5th April – Glen Helen Lodge, West McDonnell Ranges to Tennant Creek

We took it easy this morning packing up and driving to Tennant Creek as we only wanted to get there before dinner.  We drove back through Alice Springs and stopped at Maccas for breakfast on our way then started the 5 to 6 hour drive from Alice to Tennant Creek.  We wanted to stop on the way to see the Devil’s Marbles which are about an hour out of Tennant Creek.

So people have different ways of amusing themselves while driving.  My son Sam has an amazing memory such as the first 60 elements of the periodic table and Pi to 51 decimal places.  So he decided to teach me Pi to 51 decimal places as we drove along.  All three of us got very invested in this process and there were many highs and lows as we drove along, as I battled to get these numbers to stick in order and repeat them.  Let me just say there was a whole lot of cheering in the car when I finally managed to recite the full 51 decimal places.  I believe Sam recorded it.  A great moment and a highlight of the trip hahahahaha.  Not sure when it will ever come in handy other than a party trick, but I thought that about algebra too and who knew, it actually came in handy doing drug calculations.  So I am yet to see where this new found skill will be used in the future.

You may be asking why 51 decimal places?  Why not 50?  Well Sam had learnt Pi to 50 decimal places and was proudly reciting this to a friend of his who was reading along and checking his answer.  On completion of the 50 decimal places, Kyle kindly ofered the 51st number being 5.  So we now recite to 51 decimal places and end this with ‘Thank you Kyle’ for the 51st.  The things you can do to amuse yourself while driving.  It actually made the time fly and we laughed alot along the way.

Karlu Karlu, The Devils Marbles, were a beautiful sight.  The Warmungu Aboriginal people believed them to be the fossilised eggs of the Rainbow Serpent.  It is pretty mind boggling trying to imagine how they were formed, there are so many of them and some are huge.  They are stacked up and scattered about.  A very intriguing sight.

Devils Marbles, Stuart Highway, 100km South of Tennant Creek, NT
Devils Marbles/Karlu Karlu, Stuart Highway, 100km South of Tennant Creek, NT
Devils Marbles/Karlu Karlu, Stuart Highway, 100km South of Tennant Creek, NT
Devils Marbles/Karlu Karlu, Stuart Highway, 100km South of Tennant Creek, NT

We drove on to Tennant Creek and felt like we had entered another timezone or planet.  Every shop had bars on the window and the place had a very eerie feel.  We were suddenly wondering if we had made a bad decision to stop here.  We had decided to stay at the Bluestone Motor Inn and headed there to book in and unload our luggage.  It was a fairly comfortable and clean hotel, and we felt it was a good choice.  Once we had unpacked we decided to go for a drive and grab some drinks from the drive through and also find somewhere to go and eat for dinner.

There were queues out of every bottle shop along the main street.  We pulled into one and there was a female police officer there who was asking me questions about who I was buying alcohol for, where we were from and where we were going.  She was really lovely but it was an intimidating place.  While I grabbed some wine, Sam and Steff started chatting to the police officer who gave some great insight into the place.  She had been there for a few years and assured us that the community there were lovely, but sadly alcohol is the cause of many of the issues.  They had just changed the law in Tennant Creek where bottle shops are only open for a few hours in the afternoon and there is a limit of how much alcohol you can buy.  That is why there were queues out of the bottle shops when we arrived.

She suggested that there were only really two places she would recommend to eat and one of them was the Tennant Creek Memorial Club and the other was the Chinese shop on the main road.  Apparently all the off duty cops eat at the Memorial Club and she said that is the safest place in Tennant Creek.  So we headed there for dinner and enjoyed the evening.  This is definitely the place to go and eat if you are staying overnight in Tennant Creek.

4 thoughts on “5th April – Glen Helen Lodge, West McDonnell Ranges to Tennant Creek”

  1. Well, I know where to come if I need the period table or pi ! I think I would’ve slept through the entire episode hahaha.. Isnt it amazing what our kids teach us? Not sure I will put this place on my bucket list… xxx

  2. If i cone back for another life I want a photographic memorie .Good job ,Will test you next time i see you hahaga

  3. Great story & the rock formations would look glorious in the bright sunshine..
    You guys can play 51 in a few weeks with a few bevies!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *