A Travellerspoint blog

Wernadinga Station

sunny 38 °C

So where to begin. We thought we wouldn’t have much to write on our blog but boy were we wrong.

Theres not much to do when we have time off apart from eat and watch tv. We decided to go for a walk in the bush, find a nice spot of shade and do some reading. We walked along in the hot sun and discovered the bones of pretty much every outback animal!

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We settled down on our blanket after scaring away some birds and wallabies, Anna read for just ten minutes before realising that Ben was actually asleep!!! It was ok though because we had a little surprise visit from the managers dog..

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Jess the dog visited Anna again at the back door of the kitchen a few days later, she is the cutest!

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Franklin loves mangos and Ben built a path...

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Now for the real stories...

It was Anna’s birthday on 22nd September and so Ben was trying to organise as much as he could considering we are in the middle of nowhere. He got our manager to order in some birthday candles. Silly them, they forgot that Anna is the one who goes through all of the orders to tick the items off the invoice. Surprise… not so much! That evening we had a BBQ. We were all sat outside trying to avoid being nibbled on by the mozzys and Anna suddenly jumped out of her seat. Everyone was so shocked and had no idea what was going on. It turned out that a frog jumped up from the floor onto her leg. As it was pitch black she had no idea what it was and immediately panicked. Luckily everyone saw the humour! It was soon bed time for Benanna.
That weekend we had two days off which was a huge relief as boy did we need it. We decided on the Saturday to drive to Burketown. Ben read a book during the drive and Anna enjoyed the scenery… dessert land is so interesting when all you look at all week is the kitchen sink! We arrived at Burketown and explored it in day light… it really doesn’t have much to offer. We managed to go half grocery shopping in the post office! Get Telstra sim cards for our phones to have access to the internet ( the wifi got cancelled boo :-( !! ) Get Ben a sausage roll and at the same time a phone number for a mechanic to help poor Sheila get herself a 60 minute makeover. We barley got some much needed petrol as we were dazzled by the very confusing self service system. On the drive back to the station we stopped by the river. There was a family fishing so we decided to sit in the shade and watch.. whilst eating Doritos and Dip! We watched them catch a cat fish which was pretty exciting. When we walked passed they had actually caught a few.

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Ben has killed his first real snake.

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I think the photos say it all to be honest. It was creeping around in the bushes and although Ben was reluctant to kill it, he had to for everyones safety. That day he had been digging up plants to put them in pots. We now know the meaning of toad in the hole. The soil was filled with toads. Occasionally Ben would stab his pitch fork in the dirt and alls you would hear was a weird squeaky sound. A lot of toads lost their lives that day, however Ben entertained himself by throwing the toads out into the lawn for the hawks to catch. This whole situation gave Anna a great British idea for dinner. Toad in the hole it was.

On a less humorous note, we had an intense meeting one morning after breakfast. Since the new managers have taken over, the team have struggled to adapt to their way of doing things. It has gotten that bad that Randal has had to start threatening people with their jobs to get them to work. The managers appreciate that we are happy to be here and are working hard, its a shame they can’t say that about all of the team members. That morning they came to breakfast with resignation letters and asked if anyone wanted to fill one out because of their attitude. We were glad for that meeting to be over!

Constantly eating beef, showering in river water and drinking water from a creek is making us appreciate our personal items which we get to order in every 2 weeks. We are sure to have plenty of chicken in the freezer and plenty of soap in the cupboard. We have also been buying cordial to disguise the floating bits of dirt in our drinking water!

Yet again Anna is covered in bites, she is totally antisocial in the evenings as she just attracts all of the anything that bites! She has had 2 really awful bites, I know none of you want to see them but here goes…

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We did a big clean in our quarters which was much needed. As there are lizards running around and god knows what else, all the dirt soon builds up. Ben cleared the outside and Anna tackled the inside. We then both took on the bathroom together as it’s just so awful! We hoovered up so many creepy crawlies, we didn’t realise we were sharing our room with so many little insects. Anna got that into hoovering everything up that she managed to suck up Ben’s shoe laces and bracelet… whoops!

We have been watching a lot of TV and movies now that the internet had been cut off. We watch tv every night before we fall asleep. We have been getting into Australian survivor, river monsters and total wipeout! One of the guys here has a hard drive full of movies. He has put a bunch on our USB stick and also given us his tv box so we can watch movies straight off the USB. Luckily we did all this before Anna got ill. It provided her with plenty of entertainment as she was bed bound. We think that Anna had a virus. We aren’t sure where she got it from and luckily Ben didn’t catch it. She had body aches, was getting boiling hot then freezing cold and feeling sick. She started feeling ill on the Monday morning before her birthday. She managed to work all day although Ben had to help her with dinner. On Monday night she was up being sick in the bathroom. The sight and smell of our bathroom alone can make you want to be sick so feeling ill inside it is just disastrous. Anna decided to take Tuesday off work. Ben decided to take on the role of the cook and the gardener and made everyone breakfast, snacks, dinner and dessert. Everyone was offering to help cook but as soon as it wash washing up time they all scrambled out of the door! Poor Ben. Anna was back to work on Wednesday. The managers family brought her some homemade get well gifts to help her get through the day…how cute!

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It rained on the Wednesday and the temperature dropped about ten degrees. This helped with the recovery process!

The day was here, it was Anna’s birthday! She had a great day considering where we are. She received even more hand made gifts and cards and a cake (baked by the managers wife).

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Ben got her the present of…. SKY DIVING!! Yes thats right, on December 4th we will be in Cairns, at 5.30am jumping out of a plane! The sunrise better look good from that height. I don’t think what we are doing has fully sank in yet, but we are nervous. Ben has a full day planned for Anna on the 4th so we are excited. Including a trip to the spa mmm! We went to Burketown pub that night even though we didn’t enjoy it the last time. This meant Anna didn’t have to cook. Ben received some bad news about his Grandpa that night as we got some internet, however we still had a really good time. It was filled with drinks and competitions on the pool table. We all had a really good laugh. We got back late though so work the next day was interesting to say the least. Ben showed Anna another surprise on Friday. He is designing a poster of Asia to show where we went.

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Another surprise for Anna was that she was getting 4 baby cows delivered for her to look after.. They were very nervous but she will have them settled in no time! Unfortunately one has a hernia and is really sick.

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One of the guys got ill right after Anna, and funnily enough, it was his birthday the day after Anna’s. He must have caught something else because he was being sick for 4 days straight and he lost a lot of weight!

So as we have mentioned a few times, there are lots of creatures and critters around and about in our bedroom and bathroom, in fact in any room you enter. Well Anna was not expecting to find a bird in the bathroom when she popped to the toilet the other day, and it was a big one too! She has a video but we have decided that we will make a Wernadinga travel video at the end of our time here, then you will be able to see and hopefully experience some of the stories from our blog.

