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Interesting park area about railways and mining
More than a little laid back
In a nutshell
Quiet place to learn about historic NT railways and mining
Just about the only place in Pine Creek to top up on those essential vehicle supplies and if your unfortunate to encounter mechanical difficulties.
Location: 44 Moule Street, Pine Creek
Opposite Mayse's Cafe
Written Nov 14, 2005
Phone: 08 8976 1217
Most people know by now that if you are travelling long distances in Australia, it's easy to get tired and even fall asleep at the wheel.
Pine Creek is the perfect stop if you are travelling from Darwin to Katherine. Apart from the good food at Mayse's....did you know that the driver can have a free coffee?....
Well check out this sign at the garage across the road from Mayse's :o)
Handy to know hey!
Updated Jul 25, 2008
Sadly the VT police will delete this page if I use the word 'Pi**ed' in full, but I think you will easily understand the expression, which our friends in USA just say 'Pi**ed' as in 'I was pi**ed' meaning 'I was very angry.' To be different, Aussies will say 'I was pi**ed' meaning 'I was very drunk.'
OK enough of all the pi**ed trivia - as I have written on the into page for Pine Creek, I had gone to a lot of trouble to find a location for a video of The Ghan as it sped through the country.
I had e mailed Great Southern Rail and asked the aprox time that The Ghan would travel through Pine Creek - here's their reply:
"Unfortunately we do not have documented time for Pine Creek that I can provide you, however I can advise that The Ghan is scheduled go through Adelaide River at 10.05am and arrive into Katherine at 12.40pm. Adelaide River and Katherine are approximately 200km apart and Pine Creek is located roughly half way between the two (about 110km from Adelaide River), so I would suggest that The Ghan will travel through Pine Creek between the times of 11.00am and 11.30am."
In our first visit to Pine Creek I had chosen my spot well - close to the highway, close to the train line, a shady tree in fact many shady Mango trees, and very easy access to The Track, as the main highway is known.
We had checked out of our motel in Katherine and hit the open road with a burst of speed - and probably above the posted speed limit of 130 kph (Lady Gaw has said I am not telling the truth - the speed was up to 150 kph). I had flown past a few road trains and slow-moving grey nomad piloted caravans - I was a man on a mission and nothing was going to stop me.
With a quick flick of the wheel we got to the road crossing at 10.55, parked under a tree, got the camera and all important water bottles ready and waited. 11.30 passed and no train - I was sure we had got their first and I really hoped I was right. "We'll wait a bit longer," I said to the by then pi**ed off Lady Gaw who snorted some sort of reply.
Midday came and went - no *&^%$#@ train. I'd even taken a 'practice video' now dubbed "The Ghost Ghan". 12.15 came and went and I said to Lady Gaw, "We'll give it until 12.30 and then we are going." She nodded a reply and no doubt was thinking of all that nice shopping time she could have had.
True to my word we departed that level crossing at 12.30 and had even been offered water by a kindly local who had noticed us loitering under the trees.
We travelled for the short distance into the centre of the vast city of Pine Creek (pop about 500) and made a bee line for the towns public loos - we were busting. Guys are always much quicker that the girls and when I had finished I went into the town general store looking at what was on offer for food. I then saw Lady Gaw running out of the loo hitching up her pants and yelling and waving at me, so I got out of the general store and galloped towards her, "DIDN'T YOU HEAR THE TRAIN HOOTER," she yelled. We had missed that train by 13 minutes and I was really pi**ed off.
We had a quick bite to eat in a cafe in town (not the general store) and I managed to prolong Lady Gaw's agony - we visited one of the very few Pine Creek attractions The Pine Creek Railway Museum. I read with some mirth a display panel which read in part, "It (the old train) is still remembered by many who used the service in the 1930's that the train was only rarely, if ever, on time."
There were 2 trains of old - Palmerston to Larrimah (dubbed by many as the train to no where) and The Ghan of old, which somehow went to Alice Springs from Adelaide. I had read of the unreliability of the old Ghan and one story really sticks out - A heavily pregnant woman asked if the train would be much longer before it reached the end of the line as she was VERY concerned that she might need medical attention. The conductor rebuked her for travelling whilst in that condition. She replied, "I wasn't when I got on!"
Old reputations die hard and the new Ghan still likes to play tricks on those less prepared. I did get to see some train activity from where we waited and waited - long trains - that's road trains - as they sped along The Track as the Stuart Highway is sometimes known by older Territorians.
The last photo has a caption - Why can't we eat these mangos? Because they are not ripe, but may be ready to eat when The Ghan returns in 5 months time - LOL
Updated Aug 2, 2012
South of Hayes Creek and off through the bush is the small and unnoticed Depot Creek. Containing swimming holes, waterfalls, great places to push a rubber tube down, Depot Creek is a place on the locals have ever known about. Possible to get to with 4wd or a long walk from the highway. Worth the trip to the bottom and the large wayerfall and possibility to sight a saltwater crocodile or two.
Written Jan 29, 2005
Favorite thing: Built originally at Mt Diamond around 1908 as a butchers shop by Mr Ah Toy, it was moved to Pine Creek and re-erected in its current location in 1915. The oven was built in 1922 using a bed of mortar and last saw service as a field bakery during World War 2. The Old Bakery is still owned by the Ah Toy Family.
Updated Dec 31, 2005