Trip notes July 2014.
FRIDAY. With Fi and Paul in one car and Lorraine, Janine, Sarah and Jack in the other, we meet up at Bridgewater only to find the camping area closed for renovations. So we drove on to the Wedderburn caravan park and set up tent for the night. There was a great Camp Kitchen to have dinner in.
SATURDAY. Wake to find quirky objects and characters around the camp. The equally quirky camp hostess took great pleasure in showing us her creations. The weather deteriorated as we drove, so we sort refuge in the civic shelter in Ouyen to have lunch in the freezing wind. At 3pm. We pulled into the Mildura information centre to look around and get info on accommodation. The Borong Caravan Park across the river looked best. While we were booking in a Lady fainted, so we had to do our First Aid bit to help her recover. Fortunately the passing storm cleared and we were able to sit around the camp fire watching the pelicans cruising on the river as the sunset.
SUNDAY. After driving through more rain, the sun came out for us to enjoy the beautiful riverside facilities at Renmark for morning tea. Then on to the Monash Adventure Play Ground for the Kids (?) to play and have lunch. With more storms due we again abandoned the Free camping for the facilities at the Burra caravan Park. With tent up we then went sightseeing, exploring the historic town.
MONDAY. More sightseeing, then a charming drive up the back road directly to Hawker through fascinating open Salt Bush country then lovely green rolling hills of the lower Flinders Ranges. Lunch in the park (play ground handy of-course.). Off up the highway to see the ruins of Wonoka Township. Not much was left. Then onto camp on the Moralana river bank (dry) for a $10 note in the tin, for the local Homestead. What a romantic true bush-camp setting!
TUESDAY. Woke to sky quilted with orange-red clouds silhouetting the rugged outline of the flinders ranges and fragrance of the campfire! Off along the back-track across to Wilpina Pound. We stopped at Black Gap to park Paul’s car. So Fi, Loraine and Paul put on their packs to set off on a thee day hike, up and over into the pound, and out the other side. While Janine and the children drove on around the other side to base camp at Wilpena Pound.
THURSDAY. We all met up to camp the night in Wilpena Caravan Park.
FRIDAY. Lazy breakfast then off south. Stop in to view the amazing ruins of the Karinda Homestead. Morning Tea back at Hawker to savour the ledengery Quondong Pie. Lunch at Quorn, get fuel and food. Then onto Wilminton’s Stoney Creek Bush Camping Park. He sold us a barrow (ute) load of redgum firewood which lasted us for days.
SATURDAY. Pitchi Ritchie Train ride day! We all drove over to Port Augusta. Paul stood on the station and waved them off on their steam train. Then attended to getting food supplies. The shopping list went well until the tricky item of Emery Boards?. A male lost in the female isle! With some local help he found the item and checked out. Then dashed across to Quorn to meet the others. We all headed for the Emporium Cafe (discovered on the way up), for a country cooked lunch. Great! Fi Stayed with Paul to wave off the train on its return journey. The kids really enjoyed a better “carriage host” on the way back. Paul and Fi walked around town, but their mind was really on the cake cabinet back at the Emporium! Afternoon Tea was served with a huge chunk of cake with cream and ice-cream. Heavily laden they tried to walk it off around the local Botanical gardens. Then drove home to Wilmington to wait for the train riders to return.
SUNDAY. Sarah’s 10th. Birthday. Balloons, and presents. Then off south to Mt.Remarkable, for the Birthday cake and M/Tea. Again Fi, Lorraine and Paul put on their packs, but this time we all walked down into the awe inspiring Alligator Gorge. Photos everywhere!. But there was water in the creek which in places covered the stepping rocks and we all got wet boots. At the other end, Janine and the kids walked back to get the car and drive around the other side to base camp at Mambray Creek camping area. While Lorraine, Fi and Paul hiked down through the National Park. (see Lorraine’s walk notes)
MONDAY. We all met-up back at Mambray Creek camping area. then retrieved Pauls car. Another night around the hot red gum wood campfire.
TUESDAY. A lay day for Fi and Paul to clean, dry and sort out the equipment, while Lorraine, Janine and the kids explored Port Germein (Jack got blown off the pier) and Port Pirie. A storm warning had been issued, so upon their return we struck camp and headed south to Adelaide. Driving around Adelaide was horrendous in the wind and rain. A quick stop for dinner, then out the Adelaide hills (great view of Adelaide’s lights) to find the Belair caravan park and pile into the cabin and listen to the storm raging about us.
WEDNESDAY. Wake to more rain, so abandon the walk thru the national park, and head down to Hahndorf and explore town before M/Tea at the German Cake Shop. Time to head home, so back onto the free-way and down to Tailem Bend for lunch at the railway museum. Still wet and cold at Nhill. So using Paul’s Seniors discount, Grandpa, two grandkids and his three wives bunked down for the night.
THURSDAY. Pack-up for the last time! Stop at the Big Koala for M/tea. Then drop into Ballan to find a rotunda to shelter under for lunch . The weather cleared as we came back into Melbourne and we dropped people off to their various homes. What a great trip!