Travelling Australia - Journal 2013
5 June 2013

Daly Waters to Katherine
location map
In the morning daylight it became clear how many caravans had been squeezed in to every possible nook and cranny. The evening meal mostly relies on the travelling community for patronage so has a vested interest in having as many caravans as possible stop at the pub, but facilities do not match the number of customers. One secret of a successful visit to the Daly Waters Pub is to expect no facilities. Visitors in self-contained vehicles who make sure before arrival that they have sufficient water and internal electrical power and don't need a dump point can expect an excellent time. Treating Daly Waters Pub caravan park as a regulated bush camp where you will be told where to park but get no support is a practical way to think.

To put these comments in perspective we expect to return to Daly Waters Pub because of the food and entertainment.

Woodswallows White-breasted Woodswallows (Artamus leucorynchus) clumped along a power cable; this bird prefers to live in close proximity with others and is often seen grouped like this.

Red-winged Parrot Two Red-winged Parrots (Aprosmictus erythropterus) feeding.

Bower Bird Great Bower Birds (Chlamydera nuchalis) were common browsing for food among the plants around the pub but their colouring makes them blend in and they tend to remain under cover.
Daly Waters Pub to Katherine - page 2
We were not in a hurry to leave since we were going only to Katherine today. We spent some time chatting with neighbours and photographing birds.

When we did eventually leave Daly Waters Pub we returned to the Stuart Highway and turned north for Katherine. Traffic remained very light, the road was generally good bitumen and the weather sunny with some high cloud. The wind of previous days was no longer a factor in driving. We had taken on sufficient fuel at Daly Waters Hi-Way Inn to reach Katherine and were not concerned to find that the servo at Larrimah had burnt down some time ago (but the wreckage had not been cleared) and fuel was no longer available there. Whether such a small settlement will survive on the proceeds of a caravan park and selling home-made pies will be interesting.

The outside temperature gauge in the Pathfinder was showing 31°C by 11 o'clock and the humidity felt just as high whenever we stopped. We stopped a couple of times to check rest areas along the way, including a lunch stop. The last two rest areas we stopped at had toilets and dump points in them; names and co-ordinates are at the foot of this text.

Roadside vegetation had changed slightly today. The road was still lined by trees and visibility through them was very limited. The lancewood and other species common yesterday were variously replaced by other species with eucalyptus common (lancewood is an acacia). The thickness of the undergrowth also varied; sometimes the undergrowth comprised juveniles of the dominant tree species, at other times thick patches of lower shrubs (especially acacias) could be seen.
Vegetation Roadside vegetation varied considerably but was always a tree species, such as this eucalyptus, with varying thickness undergrowth.
We passed through Mataranka without stopping and 113 kilometres later arrived at Katherine. We had booked a site in a caravan park and made our way there. We had stayed in Katherine quite a few years ago and were surprised at how much better the town looked; now it looked as if somebody cared.

Rest Areas with Dump Points

King River Rest Area
59 kilometres north of Mataranka, 93 kilometres south of Katherine, east of highway.
14° 38' 39"S, 132° 37' 56"E

Warloch Rest Area
41 kilometres north of Larrimah, 37 kilometres south of Mataranka, east of highway.
15° 14' 11"S, 133° 06' 53"E

Daly Waters Pub to Katherine - page 3
daily map