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Published: September 24th 2018
Our first night out from Perth.
Adelaide has always been a city we both enjoy going to and over the years have been there several times. There are still areas we want to explore, especially those areas where Judy's relatives settled when they came from England, as well as just catching up with her relatives and revisiting her birth state.
This trip we had the extra incentive of visiting Judy's son, Ryan and his partner Sabrina. Ryan moved to Adelaide from Perth in May this year after accepting a position there. Monday 20th August 2018
Even though we thought we had prepared for everything getting away took longer than expected. Rags intended to leave by 9am, Judy by 10am and we got away at 11am.
From then on everything went well, we reached our intended stop of Karalee Rocks by 5pm. This area, about 130kms west of Coolgardie, was originally a water catchment with the dam providing water for the steam engines travelling between Perth and Kalgoorlie. The huge rock is surrounded by a man-made wall, which directs the water into a dam via several sluices.
A camping area has been set up here, with a toilet, for
These pools overflow and run into the catchment area during the rains.
travellers to spend a night or two before moving on. These camps are spread along the railway line from Perth and together with the old Goldfields towns would make a great trip for us to do sometime in the future.
It was a relatively early night for Rags as the 430kms journey certainly was enough for him! Tuesday 21st August 2018
A good night’s sleep had us ready for a walk to the summit of the Rock, from where we could see the hectares of sloping stone all around us. The kilometres of stone wall built to contain the water must have taken many men some time to build at the turn of the century.
Today’s journey was even longer at about 440kms but with an earlier start just after 9am and no city traffic to contend with, it was an easy day to our next stop, Fraser Range Station. This is a working sheep station and the owners have set up a camping area for passing travellers. Having heard many positive comments we decided to spend a night here rather than at one of the public stops on the highway.
The summit overlooking the campsite.
The campsite consists of a powered area separated from the unpowered area by stone farm buildings erected in the late 1800s. These have been converted to sleeping units, a camp kitchen, a dining area and bar, plus extra buildings for toilet and shower facilities and staff quarters. Quite an attractive set-up!
Several walk trails have been made and we followed one, which reached the summit of the Fraser Range. This was a reasonable walk of about 2 hours along rocky tracks to a cairn at the top. There were kangaroos everywhere we looked, obviously they are not hunted here as they allowed us quite near them before hopping away.
It was almost dark on our return to the camp and a seat with a drink in hand was most welcome before we prepared our evening meal. The camp hosts did have an evening meal of roast pork for $30/head but as we have vegetables we have to finish before reaching the South Australian quarantine stop in Ceduna, we had home-cooked roast pork last week, and the cost seemed excessive especially as you had to buy your drinks from their bar, we dined in.
Nothing wrong with our
The windmill collection. This has grown since our last visit.
defrosted, home-cooked Italian stew, washed down with an Aldi bought Shiraz! Wednesday 22nd & Thursday 23rd August 2018
Western Australia is a big place; the road just goes on and on. Wednesday we travelled about 420kms to just east of Madura, the most interesting thing we noted was that there were numerous kangaroo carcasses by the side of the road compared to the few seen up to now. This we attributed to the drought in this area and they were attracted to green grass growing by the side of the road. Rather sad to see our national animal emblem displayed in this way.
The weather turned during the night with the wind and rain really setting in. This continued all day, Rags had to battle with sudden gusts from the side pushing the van sideways at the most unexpected times. Because of the weather we didn’t stop to see the whales at the Bight lookout or anywhere else along this section. We have seen this on previous trips but will re-visit them on our return journey if weather permits.
The conditions made the trip a little tiring but we still managed to
Recently re-opened. We were the only patrons there but we did meet another camper and his family walking there as we left.
travel about 600kms for the day reaching the picturesque town of Penong. Here we booked into the caravan park as it gave us a chance to refill our water tanks and enjoy a long, hot shower. Judy took the opportunity to take some photos of the windmill display nearby, these being synonymous with the town. It has expanded significantly since we saw it 2 years ago, when it was initiated. Friday 24th - Sunday 26th August 2018
After another slow start we found ourselves on the road by 9am. Unlike yesterday there was no wind and we had beautiful blue skies. It was a nice easy drive, we reaching the mid-point of Australia (by road) Kimba.
Here we refueled as there are no services between there and Port Augusta. As it was 2pm Rags felt it was too early to stop even though we had traveled 380kms. We continued for another 90kms to the almost ghost town of Iron Knob. This town was once a bustling town servicing the iron mine started in 1897 by a small company now known as BHP. Quarrying stopped in 1998 and the town was only
The jetty was for the original port used for exporting copper from Burra. The hotel is opposite.
populated by people looking for cheap housing. Since 2013 another company, Arrium, has reopened the mine but employees are housed at the mine.