Anna has now named all of the baby cows she cares for. She hasn’t managed to name the chickens yet as she can’t tell the difference between them. We have some bad news unfortunately. Leon, one of the grey baby cows, has now passed away. Ben and I fed him milk but there was just no hope. We were debating whether to get someone to kill it to put it out of its misery but we woke up one day and he was already gone.
Speaking of dead things, Anna has been seeing lots of interesting sights out of the kitchen window. She saw a dead parrot on the floor which was strange, when she next looked it had vanished. Then she saw a dead crow, that one got swept up by a hawk! There was also a bunch of hawks fighting over a dead toad. She has been seeing lots of live things too though, the horses and wallabies often run past, and there are two lizards in our room which keep fighting/doing it. Just the other day she walked in and they were locking mouths on the desk top. We got a video of that also so get excited to see our travel video!

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We went over to watch the horses being tacked up one morning. The Australian saddle and bridal are so different to the British tack. Anna imagines the style of riding would be very different too but she hasn’t seen anyone riding or been riding herself yet, but fingers crossed! She was amused how the guys herd the horses and fling the saddle on and they are ready to go. In England we catch the horse with a carrot, brush it, groom it, wash it, then put the tack on then we are finally ready to go!

So another tense meeting was held one morning after breakfast. Anna wasn’t in it, they left her in the kitchen! But Ben witnessed the overseer being fired in front of everyone. Ben had an awkward morning! The management team are hoping to now see a change in attitude. And we hope so too, we don’t see the point in all of the stress when its such a relaxing way to live life. Plus we don’t need anyone putting a downer on our holiday tourist vibes!

Randal, the manager, took Anna out for a drive. Anna was really happy to get out and see the station that everyone talks about 24/7. She saw lots of cattle, termite mounds, wallabies, a dead ferrel pig (which was huge by the way) and they even drove through a river. As they drove through over rocks, Randal was explaining how you wouldn’t want to get the car stuck as there are crocs, bull sharks, sting rays and jelly fish which could kill you. On the way back through the river, they hit a huge hole and almost got stuck! Anna nearly ended up through the window as she wasn’t wearing her belt (she had to get out every 5 mins to open and close the gates). It was safe to say she had it on after that. They got out of the river in one piece thank god. They stopped at the camp site to visit the extreme campers. These campers spend 2 weeks out in the bush fishing for Barramundi and shooting ferrel pigs. They are crazy as they camp by the river with the risk of crocs, and in this ridiculous heat! However the campers did give us a huge barramundi for dinner, luckily one of the guys offered to debone it so Anna doesn’t have to…

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We are getting on really well with the management. They are such a lovely family and we really don’t see what the problem is. They are surprised that we have taken to our roles so well in just a few weeks. Anna had the children over the other morning to make chocolate corn flake cakes. The 3 kids have so much energy but they are so polite, I guess all the chocolate didn’t help! Anna is getting constant compliments from everyone about her food. She was nervous at the start but now we are all settled in she is enjoying it. Ben has transformed the lawn and is getting to know the roads and routes when out in the truck. Ben is in the garden for 2 and a half days and out with the gang for the other half of the week. He is getting battered and bruised by the cattle work but it will all be worth it in the end. We are enjoying our time here but we are looking forward to some luxury.

I know this blog is a lot about Anna, but Ben doesn’t write down a lot of notes! So another story about Anna… She went for a ride in the chopper! She took lots of photos so hopefully they will explain cattle mustering a bit better…

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The helicopter has no doors and only had 2 seats. it was 30 degrees, there was no water, her hair was flapping around everywhere.. she lasted 30 mins then asked to go back to the house. She started to feel sick when the pilot started doing all of his fancy tricks. We really hope Ben will get to go up before we leave as he has never been in a chopper! It was an awesome experience, the pilots have ninja eyes for cows!

Pay day had finally arrived, and what a better time to find out that Ben has had some card fraud! Someone in Asia has managed to take $306 from his account. They tried two more times but luckily the bank declined them. He will receive a refund and a new card so it has all been sorted!
In other news, Anna’s ex employer from Melbourne still hasn’t paid the super (pension) she owes her. Anna found out that 2 of the staff have now resigned as it got even worse to work there. We can’t imagine it getting worse so we feel sorry for any future employees the boss gets her hands on. Anna is currently trying to sort out that situation but its proving harder than the card fraud!

On a more positive note, there are little wallabies outside our bedroom window daily. We see them do the funniest things. They have no idea we are watching them. One was holding its private parts and licking it spotless, whilst the other had a little joey hanging out of its front pouch! The little joey was copying its mother and hunting for food on the ground!

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The other day, we had the biggest storm. Ben was at the yards and Anna was in the kitchen of course. It was a shame we experienced it apart as it was one to remember. There was a HUGE clap a thunder which sent the baby cows running, as well as the managers family. Everyone took shelter and before we knew it, the heavens fell. Literally. It rained and it poured. Ben got much wetter than Anna though. Unfortunately we didn’t get any photos or videos, but apparently there will be a lot more storms to come.

Anna battered and fried the barramundi on Friday night. We don’t like fish but we were pleasantly surprised. Apparently the fish is much better in Australia so we plan to try some more. Barra fishing is only legal for 6 weeks across September and the start of October so we wouldn’t of really had another chance to try it. Ben had tried it before but said that Anna cooked it better ;)

