Discovery Park, Cloncurry QLD

Moving further east we set off to the Discovery Park in Cloncurry QLD.

Cloncurry is known as the Friendly Heart of the Great North West and celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2017. Cloncurry was recognised for its liveability, winning the Queensland’s Friendliest Town award twice by environmental movement Keep Queensland Beautiful, first in 2013 and again in 2018.

Cloncurry is 121km East of Mt Isa and as of the 2016 Census had a recorded population of over 2700 people.

Before we had even driven into the park itself we felt a sigh of comfort as if we had just arrived home. I don’t think we’ve unhitched quicker before as we could hardly wait to go and use everything this beautiful park has to offer! 

Our site was large and right across from a camp kitchen and very close to the laundry, pool and amenities block. Seeing we were only staying for one night, we didn’t unpack fully which allowed Coops and daddy plenty of time to kick a ball around the large site. They loved having the extra room.

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There are many activities for not only the kids but also the adults at this park. We were unfortunate to only have one night available to stay here due to our busy plan and would have LOVED to stay longer and experience all the great activities to a greater level however, the kids made the most of the day jumping straight into it and creating memories that will definitely leave them wanting more.

This park offered FREE washing machines (including laundry powder) and dryers & I’m not joking when I say, I want to move into the laundry permanently! I love love love washing and even more so on the road when washing becomes more difficult to do. I set straight off for the washing machines whilst the kids went to the recreation room for a game of friendly pool.

It also had Chris with hearts in his eyes when he saw the awesome Gym this park has to offer. Chris is a daily trainer, however this has been near impossible on this trip and this is only the second park we have stayed at in a month that has had a gym. To say Chris was exstatic was an understatement.

The kids were stoked with the pool, the whiteboards in the recreation room and the fire pit which they had at the ready for the evening.

The amenities and camp kitchens were large and super clean. The style of the amenities were amazing and funky with cute timber and corrogated iron features that really made these rooms memorable.

Lastly & probably my favourite feature of this park was the HUGE hall that hosts dinners of an evening. We took our tribe up for an ‘ALL YOU CAN EAT’ buffet in the hall and the food was incredible!! I mean, my cooking is getting better but with food on offer like this, I have a LONGGGG way to go!

This stop off was amazing and definitely one of our favourites for this trip. We loved every part of it and we highly recommend this park to anyone. It was certainly one that we won’t forget in a long time!!!

Next stop is Winton QLD, and all things Dinosaurs….I cant tell if Chris or Cooper is more excited for this one!!!

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Camooweal, QLD

We left early this morning and crossed the NT border into QLD heading for Camooweal, the droving capital of Australia. We welcomed the photo opportunity aka wee break for the kids, as Queensland has always been a family favourite for us of all the states.

For us, Camooweal was a great stop before we head for Mt Isa. We pulled into Puma Camooweal Roadhouse and were welcomed by very friendly staff. They have the system of first in best dressed so seeing we arrived early, we had the pick of the powered sites. They were long sites which again allowed us to stay hitched up which is ideal for those like us that like to getaway early in the morning to prepare for another long day of driving.

The roadhouse is only a short walk into the small town of Camooweal where we found a cute little undercover park for the kids to play at while we enjoyed the quietness of this small town.

Puma Roadhouse has free wifi, many amenities facilities & an attached service station with plenty of snacks and souvenirs for travellers passing through.

This was only another short stopover for us but again another one that we thoroughly enjoyed. Now we head towards Cloncurry with the mandatory stop in Mt Isa to stock up on food supplies and ofcouse to ensure I get my Kmart fix!

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Barkly Homestead, Tablelands NT

We pulled into Barkly Homestead in Tablelands which is one of the most isolated roadhouses in Australia! The caravan park at the back of the Roadhouse has large drive through sites, free wifi (in the roadhouse), green play areas for a picnic or play, bird cages and a pool!

Our drive through site was right next to a large amenities block with en-suite type bathrooms. These were perfect for our kids as it allowed us to put them in together and get it all done at once.

Barkly Homestead Roadhouse has its own fuel and a restaurant which also allows for fast hot food options along with cold drinks, snacks and incidentals that you may need. They also have lots of souvenirs of the NT and Barkly Homestead so you can remember your stay.

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More importantly for those thirsty campers after a long drive, the bar area of the Roadhouse hosts happy hour from 4-5pm everyday with cheap drinks and meals and live entertainment every night in the dry season.

This was only a quick stop off yet one that we totally enjoyed! We are off again in the morning heading for Camooweal.

 

Devils Marbles Hotel, NT

Leaving Alice Springs, we stopped off at the Tropic Of Capricorn for yet another great photo op for the kids. The Tropic of Capricorn (or the Southern Tropic) is the circle of latitude that contains the subsolar point on the December (or southern) solstice. It is thus the southernmost latitude where the Sun can be directly overhead. Its northern equivalent is the Tropic of Cancer.