The camp area has continued to operate allowing travellers to stay the night with toilet facilities and cold showers provided for a donation. We passed on the cold showers, the hot shower in the van being preferable. A visit to the Iron Knob Pub was memorable, even if only for the fact that we were the only ones there in what was once the mine company mess.
Next morning we made our way to Ceduna, all ready for inspection at the quarantine stop. Rags had spent some time the previous evening cutting up the onions, cooking the carrots and making a large fruit salad from our leftover fruit. Imagine his chagrin when told that due to a change in the regulations the fruit salad was no longer considered exempt and had to be destroyed. Luckily we had used some in our last two meals.
Ceduna has never been a favourite stop for us and we set off after refueling, headed for Kadina, which is at the beginning of the Yorke Peninsula, an
The beautiful old hotel opposite the jetty.
area we hope to explore more this trip. We stopped at the picturesque town of Port Broughton on the way, with its beautiful old hotel on the foreshore with a long jetty jutting out into the bay in front of it.
The Kadina Showgrounds were closed when we arrived so we continued on to the coast to the town of Wallaroo. This has a campsite for overnight travellers next to the rowing club. The sign told us that someone from the club would collect the fee sometime in the evening. A little research told us that the rowing club had been closed for 13 years so this did not eventuate.
The cemetery nearby had Judy checking grave stones as some of her ancestors had lived in this area. She had some success and took photos for further research.
Ryan and Sabrina had contacted us last night and were keen for us to get to Adelaide so by lunchtime on Sunday we had set up our camp at the caravan park in Semaphore and made our way to their home a few kilometres away.
They have a lovely old stone house, which has been restored externally and
Grain is obviously the main industry in this part of S.A. with silos such as this in nearly every town. These were by the wharf storing for future export.
modernised inside. High ceilings, large rooms and beautifully polished wooden floors make this a most comfortable home.
The rest of the day and evening was spent eating, drinking and discussing their new lives here in Adelaide before we eventually made our way back to the van for a well needed sleep. Monday 27th August 201
Today was a day of catching up with the washing, chasing up parts so Rags could repair the van hot water system, and generally orientating ourselves to this part of Adelaide.
Ryan and Sabrina again had us for dinner in the evening, Sabrina making a delicious pasta dish, before we made it a fairly early night as Ryan has work tomorrow. Tuesday 28th August 2018
We caught the train into Adelaide this morning and together with Sabrina had another visit to the Adelaide Markets, one of our favourite spots. As Ryan and Sabrina are joining us for a few days in the Clare area this weekend, some time was spent buying cheeses and other delectables.
Lunch was in Chinatown, where on our last visit we discovered the Dumpling King. They
Pub meals such as this make diets difficult! This was one of our first meals out in Adelaide after a coastal bike ride.
are at present undergoing renovations and operating in a temporary area. The food was still good but we felt it wasn’t as good as before.
As Judy had an online meeting at 7pm and we weren’t overly hungry after our big lunch, we had a quiet evening for a change. Wednesday 29th August 2018
We had an eventful night what with the toilet cassette jamming, Rags having to get up after midnight to roll up the awning due to strong winds, and whilst outside managed to trip and fall heavily onto the concrete pad. Luckily no bones broken but a sprained wrist, very sore knee and a few bruises to remind him of the event.
He managed to repair the cassette in the morning after spending a little time figuring out how it worked and as there are no notices saying otherwise, washed the car. Judy got some washing done and did some uni work. A fulfilling morning!
We took the bikes out for the first time today, following the bike path up the coast for about 8kms. It was a little hard going at first with the wind in our
Great little park, quiet but right in the middle of it all!
faces but great coming back.
We stopped at the Larg’s Pier Hotel on the way back for lunch. For under $20 each we had a huge plate of salt & pepper squid with chips and salad, plus a pint of cider/dark ale. It was delicious but neither of us could finish our meal. One doggy bag later and we had our evening meal too!
We spent the latter part of the afternoon at the Cheltenham Cemetery to look for a 1923 grave of one of Judy’s relatives but even with the help of an employee there, we could not find it.
A coffee with Sabrina, at her place rounded off the day before we returned to batten down the camp as stormy weather has been forecast for the evening. Thursday 30th August 2018
The Weather Bureau was correct and rain with strong winds were the order of the day. This gave us the opportunity to catch up with a few things around the van and generally organise ourselves for the the next few weeks here in Adelaide.
