October 25 2018
We can’t quite believe that we’ve been on the road for 100 days already. It has been a fantastic journey so far and we hope that it will continue for many days, weeks and months to come. We’ve been asked about our favourite experiences and it is a difficult question to answer as there are so many. Nonetheless, we’ve done our best to come up with a Top 10 list.
It was almost impossible to whittle down our list to just ten experiences as we’ve had something great happen nearly every day. Not quite making the list but still worthy of noting are; The Deckchair Cinema and Military Museum in Darwin, The many ‘Big Things’ we’ve encountered, finding impressive heritage buildings and street art in Mackay and Townsville, staying in quirky places like ‘The Bothy’ in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, consuming delicious food and drink, and discovering superb regional art galleries in Townsville, Cairns, Wollongong, Lake Macquarie and Newcastle. However, we’ve been disciplined and here they are – our Top 10.
#10 Opalton Bush Camp near Winton Queensland
On Day 64, Wiki Camps delivered its best result for us so far. A bush camp, 100 km down a dirt track from Winton in Central West Queensland. We set up camp, lit a fire and spent the evening gazing at the dazzling stars – magical. There were even hot showers if you were prepared to light a fire under the donkey boiler. Read more about it in: ‘Trains, Planes, Automobiles…….. and Dinosaurs’.
#9 Eliot and Twin Falls, Cape York Queensland
After exciting four wheel driving on the Old Telegraph Track in Cape York, Queensland we set up camp on Day 25 at Elliot & Twin Falls. Even though we were camping, had no showers and composting toilets, the falls made it feel like a 5 star resort and we were very happy with them as our way of keeping clean for the two days we stayed. You can read about the journey that took us to the falls in ‘Duct Tape, Zip Ties and WD40’.
#8 Waltzing Matilda Centre, Winton Queensland
Winton, Queensland and surrounds get two mentions in our Top 10 and they both occurred on Day 64. The Waltzing Matilda Centre was possibly the best museum we’ve ever been to. The use of technology to tell the story of the unofficial Australian anthem was superb. It was brought to life with the indigenous, industrial and geological history of the region and we loved it. If you’ve followed the link to ‘Trains, Planes, Automobiles…….. and Dinosaurs’ in number 10 above, you’ll already have read about it.
#7 Sailing through The Whitsunday Islands on The Lady Enid
We were pleasantly surprised by Airlie Beach as you can read in ‘What’s Red and White and can be spotted in Airlie Beach in July’. Even better than the town itself was the day cruise we took on Day 11 from Airlie to the Whitsunday Islands aboard The Lady Enid. The islands and beaches lived up to our preconceptions, and what better way to experience them than travelling on a classic sailing yacht.
#6 Cape Hillsborough Queensland
Our first camp was early on in our travels. We arrived in Cape Hillsborough on Day 5 and were super impressed by our camp pitch, a stones throw from the beach. Not any beach, but one where kangaroos gather as the sun rise. It was wildlife encounters all the way for those few days as we saw turtles in the ocean from a cliff top walk. We also took a side trip to Eungella National Park and were amazed to see platypuses in the wild. You can find out more by reading ‘Macropods and Monotremes’.
#5 Koalas on Magnetic Island Queensland
On Day 15 We had a great day trip to Magnetic Island from Townsville which you can find out about in ‘The Specials’. The most special moment was seeing Koalas in the wild on The Forts Walk. We’ve lived in Australia for eight years and had yet to see these elusive animals in their natural habitat. We were sceptical that we’d see them this time, but luck was with us and we saw two in the space of ten minutes. An experience definitely worthy of a placing on our Top 10.
#4 Tip of Cape York Queensland
Since we started planning our journey we knew we wanted to make it to the northernmost point on the Australian mainland. We’d looked at various ways of doing it including taking a passage on a supply ship from Cairns. However, once we bought OTIS, our jeep, the decision was made that we had to drive there. We joined a tagalong tour which taught us a lot about four wheel driving and on Day 28 we got to ‘The Tip’. You can read all about how it was a no brainer to include it in our Top 10 in ‘The Quest for Pajinka’.
#3 Walking the rim of Kings Canyon Northern Territory
Despite a flat tyre at the beginning of Day 54, it didn’t take anything away from the magnificent views we had walking the rim of Kings Canyon. If you read ‘Getting Deflated and Going Loopy from Alice Springs to Kings Canyon‘ you’ll get a feel for why this made our Top 3.
#2 Ubirr Rock Art Site Kakadu Northern Territory
Our stay in the Northern Territory resonated with us as you’ll discover if you read ‘Connecting to Country in Kakadu and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Parks’. One of our most moving episodes occurred on Day 49 when we visited Ubirr Rock Art site and walked up to the lookout there. Even for self -confessed heathens, it was a spiritual experience.
#1 Uluru Northern Territory
On Day 56 we arrived in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and it lived up to every bit of hype. It definitely earned number 1 in our Top 10, making a hat-trick in the Top 3 for the Northern Territory. If you read ‘Connecting to Country’ referenced in our number 2 spot, you’ll begin to understand how amazing it was. The rock was spellbinding – you could spend days, weeks, months watching it change in different lights. It was no doubt helped along by the fact that we really splurged on luxury for our trip to Uluru as covered in ‘Living it Up in Longitude 131’. However, the luxury paled into insignificance next to the environment it was set in.
So there you have it, our attempt to distil 100 days into a Top 10. There’s one more important factor we need to mention. Its not an additional item in the list as it pervades all of them, and indeed the whole 100 days. That is the time that we’ve been able to spend together. We’ve always tried to carve out time for us, but its difficult when you’re both in pretty intensive careers. I guess there might have been a smidgen of apprehension about whether we’d be OK spending 24/7 together for an extended period but we needn’t have worried. We’ve loved having this opportunity to share a fantastic time with each other and hope that we can find a way to make it last as long as possible.