivien C (VIC) - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 13:08

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 13:08
lynxxy,

What about Crab Claw Island? Is it worth a look around and maybe camp or would you recommend Dundee?

Viv
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Follow Up By: Steve from Top End Explorer Tours - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 13:12

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 13:12
Crab Claw Island for shore.

Cheers Steve.
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Follow Up By: Andrew(WA) - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 13:41

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 13:41
Thanks Lynxxy

You can get me at (shazand at bigpond dot net dot au)

cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - vivien C (VIC) - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 13:45

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 13:45
Thanks Steve & Lynxxy,

Viv
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Reply By: Oldsquizzy (Kununurra) - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 12:55

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 12:55
Depends what interests you have. There are a few National parks and some good tracks. A lot of WW2 relics. Old gold mines are abundant. Or there is a Kmart in Kununurra, Katherine and Darwin.
All people are different, Some of the birding sites will give you step by step directions to a lot of out of the way places that are lovely.
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Follow Up By: Oldsquizzy (Kununurra) - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 12:57

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 12:57
Oops wife just informed me they are Targets...Shows how often I go shopping....
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Reply By: Steve from Top End Explorer Tours - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 13:06

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 13:06
From Kununurra you have Keep river N.P., Gregory N.P. a must see is Gregory's tree, there are a few Victoria River cruises, there is a walk about 11 km from Victoria river road house I thick it's called Jim's creek worth a walk 1 km from the road house is an escarpment walk worth doing, then there is Katherine Gorge, Edith falls, Kakadu and Litchfield.

How long do you have?? because the above is about 2 weeks at least.

Cheers Steve.
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Follow Up By: Andrew(WA) - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 13:39

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 13:39
Steve

I'll be heading up for 6 weeks total out of Perth taking in the Karajini on the way.

By the time I get to Darwin I'm hoping for about two weeks in and around the place before heading back.
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Reply By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 14:56

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 14:56
Keep River NP and Litchfield Np are "must dos". Take the southern 4WD track into Litchfield - takes you through huge areas of magnetic and other big termite mounds. Gregory NP is also worth a visit. Douglas Daly Hot Springs are fun, as are the thermal pools at Mataranka. And there is the Territory Wildlife Park at Berry Hot Springs - worth a full day, make sure you catch the raptor feeding display. Add in Kakadu, including the more out of the way places there andMary River and there is a lot to do and see in that area.

Cheers,

Val
J and V
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AnswerID: 289116

Follow Up By: lynxxy - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 16:01

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 16:01
OMG I forgot to mention, stay o'nite at Mataranka.

Get there in the afternoon, dont bother with their dinner in the pub...its not that expensive but its not that nice either...Youll propably still give it a try though if your tired.

Do go back to the pub for a few after wards though as its more than worth it.

next day, bath in the thermal pools...dont use the c'van park toilet blocks to shower, they are awful.

It took us ages to get going the next day....only a four hour drive to Darwin from Mataranka...easily be there by 4, even after stopping for lunch.

Territory wildlife park was a bit difficult for me the day I went...I was extremely hung over and just wanted to lie down and sleep all day...so be warned, theres a lot of walking around so a good nights sleep the night before is recommended...
ps

If you dare...take a trip out west of humpty doo for about an hour to Shady Camp. Check out all the crocs and if you can, hire a boat as the place is full of barra.
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Follow Up By: lynxxy - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 16:03

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 16:03
Whoops...an hour east of humpty doo...then turn nth on a dirt road...for about 15 mins.
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Follow Up By: Doggy Tease - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 21:00

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 21:00
Gday lynxxy...................umm..............just wondering about your direction there for the trip out to Shady Camp.
15 minuted from the highway doesnt sound right to me. When i was out there it took a fair whack longer than that to get there.
The turnoff to Point Stuart was about 30km past the Bark Hut,,,then roughly 35km of dirt road into Point tuart,,,then out the other side and onto Shady Camp, another good distance away.
Have they done the unthinkable and run that ugly black stuff straight to Sahdy Camp ?
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Follow Up By: lynxxy - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 21:11

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 21:11
Doggy,

We were travelling at the time, and talking non stop
All i remember it was an hour from humpty doo...I was staying with friends who lived there at the time.

if 130 was the speed limit...then we was possibly doing 140 or so...but there wasnt much dirt...possibly about 20 mins or so.
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Follow Up By: Steve from Top End Explorer Tours - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 21:29

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 21:29
Ok Shady camp is 190 km from Darwin, Humpty Doo is 45 km from Darwin, The Bark hut is 121 km from Darwin the turn off to shady camp is 18 km from the bark hut, and shady camp is 52 km from the turn off.

I can't remember how many times I have been there, but the fishing is great and the croc all 2000 of the are bigger than the tinny you can hire at the wilderness lodge LOL ( shady camp boat hire).

