Archives for the month of: March, 2013

Merriton Rest Area – Snowtown – Port Wakefield – Balaklava – Owen – Hamley Bridge – Freeling – Hamley Bridge – Gawler Belt

It’s Good Friday and I really don’t want to be on the main highway for long so I head to Port Wakefield via Snowtown (I find a Pharmacy with a Newbery so send a text to Shelly) and tour around Snowtown.  There is a large blade from the wind farms in the main street and a very well kept park. I head into Port Wakefield in time for lunch and leave the highway for a lesser road towards Balaklava. This town has a really inviting streetscape and the usual great stone buildings – several hotels and banks dot the main street.  The racecourse is very green as is the school oval – unusual as all else is very dry.

After Balaklava I head to Owen which is in the Agricultural belt and was established in 1878 – once a thriving railway town, the town’s population is now around 400.  They have photo information boards in the main street which I find very informative.  The gate and fence at the back of the display are from Woods siding, only 5 klms north of Owen. I drove through Hamley Bridge to check out my stop for the night at the Oval, not much in Hamley Bridge except a couple of stunning old bridges.

I headed to Freeling for a beer at the Gungellan Hotel (McLeod’s Daughters’ fame) but the pub was shut – Good Friday.  I explored the town, which was established in 1860, and claims to be the home of agriculture (evident in the beautiful cropped country which surrounds it), and found a really beautiful Lutheran Church so the trip wasn’t entirely wasted, even though I’d have loved to have had a beer for Danette and I!!  The Op shop has some interesting McLeod’s memorabilia and has a great name – “Someone might like it”. The country around Freeling is rolling golden fields so I’m reminded of the series – trying to see Alex riding across the field but no luck!!

I went back to Hamley Bridge, got a piece of Fish for tea at the takeaway and headed for the Oval, but decided not to stay.  I head Gawler to Colleen and Jims’ – my first night drive on unfamiliar roads.  It is so great to catch up with them and we talked till late catching up on all the news. I ended up spending the Easter Break at Gawler, Justin and Jenny came up from Adelaide and we went to dinner on Sunday night – an amazing weekend – thanks to friends and family.

Balaklava Streetscape

Balaklava Streetscape

Balaklava Welcome

Balaklava Welcome

Balaklava Bank

Balaklava Bank

Owen Information

Owen Information

Balaklava HouseBalaklava House

Owen Pictures

Owen Pictures

Owen Railway Gate

Owen Railway Gate

Hamley Bridge Welcome Sign

Hamley Bridge Welcome Sign

Hamley Bridge Rail Bridge

Hamley Bridge Rail Bridge

Hamley Old Bridge

Hamley Old Bridge

Freeling Country

Freeling Country

Freeling Welcome Sign

Freeling Welcome Sign

Freeling Hotel
Freeling Hotel

Gungallen Hotel

Gungellen Hotel

Gungellan Bar Mat

Gungellan Bar Mat

Freeling Op Shop

Freeling Op Shop

Gungellan Town Hall Sign

Gungellan Town Hall Sign

Freeling Streetscape

Freeling Streetscape

Freeling Park

Freeling Park

Freeling Lutheran Church

Freeling Lutheran Church

Where's Alex?

Where’s Alex?

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Crystal Brook – Bowman Park – Merriton Rest Area

I went sightseeing in Crystal Brook today because I liked what I saw on Monday.  The street theme in Bowman Street pays tribute to all explorers, from the early aboriginals exploring on foot, including the famous Wylie and Jacky Jacky, to the sailing ships which began exploring the Great Southern Land as early as the 15th and 16th Centuries.  Whale boats are depicted because early explorers like Sturt and Flinders used them to explore up into the river systems.

As early as 1813 explorers were using horses for riding and pulling drays – horses probably covered more territory in Australia than all other means of transport. Camels also played a part in exploring Australia’s arid regions, with Thomas Elder recognising their ability to go long periods without water.  He imported 124 camels from Pakistan and 31 Afgan minders to care for the camels.

Motor Vehicles and Spacecraft are also featured as both open up our world by exploration of it, to help us better understand our world.  Each area of exploration is depicted by a metal cut-out and a plaque mounted on a large rock.

Crystal Brook has a lot of history, being first explored by Edward John Eyre in 1839, the town was proclaimed and surveyed in 1873.  The beautiful buildings in the town and the wide tree-lined streetscape are attractive – Historic hotels, circa 1878 and 1882 are just two of the original buildings in the main street. The Adelaide Square Rotunda – a memorial to the fallen of the 1914-187 war is spectacular and stands proudly in a very neat park.

