Mt Isa to Barkly Homestead

Barkly Homestead Travel Blog

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Sunset
Today our trip ventured further along the Barkly Highway to Barkly Homestead, at least that is where we had planned to stay. Our drive went well and about 200 kilometres into the trip we reached the Queensland (Qld) / Northern Territory (NT) border. I must say I was a little disappointed, I thought I’d see a sign with a line on it saying Qld this side NT the other and I envisaged that I would stand with one foot either side. What I got was a cattle grid with two signs either side about 100 metres apart, one welcoming you to the NT as you drove west and the other welcoming you to Qld as you drove East. All I wanted was a sign with a line??? Never mind, maybe one of the other borders we cross during this trip will live up to my simple expectations.

Once we hit the NT, the speed limit is lifted and you are allowed to drive at any speed you like.

Dirt Road
We were told the roads were very good and wide and therefore the safe for higher speeds. I was a little disappointed about the condition of the roads as I had expected to have unusually wide roads with some special surface especially made to encourage speed. Well the roads were by and large the same, although generally there were very long straight stretches of road which made it seem much better for speed.

The further we ventured west the more we expected to see wild animals, and I must say that I was disappointed; apart from the occasional cow we didn’t even see a kangaroo (live one) let alone an Emu or that elusive Brolga. One thing we did come across was termite mounds and literally thousands of them, some small, ranging through to half a metre high and to the largest we saw (at least we think they were termite mounds) which was over 2 metres tall and probably a few metres in circumference also.

Flood Indicator

Once we arrived at Barkly Homestead at about 1pm, we were informed that a bi-annual event was on, a meeting of all the local area’s women had gathered for a bit of a get together. We were told that they would have dinner that night and a few drinks after and they might be noisy, in the bar we presumed. It wasn’t until later on that we realised that there was entertainment in the form of Laurence, an Australian Idol contestant from last year, performing outside on a stage with amplified music about 50 metres away from the back of our cabin. At about this time we also realised that the outdoor bar was about 5 metres away also in the same direction.

Flood Sign
Both of these factors seemed rather important when we arrived and neither had been relayed to us. We had booked this accommodation in Feb this year apparently this event had been arranged since about May. We had rang to confirm our booking about one month ago and also whilst on the road during this trip a few days ago. This information about loud amplified music and the bar were not told to us at any stage, I would think it quite important especially seeing they knew through our booking that we had young children.

By 7pm we had two kids awake because of the music and it wasn’t getting any quieter. We had tried to order meals but received rude and abrupt service, which was not appreciated and we had decided there wasn’t too much we could do about the situation.

Long road ahead
At about this stage Trish went to enquire if accommodation was available early at our next stop, she also complained to the owner about our problems. The owner was very annoyed at us and very rude to Trish and as she complained he threw a $100 dollar note at her and said, there’s your money back and rudely walked away from her. We promptly left headed toward our next destination, Wycliffe Wells, about 350 kilometres down the road. The time was about 8.30 pm by this stage and although it’s not wise to travel on these roads at night due to the wild animals, we decided that the risk was worth more than staying at a place were the words ‘customer’ and ‘service’ could only be said together with others words such as bad and terrible. Their lack of professionalism really showed through and their level of empathy and compassion for their guests leave a lot to be desired. I strongly recommend avoiding the place if you can. It just so happens to be the only stop along a stretch of road some 440 kilometres long.

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Sunset
Sunset
Dirt Road
Dirt Road
Flood Indicator
Flood Indicator
Flood Sign
Flood Sign
Long road ahead
Long road ahead
Reagan & Jordan playing
Reagan & Jordan playing
Jordan & Merv playing
Jordan & Merv playing
Jordan sucking her thummb
Jordan sucking her thummb
Kangaroo sign
Kangaroo sign
Termite hill
Termite hill
Northern Territory Sign
Northern Territory Sign
One lane road
One lane road
Road train passing us on a one lan…
Road train passing us on a one la…
Barkly Homestead sign
Barkly Homestead sign
Car Speed on the NT unlimited spee…
Car Speed on the NT unlimited spe…
Sunset
Sunset
Ant Hill
Ant Hill
Trish and termite mound
Trish and termite mound
Windmill
Windmill
Barkly Homestead
photo by: Morle