Woomera SA to Henley Meteor Craters – Northern Territory

Desert landscape Nth of Woomera

We departed Woomera at 9am, filled up with fuel at Spuds Roadhouse (Diesel $1.76). Good day today just cruising up the Stuart Highway past lake heart and other salt lakes.

We passed the famous dog fence. The Dog Fence which is the longest fence in the world which stretches 5,300km from Queensland to the Great Australian Bight in for wester South Australia. It was built to separate the rich sheep growing areas in the south from the dingoes of central Australia. It is situated just under 16km north of Coober Pedy and u can follow it on the road trip to the Breakaways ( colourful mesas). 

The Ghan Railway Line SA

A stop at Coober Pedy for fuel then off again.

Salt Lakes By the Road – SA

Ingomar Rest Area

The moon plains situated 16km north of Coober Pedy is a vast expanse of rocky plains which looks just like the moon and is where various movies have been filmed such as Mad Max and more recently Pitch Black.
By 1pm we needed a break so we pulled into the Ingomar Rest Area and had our lunch (Steven had a nap for an hour) at 5pm we had reached  Pootnoura Rest Area which was our planned overnight stay.

Sunset at Pootnoura
Sunrise at Pootnoura

After setting up we wandered over to spend some time chatting to fellow travellers. After our evening meal the sky was now an array stars from horizon to horizon. Nothing like a clear cold desert night for stargazing so we stayed in the cold night air looking for the various constellations.
Monday morning we were up early and were rewarded with the beautiful red desert sunrise  and departed Pootnoura rest area at 8am.

Antennas Satphone – Phone and UHF Radio 

After refuelling at Cadney Roadhouse at ($1.98 per litre) we were back on the road and at 3pm crossed over the Northern Territory border back into our home Territorry.
With the Navarra being hungry for fuel (19-20 ltr per 100k) again we stopped in Elrunda to feed the beast.
At about 5pm rather than stop the night in a roadside rest area we turned down the dirt road to Henley Meteorite Craters. The crater park area is about 15k west of the Stuart Highway around 200k South of Alice Springs.

As we turned onto our first dirt road with the van we open the pressure hatch (The Goldstream has a pressure hatch installed in the front roof to pressurise the van to keep the dust out on dirt roads). We maintained around 60kph over the corrugations and arrived at the craters as the sun was setting having now given the caravan a shake test on the road in.

Henley Meteor Crater Camp Arrival

There were a couple of campers and a caravan in the small camping area. The owners of the caravan were making some temporary repairs to the damage caused from the road. Smashed oven door, water pipe adrift spillages out of the fridge. Their Broken crockery was out beside the van. After chatting with them it was with some trepidation we entered our van! All was well, with absolutely nothing out of place, I guess paying the extra for full off road capability paid off today!

There are 12 craters here, which were formed when a meteor hit the earth’s surface 4,700 years ago. The Henbury Meteor, weighing several tonnes and accelerating to over 40,000km/h, disintegrated before impact, and the fragments formed the 12 craters.

Last light walk around the largest meteor crater

We talk a quick walk around the rim at last light with Venus setting into the final glow of the sunset and the stars had emerged by the time we returned to the van.

Settled in for the night – Henley Meteorite Craters Camp Area
Venus Setting – Another night under clear desert skies

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