Cheers Steve.
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Follow Up By: Doggy Tease - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 21:39

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 21:39
On ya Steve,,now would ya mind paying for a airfare for me, then taking me for the full guided tour around the place,,,,just so that i can relive my youth please.............all just because you are such a nice guy and want people to enjoy themselves.........lolololol :)
other than that,,,next time your out that way, could ya post up a picci or two of point stuart as it is today,,,,,just to see how much it has changed. ?

meow.

rick.
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Follow Up By: lynxxy - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 21:40

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 21:40
do not consider a canoe at shady camp...
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Follow Up By: Member -Steve.NT - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 21:50

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 21:50
lynxxy

This Fella says

Image Could Not Be Found

Cheers Steve
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 22:19

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 22:19
Actually he positivly looks tame compared to the shady camp mozzies
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Follow Up By: lynxxy - Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 22:45

Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 22:45
love it....

hey when I was there we walked up the river bank past the little viewer thingo..along the bank watching the crocs slithering into the water..my kids thought they were a a bit of a joke...running away from us all the time..

My voice got weak from yelling at kids to get away from the waters edge.

I love the orange colored crocs the best.
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Follow Up By: Member -Steve.NT - Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 23:46

Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 23:46
Do you mean this one.

This photo was taken by Ian culley on a tour to shady camp on the 25th October 2003.

Image Could Not Be Found

Cheers Steve.
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Follow Up By: lynxxy - Tuesday, Feb 26, 2008 at 22:02

Tuesday, Feb 26, 2008 at 22:02
Thats Him...

lovely color...I have a photo very similiar
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Reply By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 20:28

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 20:28
If youve got a canoe you cant miss the flora river NP and nearby is the 3 way junction between kathrine river, daly river and
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Reply By: Roddesh - Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 21:25

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 at 21:25
I'll second the flora river NP. Also make sure you swim "bitter springs" at Mataranka... one of my highlights of the area (it's worth taking goggles and snorkel).
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Reply By: Member - Bob I (WA) - Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 15:00

Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 15:00
Andrew, would love to mark your map for you, have read all the other replys but none mentioned one of my favorite detours. Do not miss Timber Creek, great spot to fish on the tides, on from there turn off on the Buchanan Hwy and head for Victoria River Downs on the way you will come to Jaspers Gorge which is at the VRD end of the gorge, unless it has changed in the last 3 years there is a great camping spot beside the water. Only a few fresh water crocs unless a salty has been dumped there. VRD is worth the stop a very interesting station. Then to Top Springs good watering hole, from there you can head for Daly Waters or straight up the Buntine Hwy rejion the Victoria Hwy at Willaroo and on to Kathrine.
Another deviation is Pine Creek to Jabiru then Arnhem Hwy to Darwin.
I had the joy of working in these areas in the 60"s when it was remote and rough, revisited later in the RAAF while at Kathrine and Darwin and 3 other trips, including the Gibb River Rd and Tamini Track since 1985, last trip up 2003/4. All of them were planned for 8 weeks total so we did not have to rush, mostly bush camped with civilised stops to shop and wash gear.
fair winds and smooth roads.
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Follow Up By: lynxxy - Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 22:48

Monday, Feb 25, 2008 at 22:48
Where is this? It sounds good.

Im heading back up in July...via the roper river nathan road...so

how far from darwin is it>
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Follow Up By: Member - Bob I (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 26, 2008 at 17:14

Tuesday, Feb 26, 2008 at 17:14
lynxxy:
Have a scratch around in the book stores and your local post office (PO had these on special at Christmas time) for two books by EXPLORE AUSTRALIA 1. EXPLORE AUSTRALIA'S Outback, 2 EXPLORE AUSTRALIA'S Coast. They are both very good reference books for locations of NPs, towns, things to see and do, historic events that occurred in the areas.
You would come onto the main road near Materanka and have to back track 36 Ks south of Daly Waters to pick up the Buchmann Hwy to get across to VRD or go to Kathrine and down the Victoria Hwy to Willaroo and head south to Top Springs then to VRD or stick on the Victoria Hwy to Timber Creek the turn off to VRD is 29 Ks before Timber Creek.
I hate back tracking if i can make a round route of a trip I will go out of my way.
We are hoping to do the Borooloola to Normanton run in the 09 dry season, flown over it while in the RAAF on an exercise. Then up to Weipa and back across to the coast and be in Newcastle for Christmas.
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Reply By: Off-track - Tuesday, Feb 26, 2008 at 01:21

Tuesday, Feb 26, 2008 at 01:21
Check out Fenton Airfield a bit north of Pine Creek for a look into the past. Still remnants of buildings, cricket pitch and the airfield as well as the wrecks of a couple of Liberator bombers.

http://www.ozatwar.com/airfields/fenton.htm

Also near that turnoff is the Old Stuart Highway section (now called Dorat Rd((Dept Of Roads And Transport)) through to Adelaide River. Good insight to what the track used to be up until the late 70's, providing they havent resealed and widened it in the last few years. When driving it imagine two double (or even triple) Road Trains passing each other along the windy and hilly sections. A steep section would force trucks to walking pace.

A stay at Victoria River or Timber Creek is plenty ok but I prefer VR. Nice spot for a coldie and a steak. About 30km before Timber Creek there is a turnoff to the left to Bullita Outstation which is a window into the past. Great place to stop for a picnic and a look around and wonder how they did it out here in the old days. If you are familar with Tom Cole and particularly his book 'Hell west and crooked' (fantastic read btw) I believe he spent some time here.

From memory there is a right turn just west of Timber Creek that goes to a historic site that was where a group of explorers based themselves out of for around a year in the 1800's. Gregory's Tree I believe. Fascinating little spot especially with the well preserved grafitti carved into the tree. We visited once in summer and I could not imagine how they survived!
AnswerID: 289411

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