Kalkarindji, NT - Day 1

On Thursday, having all arrived in the NT, we met to camp at Edith Falls, 40 minutes out of Katherine and about half way to this year's build at Kalkarindji. We all got up at the crack of dawn, packed, and headed up the hill to the 'upper pool'. The watering hole was stunning, and there was not a croc in sight. Feeling as though we could've easily spent the day or more dipping in and out of the water, we soaked up our 30 minutes of bliss.

We bought our fortnights worth of food in Katherine, with dinners for 17 people each night being organised between groups of two. We headed off from town and travelled together to the first rest stop. We are on the road... It's surprisingly green for this time of year, but the dirt is unsurprisingly red. The highway shifts from well lined double lanes to an unadorned strip that forces you off-road when dodging road trains. It spreads hour after hour across the landscape like a zipper, opening the isolation in front of us. This land is called Didgeridoo Dreaming, this is the Top Springs servo, this land is Turtle Dreaming.

The drive is uneventful until it isn't, when a startled cow or bird makes a terrified dash in front of the bullbars. Today no one ends up under our car, but there is occasional evidence that not everyone has been so lucky.

Although the first day is just for completing the nine hours of southern travel from Darwin, we get the opportunity to become placed in the landscape. Eucalypts dominate the horizon, stars fill the sky, and the campfire coals now cook our food. Tomorrow we join the locals in Kalkarindji and start our work.

Written by Alison & Lachlan