As you exit King Ash Bay on the 21km dirt road there are 4 old cattle grids that you cross. The first grid marks the edge of the King Ash Bay lease. Some way up the road you come to the second grid. It is at this second grid that you can turn right onto a small, rarely used track that will take you to Minngarda Waterhole. More commonly known locally simply as “The Billabong”.

Today I visited the billabong for the first time. I grabbed my oldies quad bike, a hat and a bottle of water then headed up the road. On the King Ash Bay lease the club has designated the area as a 10km/h zone. So once I passed the first grid, I was able to open up the throttle. It’s hard to tell how fast you are going with the wind blowing in your face, but it felt like 200. Probably more like 60 in reality.

The road to Minngarda Waterhole.
The road to Minngarda Waterhole.

Once I turned off the “main road” the track is simply 2 tyre tracks that have worn away the long grass. At this time of year I’d say even a Rav4 could go visit the billabong, but it’s a very different story in the wet season. You would probably need an Australian Army ASLAV vehicle to get to the Billabong in January.

Considering there hasn’t been an active cattle station around here in many years, there is surprisingly a large amount of station infrastructure on the drive. Water tanks, fences, gates and even cattle yards.

It’s not a big drive. It probably took me just 20 minutes to get there from King Ash Bay.

Once I arrived and turned off the quad bike, I was able to take in my surroundings and enjoy the quiet. The billabong itself is long and narrow. Roughly as long as a football field, but not as wide. It was covered with water lillies and water flowers. A very nice place.

Batten Creek behind the billabong.
Batten Creek behind the billabong.

I drove around the other side of the billabong and found that Batten Creek runs along the billabong, parallel with it. It has a high bank into the creek. I’ve heard that some people like to camp here because they think a crocodile is less likely to attack them here. The big salt water crocs scare the heck out of me, so I like these people’s way of thinking.

I look forward to coming back to Manngarda Waterhole at some stage soon. It is just a quick trip from King Ash Bay and also not far from Borroloola. It’s a quiet and private spot where you can feel a million miles away from any other people.

http://www.naivenomads.com.au/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/image1-900x675.jpghttp://www.naivenomads.com.au/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/image1-140x140.jpgMikeyOur King Ash Bay (NT) ExperienceAs you exit King Ash Bay on the 21km dirt road there are 4 old cattle grids that you cross. The first grid marks the edge of the King Ash Bay lease. Some way up the road you come to the second grid. It is at this second grid...Travelling Australia, learning things the hard way