May 20 – Duncan Road- Negri River – NT

We continued along the Duncan Road. We can’t recommend this drive highly enough – beautiful scenery, quiet and peaceful with hardly any other vehicles or people and a unique journey where you wind in and out of the Northern Territory. We stopped at Marella Gorge which is an enormous canyon in an otherwise flat, arid landscape. It’s on private property – part of one of the sprawling cattle stations out here. Access seems to be approved though and people obviously camp out here. You could spend a lot of time exploring – we only scraped the surface by walking in to the top of the cliffs.

Duncan Road Gorge

We drove further along and reached where the Buntine Highway heads off into the Northern Territory – as far as an intersection of two major roads goes – we’ve seen wallaby trails that looked more utilised. We decided to sneak out the ten kilometres and cross the border from WA to the NT. No border security checkpoints here – just a cattle grid and a small sign. We U-bolted in the NT and drove back across to WA – back onto the Duncan Road.

Duncan Road -weaving in and out of NT from WA

At the old Ord River station homestead ruins we wound down to the river and had a look around for possible campsites. The area was pretty solid rock and didn’t look good for hammering tent pegs in. Our first camel for the trip was spotted – not sure who was more shocked – us or the camel – but as we tried to get a photo he was quick to do a runner. Not long after we were driving through an area of large termite mounds and Cammie called out “Camel..!!..” – great spotting because the camel was camouflaged by the identical coloured termite mounds. He too was very flighty but we got a good look as he disappeared into the scrub.

Duncan Road- our first wild camel

Along the way we viewed Purnululu (Bungle Bungles) from the east – off in the distance but quite distinctive.

Duncan Road Landscape

We got to the Negri River and found a good camp up high looking over the river. The camp is actually in the NT so we officially had our first night of the trip in the territory.

Duncan Road- Nigri River Camp

The birds here are incredible as you’d expect with such a great water source in an arid land. As we watched the sunset, a Brolga flew through the twilight – it’s elongated body seemingly extended by the dusk.

Our camp was also a popular spot for the cattle judging by the cow pats around the place but they kept their distance with occasional moaning in the dark.

Duncan Road Nigri River Crossing

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