After leaving Coober Pedy we had another long trip ahead of us. Entering the the Northern Territory, we had a sense of excitement; at last we were finally going to see the 'real' outback; our first night in the Territory was spent at the Kulgera Roadhouse. Not upmarket, but so very 'outback'. Rugged, and like many of the Stuart Highway roadhouses, it has basic camping grounds, with ablution blocks, fuel and a restaurant. The food at most roadhouses is usually deep fried, and the coffee is often "help yourself, to the coffee" (after you have paid the required amount, International Roast awaits); needless to say, we cooked our own food, and brewed our own coffee! Many travellers stay at some of the free camps that line the route, often camping in overnight spots with signs stating 'Road Trains/Trucks only'. It must be frustrating for the long haul drivers, to pull into a camp spot, only to find heaps of Grey Nomads, with their RVs taking up most of the room!. What gets to Paul & me is the way some of the 'free-loaders' brag about staying in the Truck Stops. No wonder some of the States are removing the free camping areas.
The good news about Kulgera RH is, it is a step above the others in regards to food, however, we still cooked our own. The showers, were ok in cleanliness, but the hot water ran out around 7pm, I am just glad we have an ensuite in our van. Most travellers leave their vans hooked up ready for a fast getaway in the morning, and it is not uncommon to be woken around 5am with a van creeping out of the campgrounds. Bucko and I are never in a hurry, so we are often amongst the last few to take off.
I thought you may like to see a few photos of the trip up the track, from Coober Pedy to Kulgera; notice the long straight red road, the speed limit sign (a change from the SA maximum, of 110), various road signs, a red letter box, red earth and the one I like the best, the Roadhouse sign.