Travelling Australia - Journal 2013
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2 July 2013

Bullwaddy Rest Area (Carpentaria Highway)
The night was cold with outside temperature of 11 degrees at 5:00 o'clock in the morning. After our time in the warm to hot parts of Darwin and Katherine we had been expecting to meet cooler weather eventually as we moved south but were not expecting to meet it this soon. We found it so cold in the morning that our new caravan gas heater was turned on for its first use. It worked well and quickly took the edge off the cold in the van.

We spent the day in the Bullwaddy Rest Area beside the Carpentaria Highway. The other vans had left by 10:00 o'clock and we were alone until after lunch time when caravans began arriving. I spent some time looking at the trees around the rest area. Prominent in parts was the Bullwaddy tree which has very distinctive small leaves and unique flowers. Near the Bullwaddy grove was a stand of Lancewood which is historically paired with Bullwaddy as the trees which forced Charles Stuart to turn back on one of his exploration trips through the Northern Territory. He found Lancewood/Bullwaddy thickets so dense that he could not make progress. No doubt the ability of Lancewood branches and trunks to become hardened spikes (hence the name "lance"wood) which could penetrate saddlebags and water bags contributed to Stuart's problems.

Bullwaddy leaves Bullwaddy leaves are small and grow in clusters.
Bullwaddy flowers Bullwaddy flowers are thin and pale in colour.
2 July, Bullwaddy Rest Area - page 2
After sunrise the day remained cool with a cold, strong and gusty wind keeping the temperature down. The wind eased as the day progressed but gusts continued until well into the afternoon. The bright sun did not have much effect until mid-afternoon but, even then, the day did not get hot.

In mid-morning we moved the caravan a few metres to give the sunshine full access to the solar panels on the roof which were in shade and not charging the battery as expected. Once the caravan was moved the panels were in full sun and battery charging continued.

Double-barred finch A pair of Double-barred Finches (Taeniopygia bichenovii) in a Bullwaddy tree. This branch is above their water supply and the birds are checking the site is safe before they go down to drink.
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