Leigh Creek and Arkaroola

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May 7th 2011
Published: May 21st 2011
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John's work has come to an end so it is time to head off on our travels again. We decided to see the Flinders Ranges so we decdied to start at Leigh Creek. - The caravan park was good and cheap $20pn - Leigh Creek is a coal mining town - the town being built for the workers after the town was moved so they could mine coal and is very neat and tidy - I guess it is a closed town - (no job no home!!!). We left the caravan at the caravan park and head to Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary- as we were not sure what to expect we packed a overnight bag just in case. The drive to Arkaroola was 133klms of gravel so we had a few river crossings on the way. To see the sights around Arkaroola we had to do some heavier 4WD - the maps did say you could travel on these roads with a 2WD drive car but it would not have been a good idea as to us it was our first 4WD adventure - a little dent to the gas tank cover was our only damage. After doing these 4WD adventures we decided to stay the night and managed to get the last room available at the Resort - $130 pn with a view over the ranges. Great meal at the resturant - 3 course meal for $28 per person. On the way back the next day we headed up to Lyndhurst and was told to check out the Farina Camping Ground - great place to camp with a toilet and a hot shower if you supplied some wood to heat the wood fire connected to the shower.
At the site of the old town of Farina we met some wonderful people who are volunteers who were helping with the resoration of the town. These volunteers come every May and help to restore the old buildings to make them safe and protect them from further destruction from the weather. There were about 15 caravans parked at the shearing shed and they are supplied with free camping and meals for their time in helping with the restoration of the town. Each year they chose a project and spend the month of May working around the old town. It is amazing what a lot of like minded people and a lot of enthusiasm can achieve. They have a fund raising day on the 21May with a football match and have repaired the old bakery kiln and cook and sell fresh scones, bread etc.
When in Lyndhurst we decided to travel a short distance on the gravel Strzelecki Track just to say we have been on it. (We did not quite make any of the Birdsville Track even though Farina was only 50klm from the beginning of the track).
When we returned to our caravan John received a message from Jimmy Martin saying the he hoped we were heading back to Port Augusta because he had some more work lined up for him.
Tuesday 10 May 2011
Today we packed up and headed down to Rawnsley Station Caravan Park (Wilpena) - we booked in for 2 nights. Wednesday morning was very misty so instead of heading to Wilpenia Pound (which was covered in mist) we decided to drive to Blinman and found this small town to be very interesting - it used to have a working coal mine but is now not in use. We drove around the Glass Gorge (not very interesting) then the Parachina Gorge which was just beautiful then back to Blinman for lunch - had a great lunch at the Blinman hotel - one of the best meat pies I have every had. John was very impressed with his steak sandwich as well and they only cost us $9 each. The road to Blinman has only been sealed for the last 18mths and the town is now booming with tourists.
We wanted to stay an extra night at the caravan park but had to take an unpowered site which was in the campground on the hill - a little hard to get to with the caravan but what a wonderful view we had of the Rawnsley Range and Wilpena Pound. The park was full as they had a cycle race camp the night there and they took up a lot of the powered sites.
Thursday we headed into to see Wilpena Pound, as we were not sure how far it was we booked a seat on the shuttle bus which takes you into the pound then you walk another 3klms to the old homestead and the lookout - the homestead was not that interesting but 4klm climb to the top of the pound gives wonderful views around the pound. We decided to walk back to the resort which was just a lovely walk amongst all the regal white gums.
Friday 13th May 2011
We had to call back to Port Augusta as we were waiting for our mail from Geoff and for John to start work again on Monday. We still managed to get a site at the Shoreline Caravan Park along the river side.
Had a meal at the West Port Augusta football club on Friday night (Just around the corner from the caravan park) - good food and cheap (meals from $9.50).

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