The rodeo had finally arrived. And I am sorry to say it was a bit of a let down! We had to work on the Saturday morning, Anna was up at 5.20am to cook breakfast and afterwards Ben headed down to the yards with the crew to load cattle onto trucks (road trains). It only took 2 hours or so which meant we had all day for the rodeo. We had showers, packed our day bag and headed to Rik’s car so he could give us a ride. We were on our way by 10am. We arrived in Burketown just before 11 and were surprised to see it was just as quiet as any other day. We fully expected the town to be more lively with the rodeo. We headed to the post office and stocked up on food of course! Rik did the same which meant there was barley any room for us in his 3 seater truck. We managed to squeeze on in but had to eat some of our chocolate and biscuits before we set off again, what a shame! We drove down to the rodeo…. to a field with a few caravans, cars and trailers. We parked up and Rik didn’t even bother to get out of the car as he was very disappointed with the size of it. We all had high expectations for our first rodeo in Burketown, and these expectations shattered within seconds. We walked around the grounds, if thats what you can call them, and saw empty tracks, pens and yards. There were no shops, no food, and the drinks stand didn’t even sell lemonade! We found out that there was a break from 11am until 1pm and so we had hours until anything happened. From 1pm it was horse sprint racing and so all the action didn’t even happen until 6pm. Arrrghhh we could of spent all day in bed!! We decided to make the most out of the trip out to town and so Rik gave us a guided tour of the cemetery… where 5 people are buried, the warf, where we spotted two fish, and the historical tree, which was just taller than Anna. We drove back to the rodeo around 2pm to see what the horse racing had to offer. We were really amused at how dressed up people got to stand around under a canopy and watch horses run less than 500m. We soon headed back to town and into the cafe to waste so more time eating pizza and chips and playing on our phones. At around 4pm the rest of the Wernadinga troops started to arrive and so we headed to the pub. Anna wasn’t drinking and so ended up being designated driver. We soon entertained ourself for a couple of more hours on the pool table. We thrashed this other couple and then played against each other. Anna played better in the doubles but sadly lost against Ben. 6pm FINALLY arrived. We thought that on a Saturday night at Burketown rodeo the mood would finally pick up and the night of rodeo extravaganza would begin, we were wrong. It just seemed to be the same as the day, people milling around drinking and watching an unorganised mess. We watched a load of kids chase a pig, some people get thrown of horses and bulls, and some riders run around barrels on horses. It was good to experience these sports and we did have a good day, it just really didn’t live up to our expectations. We headed back about 8.30pm, Anna didn’t hit any wallabies, and were in bed by 10pm. Ready for work ON A SUNDAY!!!

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Ugh.5.20am. ON A SUNDAY. Anna was up frying bacon and eggs. She was not happy. Breakfast this morning was for 3 members of the team and 2 truck drivers (the rest of the drunk team camped at the pathetic rodeo). Today was the day to load more trucks. Anna was even going down to the yards as there was a lack of staff members to help out. We piled onto the back of a pick up and drove down to the yards. Anna followed Ben around like a lost puppy but soon got the hang of it. Anna was a bit nervous about the cows (She is scared of them) but soon realised they are more scared of her! It took an hour and a half to load 2 road trains full of cattle and it went smoothly. After it was done, we had to move the injured cattle to another pen. Just us two had this task as the others were busy getting hay and cleaning out water troughs. We ended up running around chasing two really stubborn cows for about ten minutes. This in 30 degrees heat was not fun. On the upside, Anna got to drive the buggy back which was a lovely breeze! After feeding the cows and chucks by the kitchen, it was showers and bed by 8am. Perfect!

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We spent the rest of the day watching movies and eating lots of healthy… ahem food. It was a good Sunday.

This is how dirty Ben can get in the yards:

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Anna stays clean and takes selfies with franklin..

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I would recommend you google 'morning glory clouds' as we get them occasionally and they are amazing. We haven't managed to get a good photo ourselves though..

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We haven't got a lot of stories from this past week apart from Anna bumped into a tarantula garden spider and we have this weekend off whilst everyone else is working woohoo!

We finally have the wifi back and the first thing we have done is book this amazing hotel for after skydiving!!

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Posted by Benannatravels 17:09 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

2 down and 10 to go

Queensland

sunny 35 °C

It had been a long day of driving and the noise of the car on tarmac had ingrained itself in our heads. We were tired and hungry. We stopped in the first town we came across. There was a roadhouse/motel/campsite that seemed to be the only place open in town. After almost 36 hours in Sheila we fancied a real bed. We checked in, dumped our stuff in our room and headed straight to the bar for some food and a beer. We ate our pub grub at fast speeds and headed back to the room to crash out. As we had been driving into Queensland the previous day the humidity was increasing until everything felt damp. At about 5am the heavens finally opened and the noise of the hard rain on the tin roofs woke us both up. Another not so sound nights sleep and before we knew it we were up again gunning for Cairns. After a slightly embarrassing start at the petrol station with Ben’s card being declined for lack of funds, we headed back into the outback.

On our final stretch of journey we saw some amazing scenery, including a stunning sunset. As soon as we hit the Townsville/Cairns region, we were presented with stunning green luscious hills which dropped down into crystal clear seas. We couldn’t believe our eyes after spending so much time in the bush. We were hypnotised by the tropical rainforest. We drove through rows and rows of banana trees, sugar cain, mango trees, you name it they grew it. This by far is the most stunning area of Australia so far. We knew instantly that leaving Darwin was a good decision. The only thing that let us down were all the road works, they sure do take after the UK in some things!

We finally arrived in Cairns. It was dark so we had no idea what it really looked like, but the drive was so promising and so we were excited to wake up the next day and explore what was on offer. We checked into our hotel. We picked the cheapest one that wasn’t a hostel as we were running out of money fast. I think its safe to say its probably the worst room we have stayed in yet. It was full of bugs, was really dark and was about 137826487 years old.

The following morning, the first thing we did was apply for as many new jobs as there was on every job site which came up on google. As we were getting showered and dressed… SUCCESS. We got a reply back to one of our emails which we sent through gumtree. We applied to the roles of a gardener and a cook on a cattle station in Cairns. After a few emails to and fro, we were to start work on Monday! We were quite nervous as we had no idea what we had just signed up for. Still it was time for a celebratory lunch along the boardwalk. Cairns boardwalk is on another level. Theres a skateboarding park, a rock climbing wall, a gym, a kids water park, a normal park, a bunch of cafes and restaurants, pelicans off Finding Nemo, a harbour, a swimming pool and so much more! We walked along and ended up with a burger of course. After finishing up and literally licking the plate clean, it was time for…. MORE SHOPPING!!! Ben needed to buy a cowboy hat, some work shirts and a belt. Anna didn’t really need anything but felt left out so went bargain hunting anyway.

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The following day, what was on the schedule? MORE SHOPPING! We aren’t sure how we are going to get everything home! We found some amazing bargains in the DFO and got loads done before heading back to the room. Tonight was pizza night. Dominoes and Netflix don’t mind if we do. We decided we should google how far away the farm was so we could see what time we needed to check out. We thought it would be about 3-4 hours something like that. It was going to be 9 hours. NINE. Not what we expected! But it was money and we needed it!

Another road trip was upon us. This was the second unplanned road trip which we really weren’t in the mood to do. We needed some energy. McDonalds breakfast it was! I know… we were having a junk food binge weekend. But we had to, we were about to have 3 months living in the middle of no where! After filling up the tank, our journey started with some extremely windy roads… this was why it was going to take 9 hours!

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We were driving through the lush mountains which we had driven along side a few days before. We stopped to take some photos and also because we felt a bit sick. Macca’s and windy roads don’t mix well.

