Travelling Australia - Journal 2006
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28 August 2006 - Darwin to Katherine

Location map We were pleased to be getting away from Darwin's humidity. Leaving the caravan park we passed through the edge of Darwin's residential area out to the Stuart Highway which remained dual carriageway until the turnoff to the Cox Peninsula/Berry Springs; there were some overtaking lanes after that. The road surface was good and the route quite easy with gentle bends and fairly flat to start with although the road climbed to about 200 metres south of the Adelaide River.

Vegetation was the woodland commonly found in the Top End. For much of the way until Adelaide River (and in patches for a while after that) there was an understory of palms up to 1.5 metres high. Panadanus was common in wetter places. Termite mounds and turkey bush were reasonably common. Kapok trees were not seen close to Darwin but were relatively common as we moved south; as on previous days this plant is far more common among rock outcrops than anywhere else. Close to Darwin there were a few mango plantations. Much of the roadside bush had been burnt; some was in an early dry-season fire and the terrain was recovering well; others was more recent, hotter fires and the results were barren. Some fires were still smouldering.

The Northern Territory, like north Queenland, remembers the Second World War more than the rest of Australia. Adelaide River proclaims itself as Australia's Front Line during that conflict and the sites of WWII airfields and other wartime facilities are marked with brown tourist signs.

By mid-morning a stronger, gusty wind had come up but this then faded away towards lunch time. At one point we passed three black headed storks (formerly known as the Jabiru which sounds much better) on the side of the road. They looked to be examining a road kill animal but there isn't much they could do with it with their large stork beaks. The Jabiru is top of my list of birds yet to be photographed close-up but there wasn't space to stop on the side of the road

Arriving in Katherine we went to Woolworths petrol to top up then parked in the caravan parking area across the road while we did a little food shopping. Then out to the caravan park and set up without uncoupling on a shady site near the amenities.

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