Ngukurr Aboriginal Community visit

We needed to cross the Roper River the get to the community of Ngukurr. It was a 32km dirt road in once across. We were low on fuel, so planned to buy more there as there was no other fuel until Mataranka still hundreds of km’s away. M

Roper river causeway 1
This is the old Roper River Crossing that goes across to Roper Bar. It was a beautiful spot to have lunch but we didn’t cross here. We went over the new high level bridge. Before the bridge, the people in these communities were cut off during the wet season for months with too much water over this ford. Back then there was a barge operating. The wet has been so “dry” and this is a good crossing at the moment but may not have been this early in the dry if there had been more proper summer rains.

 

great egret at the roper river crossing
This Great Egret hung out here waiting for a feed. These rivers are such magnets for all kinds of birds that it is always quite noisy near them. Especially when the cockatoos get going in the paperbarks!
old roper crossing
We love these big wild rivers. Just wish we could hop in for a swim. It was 34 deg and humid and it’s hard to look at water you can’t get in. We even considered the little puddle in the foreground but I had on a clean dress and washed my hair for the visit to town!
roper river
Crossing the Roper on the new bridge this is the view one direction.

 

roper crossing freshie
This was the view in the other direction! It was big but we think it was only a “freshie”.
ngukkur welcome sign
The lovely welcome sign outside the community. Welcome you mob!
sunrise health centre
Ngukurr health centre. The nicest building in town.

Trish my nursing colleague from Sydney raved about her time here doing remote area nursing and how fantastic both the facility was and the caliber of staff working there. She also mentioned the high degree of professionalism of the manager Shelly. It was very rewarding work. Perhaps it was a way to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem? M

health centre reception
Entry /reception area of the centre was state of the art modern. It beats my local emergency at Mona Vale by a mile
maddy and shelly
Shelly the Health Centre manager in her fun uniform top. It was lovely meeting Shelly and her husband who are planning a trip like ours, when they can tear themselves away from this posting. Easier said than done when you have done such a good job and love your work! We gave them a tour of our (not very tidy-not expecting guests) caravan to give them some ideas.
sunshine health centre poster
Poster on the health center wall

sunshine health centre notice board

night patrol sign
Different signs than you would see in the Sydney

Next we thought we would pop into the art centre for a look. It was interesting to see 2 different styles in the same centre. There was the Arnhem land style you see further north and also the central desert type you see further south. There was some excellent basket work I had my eye on and I left Steve alone for only 10 minutes and he bought a painting to add to our collection! The staff we really informative to talk to and we were invited to a film festival that night on the sports oval. It was a traveling film fest making the rounds in the NT. They put up a huge outdoor screen and everyone just sits on a blanket on the oval. We needed to keep moving to keep an appointment so had to miss this. M

art centre ngukkur
Ngukurr Arts centre. The artists painted outside on the veranda.

art centre sign

inside the art centre ngukurr
Inside the art centre
joyce huddlestone painting
Painting that Steve bought painted by Joyce Huddleston who comes from a famous painting family from Ngukurr
film festival solar cinema
There was a traveling film festival in town. They were putting up a huge screen on the football oval for the whole town to come out and watch.
sawfish sign
Sign down at the boat ramp.

We headed back out of town and back onto the dusty road to Mataranka and along the way noticed we had a slow leak in one of our tyres!!!!!!! So much for that record! M

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