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We pulled over at a lake to get some fresh air and some cold water to settle our stomachs. On the way back to the car we noticed signs for platypus watching, Platypus’ can only be found on the eastern coast of Australia and even there they are hard to find so we made a note of the lake so we could stop off on our way back and catch ourselves a glimpse. After a little while driving we went past another mini tornado. Despite seeming to be pretty common we have been unable to snap a pic for you but hopefully we can catch one before our time here comes to an end. Once we came down out of the lush green mountains it wasn’t long until we were surrounded by dry arid bush again. Lots of red earth and plenty of dried out river beds. Its incredible to drive through such vast and dry areas of land with signs for flooding everywhere, it really is a country of extremes. After hours of driving we were in need of fuel. We passed through a small town where we felt incredibly unwelcome. Everything was closed or boarded up and the lady in the petrol station didn’t say a word to us. We were happy to get out of there sharpish. The only problem, the sun was starting to set and Normanton (our destination for the night) was the next town over (over 100km). As the sun set not only did we realise that one of our already terrible headlights was out but the wallabies started to emerge. Everything had been going so well until THUD! Yes, a wallaby darted out right in front of the car. it went under the front and out the side, taking with it half the bumper. We checked out the radiator and retrieved the missing section of bumper from back down the road. Luckily the car sounded and drove like normal but we still took it easy the rest of the way. We eventually crawled into Normanton and found a motel. Luckily again there was one room
left and we got there just in time to order a gf lasagne and a pizza. Everyone in the bar commented on the car, news travels fast out here. A couple of truckers that were on the road with us came over to check out the car after dinner. they seemed to think it was ok mechanically as well.

The next morning we were woken early by the truckers leaving. While we were packing up our stuff we got yet another opinion on the car, the diagnosis was again that it was fine and just the body work that was… well… see for yourselves…

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Before we left we gave Wernadinga station a call to let them know our news and if we didn’t arrive in 3 hours to send out a search party! Despite the crazy bumps and (dirt)roadworks we got to the station in 2 and a half hours. We were greeted by Caroline and Randell and given a tour of the grounds. We were shown the cooks quarters and they were basic. Very basic. And dirty. Very dirty. We were given a bit of time to unpack and settle in. We got our cleaning gloves on and set to work. yet another 60 minute makeover and the dingy quarters were much more homely.

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At 3:30 we had a sit down with the managers to discuss our roles. It was surprisingly official given that we didn’t even send our CV’s when we applied. Anna was shown the kitchen while Randell took Ben down to the yards to see the “weaners”. After we finished sorting out our home for the next 3 months we got ourselves some food from the kitchen and had ourselves an early night.

We will pass you over to Anna so she can explain her job role and day to day business…

So I was extremely nervous after the sit down chat with the two managers. It suddenly came to me that I had to cook four times a day for 8-10 people. The only cooking I’ve done is for my family and for Ben (he will eat anything). And as for baking, just gluten free things for my blog! The kitchen is massive and has appliances which I’ve never even seen in real life never mind used them. I couldn’t sleep at all on the first night I was so nervous, but after 2 days I was fine. I worked out that the people who work here are used to eating very basic food or pub grub. I had a few nice comments on my food and people were enjoying the variety from what they were used to. I work very closely with Caroline and she has supplied me with that many recipes that they are coming out of my ears! I make breakfast, ‘smoko’, lunch, dinner and dessert every day for a 5 or 6 day week. I have to wake up at 5/5.30am depending on what I cook and I finish about 8pm after cleaning up. I do get a three hour break in the middle of the day though which is ideal for a good nap! I think its going to be a pretty boring 3 months compared to our action packed weekends we had when we worked in Melbourne. Being here is a great way to save but theres nothing to do. We get all our accommodation and food and we get paid a decent wage. We will hopefully get to go out on the quad bikes and horses once we settle in a bit more.
I have now worked for 12 days. In that 12 days I have cooked 48 meals (plus dessert). I have been supplied with a planner and a notebook where I can jot down my recipes and weeks food plan. This job was made for me, its so organised! I am also responsible for ordering all the food and sorting it when it arrives. I had to place an order on my first day and then we almost ran out of bread! The managers are new too, they have only been here for three weeks so they are trying to get the station in order. The last managers must not have had very high standards… honestly I don’t think the kitchen has ever been cleaned. I have been cleaning in between meals and it has kept me very busy, in fact I’m not even finished and it’s been two weeks!
There is a dead cow hanging in the cold room… this is gross and my worst nightmare. I am now over my fear of touching raw meat! Luckily I don’t have to cut up the cow, they have a butcher for that. The most exciting part of my day is feeding the baby cows and the chickens which are called chucks. I collect the chucks eggs and feed them left overs. They eat anything! One of the cows is still being fed milk so I have called him Franko and he thinks I’m his mum. He follows me around everywhere wagging his tail!
They aren’t bothered about wasting food here and see cows as ‘free food’. I love animals and want to save lives, therefore am trying to save as much food as possible and not throw out a tonne which they are clearly used to doing. This week I’ve been told I need to make more though so I guess I will have to go with their flow and play vegan in my own time!
Ben helps me wash up of a night time so we can get into bed faster! In exchange I help him carry wheel barrows of weeds to his burn pile, but I am sure he will tell you more about that in the next paragraph!
They have a jet ski, planes, helicopters, 20,000 cows, 600,000 acres of land which hold crocs and snakes! I am constantly on high alert as theres always toads, frogs, wallabies, mosquitos and flies coming at me left right and centre… even when I’m inside! We have told everyone we are photographers with our own business so hopefully I will have some really cool photos to show you all soon.
My only main story is that I was talking to Ben out of the kitchen window and a lizard fell on my head!! So to add to the high alert list, lizards are always ready to attack too!
Our bathroom is also gross. I thought the Cairns hotel was bad, this bathroom is on another level. We have decided to book ourselves into the Hilton when we get back in December for luxury and spa treatments!! Can’t wait!
We like our room now that its more bearable and we are enjoying our jobs. We are thankful we can work together and that its so easy to save. Luckily theres no shops around here where we can spend spend spend. We are enjoying being outside and working with animals. Its not an ideal situation however as all the people who work here are very insensitive towards animals and wasting food. They come out with some horrible stories at dinner time. I am struggling to please everyone with food but at the end of the day they get what they are given! Management seem pleased with our strong work ethic so we are just going to keep trucking on and dream of the east coast where we can avoid beef and cuddle animals <3