That evening Ryan and Sabrina joined us for a meal at a local
This was Ryan & Rags' breakfast on Father's Day. Cooking done by all!
Mexican restaurant, this giving us an opportunity to partially repay the hospitality they have lavished on us up to now. The restaurant, set near the beachfront, provided us with lovely food, well served, in a great environment and the conversation made it an enjoyable evening for all. Friday 31st August - Monday 3rd September 2018
After checking out of the park we made our way north to the Riesling Trail. This is a 34kms long pedestrian/cycle path made on a former railway line connecting the towns of Clare and Auburn. The line makes its way through many vineyards which produce some excellent riesling wine. About two thirds along the way is the town of Leasingham and here we made our base at the caravan park there. Ryan and Sabrina arrived early in the evening and that was the start of several days of sightseeing, laughter, wine tasting and good food.
The weather wasn't always the best but we managed to get between venues without getting wet. By Sunday the rain eased and we managed to take out the bikes along the trail. The rain did catch us out once but luckily we
Great to have a winery for tastings right next door!
had just reached a winery cellar where we were able to sample wines whilst being educated by the very knowledgeable owner. Doing this gave the sun time to come out once again. The friendliness here was common everywhere we went and added to our time there.
It was very quiet after Ryan and Sabrina left, so after lunch we set off to Burra so that Judy could search through the cemetery there looking for family tree connections. She took many photos of gravestones there and was able to match and expand much of the information she already had. Tuesday 4th September 2018
Woke up to a fine, very cold (-1C ) morning. Last night we decided to move on today, but at breakfast agreed to stay on for another day.
After a few chores which included washing the sheets (the joy of having our own washing machine and being connected to town water) we set off on our bikes to the town of Auburn. Between the caravan park and the beginning of the Riesling Trail, Rags got swooped by a magpie for about the 5th time in the same spot. We think it must
Leasingham Pizza night
Base made by J & R, (& Thermomix), topping by S & R. Delicious!
be the red on his helmet that attracts the bird as no-one else has been attacked.
It was still quite cool but the exercise soon had us a little warmer. The map shows that the path is on a 1.5% decline which made pedalling easy. Passing through picturesque vineyards set on rolling hills made the 7kms journey seem even shorter and soon we were in Auburn. This little town is neatly set out with an IGA store, chemist, Post Office, hotel, and service station complemented by 3 or 4 cafes to cater for the visiting tourists.
After our almost compulsory coffee had in the sunshine with a pleasant garden around us, we were ready for the uphill ride back to the van. This ended up being easier than we thought it would be. As we had expected to be on the road this morning we didn't have any fresh bread for lunch, so another drive to Clare.
On our trip back, we dropped in to the Sevenhill Cellars, the oldest winery in the Clare Valley. This unusual winery is set in a most picturesque setting with its parks, landscaped gardens and vines with the magnificent St Aloysius
Stopped at winery near here as it started to rain. Had an attentive host with multiple tastings ending in multiple purchases.
Church in the centre. Established by the Jesuits in 1851 it produces altar wines for churches all over Australia as well as for the public. Neither of us was overly impressed with any of the wines we tasted, perhaps spoiled by the excellent samples tasted over the weekend.
The final hours of the day were spent with Judy having to make her presence known to her students and Rags packing away the bikes and preparing the van for our departure tomorrow.
Wednesday 5th September 2018
On the road by 9am, weather windy but fine. It was a very quick trip, less than an hour along quiet roads to the town of Eudunda. There was no particular reason for coming to this town except that it was on the way to McLaren Vale where we are meeting Ryan & Sabrina on Friday night, we heard that it was RV friendly with 4 powered sites next to the town pool where you may use the facilities, Colin Thiele, the author of "Storm Boy" was born there, and, most importantly, we hadn't been there before!
As there are only 4 powered spots we did
think we would be lucky to get one, but as it turned out we had the place to ourselves and no-one else arrived during the day. The shire has only built this stop recently so maybe it isn't well-known. Soon after setting up the manager of the recreation centre, Steve, came over to welcome us, collect the fee, and showed us how to enter the ablution block via the pool entrance.
The town centre is about a kilometre away so we drove in as we were also going to follow a set trail along the top of the ridge overlooking the surrounding area. Here there were a few of the many shop buildings open, mainly a Foodland store, baker, op shop and a hardware store. A couple of other places open at different times during the week, these being cafes and the usual secondhand stores. A park at the entrance to the main street had a statue of Theile, posing with a pelican. Also in the park were various murals done by artists and schoolchildren, giving a history of the region.
