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Sunday, 16 April 2017

Erldunda Roadhouse

Erldunda Roadhouse (Northern Territory)
Distance Travelled:
489 Km

Dead Things Spotted

We left Coober Pedy early on Thursday morning, continuing our quest northwards in search of new adventures. The sun was kind to us and only peeked into the low 30’s that day. We were thankful, as always, for the wondrous invention of air conditioning, we pressed onwards.

This was to be another lengthy car trip, serving mainly to move us from one location to another. But that didn’t mean it was destined to be lack lustre or devoid of fun and frolics. Oh no, not when there are borders to be crossed and grand vistas to behold!

Our morning started simply enough – pack a lunch and buckle in for a long car trip. MP3 players were charged and podcasts were downloaded; all ready to provide a fitting musical backdrop to the scenery as it went whizzing by.

Hearty lunch ready for weary travellers

No more than a handful of hours on the road and we had hit our third border crossing in less than a week. We arrived at the border between South Australia and Northern Territory somewhere around lunch – just in time, it seems, for the flies to warm up their wings and come out in force. I must say, crossing into the Northern Territory was somewhat more auspicious than our entry into South Australia. Travelling down the road, we were met with a large sign announcing our arrival, proudly adorned with sculptures and rest area for travellers to bask in the glory of this momentous crossing.

Hello, Northern Territory!

Leaving the rest-area, we were met with our first treat – the speed limit suddenly changed from 110km (Victoria and South Australia), to a whopping 130km on the Stuart Highway!! Unfortunately, pulling our trailer meant we were unable to take full advantage of this new found speedy freedom… So, we resigned ourselves to tootling along at 95km (especially after our still fresh shenanigans with our ford), while all manner of vehicles whizzed by us. C’est la vie – or rather, ‘La vie d'un escargot’.

Go speed racer, go!

The rest of the day passed quite merrily in the car. Our destination was Erldunda Roadhouse about 95km from the NT border. Our ultimate place of rest this week would be Uluru, nestled in the red centre of Australia. However, rather than making it in one day, we decided to split the journey in two. Pulling in late afternoon, we were really glad with did!

The Erldunda Roadhouse was a lovely green oasis surrounded by dusty ochre deserts. Being out of the peak season, we had our choice of sites – so we chose a shady patch of grass, well away from the bulk of other travellers. The boys went off exploring, as Nat and I set up the trailer for the night. It seems that several of our fellow travellers from Coober Pedy (especially those with kids – who, like us, didn’t fancy being trapped for a full nine hours in the car with their offspring; no matter how delightful they are) had also decided to follow suit. We all converged on a viewing platform at sunset, overlooking the wilderness, to watch the sun go down over the scrubby desert.

Luckily for all, the dying sun didn’t signal the end of our day; our little gang made its way to the roadhouse pub for a couple of drinks and a game or two of pool. By the end of the night, an amicable draw was called between the fearsome pairing of Nat and Ben, and the ever-trying duo of Gregg and Daniel.

Pool Shark Daniel, showing us how its done!

And so, with beers drunk and pool played, it was time for dinner a bed. An early start awaited us in the morning, so we could make the most of our time around the iconic and postcard-worthy Uluru. I can’t wait!

Bye ‘d Bye


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