And now over to Ben…

Where to start. We have defiantly been thrown in at the deep end and had to hit the ground running. The garden is HUGE and looks like its been left untamed for quite a while, Its obviously not top of the priorities list with all the other work that goes on here. It seems its all under my control which is quite daunting considering its almost 4 years since i did any gardening.
I spent the whole first day clearing away dead stuff which wasn’t too bad although I am kind of making it up as I go along. I started a burn pile just outside the fence which is now massive. I’m not sure if thats a good or bad thing though!
After absolutely nackering myself out on the first day, I was up early the next day for my first ever experience of cattle mustering. Like the garden I got very little instruction. My job was to drive a truck behind everyone and pick up the little ones that can’t keep up. That was as detailed as my instructions got. Now if catching little baby cows that are too tired to walk sounds pretty easy. its not. As soon as you get anywhere near them they suddenly get a new lease of life, let alone when you try and pick them up, carry them back to the truck, open the back door with one hand while holding on to a cow with the other, stopping the others from jumping out, and lifting them 4 feet off the ground into the back, all in over 30 degrees heat. I managed to get 6 into the back which was incredibly tiring. Mustering is basically moving the cattle from their paddock to the yards where we draft them. Drafting is basically sorting them into Bulls, breeding cows, cows to sell for meat etc. Drafting is also scary! you have to get in a confined metal area with lots of gates an 1000 BIG cows, Some with BIG horns. you then have to walk among them and shoo them through the gates into smaller and smaller yards until you can eventually process them one by one. Again I got very little instruction as to what i was meant to be doing so I just had to guess and try and copy the others.
Yard work is hot, sweaty, dirty and scary but Im getting a bit more confident around the cows and have figured out the process a bit more so its getting easier. Although I still prefer the little ones (Even though they kick!) and Im still getting used to how dirty Im getting from all the dust thats kicked up.
One of the days we had to draft the bulls. This was when i got a bit more instruction: “Be careful, the bulls can and will kill you” fantastic. Needless to say I was the last one in that yard and the first one out!

I have been splitting my time between gardening and stock work pretty evenly. I am now well acquainted with all the sprinklers and the dump and have made some good headway in the garden. I am in the middle of mowing the lawns. I say in the middle because the mower packed up half way through so its sitting in the middle of the garden until Monday. When we got here we were warned about snakes, they have king brown snakes here which are incredibly poisonous. We have been told to kill any we see which neither of us were too happy about but we figure its a matter of real safety out here. One of the days I was gardening and found a little one under a rock. Apparently they can kill a fully grown adult once they are 6 inches long. Unfortunately I killed it with my hammer.

To add to my list of first time experiences I helped out with the branding, clipping and “cutting” (vasectomising). this was hard work as you have to hold the cattle in place while the business is being taken care of. One of the Steers (young male) was having such a bad time with it all it projectile diarrhoea-ed all up my leg from about a meter away. Apparently it happens to everyone.

outside of work there isn’t much to do. One of the evenings we travelled to Burketown with some of the others for a pub dinner and some beers. Burketown is the closest town at 80km away. We had to take Sheila which was a mistake as the sun had already set so it took us almost an hour and a half. Double what it should have because of our one “working” headlight and suicidal wallabies. 2 even ran into the side of the car. We didn’t kill any this time but almost put ourselves through the windscreen from slamming on. We almost missed dinner! Burketown’s only pub is… interesting. I don’t think we’ll be going back to be honest. It was a disappointing night but arriving home at midnight showed us more stars than we have ever seen before! In a couple of weeks is the Burketown Rodeo which we are hoping is better than the pub as a rodeo would be a pretty cool experience.

With power and water cutting out occasionally, 30+ degrees, dust, cow poo, killer bulls, killer snakes, grimy living quarters and a learn quick or leave attitude, life on the station is pretty tough but Im glad I have Anna’s cooking to come home too. We can also order personal things from Woolworths every 2 weeks so I now have some beers in the fridge and some chicken for me to cook tonight. I hope this has given you a bit of insight into life on an Australian cattle station, its tough and merciless but we’re hanging in there.

Our days here are pretty much what we have said above so don’t expect a blog post for a while as we won’t bore you to death with stories of baking and chasing cows. I am sure in December when our travels begin again we will have plenty to write. Until then…

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2 weeks down and 10 to go.

Posted by Benannatravels 18:43 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Another video!

sunny 26 °C

Below is the link to another video! But don't worry it is the last one for a while. You can see our travels from Adelaide to Darwin, Enjoy!

https://youtu.be/849y2vJQdvk

Posted by Benannatravels 03:21 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

To Darwin and back..

sunny 30 °C

We decided that a lie in was much needed and so we didn’t leave the room till 2pm. We thought it would be nice to spend some time by the swimming pool since we didn’t see a lot that we wanted to do in Alice Springs. We got into our gear and headed for the pool… when we arrived it turned out it wasn’t very well maintained at all. In fact there was bugs bigger than us in there!

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We went back upstairs to our room and changed again. We headed to the post office as Anna had some things to send home to friends. The post office weren’t accepting parcels as their systems were down. It was a day going wrong by the second! We headed to the supermarket to pick up some treats for our planned cinema trip. Then we went to a bar which Ben had found online as it had GF food. We arrived at 4pm and it didn’t start serving food until 5pm. Our starving bellies gurgled away for a whole hour until we got a menu in hand. Ben went up to the bar to order and they didn’t have what Anna wanted and so we ended up ordering tapas style Asian. This was a big risk as we had been spoilt by Rice Paper Scissors in Melbourne. The food arrived and Ben literally ate it all as Anna was not impressed. We ended up going back to the hotel to order some sweet potato fries to fill us up! What a day. We soon headed to the cinema to watch Bad Moms. We were praying the film was funny so we didn’t have a complete failed day. Luckily we liked it and were walking out the doors happy until we saw a poster for Suicide Squad which was just about to start. So what did we do? Of course we went back into the cinema to purchase more tickets. The guy thought we were crazy but we didn’t care as we managed to save our day with a big movie binge assisted by some junk food. When we got back to the room, 2 films just wasn’t enough as we watched Friday Night Lights too!

It was time to head off in the direction of Devils Marbles. And what better way to start the day by getting a Maccas breakfast! Ben completely confused the place by ordering a double sausage and egg McMuffin as it turns out thats not even on the menu over here! After eating we carried on driving on the long straight boring roads. Until BOOOOM. Don’t worry guys we didn’t crash the car… we only drove through a bloody tornado! It was tiny and no big deal really but its not every day you see a mini tornado in the Australian outback! We unfortunately didn’t have times to grab our cameras but we assure you, it was pretty cool. What wasn’t cool was all the dead cattle we were seeing. There are lots of signs here for roaming animals yet everyone still drives super fast even at night which results in dead cows and sad farmers. Another thing we started to notice were all the termite mounds. There must be millions, even more, an unthinkable amount! Whats funny is people like to pull over and put t-shirts on them and take photos. We still haven’t understood the reason or humour behind this so sorry guys no termite photos for you. Ever seen a road train in the UK? NOPE! Ever seen one in Oz? Yep about every 5 minutes! Big trucks pulling along several trailers are constantly passing or being overtaken. It’s a crazy thing to pass as they are so big and travel at such speed… now we know why theres so many dead cows! We soon arrived at the Devils Marbles and proceeded with our usual tourist photoshoot:

