Alice Springs to Darwin, Australia

Stuart Road, on its way to Australia's Top End

devils marbles
The eccentric vision of the Devils Marbles, an unlikely geological phenomenon also sacred to the aborigines.
floodable land
Signal warns of the risk of sudden flooding in the vicinity of the Devils Marbles.
isolated business
Marco, owner of a roadside business in Barrow Creek.
Stuart Highway in Tenant Creek
Water tank stands just off the Stuart Highway in Tenant Creek.
tropical australia
Geographical monument marks the intersection of the Stuart Highway with the Tropic of Capricorn.
Indigenous Art vs Aussie Advertising
Aboriginal woman sells paintings.
In search of petroglyphs
Travelers look for paintings left by the aborigines in the vicinity of Ubirr.
Daly Waters Servant
Travelers stop at Daly Waters Pub's makeshift service station.
Aboriginal rock painting of a Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger) that once proliferated in Australia.
Edith Falls
River Katherine rushes into a natural lake in the reddish setting of the Outback of Nitmiluk National Park.
dark pond
Group of travelers refresh themselves in a natural lake in Litchfield National Park.
The Katherine River is inundated by the permanent rain brought by the monsoon that washes over the northern coast of Australia.
mary river crock
A boat crewman makes a crocodile jump out of the Mary River.
Daly Waters Puzzle
Decorated with the historical evolution of the Daly Waters pub.
enrollment board
A kind of mural filled with license plates at the back of the Daly Waters pub.
Lush anchorage
Pleasure boats anchored in the rainforest on the flooded bank of the Katherine River.
aboriginal art
Aboriginal rock painting on a rocky slope in Ubirr.
flooded crossing
Bus prepares to cross a flooded road in Kakadu National Park.
risky waters
Signs warn of the presence of estuarine crocodiles in a flooded area of ​​Kakadu National Park.
carnivorous leap
Crocodile shoots out of the flow of the River Mary to bite into a piece of meat.
Do Red Center to the tropical Top End, the Stuart Highway road travels more than 1.500km lonely through Australia. Along this route, the Northern Territory radically changes its look but remains faithful to its rugged soul.

It's in the suggestive lost village of Erlunda's red Outback that we join the spaced traffic on the Stuart Highway. 

Named after the pioneer of the same name, this road connects Adelaide to Darwin, via Alice Springs, for an endless 2834 km. Vehicles of all types travel through it at enormous intervals, from the most ancient car relics to sophisticated road trains made up of dozens of trailers.

A few kilometers after the early departure, the “Track” – as it is also called – leads us to cross the imaginary line of the Tropic of Capicorn, marked, without much pomp, in an armillary sphere planted on the edge of the asphalt.

Tropic Capricorn, Alice Springs to Darwin, Stuart hwy, Top End Path

Geographical monument marks the intersection of the Stuart Highway road with the Tropic of Capricorn.

We continue towards the top of the Great North and come across the first historic stop on the route: Barrow Creek.

Barrow Creek to Wycliff Wells: an Outback from Stuart Hwy, at Least, Surreal

The ghost town appeared on the map like a telegraph station lost in the middle of nowhere in Australia.

It soon became famous for the permanent conflicts between settlers and Kaytetye aborigines that it was the scene of, originated by the theft of cattle and sabotage of the line by the latter and fueled by consequent bloody revenge and counter-revenge.

Aboriginal, Alice Springs to Darwin, Stuart hwy, Top End Path

Aboriginal woman sells paintings.

Only the ruins of the issuing building and the small prison remain from the original village. Nearby, the fuel pumps and the local pub have recycled their station status from the Outback, to which they attributed, today, supply functions.

Marco, the resident bartender, complains that he hasn't left the home business for a long time: “here everything is too far away. We are condemned to this renewed fate of seeing it pass…” The poetic outburst is interrupted by the request for two more paints of Millers and rescues him from the arid reality of the bush surrounding.

Barrow Creek, Alice Springs to Darwin, Stuart hwy, Top End Path

Marco, owner of a Stuart Hwy roadside business in Barrow Creek.

