Travelling Australia - Journal 2013
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14 June 2013

Douglas-Daly to Darwin
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The road from Douglas-Daly Tourist Park was nearly deserted as we made our way out to the Stuart Highway. The weather was clear and warm. The road was quiet enough for several kangaroos/wallabies and a wild dog/dingo were seen along the edge.

At the Stuart Highway we turned north towards Darwin. There was very little traffic, mainly sedans and 4WD with a sprinkling of caravans and road trains going the other way and a handful of sedans and 4WD overtaking us. The road remained very good all the way to Darwin; mostly in long straight, nearly level sections with an increasing number of overtaking lanes. We encountered one set of road works which looked to be another overtaking lane being prepared.

There had been a noticeable lack of rest areas between Katherine and Pine Creek but several had been established between Pine Creek and Darwin. Land along the highway was uncleared and still covered by native woodland. Density of trees varied and sometimes the undergrowth grew more thickly but the tree covering was consistent until we reached the outer edges of Darwin.

As we approached Darwin the road became a dual carriageway and traffic gradually but definitely increased. The wind also increased in strength. The caravan park we had booked at was just off the main road into Darwin so we followed the GPS very carefully to the turn-off.

We had booked a site at Discovery Holiday Parks Darwin (otherwise known as Discovery Darwin) by telephone some weeks ago and had been given a site number at that time, this was a reasonable site. But when we arrived the site had been changed to a nearby one which was small and at the end of the access road against a fence such that there was no practical way to get a six metre caravan into the site. When I objected I was offered one of two alternatives in the older, run-down (some may say quaint or old-fashioned) section of the park and managed to get the van into a site which really was too small for the six metre van so it stuck out in front; there was no space for an awning, nor anywhere to park the towing vehicle. I was surprised to see such a small, low quality site still in use. This was the lowest quality site we have occupied on this trip in a park which charged the highest daily fees ($45 per day) we have experienced.

Throughout the incident the staff did not show any understanding of how a caravan was parked, nor did they know their park layout. The inaccurate and incomplete map of the park being used by the staff did not make competent management any easier.

After setting up the caravan as best we could in the lack of space, we set off to look around Darwin and refreshing our memory from previous visits.

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