Alrighty, this is going to be a long entry covering more then 20 days with lots of photos,! so bear with me
Haven’t had any contact at all with the outside world for the last 15 days (no phone coverage, no internet, sleeping in my tent every night and not even a single supermarket) because I’ve been hitching through the real Australia
But considering only 2 people tried to contact me during this time (my mom and Tracey and no one rarely ever comments). my entries I don’t really care anymore! I decided to stay in Cairns a couple of more days going partying some and went on a 2day/1 night diving trip on the Great Barrier Reef which was awesome (did 5 dives, 4 day and 1 night + snorkeling). But I still reckon that Ningaloo Reef (Northwest Western Australia) is better despite I only snorkeled there, just saw so much more awesome, stuff there!
Then on the Sunday Anne and Phil came over from Perth so I met up with them and had a chat, so nice to see a recognizable face for once! =)
Still think Cairns is a way to touristy spot, but at least I started liking it a little better after a few days.
On the Monday I left with Anne and Phil going north and they dropping me of at the Port Douglas turnoff because they were going there to meet Phil’s family.
Now this is where the real hitching challenge starts!
Still got more then 10000km (Cairns is halfway) to go. I will be riding on very remote roads (quite some dirt roads even) in the outback only passing 3 towns with over 5000 citizens on the whole way! (Katherine, Darwin and Broome). I got about 2 months to get back to Perth and had 1200$ left leaving Cairns (started out with almost 7000$).
First goal was Lawn Hill NP in Northwestern Queensland, but I also made a 3 hour stop at Undara Lave Tubes. It took me a whole week of almost nonstop hitching to get to Lawn Hill (so hard to get a ride because there are no locals on these roads!) And I got a ride with my first roadtrain which was quite impressive
(see pic). I also met my first hitcher on the road here, a German guy which I set up my tent next to that night and we were given some sausages to bbq by some nice holidaymakers. We had a bubbly lava rock around there fire though which I really cant recommend (and that I was told the next day at Undara that you never should use in a fire, wish they told me that a bit earlier!) because it started exploding after 1.5 hour makes 2 holes in my tent and one in my jacket! Dangerous
stuff. The next day I hitched a ride with Sebastian (the German hitcher) to but I got off before him because I wanted to check out the Undara Lava Tubes which were really interesting but expensive to get into. It’s these huge underground tunnels that has been carved up by the lava flow about 190 000 years ago.
Had to camp out twice at the side of the road with no one around, the other nights at least there was some other people camping to and was at some beautiful spots full with birds! Did get to see my first Salty on my own to there, was about 2.5m long. Extremely cunning beasts though! Tried to sneak up on him while basking in the sun but without me noticing he slipped into the water and the hunter suddenly became the hunted.
See the pics of the landscape I’ve been riding through these weeks, now that’s the real Australia! So remote and nothing in between except small roadhouses every 200km or maybe a town with 100-300 people.
Lawn Hill is an oasis in the middle of this landscape with beautiful gorges and creeks and landscapes. So you can take a cooling swim in the water or go canoeing up a gorge or go for a nice hike. Saw my first
wild Freshwater Crocs here! Freshies aren’t dangerous though, can get up to 3 meters but won’t attack you unless you step on them or if they feel threatened.
Leaving Lawn Hill I got a ride with 2 German backpackers in a wicked van, almost no backpackers out here so that was surprising. They dropped me off at probably the worst spot I ever been though. Was 70km away from the closest roadhouse, no houses or water around anywhere and a millions of flies trying to eat me! Stood there for 2 hours without a single car passing then I put up my tent and slept the night with cows grazing just next to my tent twice that night. The next day I did get a ride though after 3-4 hours of waiting.
Got down on the highway going west and from here it got a lot easier getting rides and I started covering some proper distances heading into the Northern Territory.
Once in NT I got to the threeways, the Stuart Highway going north to Darwin, south to Alice Spring and South Australia and East towards the east coast where I came from. Realized I wouldn’t have the money or time to go to the Red Centre (so much to see there) I decided I would hitch about 130km to the south and camp out the night at Devils Marbles then head north.
Devils Marbles are these amazing huge red granite marbles lying spread out in this area and on top each other. No water around and riddle in the middle of nowhere, still quite a lot of people camping out there though but tried to ignore them! Got close to Dingoes here to, they were walking outside my tent during the night howling at the moon and in the morning I ran into them scaring them off but managed to find them again and could get like 1.5m from one of them before they ran off again.
Heading north from Devils MarblesI got a ride with a nice couple camping there riding almost 600km to Mataranka Thermal Pools which is this pool and river keeping a temperature off about 30 degrees Celsius because the water gets heated up slowly going through the sandstone while the sun is scorching it. Very nice spot but the water smelled of eggs and it was very touristy, went for a nice walk in the morning though not seeing many people.
