Another late departure from the Tennant Creek caravan park and off we went up the highway backtracking to the 'Three Ways' northward bound passing a few good spots to camp but it was far to early to pull over. We ended up pulling into Newcastle Waters even though we said we wouldn't as it gets very crowded and really is more like a lookout than a stop over area, however it was not crowded when we pulled in and parked in a reasonable spot so decided to stay. It's very close to the highway, midway up a hill and the road trains (and other traffic) race up and down the hill and are very noisy. The view was pretty good.
More and more caravans started arriving and so it ended up very crowded. A massive coach 'motel on wheels' arrived just for a wee stop, we haven't ever seen anything like it. Pete was in ore, I offered the driver Pete's services to drive it, he laughed but Pete would have loved it. Twenty four passengers all sleep on board. They have covered a lot of kilometres and would have paid heaps of money. That was the highlight of our Newcastle Waters stay.
The down side was that it was the worst stop so far with the noise of the road trains, I had a sh....night sleep. But it was free and we did know what to expect but I forgot how crap it was four years ago. We were up and away early the next day and we never do that.
We stopped at Dunmarra Roadhouse to refuel and have breakfast, there we met two of the locals and shared some food with them. They really liked Pete and now his is not only the horse whisperer but also the cattle whisperer. They were two beautiful Brahma's, a bull and a cow.
We covered quiet a few kilometres calling in at Daly Waters Pub which has a lot of character and so many things to look at in the pub. Apparently if someone plays pool and looses they have to surrender an article of clothing, hence there were lots of collections all grouped together for example bras, undies, shirts, shorts, hats, shoes etc. there was a thong tree and a money wall with currencies from all over the world. Business cards adorned the front of the bar.
It was pretty amazing and interesting to look at some of the signs around the place. My favourite is the one with the pig, check out the picture. There was a helicopter on the roof of the old petrol station opposite, not sure what the story is there.
Anyway we enjoyed the short visit and off we went to our next destination Mataranka. There we stayed for two glorious days in a caravan park about half a kilometre from 'Bitter Springs' thermal springs. We hired 2 noodles and walked to the spring, it was in a natural bush setting and absolutely beautiful. There was a lagoon fed by a thermal spring that was continuously running with crystal clear water which was about 42 degrees (a warm baths temperature so Pete says).
Some people chose to simply float about in the lagoon for hours, we also had the option of floating down a little stream for about 200 metres, climbing out and walking back. Everyone had their thongs attached to the noodle to make the walk back a bit easier. It was rather fresh walking back as no one had a towel at the get out point. It was shear bliss for me, Pete enjoyed it as well and explored with his goggles. We went down several times whilst there including a visit before we left.
There was another spring at Mataranka Homestead caravan park, we went for a look but both thought Bitter Springs was better in the natural setting. Apparently flying foxes can be an issue at the Homestead springs.