We then moved further north to the UFO capital of Australia, Wycliffe Well, stopping at a famous UFO landing site to stretch the legs. Both Chloe and Coop thought this was amazing and asked us approximately 6547 questions about Aliens, as you could imagine 🤣🤣

Once we arrived at Devils Marbles Hotel we were welcomed by friendly staff, clean amenities, large sites which allow you stay hitched up and a great little pub with cheap meals and happy hour. Devils Marbles Hotel also has a pool for the kids and a camp kitchen which allowed us to easily have a big cook up for lunch.

Once we parked up we unhitched quickly as we were so keen to get out to the Devils Marbles Conservation area, that we had heard so much about.

The Devils Marbles is essentially a large area of massive boulders. You can see how big these are in our photos below. 

They were truly amazing & the kids were the most animated we’ve seen climbing through the large boulders during our walk. This is another sacred site to the Aboriginal People however they encourage you to explore the boulders with specially marked walking tracks.

Some of the ‘marbles’ had been split in two and they were all weathered and rounded, some were even complete orbs perched precariously on top of other bigger monoliths.

There was a short 350m walk that took you around the base of one section of the rocks and had a few information boards explaining how they were formed. They are made of granite and were laid down 600 million years ago. Over time, they have weathered and the feldspar dissolves into mud when exposed to the rain. This causes the splits that have shaped them. The wind and rain then round them off. It also causes them to flake like onions, so large chunks fall off and are soon ground to gritty sand which forms the soil there. So informative!!

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It was only a quick stop off at Devils Marbles Hotel and we’re off again, onto Barkly Homestead, Tablelands, NT. 

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Alice Springs Tourist Park, NT

We arrived at Alice Springs Tourist Park in the Northern Territory and instantly felt at ease in this peaceful and quiet caravan park.

This caravan park is close to Alice Springs City Centre (including KMART!!!) and has a fully equipped kiosk, laundry, swimming pool, kids playground and amenities blocks which made our stay a very enjoyable one.

One of the most attractive things about this park for families is that it’s across the road from Frank McEllister Park. This park hosts multiple playgrounds, swings, giant webs and all things that keep kids entertained for hours!

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Alice Springs and highly recommend a stop off for a rest and recharge. It has all the facilities, shops and attractions you need for an enjoyable and relaxing stay.

We’re off again, heading towards Devils Marbles!

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Big 4 West MacDonnell Ranges, Alice Springs NT

Now we’re talking!! Big 4 West MacDonnell Ranges has everything that leaves families wanting to stay longer!

As we have visited so many parks of late we had forgotten how great a Big 4 park truly is and all the great things they have to offer for kids!

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As soon as we arrived the kids headed off. They were torn between the huge waterslide that goes into one of their 4 x pools (one of those being heated to a beautiful 26 degrees), 2 x large jumping pillows, a play park, a games room, karts for hire, a TV room, a BMX track and the basketball court. 

Once the kids had dashed off for a play, Chris headed off to the gym. He was super keen seeing this is something we havent seen in a park since we left!!

The Big 4 hosts large grassy sites that were so nice to walk on in this dry country of ours. We’ve tracked so much red dirt into our van over the last 2 weeks, the grass was very welcomed and allowed the kids to play ball sports on them for days!!

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In addition to to the fun activities for the kids, the park has numerours large camp kitchens with herb gardens besides them for extra flavour whilst were cooking PLUS fresh drinking water. Water has been hard to come by at a few parks so we quite quickly felt relaxed being able to hydrate from our own van.

On site this Big 4 also has its own fuel station, multiple fire pits, a dinner truck and a coffee and strawberry pancake van that also has a gas heater to enjoy your dinner under some heat.

We had an amazing time at Big 4, MacDonnell Range. It really made us feel recharged like we had hit the reset button after some big days of driving and exploring in the outback. It really made our trip super enjoyable with the kids being able to get out to play at the park, on the trampolines and jumping pillows right in the middle of the Outback!!

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We travel further north now to see more of our beautiful country!

 

Kings Canyon, NT

Part of the NT and outback Australia experience is visiting the amazing Kings Canyon.

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We stayed at the Kings Canyon resort which is approx 10kms from the Canyon. The canyon offers a few different walks ranging from a 1km kid friendly version along the creek bed, a 6km Canyon rim walk for the adventure enthusiasts and a huge 22km walk for the ultra fit.

We would suggest the creek walk for those travelling with younger kids given the fact that there are no safety rails etc at the top of the Canyon walls and the rim walk for the adults, making sure you take cameras to capture your every moment.

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Again, like Uluru this was another experience that you have to see to believe as pictures just don’t do these beautiful places justice.