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After climbing all over rocks to get the perfect shot, we were pretty hot and sweaty and ready to check in to our hotel and get some much needed showers. The Devils Marbles hotel was the only hotel around and so we didn’t really have much choice but to stay there. Before we checked in, we were approached by some aboriginals in the car park. They were asking us if we could buy them some booze. Luckily we know how illegal that is and so we politely declined and drove away! The hotel was really nice. We had a little cabin and chilled in the beer garden for the majority of the evening. We told the owner of the hotel about the aboriginals outside and he said we got ‘humbugged’ and it happens all the time. We carried on playing cards and had a game of pool…until we broke the que then we thought it was best to go find some wifi to plan our route up to Darwin. The driving had started taking a toll on us and so we wanted to get to Darwin ASAP without missing anything out on the way! We had a very productive evening and booked all our hotels and planned our touristy day trips despite the dodgy wifi. We were rewarded for our hard work with a good grub. Well for Ben anyway because Anna didn’t like her meal again! We headed back to the room and due to noisy neighbours, decided to stay up a bit to do some drawing and video making.

We woke up, not of our own accord though. Turns out we didn’t just have noisy neighbours, we had a noisy everyone in the bloody hotel grounds! Anna got up at 7am to peek out the window to see that absolutely everyone had left the hotel and our car was the only one left! We managed to fall back asleep until check out time like we do practically every day. Theres no rush, its not like all these big rocks are going anywhere! We headed to the restaurant to get some breakfast. We weren’t expecting anything special due to the night before, but it was the best fry up we have had since the UK! Anna soon scoffed her meal down as she basically hadn’t eaten for 2 days. We headed out to the car to get ready for yet another road trip. It was around 10am and there were aboriginals scattering the carpark waiting until the hotel were open for serving alcohol! It turns out that aboriginals and alcohol don’t go. They have a lot of issues as it affects their bodies differently and also their elders ban it from their home towns. Amazingly Anna got one to smile which was nice as we haven’t had any interaction with the indigenous people as they like to keep themselves to themselves. Today we had an 8 hour drive according to the sat nav. We spent the day reading that dreadful book which we were determined to finish. By the way, it’s called a hand in the fire and is by Hugo someone, so be sure not to read it, you will waste your life. We pulled over to get some petrol. An Australian gent came over telling us how hot our car smelt. This concerned us as we hadn’t done any of the needed repairs. We headed into the shop/restaurant to discuss what we should do as we knew nothing about cars. Luckily a guy who worked there knew loads and soon had his head under our bonnet checking our coolant. He wasn’t impressed by the state of Sheila but said if we topped up the coolant we would be absolutely fine. We set off on the road again. We passed a cyclist about 50km in and started to discuss how crazy people were to walk and cycle this huge route. It’s extremely hot and also dangerous. Then to our complete shock we passed another cyclist. The reason we were so shocked was because this cyclist was female. The one we passed earlier was male and so we assumed they had to be together as they were the only cyclists we had seen out of Melbourne. We were so shocked
at how far in front the man was. If they were together, he must of been trying to ditch his wife, that or he was blind!

We arrived in Mataranka. The drive was a couple of hours less than expected which was a nice relief. We checked in to our campsite/hotel/motel. There was an Irish band playing some music as people ate their dinner, children feeding Barramundi and Emus running round the place free. We liked it. We had some more disappointing grub and so went off to do our laundry. We watched the olympics and finished that dreadful book. It wasn’t a very exciting evening,

The following morning after swapping the horrible book at the book exchange, we checked out and had yet another scrummy fry up in a roadhouse down the street. We then headed to the hot springs. We walked down a wooden boardwalk through jungle where we spotted a kangaroo in the distance. We followed the path down to the crystal clear springs which were so refreshing!

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After drying out, we got back in the car and headed to Katherine which was about an hour away. What did we do when we arrived in Katherine? Headed to the hot springs! Well, we did this after driving into the wrong end of the national park. I say the wrong end because we walked around in the stifling heat only to find out that you can’t swim there because of the crocs. There were warning signs everywhere so we didn’t risk it. Instead we returned to the main town and spent hours in the springs. These ones were a lot more natural although they were also a lot busier.

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We checked into our hotel for the night and finally had some cooking facilities. it’s so much cheaper to make our own food so we soon headed off to the local supermarket to select our ingredients for a yummy home cooked meal. Anna has started preferring her own cooking to eating out after that last few bad experiences! We spent the rest of the afternoon/evening relaxing by the spotless swimming pool. We even had phone signal and wifi!

So today we headed to the right end of the national park, to Edith Falls. We passed our first bush fire on the way in and we were amazed by the amount of smoke and how easily the fire spreads. After parking the car, we followed a path down to the plunge pool. It was all plunge and no fall. As it’s the dry season, the waterfall was like a water trickle, but the plunge pool was still pretty incredible…

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After a nice cool down and a dance over the rocks in our bare feet, we were back in the car and on the road to Litchfield National Park. We were really excited for this part of our trip as so many people had recommended it to us. It only took 3-4 hours to get there and so we were at our hotel in no time. After waiting and fanning ourselves with the leaflets in reception for what felt like an hour, an elderly lady finally showed up to check us in. She seemed rather offended that we had booked to stay in her hotel. She showed us to our cabin, barley. She walked in front of us pointing at stuff and talking forwards so we couldn’t even hear her. When we got into our cabin it was almost 40 degrees. No one had even turned on the air con for us, which is a standard thing in a boiling hot country when your expecting guests. We decided to throw our bags in the cabin and race to one of the falls just to cool down even though it was 5pm and the day was coming to an end.

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We got back to the room and reheated our Bolognese from the previous nights cooking. Ben spent the evening drawing and Anna played games on her iPad. The hotel was in the middle of no where so there was nothing to do. We didn’t really want to stay inside as the room was full of all sorts of bugs, but there was probably more bugs outside anyway. We had the worst stay in this hotel. Probably the worst hotel we have ever stayed in. We woke up at 5am as the bed was that noisy that whenever either of us moved an inch it sounded like an elephant farting. We decided we might sleep better in the bunk beds that were in our room as we booked a family room. Anna climbed on the top bunk and the whole thing swayed from side to side. No Anna hasn’t put on any weight, this was just a disaster hotel! We spent the next few hours of sleep (if you could call it that) tucked up side by side in the single lower bunk. We woke up around check out time thankful that the horrendous night was over. Anna headed into the bathroom and started shouting as a frog/lizard started crawling down the back to the toilet scaring the life out of her. We quickly ate some toast for breakfast and check out of there as fast as possible, driving off at speed!

