The Road Ahead : August September 2007
38 AUG/SEP 07 STORY BARBARA CUMMING PHOTOS PETER EVE With walking boots in tow and sur vival tips at the ready, my first step on Nor thern Territor y soil was with some trepidation. I had come to experience and hopefully escape the perils of a four-wheel-drive, 1500 km journey along the Savannah Way. The trip began with a leisurely sunset dinner cruise around Dar win harbour on board the 30 m schooner, Alfred Nobel. As fireworks lit up the foreshore and the sun disappeared, fresh seafood, including oysters, prawns and barramundi fillets decked the tables. Dar win Harbour Cruises operates from April to November. We joined the Savannah Way over the border in Kununurra, Western Australia. Here, four new, fully kitted out diesel Pajeros awaited our group. Once packed with rations, outback camping necessities and personal belongings, we took to the bitumen, heading towards the Nor thern Territor y border and the Keep River National Park. The information centre and nearby Cockatoo Lagoon -- a haven for birdlife -- are well wor th a visit. The walking tracks showcase the landscape, Aboriginal sites, bird, animal and plant life. With time against us, we opted for the Nganalam Ar t Site walk, with ranger Ross Nowland, to view the rock ar t. Our next stop was the Gregor y Tree, a shor t detour off the Victoria Highway, before the township of Timber Creek. Standing close to the Victoria River, the boab trees' trunk has the dates of Augustus Gregor y's Nor thern Australian Expedition visit inscribed into it. A comprehensive histor y, including a map of the base camp, is on show. It is also an Aboriginal sacred site. After refuelling in Timber Creek, we turned off the highway onto the Bullita Access Road to Gregor y National Park. This 13,000 sq. km park has awe-inspiring gorges and rock formations, walking tracks, a variety of flora and fauna, and sites of Aboriginal significance. Accommodation for the night was under the stars, in a swag and Mozzie Dome at Bullita Campground. Ranger Garr y Fischer was our host while in the park. Gecko Canoeing had not only set up a candlelight dinner of good food and wine under the boab trees, but cooked up a feast for breakfast the next morning. After driving past the pastoral relics of the nearby Bullita Homestead and neighbouring stockyards, we followed the Humber t Track to Victorian Downs Station. Be warned, the TRAVEL & LEISURE Trek theTop End Journey the Savannah Way for a different taste of the Northern Territory.
June July 2007
October November 2007