Toot! Toot!

Starters to your cabins

Just getting started. Adelaide first but only briefly. From plane to train via taxi. A busy terminal getting ready to board. And yes, Kelly I have sent you a postcard. Let the tooting begin.

Lunch already

So before we move into the great centre I need to say that I'm pretty sure we are going to be OK. For the next two days we will be fed and cared for so well - And I add a copy of the lunch menu to confirm this (didn't even realise lunch was included today). A glass of complementary champagne before lunch just set the tone nicely!! Blog soon!!

And dinner was........

Excellent!! Ours was the later sitting for dinner. The sunset was enjoyed from the lounge where we chatted to others on this fantastic journey. Some from Albany WA, some from Port Pirie and even the Shire is represented.

The blanket of darkness was all encompassing, so much so that trying to determine which way the train was travelling came into question. Our beds were ready for us once we returned from dinner. Having risen at 4.45am falling sleeping to the constant and gentle rhythm of the rocking train was very easy. What a day!!


The train is long - very long. I walked the length this morning after a very hearty breakfast and a morning cup of tea delivered to the door. Ian and I have decided we definitely need staff!!

But to the dilemma - to blog or keep my eyes peeled to this amazing and stupendous scenery - it is constantly changing and very green. So a short blog with some sights captured on camera. I'll be back with more. Love this journey!!



Bumps and flats are all part of the passing scenery.

Follow that train

The movement is constant - the outlook ever changing and the colours vibrant. It has been a challenge to capture all the moments and signs - yep there are lots of signs. Who are they for I wonder?

Crossing the line at breakfast.

Evidence of life - sort of.

All those concrete sleepers.

Alice's Spring

Or Todd River (usually dry) are two names that begin to tell the recent white story of this part of the centre of Australia. This is a place nearly equidistance between Sydney and Brisbane. It began because the overland telegraph line was being constructed. Charles Todd, telegraph builder and now river name had a wife called Alice, whom he named the spring after but Alice never went to Alice's Spring or Alice Springs.

I had been under the impression that this would be a flat landscape - mistake!! Interesting, and no doubt ancient, rocks and hills surround the town.

Alice Springs - from this flat landscape to the one below.

Some of the rock formations coming into town.

Ian standing in front of an interesting hill of stones which is a scared women's space just outside the Araluen Cultural Precinct.
Having explored the Araulen Centre and seem some great art - Albert Namatjiri's watercolours included, we spent the last of our brief stop in the main centre of town.

Discovered this colourful fellow in the mall - along with local artists selling their work in the local park and around town.

Some images of us in Alice Springs.

Just Food
I know it's not good photography but this last two days of eating the most delicious food just needs to be seen. I did try to get lots of pictures but often discovered that we had consumed lots of things before I even remembered that I wanted a picture!! So this is the best I can do - enjoy. 

Salmon starter.


Quandong Tart

Cheese, fig and bickies.

Salmon on a bed of lentils.


Chocolate tart to die for!.

Cheescake with brandy snap.

Fresh Vegetables with pine nuts.

Whistle stop at Katherine

 A pretty place on the Katherine River. Another girl's name - and I believe that Katherine never came here either, she was the second daughter of the patron of John McDouall Stuart, the first white man to traverse the continent South to North. I'm sure he wasn't as comfortable as we have been!!!

View opposite the station. 

Alighting the train - minus a platform

Outside the visitors centre. Very cool inside, very hot outside!!!!

A spidery flower that took my eye.
Standing on Katherine River bridge looking at the flood measure - yep it gets that high sometimes.

Follow that icon sign ...... that would be the stockman - not Ian in  this case.

Under a Darwin sky
Arrived last night and this is the tail end of the wet season - humid!! When we checked in I found this warning on the wall. Just as well it is a beautiful place with interesting stories and I'm Ok with the ants and humidity!!

The hanging gardens are quite a feature of this hotel. That's Ian not Tarzan amongst the jungle.

Found this mat on the floor of the children's corner in the hotel - from Venice to Darwin these Babapapas pop up and surprise me.

I love finding signs - go figure!! Still this one is for you Lucy. Even Darwin has a Galleria - not quite as big as the one in Hatfield.
So we spent the day exploring the Darwin museum and Art Gallery. Lots of interesting things - rock paintings done 46,000 years ago, stories of Cyclone Tracy and boats and canoes that carried post Vietnam war refugees across the sea.

View from the cafe at the Museum - looking out to the Arufura Sea.

Waterfalls, swimming holes and crocodiles
Today we tour to Litchfield National Park which includes the promise of a swim. This is something that has proved not so easy to do in this hot, tropical environment so I am very keen to get into some water.

It was an early start and a two hour drive out to the park. We passed through Batchelor. It was a town that saw some action during the war. 

Morning Tea in the Banyan Tree.

A brief stop at the termite mounds. On the left a cathedral mound and on the right a magnetic, as in constructed in a North South magnetic pole alignment, mound. Morning Tea in the Banyan Tree.

And then we swam - yahoo!! No crocodiles here apparently.


Onwards to Tolmer Falls - no swimming here - the bats can't be disturbed.

To the bat cave Robin!!!

Lunch in the tropical garden.

More stunning falls but no swimming - the picture at the top of the page tells the story. And me with the fruit bats I leave you to spot the difference.

The last port of call for the day. Swimming in the rock pools at Wangi Falls .. lots of laughing and rolling down in the wash.

It rained!
As we are here at the end of the wet season it was fitting that it rained. Refreshing though it was once the sun came out again the steam kicks in - I even had foggy glasses. A visit to the Military Museum which told a story of the bombing of Darwin. Interestingly, I didn't realise before anyway, the bombings went from 19th Feb 1942 until Nov 1943.

Looking at a concrete bunker that housed a gun - never fired in fact - but very large none the less.
Looking out to where the gun might have shot the enemy. 

The four happy travellers - this was our last stop before heading for the airport - and yes Darwin time kicked in - our flight was delayed.