We headed back into the national park to continue our adventures of waterfalls, springs and plunge pools. The ones we chose to stop of at were the ones you were allowed to swim in because they were croc free. This meant that they were rather busy. We found a quiet little spot and got ready to relax. It wasn’t long before crowds of people started gathering around taking pictures. The people that made us move was a couple who were taking a tourist photoshoot to the extreme. The guy and his girlfriend were taking it in turns to pose in all sorts of positions in front of the falls and rock pools. They got incredibly annoying and so we decided to walk through bushes and over rocks to find ourselves a secluded rock pool. We spent ours here swimming and sunbathing. We did take a few photos but don’t worry, no way near as many as that other couple!

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Before we knew it, it was the final stretch of driving until we reached Darwin. Ben got incredibly excited by this. Not because he was excited for the road trip to be over, but because he knew the next stop was the jumping crocodile show. We just managed to make it to the 3pm boat trip. There was about 20 of us which meant, to Anna’s disappointment, we had to take the smaller boat. Anna was really nervous but Ben could barely stay in his seat. It wasn’t long before the show started and crocs were jumping up for pieces of meat tied to some string hanging of a bamboo pole. Anna soon relaxed as it was pretty amazing. There were also a lot of birds circling above as they wanted a piece of the action. Anna has got pretty good footage of them so watch out for our next youtube video.

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It was time to head to Darwin city and check into our apartment which we had booked for two nights. It was pretty late by the time we had unpacked all our stuff, so we ordered a Dominos pizza and watched the final episode of Friday night lights! We were deeply saddened by this as we were so hooked on that series. We had the best nights sleep yet. Amazing air con and complete silence.

The following morning it was time to get on with the job hunting. We headed to an internet cafe to update and print a load of resumes. This took way longer than expected as they didn’t have the same version of Word that we used to last edit our resume. After the man showed us how to edit our resumes online, we finally got some printed. We headed to Maccies for lunch. As we walked in we saw a sign that they were hiring for two positions. We discussed this over lunch and decided why the hell not. We handed in our resumes and we were told to return at 2pm when the manager was available after the lunch rush. We spent the next hour or so buying paper clips and giving Sheila a much needed wash. She went in orange and came our white. We headed back to McDonalds and waited eagerly for the manager, only for him to come out and apologise for wasting our time as they already filled the position. We were annoyed, not because of the job, I mean who really wants to work in Maccies anyway, but because we had wasted our resumes which took us hours to edit and print! Still, we held our heads high and carried on with the hunt.

We spent the day exploring Darwin as well as looking out for hiring signs or handing in our resumes to anywhere we fancied working. We handed in a copy to Darwin Waterfront Splash Pool. Ben applying for a lifeguard, and Anna for any job they had! After a few hours we headed back feeling pretty glum about it. Darwin is tiny, it doesn’t have a lot to offer, and there wasn’t much to explore at all. We decided going back and looking online might be a better option. We popped to the shop on the way home so we could do some more cooking. Sausage risotto was on the menu! We spent hours online looking for rooms to rent. We applied to practically every job they had. We noticed that no matter what link we pressed, all the same jobs came up on every page. We also noticed when house hunting, that there were more people looking than advertising. We weren’t feeling positive about Darwin at all, and after setting off the smoke alarm, we decided we had had enough for one day. It was a hot nights sleep, and there was also a cricket noise coming from the bathroom… weird.

The next day we chilled by the waterfront. One day of job and house hunting was enough, there was nothing else to apply for. We had a hostel booked for the next two nights. We thought it might help to be around people who were doing the same thing as us. After a morning of lying by a fake beach due to the risk of sharks, crocs, jelly fish and god knows what else, we headed to our hostel. We instantly started to regret booking a room there as it was just full of loud party people who didn’t seem to be job hunting at all. We spent a few hours researching jobs and accommodation around Darwin, in the outback, just any where in the northern territory. After a few hours of depressing googling, we headed out in search of burgers! Much to Ben’s disappointment, the restaurant hadn’t got their alcohol licence yet! Back at the hostel, we carried on researching and speaking to friends who were working or had worked in Oz. We concluded that as it was coming into monsoon season, it was best to just drive over to Queensland where it’s entering their summer. We had a quick look at jobs and house shares and instantly our plan became a reality as there was so much more on offer.

It was our unexpected last day in Darwin. We spent the morning making profiles for jobs and houses in Cairns and calling farms. We applied to a load more jobs in Queensland, Cairns and it’s surrounds. We had planned to go swimming with crocodiles in a tank up in Darwin, but when we went to look around Crocosaurus Cove, we quickly changed our minds as we disagreed with how such big animals were kept in such tiny tanks. We were really shocked that the centre was in the city and not in the surrounds where they could expand the crocs habitats. After seeing the crocs in their element out on the river, we decided it was best to stay swimming croc free.

We spent the last day back at the waterfront (as theres nothing else to do). We watched the olympics on the big tv. We got that into it that we went and carried out our own olympics competition on the big inflatable assault course in the netted section of kind of safe ocean. For those of you who have watched it, it was like total wipe out! We then went over to the wave pool where we turned into five year olds fighting over body boards and rubber rings. We spent the last few hours of sun attempting to get some sort of tan. On the way back to the hostel, we grabbed a bite to eat in a pub where we listened to live music. It was like being back in Britain as we ordered a curry, burritos and beer. When we got back to the room, we realised how burnt we were. We were amazed because it was so cloudy all day. What amazed us most was how Anna had only worn her vest for about 30 min and this had happened:

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Our evening plans consisted of going to the deck chair cinema. On our way in, we were greeted by some cute but hungry for popcorn possums. We bought our ticket, got our drinks and snacks and headed to collect our pillows. We selected our deckchairs and got comfy. The film was animated and French which meant subtitles. To our surprise, it was actually a really good film. Half way through the screening, a lizard decided to have a chill on the screen. We could see bats flying overhead and we could hear the possums in the trees waiting for the dropped popcorn. We had a really good last day in Darwin.

