If you share Australia’s fascination with all things ‘big’ and have been following our monthly updates to the Choice Big Things in Australia tour, here is the sixth leg of road trip encompassing as many ‘big things’ as possible kicking off in Derby Western Australia and heading through the Northern Territory and into Queensland. There is a distinctly top end feel to the ‘big things’ on this stretch of the journey with more than one big crocodile, a big fish and an oversized beer stubby large enough to quench the biggest of outback thirsts!
Day 21 & 22 – Derby to Wyndham (10 hours 27 minutes)
‘Big Things’ don’t get much bigger than Wyndham’s Big Crocodile standing at an impressive three metres high and 18 metres long. The crocodile was built in 1987 by students from the Halls Creek Tafe using computer technology where a computer plotted 2400 mathematical coordinates taken from a photo of a real crocodile. The enormous croc was constructed to remind people of the dangerous presence of salt water crocs in the surrounding waterways…. a message hard to miss!
Day 23 – Wyndham to Katherine (8 hours)
Perched atop a rifle and rod shop in Katherine is the Big Barramundi, another creature that is synonymous with the top end of Australia. While you’re in Katherine you can try your luck at catching your very own big barra, visit Katherine Gorge, Edith Falls and the Katherine Hot Springs for a truly Northern Territory experience.
Day 24 – Katherine to Darwin (3 hours 30 minutes)
A couple of hours from Katherine gets us to Adelaide River and Charlie the Big Buffalo, famous for starring in the very Australian movie Crocodile Dundee. Charlie stands behind the bar at the historic Adelaide River Inn and although he is a real stuffed buffalo (the actual one from the movie who died in 2000) his indoor location gives the impression that he is larger than life. A little off the beaten track near the Litchfield National Park is the second Big Crocodile on this leg of the road trip. This one isn’t nearly as big as Wyndham’s big croc at only around 5 metres long. Acacia Hills is the next stop and the home to the Big Stock Whip arching above the entrance to Mick’s Whips and Leather Goods where you can not only buy handmade whips and leather goods but also witness some extremely good whip cracking demonstrations. The third big crocodile is the next stop on the journey and this one doesn’t take himself too seriously. The Big Boxing Crocodile in Humpty Doo stands at the front of a service station on the Arnhem Highway referencing the crocodile population in the area. Why he is wearing boxing gloves nobody seems to know! There is one more Big Crocodile in Darwin itself, this one is a real life stuffed one nicknamed ‘sweetheart’ housed in the Northern Territory Museum. Sweetheart is 5.4 metres long and was responsible for a series of attacks on boats between 1974 and 1979 when she was finally caught and became the headlining display at the Museum.
Day 25 – Darwin to Larrimah (5 hours 45 minutes)
The Big Stubby out the front of the Wayside Inn is the main attraction at the small inland town of Larrimah (population 11). Beside the Big Stubby sits a large replica of the pink panther which was once a stuffed toy but after being ‘moved’ too many times was replaced with the more solid immoveable version seen today. The relevance of the pink panther seems to be a well kept local secret.
Day 26, 27 & 28 – Larrimah to Mount Isa Queensland (13 hours 25 minutes)
The last destination and the final ‘Big Thing’ on this leg of the journey is the Australian Tourism award winning Riversleigh Fossil Centre which has an amazing collection of prehistoric fossils unearthed from the surrounding area. There are some seriously big bones in this incredible collection and the centre itself brings ancient history alive in an educational and fascinating way – well worth a day or two’s exploration.
The Quality Inn Burke & Wills is the perfect choice for Mount Isa accommodation to finish this section of the Choice hotels Big Things tour of Australia. The ideally located, comfortable and spacious Mount Isa hotel features a range of room styles, outdoor pool and restaurant and is within walking distance of shopping centres, entertainment venues and local businesses.
Choice ‘Big Things’ Tour of Australia – Part 1
Choice ‘Big Things’ Tour of Australia – Part 2
Choice ‘Big Things’ Tour of Australia – Part 3
Choice ‘Big Things’ Tour of Australia – Part 4
Choice ‘Big Things’ Tour of Australia – Part 5
Choice ‘Big Things’ Tour of Australia – Part 6
Choice ‘Big Things’ Tour of Australia – Part 7
Choice ‘Big Things’ Tour of Australia – Part 8