Meanwhile, customers, all foreigners, ignore the counter and the endless cricket test and wander along the wooden walls like second-hand intellectuals, marveling at the creative inconsistency of the works on display.

There are old notes from all over the world, newspaper clippings with unusual news, dusty trophies and other unlikely trinkets. The gallery is being retouched every time more travelers arrive. Sarah and Rebecca, English from Liverpool, post two comical postcards.

Still amused by the contribution, they return to their tiny rented Twingo and disappear over the horizon of Stuart Hwy.

Vegetation height increases as latitude decreases. Also part of the climatic and landscape dynamics, the white clouds that dot the blue sky take on particular shapes and announce the next esoteric experience of the route.

Tenant Creek, Alice Springs to Darwin, Stuart hwy, Top End Path

Water tank stands just off the Stuart Highway in Tenant Creek.

Wycliff Wells to Devils Marbles: a Red, Huge and Unusual Australia

Located four hundred kilometers north of Alice Springs, the next village, is just a tiny point lost in the vastness of the Australian map, but, relying on several testimonies, it seems to have conquered a prominent place in the Universe.

Lights in the sky, rotating discs with blue domes and their silver beings teleported to the surface, there, red from Earth, all seem to be common in Wycliffe Wells.

Lew Farkas, manager of the local service station and caravan park, for some twenty-five years, not only decorated his premises with statues and motifs from another world, he assures me “…I've had half a dozen sightings myself, only this year”.

And, so that there are no doubts, he concludes: “the previous owner warned me right away when he gave me this … with him, and with several aborigines here, it's exactly the same thing”.

extraterrestrial, Wycliffe Wells, Australia

Extraterrestrial creatures depicted at entrance to Wycliffe Wells, Stuart Highway

Positions remain extreme. The most skeptical analysts say it's all actually due to the Northern Territory's high alcohol consumption and the need for locals to add thrills to what are considered the most monotonous lives in the country.

On the opposite side and without any complexes, the locals rejoice with the frequent visits of reputable UFOs, participate in conventions and describe experiences to the specialized international media.

As you pass by the Devils Marbles – two huge yellowish rocks, round and sacred to the aborigines who balance on a rocky platform – the sun is more scorching than usual. It provokes a desperate search for the shadow that ends up precipitating the match.

marble devils marble party, Stuart Highway, Australia

One of the Devil's Marbles split in half forces that may or may not be believed to be natural

Daly Waters to Catherine Gorge: The Australian Red Going Greener

Three hours later, Daly Waters is announced. The arrival is accompanied by a smooth transition to the tropical climate of the Top End and clouds now cover the sky. Trees worthy of the name appear and rivers extrapolate the bed that force us to deviate and cross field bridges.

The village reveals itself to be another cluster of abandoned wooden houses that have nearby what is left of Australia's first international airport, built to fight the Japanese invasion, in World War II.

Daly Waters shows signs of life only in the pub of the same name, yet another aberrant and welcoming Outback den that seduces and retains ozzies and foreigners as if the Stuart Hwy's function were just to get there. The chaotic decor of any thriving junkyard and the offer of the best Australian beers are repeated.

Puzzle Daly Waters, Alice Springs to Darwin, Stuart hwy, Top End Path

Decor with the historic evolution of the Daly Waters pub

Beside the counter lie the inevitable snooker table and a TV on which the same cricket test issued the previous afternoon at Barrow Creek is about to last.

The accumulation of kilometers and the thickening of the rainy season leaves the Red Outback behind. The long-awaited Top End inaccessible territories appear.

With no way to reach Matarranca and the curious hot springs of the same name, we went straight to Nitmiluk National Park (a place where the cicadas dream, in aboriginal dialect jawoyn). There we discover that his Katherine Gorge is also largely out of reach.

Overflowing, Alice Springs to Darwin, Stuart hwy, Top End Path

The Katherine River is inundated by the permanent rain brought by the monsoon that washes over the northern coast of Australia.

There is a panoramic view from the top of the cliff, right at the entrance to the gorge, which reveals the green expanse of the stewed bush, broken by the overflowing flow and full of crocodiles from the Katherine River.

Lichtfield and Kakadu Parks. And the Top End Tropical Appears Flooded

The scenario is repeated throughout the neighboring national parks, Lichtfield and Kakadu, irrigated by suffocating humidity and rain, sometimes scarce, sometimes flooding, always present.

Only the main roads, such as the Stuart and Arhnem Highway, escape flooding and impose frequent amphibious crossings whenever we deviate from them.

Flooded Crossing, Alice Springs to Darwin, Stuart hwy, Top End Path

Bus prepares to cross a flooded road in Kakadu National Park.

The Nadab plain is a territory privileged by nature. From it are projected ferrous plateaus that contrast with the dominant green.

They were long ago chosen by the aborigines as shelters and supports for their art.

Ubirr, Alice Springs to Darwin, Stuart hwy, Top End Path

Travelers look for paintings left by the aborigines in the vicinity of Ubirr, a good detour from the Stuart road.

The Intriguing Aboriginal Rock Art

Ubirr stands out for the number of inscriptions in a surprising state of preservation describing hunting scenes, ceremonies, mythology and magic.

To the ecstasy of lovers of Australian fauna and prehistory, among drawings of local fish, turtles and wallabies (small kangaroos), a painting of a thylacine, the recently extinct Tasmanian Tiger, stands out.

Rocky Thylacine, Alice Springs to Darwin, Stuart hwy, Top End Path

Aboriginal rock painting of a Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger) that once proliferated in Australia.

Due to its location, in the extension of the Arhnem plateau, the flow of the Mary river overflows from December to April.

It creates around a huge area of ​​swamps, marshes and river ponds which, with the arrival of the Gurrung (one of the six Aboriginal seasons, from mid-August to mid-October), become the great Australian oases, the billabons.

Mary River croc, alice-springs-darwin-stuart-hwy-path-top-end

A boat crewman makes a crocodile jump out of the Mary River near Stuart Hwy

Until then, a conflicting community of salt and fresh water crocodiles share the green and waterlogged landscape with a varied fauna that includes herds of brumbies (wild horses) and water buffaloes.

The impossibility of traveling through the flooded territories to Kakadu's famous Jim Jim Falls makes Lichtfield National Park's many waterfalls an alternative itinerary, sought after by Australians in the capital Darwin and by all travel agencies operating in the Northern Territory.

One after another, Wangi, Tolmer, Tjaetaba and Tjayanera appear invaded by groups of restless young people who, armed with glaciers full of beer, celebrate every minute away from Darwin and its punishing jobs.

Dark Lagoon, Alice Springs to Darwin, Stuart hwy, Top End Path

Group of travelers refresh themselves in a natural lake in Litchfield National Park.

1500km of Stuart Road Then, Finally, the Uncharacteristic City of Darwin

With 120.650 inhabitants, the most modern and populous city in the inhospitable Northern Territory, it is, at the same time, the smallest of the country's state capitals.

Erected, facing the Timor Sea and the Indian Ocean, as Australia's northern gateway, Darwin has a complicated past and a promising future.

It was destroyed and rebuilt on two separate occasions. In 1942, 188 Japanese fighters – the same fleet that would then attack Pearl Harbor – began a series of incursions that left the city in ruins. In the seventies, Tracy, the most devastating of the cyclones that visited it to date, destroyed 70% of the buildings erected or recovered after the end of World War II.

The new reconstruction underlined the modern features of its architecture, which welcomed a multi-ethnic society enriched by immigrants from the four corners of the world who continue to settle down to work in the mining industry and in the growing local tourism sector.

Crocs News, Alice Springs to Darwin, Stuart hwy, Top End Path

Mary River Tour participants wait at a panel with news of crocodile incidents

Darwin makes an effort not to disappoint those who reach the end of Stuart Hwy. Lives up with original festivals and other events. This mission proves to be thankless.