We drove out to the next town, Robertstown, about 20kms away, where we turned off the main
Sevenhill Winery produces most of the altar wine used in churches around Australia. Rags wasn't overly impressed with the wine and Judy felt this barrel was a little too big to take home!
highway at this fairly deserted town, in the direction of the high ridge overlooking the many hectares of bright yellow canola crops amongst the green cereal crops. It was an interesting drive along Scenic Road, the name aptly chosen for the scenic sights from it, but a misnomer on the latter as it was nothing more than a dirt track!
Lunch back at the caravan was finished with a piece of Kuchen cake purchased from the bakery. This yeast dough cake with fruit such as apricot, was a traditional cake made by the early Lutheran people who first settled this area in the 1850s. The name, we decided came from the German word for kitchen, and probably contained whatever fruit was available. Tasty though!
The afternoon was spent with Judy working and Rags taking the opportunity of washing the car and caravan using the hose provided. He felt he was vindicated in not drying either of them as clouds had started to form and rain looked imminent early evening. Thursday 6th September 2018
Nice short run today to the town of Strathalbyn. After setting up on lovely, green grass at the
This was one of many photos of headstones taken by Judy which will help in her research of her Family history.
caravan park we walked the few blocks into town. Quite a busy little place, the centre for surrounding properties.
We were on our way to the cemetery so that Judy could search through it for possible family links when we saw a small museum which is run by volunteers and today was one day it was open. Here she was able to search records provided by the helpful couple there, Rags leaving her to it whilst he walked around the area.
He came across a car yard named Collectable Classics, and spent some time looking at Porches, Rolls Royce, Maseratis, E-types, as well as classic Fords, Holdens, MGs etc. There were 3 large sheds packed with vehicles and they were about to build a fourth. A salesman he spoke to told of how they had only just moved out of Adelaide as costs here were lower and they sold most of the cars via the Internet. Rags found it much more interesting than family history! Friday 7th September 2018
The following day, on our way out to McLaren Vale, where we were to meet Ryan and Sabrina that evening, we did
The quirky Cube at d'Arenberg Wines.
stop at the cemetery and Judy took many photographs of headstones which may link to the information she already has. She has become quite the detective in this area. Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September 2018
Saturday started with a very filling and tasty breakfast with the four of us cooking bacon, eggs, mushrooms, toast with smashed avocado washed down with good coffee. It was a very pleasant way to start the day.
The d'Arenberg cellars with their futuristic Cube was the first stop of the day. We saw the Cube a few years ago before it was complete but now it has become a feature for McLaren Vale. It has 4 levels with a quirky art gallery on the ground floor, restaurants and meeting rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors, and a tasting area on the 4th. A fun time was had in the art gallery with some very different interactive displays before our tasting session on the 4th floor. A big variety of tastings was done by 3 of us, Sabrina volunteering to be driver. A few extra "stickys" were added to our collection to take home.
The male urinals in the Cube. Bit off-putting!
winery, nearby, was recommended for its gardens and wine so that was our next stop. The gardens here are magnificent, 2 gardeners are employed to attend to them. The wines here were quite pleasant too!
The couple in the caravan next to us recommended the Shingleback winery for its food. Here, you are seated in the kitchen and watch the chef prepare your meal, dish by dish. Four courses were prepared and each was delicious. Scallops, fish, steaks and dessert were devoured. A great experience!
After an afternoon nap we were ready for more and as Ryan & Sabrina wanted to watch the Eagles in a finals match a hotel with a large screen was sought. Some good pub food, stouts and a win for the Eagles were a bonus. Even Judy got involved in the football.
Sunday was a very quiet day, Ryan and Sabrina leaving around 10am, we driving into Port Noarlunga where we bought a new tyre and tube for Judy's bike and having a late morning tea there. Monday 10th and Tuesday 11th September 2018
These two days were used to get our washing up to date
Dining at the Shingleback Winery
as well as rediscovering the town of Yankalilla, about 35kms south of our camp. We ensured we arrived there just before lunchtime so that we had an excuse to go to the bakery. Judy's spinach pie vindicated the revisit, Rags a little disappointed with his choice of potato pie.
On Tuesday we were woken early by strong winds and Rags made the decision not to drive the 120kms or so to Angaston where we were expected today. With winds gusting to over 50 kph he did not feel comfortable driving up the coast.
