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Published: August 10th 2009
We have blown our accommodation budget here in Hawker, staying in the Big4 Caravan Park (Hawker Caravan Park), but have enjoyed the time of rest. The kids have been focused on their project and math books and enjoy dipping in the pool and playing in the playground (especially Cody, who is addicted to slides).
We were unsure as to whether to tour the Flinders at the start of our trip or at the end, and figured that there is no time like the present. We were concerned that after seeing the wonders of the Alice and the Pilbara we would figure nothing else would compare and would skip it in favour of a quicker return home. We are so glad we decided to see this land now, as we have really enjoyed seeing it and spending these last 5 days here.
Hawker is a small town with under 500 residents, but there is fuel and a general store with a variety of (pricey) food to ensure we have enough to make up lunch and a meal for the night. It is funny to think that this small town has felt like “civilization” for me with internet available at the library.
It is for this reason I have found myself ducking out frequently with trips to “town” for no other reason than to get on Facebook! Interestingly, there is no DVD rental store, but there is a Christian DVD rental area in the Wilpena souvenir shop! The kids have been watching Veggie Tales and we have been encouraged with the Life of Billy Graham and Ken Davis.
I had been itching to check out the Flinders Ranges, so we packed a picnic and muffins (caravan oven works great) and traveled the loop from Hawker up to Wilpena, past Wilpena Pound, Sacred Canyon, Bunyeroo Valley and Brachina Gorge.
Wilpena Pound is apparently South Australia’s most iconic landmark: In the shape of a large dish with high walls of rock face, 17kms long and 5kms wide. You can hike to the top of St Mary Peak to view the surrounding area, although the local Aboriginal people request that tourists do not (much like the situation at Uluru). Tours are offered to fly over, but this wasn’t in our budget for now (saving myself for the Bungle Bungles), so we instead drove around to view the sides, spotting emu along the way. From
Small bush walk to the canyon carvings, but of course Grady had to take us back to the car via the cliff walls!
here we went off road to the Sacred Canyon to see the Aboriginal carvings. We certainly wouldn’t call the track much more than a dirt road, but there were a few dips - enough to mean that more than a few Falcon sumps have hit. A sedan would drive this 17km track to the Canyon, albeit slowly.
The Sacred Canyon has carvings from the Aboriginal tribe which has lived in this area. The carvings are nothing spectacular themselves: circles, arcs and animal footprints, but it was more to view something of age and to get an appreciation for what life must have been like in this area so many years ago. I was glad that there was no bar work in front of the carvings to prevent people touching them - only a sign at the start of the walking track asking people not to touch or graffiti. This was in contrast to the Aboriginal paintings we have seen at Halls Gap, which have extensive caging around them, probably because of the more fragile nature of the paintings.
The kids really enjoyed seeing the carvings which were signs for water, windbreak, kangaroo and emu. I imagined they were similar to
Boys are really getting along well... most of the time!
the signs we have for schools, supermarkets, bus stops etc. A way of letting other tribes people know what was in the area.
Lunch was overlooking the beautiful view of Bunyeroo Valley before we explored Bunyeroo Gorge and later, Brachina Gorge before our return home. We were thrilled to see the rare Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby. It was funny when a couple of Grey Nomads stopped to see what we were looking at and when I told him he said, “oh you won’t see any of them around here” to which I replied “but there are two right next to you!”.
We felt we had seen enough of the Flinders after that, but stayed in Hawker for another couple of days so we could visit an Aboriginal church further north in Copley. Grady’s maternal Grandparents were missionaries with UAM (United Aboriginal Missions) and his Mum was born on the Mount Margaret Aboriginal mission, so we were looking forward to visiting Apollos Kalialaha and the folk at the UAM church in Copley.
This was to be a lovely time and both we and the kids really enjoyed the service. Winter sicknesses have dwindled the regular attendance and it was nice
Me and my Girl
By the way, Chloe is in this weeks Womans Day with her cousins Harmony and Thomas!
to add to the numbers for the day. We want the kids to experience different churches on this trip to widen their eyes to the variety of ways people worship and to appreciate what they have in Children’s programs at our church. It also gives us the chance to see the faces we pray for and to hopefully encourage these people in their work. I was interested to learn that Apollos hopes to start a playgroup in the area and their focus will be on Children’s ministry in order to get to know families. The Aboriginal elders have welcomed him to the point he has been invited to some of their ceremonies and he had some interesting stories to tell us. On the way home, we saw a Wedge Tailed Eagle carrying off a kangaroo carcass. The variety of wildlife we have seen so far has been great.
Our next leg will be to Port Augusta, catching up with a friend of ours who is returning from her own trip around Australia with her two children, then on towards Alice Springs, where we will be looking for work. Hopefully within a week I will be a working mother and
Boys will be boys
I draw the line at climbing Uluru with the baby back pack though!
Grady will be a happy, stay-at-home Dad!
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