Wednesday, July 21, 2010


5 July 2010


(Lack of internet access meant delays in posting the blog.  I will try to catch up with posting them.)

We set off along the Savanah Way not knowing what to expect. It is described in many sources as sparse, undulating country with patches of scrub and rocky escarpments. We had also heard that the road to Roper Bar was boring. How wrong was that. It is an interesting road. The first section was a one lane sealed road.

When you saw oncoming traffic one had to move off to the side in order that the cars could pass. Most people did that. One driver towing a caravan was determined not to move onto the dirt part. Obviously he didn’t want to get the van dusty. He was put out as hubby moved over but not enough for him to be king of the road.

Elsie Creek, the first of many creek crossings, had quite a bit of water.

Each creek crossing is interesting. You look to see if they have water or not, what the vegetation is and what the base is like. They are all so different.

The road had a few crests for some part of it. When we got to the top we looked back – it looked spectacular.

Occasional rocky outcrops added interest to the scenery and provided a contrast to the many shades of green of the vegetation.

The scenery again was forever changing and so strong in contrast.

This was definitely pastoral country. Fences started to appear and we passed quite a few gates into properties.

We saw horses and for the first time some donkeys. There were quite a few cows grazing along the way.

There were several good camp spots are along the road between Stuart Highway and Roper Bar.

Mt McMinn ( we think that is what it is called) had interesting lines emerging from its formation and vegetation.

Even though the terrain appeared dryer here than other places there were still some wetlands with water along here. It was also drizzly at times during the day so not so nice a day weather wise.

Roper Bar store was quite a surprise. You can buy anything here. From paper clips, cup cake holders through to baby walkers. You name it, they had it. There is no other building or community here. An interesting place.

We called in at the ruins of the old police station. It was only in 1980 that they closed this station and moved it to a nearby community. It makes sense as there is nothing at Roper Bar.

Leichhardt’s Memorial is also at this site near the natural rock crossing, Leichhardt Crossing, over the Roper River.

The river is very wide at this point and it has a large volume of water flowing through it. I remember learning at school that there were not many rivers in Australia. There may not be many along the eastern part of Australia but there sure are quite a few large rivers up north. The only problem is that the creeks feeding the rivers dry up in the dry season and often during a prolonged or very hot dry season the rivers start to dry up and stop flowing.

As you crossed the river you got a glimpse of it from either side.

We went back along the road for a couple of kilometres before we came to a fork in the road. The track on the left was what we took to continue along the Savannah Way.

soon we were in Limmen National Park. We headed over the Hodgson River

and took a track to the right (south) to go to Rocky Bar crossing for the night.

The track was very sandy in places and also quite windy.

A series of rock pools upstream of the Hodgson River with little water cascades

with the river in full flow below.

A natural crossing along the river has been used to ford the river for many years. Now the track on the other side no longer exists.

Some of the rocks across the crossing seem to be split with water flowing between the split layers.

On the southern bank of the river there are many aboriginal petroglyphs – engravings on the rocks. They are rather weathered.

A beautiful setting for spending the night.

It may be a beautiful setting but it was also bug heaven. Insects of all descriptions and we made good fodder for them. We both got bitten heaps but not sure by what. They were not mosquitos. My fly glue paper strip was totally covered by insects within an hour of it being hung up. A hot night and insects is not a good combination for a good nights sleep.

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