Drifting Dane

35.000 km. around Australia

  • June 2, 2008
  • February 17, 2024

Part 2. North to West

Uluru  northern territory

I left the South and friends behind and started travelling up North with Johnny, a Korean friend from Berri.
A journey of more than 3000 km to Darwin.
About 400 km before Alice springs is Uluṟu Kata Tjuṯa National Park.
The home to the giant sacred rocks, Uluru and Kata Tjuta.
To the Pitjantjatjara Aboriginies, they hold a significant cultural meaning. They are known to change colour and the most important indigenous sites in Australia.

The touristic steps leading to the top of Uluru 
To the Aboriginies, climbing the sacred stone is a no go,  I agree.

Uluru steps to the top

Nonstop Darwin

3000 km is a long haul. After some overnight stops camping on the road and a few days in Alice Springs, we got to Darwin
and it was just another backpacker touristic place, nothing else to do than going out on the piss, and too bloody hot to even move around without constantly sweating.
I ended up getting a job in Kakadu National Park at a resort in the middle of nowhere, and Johnny ended up going back to Berri because he was so unhappy up here.

For those who remember the Crocodile Dundee movies with Paul Hogan, Kakadu National Park is where the first movie was filmed

I worked for almost 5 weeks in Kakadu doing housekeeping, and I hated it like hell because of the isolation and nothing else to do other than going to the bar every night. But hey, that's how you save money, quick!  You adapt to a routine just as you would have done at home, and the fact that you are very isolated with nothing to spend money on making you pass time in other creative ways, so at the end of the day it turns out in your favour.

In my case, I decided that if I was to live here for at least 6 weeks I would have to do something to keep my mental state focused on something else.
So I mostly just keep to my work every day and in the evening I would go for a run or work out at the gym, thereby avoiding the bar.
The tires were wearing thin on Betty (Car) so I needed the extra cash to replace them in Darwin before continuing my journey,
if I were to make it over and down the west coast.

On my day off fishing, this fellow showed up "Crocodiles are territorial animals" 
I naturally retreated as I was on his turf and the fact that he was bigger than my little boat.

Giant Crocodile turns up while fishing in the Billabong

I left Kakadu 2 weeks earlier than I wanted, but with new experiences and 5 kilos lighter.
Heading towards Broome on my own, I was happy to leave the Northern territory! I planned to stop at Wolf Creek Crater
(The second biggest meteor crater in the world) on the way, but I had some strange issues with BETTY (Car) on that dirt road, so I gave up before reaching it and continued to the lovely west coast.

Oddly enough my trusty Betty suddenly stopped on the way into Wolf Creek Crater

Stuck on the road towards wolf creek crater

Broome was a nice change (Bloody hot) but a very nice place to chill out after Kakadu. Beautiful beaches and relaxed.....OOOOH, I forgot about the Duchies. a couple of Duch boys that I met in Berri had been travelling the same way as I, so we kept meeting up, somewhere along the road or the next city.
Good always having some friends to meet up with whenever you were in a new city.

In Broome, I met Julia who decided to travel with me.
We explored Karijini national park and took our daily showers under the waterfalls and went swimming in the big gorges while camping - exploring the amazing Western Australian nature.

Karijini Gorges

Showering in the Gorges

We visited Cape Range park where I started my fishing project, which was supposed to keep our stomachs full to save money. It didn't go as expected....hahaha, caught one fish that we couldn't eat and after that, we ended up living on can food and noodles instead, but at least we cooked out in nature.

From Cape Range, we drove down to Coral Bay and went diving with the great big Manta rays.

Manta rays at Coral Bay in western Australia

That was an amazing encounter swimming next to these big (flying like) creatures. This is a must thing on any bucket list.
Forget about the adrenalin based on nothing, get it while meeting something from another world.

After Coral bay, we moved on to Monkey mia where I finally got to see flipper and his family, and we went bushwalking where a couple of big emus didn't think we belonged there and started chasing us....hahaha that was funny!
Julia was scared shitless, trying to hold them off with a tiny stick....hahaha! unfortunately, I missed that shot opportunity as I left the camera back in the car.

Delfins at monkey mia

Between Monkey Mia and the last stretch to Perth, we stopped at the majestic Pinnacles desert which is thousand of big stones in random shapes created by sea shelf material, millions of years ago, carried inland by the winds.

The Pinnacle Desert.
What you make of this particular piece, I leave to your imagination

The Pinnacle Desert Western Australia

Julia at the Pinnacles

Camping in nature with Julia as my travel companion and pretty much no people turned out to be a very good experience and completely different from what I would have expected.
When I look back on my whole trip, one of the best things I will remember is without a doubt the three weeks down the west coast, because this was the time and place where I felt the freest, and alive.

I worked a couple of months in Perth as a Bricklayer and enjoyed it very much, even though it was a tough job. I lived in my boss's house which had a swimming pool and barbeque out back and spent a week on Rottnest Island with Julia, camping out.

Perth remains one of my favourite places in Australia along with the west coast. I stayed through Christmas and decided to split up with my travel mate, Julia, with whom I'd shared a memorable time discovering the west.
I droved 40 hours and 3800 kilometres, doing tag-team non-stop driving, with a Dutch and English guy who also was determent to reach Melbourne for new years eve.

After the Melbourne party, I and Betty (Car) took the ferry to Tasmanian and toured around this magnificent small island where I also had the privilege and luck to meet the Twins from New Zealand, two acrobatic girls that were travelling around performing and showing off their highly elevated - flexible skills in parks and other public places.

The Twins practising their routine in Launceston park

We joined forces for most of my trip around Tasmania, camping in the great outdoors and visiting the beautiful Freycinet national park where you will find an incredible lagoon shaped like a wine glass, hence the name "Wineglass Bay" and a great spot to encounter Dolphins as well. 

Camping in the great outdoors on the way to Freycinet Park

Tasmania wilderness camping

Trailing along Wine Glass Bay in search of a camp

That pretty much sums up a year of exploring most of Australia or at least what I could get from 35.000 km in all directions.
No doubt that this still and always will remain one of my most memorable journeys.

The trusty Betty I gave away to charity and thanked for an amazing journey 

Goodbye Betty

Visit my galleries from this journey:

Northern Australia
Western Australia
Videos from around Australia