The morning was spent indoors on computers and reading, the wind whistling through the trees making us glad we weren't out on the road.
The wind abated a bit in the afternoon and we took the opportunity to drive to Noarlunga where Judy was able to have a haircut at the large shopping centre there. Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th September 2018
We drove to Tanunda, the weather now still and sunny, a contrast to yesterday and were met there by Judy's cousin Kathy and Harold. They had organised for us to park the van on a
friend's property in nearby Angaston, and led the way. We did meet Jean, who owned the property, but didn't catch up with her again during our stay.
Kathy and Harold really looked after us over the two days we were in the area, taking us to wineries such as Wolf Blass, Seppeltsfield, Jacobs Creek and Yaldara, to mention a few. As Harold does not drink we were able to sample many of the excellent wines produced. On both days we went to two different hotels for lunch, using half-price coupons which Kathy had collected.
On both mornings there, Judy and Rags went for a long walk before breakfast, in the hope of not putting on too much weight from all the good food and drink. Friday 14th September 2018
All good things have an end and we moved on to the little town of Greenock, only about 15kms away, where we set up camp in an area set aside by the town next to the oval. Here, you can stay for up to 7 days, the cost being a donation of $5/night left in an honesty box. We were very impressed
by the cleanliness of the facilities and wished we could have stayed longer.
While we were there we walked the 350 metres or so into the village where we were able to sample ales from a small micro brewery, wine tasting at 2 of the 3 wine outlets in the main street before having a large tasting platter at one of them. Apparently the local hotel has excellent meals, but we didn't get there.
This little town would make a good base for exploring the Barossa as well as being perfect for a weekend getaway from Adelaide. We collected some brochures to pass on to Ryan and Sabrina as we are certain they would enjoy it. Saturday 15th September 2018
We left the van in Greenock and returned to Angaston to visit the Barossa Markets held there every Saturday. These are held in a large shed on the edge of town and was quite busy when we got there. There was some local vegetables on sale there but besides a few specialty stalls for honey and the like, the busiest section was where peoplehad gathered for various cooked breakfasts. As we
had eaten, these didn't interest us much but the cold breeze coming through the doors did make the idea of a hot drink appealing. A long line of people at the coffee counter changed our minds so we set off for nearby Nuirioopta where we had a coffee in the large IGA there.
On our way out we Judy rang a cousin of her mother's, Rhonda, who lived nearby and invited ourselves for morning tea. We did however, supply the food! An hour or so was spent with her reminiscing, before we continued to the Maggie Beer Farm and Kitchen not far away. After some sampling there and purchase of a few gifts, we had a quick tour of the lake on which the complex is set, before returning to Greenock.
It was still cold and whilst hitching the van up it started to hail! The temperature didn't rise over 6 degrees until we were very close to Adelaide, the rain on the way not making driving very pleasant. Luckily it stopped before Port Adelaide and we returned to the same caravan park we had used earlier in the week. Not only that, they even put us in
the same spot, making it almost feel as if we had come home.
The weather wasn't conducive to going anywhere, so a quiet evening was had. Sunday 16th September 2018
As seems to happen regularly in Adelaide, the weather had changed again, with blue skies and a steady wind greeting us this morning. We took the opportunity to get some washing done and dried before going off to Ryan and Sub's for lunch.
A delicious vegetarian lasagne washed down with a few ales and wine, together with good conversation from all, made for a most enjoyable afternoon. We have done something different with Ryan and Sub over the last four weekends and each has helped make our time here in Adelaide more memorable. Monday 17th September 2018
Our last day in Adelaide. The first part of the morning was spent tidying up the van, then Sub came for morning tea which eventuated in an emotional farewell. To take Judy's mind off leaving Rags suggested visiting the Harbourtown Outlet stores even though there wasn't anything we were looking for. This did become a bit of
"I could drive this!"
Ryan showing Rags one of the new Volvo trucks.
fun with us poking our heads into various shops, only leaving with a few bras, socks and runners.
From here we visited Ryan's work, South Central Trucks, where he met us and took us on a conducted tour. This is a very impressive complex set on a huge allotment of land, with a sales department, truck displays, as well as the 40+ service bays plus other workshop areas which are Ryan's responsibilities. The whole complex is relatively new, with the latest equipment and facilities in use. Both of us sat at the wheel of a new prime-mover, surprised at how comfortable the interiors were. Ryan also explained the differences and complexities of the Volvo, Mack and UD trucks, these all coming under his responsibilities. Both of us left a little in awe and proud of his new role.
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