Next day I got a ride with a couple
from Melbourne driving a wicked and we first went to Katherine Gorge in Nimiltuk NP. Katherine Gorge is the most amazing system of gorges that you can go on boat cruises on or canoe or hike up. It was extreme amounts of people there though especially doing the tours, because everyone in Australia goes up to the north now when its winter because its the dry season here and warmer weather (Hell it was 33 degrees in the shadow the other day when I got picked up and they call this winter?!?).
So I went on a hike where I didn’t see many people when the couple I went there with went on a cruise and when wewere both finished we continued up north and tried to find Douglas Hot Springs to camp out for the night which we did in the end driving in the dark seeing snakes and owls and much more wildlife on the road! Camped out next to 2 couples that night that told me there were going to have a small bush doof the next day by Robin Falls.
Early in the morning I checked out the hot springs which were just awesome! Kinda like the Innot Hot Springs just a much bigger area with clear water! So you could lie there in the water covering your whole body being hotter then spa water (almost burning on it if you got into the wrong place, such a beautiful spot with almost no people around! And if you got to warm you could just walk a few meters and cool off in the cold areas of the creek or go freshie or python hunting!
That day I decided to go to the Robin Fallsbut first hitched a ride to Adelaide River to get some goon (bag in box wine) then south again towards the Falls. The Falls were amazing and you could go under them or just chill in the rockpool just below them, on the way back from there the next day I got my first proper photo of a snake, wohoo! Not a poisonous one though, a Golden Tree Snake (see photo!). The doof was small (just about 20 ppl) but they had all the proper equipment, great people and an awesome spot where we made a large bonfire and could go take a dip in the creek whenever we got to warm.
Next day I got a ride with one of the doofers to the turnoff to Litchfield NP where I got another ride going into later. Camped out the night by Florence Falls and Buley Rockpools where I could go take a swim whenever I wanted and saw some new wildlife there, some weird sounding birds, flying foxes all around and what I think was a Quoll hopping by.
The day after I checked out Tumlin Falls and Wangi Falls. Wangi Falls where f#cking wicked but a huge pool under them, sadly it was so overcrowded with hundreds of people so didn’t stay there very long. Next I got picked up by 3 uni students from Melbourne and a real funny thing happened here.
I got into the car and about 5 minutes in I was telling this scary hitchhiker story and we suddenly got stopped by rangers and police!
And guess what? They were looking for a hitchhiker! Thankfully it wasn’t me they were looking for though, apparently they already were aware of my presence and had me registered but they didn’t want to tell why they were looking for this other guy/guys. I bet I gave the people in the car quite a scare though.
I rode with them up to Walker Creek (still in Litchfield NP) where we hiked up about 1km and found a lonely beautiful camping spot by a big rockpool and a waterfall. We had 2 nice Water Monitors hanging around the area all the time to. Never got a photo from this place though because I accidently dropped my camera in the pool which isn’t too good of an idea, think it’s still going to work though!
The day after camping they drove all the way to Darwin making a stop at a wildlife park, and in the evening I went with them to the Deckchair Cinema (outdoor cinema) in Darwin and watched Cactus, an Australian thriller road movie. Kind of low budget and wasn’t that good though but still nice thing to do.
Did some restocking yesterday, got a new pair of thongs (broke mine in Lawn Hill NP while doing a hike and got so many cuts on my feet right now from walking around barefoot!) and some other stuff, and in the evening I went to the movies to watch The Dark Knight. A must see movie! Think it’s the movie of the year and Heath Ledger just plays the best villain ever, watch it!!
I like Darwin, its backpackerish on the main strip but once you get away from there I actually found it quite a likeable town. It’s not very big though, about 100 000 people. Speaking of that by the way, Northern Territory has about 200 000 people and is about the size of Germany and France together if I remember correctly, pretty remote ey? Also have the biggest aboriginal population of all the states.
Going from Cairns to Darwin has been a great experience and I think the rest of the way to Perth will be kind of the same. Been very different from the east coast, instead of mainly riding with locals I’ve been riding with holidaymakers in their caravans and a couple of backpackers vans. Just aren’t any locals out here, to long distances! So has been harder to get a ride but been getting so many freebies! In 15 days I got 7 free dinners, 5 breakfast, a bunch of beers and uncountable cups of tea + other stuff. It’s also been very cheap. Spent about 200$ in two week, but now I’ve been in Darwin 2 days and already spent 200$ more, really need to keep away from the cities! Just way to expensive.
So today I’m hoping to get into Kakadu NP, just need to hurry up and finish this entry and post it so I can get going, so sorry if it’s a bit sloppy.
Edit: Funny thing, gotten so used to my 5mm foam matress and tent that I sleep so much better in the tent then I slept the two nights here in Darwin!
Also im forced to stay here another night =/ This entry has just taken all day to do.
Edit2: Hmm, all hostels are full.. thats no good!