It's just that, from Alice Springs to this distant Top End, the strange Australia of the Northern Territory has always made a point of dazzling us.

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unmissable roads

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Journey through the Uzbekistan Pseudo-Roads

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Florida Keys, USA

The Caribbean Stepping Stone of the USA

Os United States continental islands seem to close to the south in its capricious peninsula of Florida. Don't stop there. More than a hundred islands of coral, sand and mangroves form an eccentric tropical expanse that has long seduced American vacationers.
Great Ocean Road, Australia

Ocean Out, along the Great Australian South

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Discovering tassie, Part 1 - Hobart, Australia

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Cairns to Cape Tribulation, Australia

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Red Center, Australia

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Wycliffe Wells, Australia

Wycliffe Wells' Unsecret Files

Locals, UFO experts and visitors have been witnessing sightings around Wycliffe Wells for decades. Here, Roswell has never been an example and every new phenomenon is communicated to the world.
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Train to the Middle of the Jungle

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Esteros del Iberá, Pantanal Argentina, Alligator
Iberá Wetlands, Argentina

The Pantanal of the Pampas

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Thorong Pedi to High Camp, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Lone Walker
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 12th - Thorong Phedi a High camp

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Sheets of Bahia, Eternal Diamonds, Brazil
Architecture & Design
Sheets of Bahia, Brazil

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Totems, Botko Village, Malekula, Vanuatu
Malekula, Vanuatu

Meat and Bone Cannibalism

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Newar celebration, Bhaktapur, Nepal
Ceremonies and Festivities
Bhaktapur, Nepal

The Nepalese Masks of Life

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Hué, Communist City, Imperial Vietnam, Imperial Communism
Hue, Vietnam

The Red Heritage of Imperial Vietnam

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young saleswoman, nation, bread, uzbekistan
Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan

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khinalik, Azerbaijan Caucasus village, Khinalig
Chinalig, Azerbaijan

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Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
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Composition on Nine Arches Bridge, Ella, Sri Lanka
Yala NPElla-Kandy, Sri Lanka

Journey Through Sri Lanka's Tea Core

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Pueblos del Sur, Venezuela

The Pueblos del Sur Locainas, Their Dances and Co.

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ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Sensations vs Impressions

Champagne Beach, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

Divine Melanesia

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Ross Bridge, Tasmania, Australia
Discovering tassie, Part 3, Tasmania, Australia

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Passengers on the frozen surface of the Gulf of Bothnia, at the base of the "Sampo" icebreaker, Finland
Winter White
Kemi, Finland

It's No "Love Boat". Breaks the Ice since 1961

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Lake Manyara, National Park, Ernest Hemingway, Giraffes
Lake Manyara NP, Tanzania

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Levada do Caldeirão Verde, Madeira, Portugal, highlands
Levada do Caldeirão Verde, Madeira, Portugal

Upstream, Downstream

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Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

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Hammock in Palmeiras, Praia de Uricao-Mar des caraibas, Venezuela
Natural Parks
Henri Pittier NP, Venezuela

PN Henri Pittier: between the Caribbean Sea and the Cordillera da Costa

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One against all, Sera Monastery, Sacred Debate, Tibet
UNESCO World Heritage
Lhasa, Tibet

Sera, the Monastery of the Sacred Debate

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Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

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Soufrière and Pitons, Saint Luci
Soufriere, Saint Lucia

The Great Pyramids of the Antilles

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knights of the divine, faith in the divine holy spirit, Pirenopolis, Brazil
Pirenópolis, Brazil

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white pass yukon train, Skagway, Gold Route, Alaska, USA
On Rails
Skagway, Alaska

A Klondike's Gold Fever Variant

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Weddings in Jaffa, Israel,
Jaffa, Israel

Where Tel Aviv Settles Always in Party

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herd, foot-and-mouth disease, weak meat, colonia pellegrini, argentina
Daily life
Colónia Pellegrini, Argentina

When the Meat is Weak

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savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

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Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

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