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The next day we headed to Kakadu National Park. It wasn’t on the way to Cairns but we decided it was worth the detour because of how amazing Jim Jim waterfalls looked. We had a 5 hour drive ahead of us and so went to Coles to refill our drinks and snacks bags which we had emptied thinking it was the end of our road trip for a few months. On the drive to the national park, we had to slam on as a huge Cassowary ran out to cross the road. We arrived at the entrance road to Jim Jim Falls at about 3pm. We then drove down a dirt track for an hour which was sad as we had just washed Sheila and didn’t have any more off roading plans. What was even sadder, was that when we were just 9km away, we found out that you can only reach the falls in a 4x4. We talked to the owners of the campsite who sell boat tickets for the twin falls (which can only be accessed by boat which leaves only from Jim Jim Falls). They told us we would never get there in our car, that they couldn’t drive us down there because of insurance, and the last boat left at 5pm so if we walked we couldn’t catch the boat and would also we walking back in darkness. This was just a nightmare as we had driven 5 hours out of our way for waterfalls that aren’t accessible which isn’t written anywhere on any maps or signs!!!! Our only option was to flag down a passing 4x4, which to the camp owners, was highly unlikely at this time of day. We headed into the campsite first to ask all 4x4 owners if they could give us a lift. Anna got out to ask a couple of young lads. They informed her that the previous day, they had got stuck in their car trying to get down there, and it also wasn’t that impressive, they suggested going to Infinity falls instead. We were still so determined to see JimJim as we had completely gone out of way for it. Ben got out to ask another guy who seemed very offended we were even talking to him. We spent the next hour driving back along the dirt road flagging down every 4x4 but they were all full. We headed to the information office to see if we could buy a helicopter flight which would go over the falls. We told them of our troubles and they informed us that no flights go over the waterfalls and also that Jim Jim is down to a trickle this time of year. We were well and truly annoyed. We had spent 5 hours driving, $80 to get a pass for the park and there was no way we were going to see Jim Jim. We originally planned to drive onto Katherine but due to our bad luck, we decided to stay the night and visit infinity falls the next day.

We are low on money. After Darwin not working out, it meant that we would spend more driving over to Cairns. We are spending a lot on food, petrol and accommodation. We headed to Mary River Roadhouse and managed to get a room for $80 which wasn’t too bad as all other places have been way over $100 a night. We had to use a shared bathroom but we didn’t really care after the bad day we had had. We were determined to save our trip to Kakadu. We headed to the restaurant to get some food. Ben ordered a crocodile burger which was actually really nice! In the restaurant, they had a fish tank which contained 3 lobsters, a turtle, a baby croc and some fish. Ben spent more time looking in the tank than at his burger which is a new one! We did some more laundry where we discovered lots of frogs in the sink!

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We slept surprisingly well considering we could hear someone snoring through the wall. We were still really tired tho but were ready to get up and have a good day. On our drive to infinity falls, we slammed on as five cars were all across the road with their hazards on. We thought there was a crash, until we saw everyone on the side of the road with their cameras. We quickly got out and joined them excited for the animal we were about to see…
It was a bird…
We don’t know what bird.
We don’t care what bird.
Really? A bird? It wasn’t even big!
We got in the car and drove around all the idiots! We had another hours drive on a dirt track but we finally arrived. We ate some coco pops in the car and prayed for a miracle. And we got a miracle, turns out the guys were right. We walked down to a stunning plunge pool, the best one we had seen in Oz yet! We did some sunbathing and paddling, although the risk of crocs freaked us out a bit.

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We then climbed 200 meters up rocks/stairs. We were boiling and exhausted. When we got to the top we went down hill again, into lots of little pools at the top of the waterfall. It really was amazing. We quickly got our stuff in the shade and headed for a dip.

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It wasn’t long before Anna risked her life by being the complete ditzy blonde she is. We didn’t even know how ditzy Anna was until we came travelling. She must get it off her mother ;-) Anna took one wrong step and lost all grip. Everyone turned to see Anna disappear off the edge of a rock, combined with hearing “shit,shit shit shit” (excuse the french guys). It was a slow and controlled fall, Anna bent her legs and landed on her legs then her bum. It did hurt but there was no broken bones and she didn’t fall off the actual edge of the waterfall thank god. She just grazed her hand. She fell about 8 feet but it shocked everyone as you can imagine. After that we didn’t venture to far to the edge but it did have an amazing view:

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We decided it was probably a good idea to head down to ground level where it would be harder for Anna to fall off anything. We opened up a very hot car and retrieved some soap, we showered and dried and had a picnic on the grass while we left the car to cool down a bit with the windows open. It was time to leave Kakadu and put Darwin well and truly behind us. The drive to Cairns had begun.

Now unfortunately this is where the blog gets slightly boring. We drove… and drove… and drove. We drove until it was dark, which is when things started to get slightly more interesting. Just as the sun was setting we passed a couple of aboriginal people pulled up on the side of the road trying to flag people down. We drove past slowly to assess the situation. We discussed it and decided if that was us we would desperately need someone to stop and help us out. We also felt we could do with some good karma after the previous day and Anna’s waterfall incident, so we turned around to see what their problem was. They had broken down and needed a jump start. We thought it was a little odd that their battery had died in the middle of nowhere but we gave them a jump start and they were extremely appreciative. Anna stayed in the car just to be on the safe side.

We hit the road again and continued into the night. The stars where incredible, we had read in one of our Lonely Planet books that in Queensland on a clear night, you could see the milky way and we where starting to experience it now, in the Northern territory. Down on the ground there was a bush fire in the forest to the right of us. It was pitch-black though so as we drove we could just see small flames dotted through the bush it looked almost as if they were floating, mirroring the stars above. Less spectacularly we almost hit a cow. then a kangaroo with a death wish almost hit us.

At around 9 we reached a small “town” called Dunmarra. We pulled up at the petrol station/motel/bottleshop/bar/cafe/supermarket/
motel/campsite/reception as the last member of staff was mopping the floor. We found out an unpowered site was $8 per person but he would only charge us $4 because, we’re not sure why actually. Maybe he liked the look of Ben? Whatever his reasons, our funds are now running low and we still have a long way to go so it was an offer to good to resist. We pulled up under a couple of palm trees and proceeded to give the inside of sheila a 60 minute make over. when we finished she had beautiful towel drapes in dark blues and sea greens, fully reclined car seat style beds and as a touch of luxury, beautiful Egyptian cotton pillows (joke, they were from Aldi). We brushed our teeth and whatnot in the camp site facilities and settled in for the night. Needless to say it wasn’t the best nights sleep either of us had ever had but it did the job and we had nice hot showers in the morning so we can’t really complain for 8 bucks!

The next day we did our longest drive yet, 9 and a half hours. it was long and boring but we persevered. after about 9 hours the scenery suddenly changed. The bush fell away to open plains and the sky opened up! We now know what the Ausie’s mean when they call it “big sky”. We had made it to Queensland.

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Posted by Benannatravels 05:12 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Our travel videos

sunny

A lot of people have said they couldn't view our videos on youtube. We have looked into this and discovered that it's because we used music which we didn't have the copyright for. We have now re uploaded the videos with new music so everyone should be able to view them!

You can find the links below:

Great Ocean Road
https://youtu.be/MhP01Q0HRbc

Kangaroo Island
https://youtu.be/DydMn6uCugk

Enjoy :-)

Posted by Benannatravels 04:58 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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