I have visited the information centre and armed myself with the walks brochures – there are three – the Historic Town Walk, The Street Theme Walk and Crystal Brook’s Historic Homes snapshot. The Historic Homes takes me on a walk around the streets exploring many beautifully kept forms of architecture.  There is a beautiful example of Queen Anne which was built in 1902. There is everything here including an early transportable home.  A “Gentleman’s Bungalow”, built for Dr Kendrew in 1925 is a gorgeous structure – there are several in the town, One house is built in the Tudor style in 1937.  Most of the houses are in great repair considering their age and the oldest standing home in the town is “Early Settler’s” style. There is one example of an early transportable home – a cottage which was transported from Merriton by an international truck, with a long piece of railway iron attached to an axle and two wagon wheels – very inventive pioneers!! Railway Terrace has a vast array of the early affluence as the rail was the major form of transport. My most memorable moment today has been the amazing smell of the lemon scented gums around the town – it’s almost overpowering but magical.

I picked up a brochure about Bowman Park Recreational Reserve which is 5 kilometres north-east of town so I decided it would be a good lunch spot.  There are the ruins of the Head Station homestead, which was built in 1950 (but destroyed by vandals in 1957) and the Infirmary built in 1852(used to house snakes when this was a reptile park – I avoided going in this building!!), as well as the stables building which was altered in 1960 to be used as camp accommodation.

The function centre has been constructed using the stone and bricks from the old railway goods shed.  These bricks originally came from England as ballast – they were unloaded at Port Germein. I was going to do the walks but the paths were indistinct so I only did the Heysen’s Trail walk, then I headed back into Crystal Brook to swap my gas cylinder and get birthday cards and paper and head to the campsite.

Crystal Brook Streetscape

Crystal Brook Streetscape

Crystal Brook Information

Crystal Brook Information

Crystal Brook Information Board

Crystal Brook Information Board

Camel Exploration

Camel Exploration

Camels

Camels

The Big Goanna

The Big Goanna

Underground Bakery

Underground Bakery

Elder Smiths c1930

Elder Smiths c1930

Weeping Tree

Weeping Tree

3 Generation Cottage

3 Generation Cottage

3 Generation Cottage

Tudor Style House

Package Transportable House
Package Transportable House

Crystal Brook Hotel

Crystal Brook Hotel

Royal Hotel c1882

Royal Hotel c1882

Rotunda

Rotunda

Bowman Park

Bowman Park

Bowman Park

Bowman Park

Bowman Park Infirmary

Bowman Park Infirmary

Head Station Homestead Ruins

Head Station Homestead Ruins

Photo Board

Photo Board

Quorn – Port Germein – Port Pirie – Merriton Rest Area

It’s Sheryl’s 60th Birthday today and it is also Aaron’s birthday. I rang Sheryl – she’s at Twin Towns and then organised myself to set off from Quorn.  I headed off through Pichi Richi Pass – taking time today to photograph the magnificent Flinders at close range. The colours are simply breathtaking and I never tire of looking at them. The Pichi Richi Railway track winds through the pass, what an engineering feat to put a track through such inhospitable terrain (mostly by hand I’d imagine!!) The Woolshed Flat Station is about half way to Port Augusta and there is a train ride on the Pichi Richi Railway that you can take to there.  They have a picnic area set among the trees with the most magnificent view of the ranges while the passengers wait to re-embark for the return to Quorn.

The country changes as you drive over the range and, near Stirling North the saltbush is growing on the rolling hills which in turn become plains nearer to the ocean.  This country looks very much like desert – I filmed some sheep in a paddock in the shadow of Devil’s Peak – I cannot work out what they’re eating – the red ground is bare and rocky.

Through Stirling North I head to the highway and Port Germain – a seaside village on the Spencer Gulf which has the longest wooden jetty in Australia.  With a claim to fame like that, of course I have to walk it!!  It is 1 ½ kilometres long. What a great view – the railway goods shed welcomes you, the lighthouse then beckons the visitors to the jetty.  The tide was receding when I visited so the crabbers were out – some had great success with catching Blue Swimmer Crabs while others had none. The wind on the jetty is very strong so it kept me cool on the long walk.  The colours in the water changed from clear to pale green-blue to very deep blue in the bay as you walk out along the jetty.

I walked around exploring Port Germain and then headed for Port Pirie, the country has changed again to wheat fields one side of the highway and coastal country on the other.  I need to get a few groceries and see what Port Pirie has to offer before calling it a day.  The streetscape is quite tidy, the median strip is lined with palms making it look more of an oasis, and there are boats on the canals near Fisherman’s Wharf – the water looks inviting as it’s pretty hot this afternoon.  I am really not into cities so I decide to head to Merriton Rest Area for the night in preparation for exploring Crystal Brook tomorrow early. On my way I am fascinated by the freight trains – massive amounts of wagons and the containers are stacked three high and at precarious angles.  The campsite is opposite the railway line so I imagine there will be lots of traffic.

Flinders leaving Quorn

Flinders leaving Quorn

Flinders

Flinders

Woolshed Flat

Woolshed Flat

Pichi Richi Railway Overpass

Pichi Richi Railway Overpass

Stirling North Country

Stirling North Country

Saltbush

Saltbush

Pichi Richi Train Photo
Pichi Richi Train Photo

Port Augusta in Distance

Port Augusta in Distance

Flinders Ranges

Flinders Ranges

Port Germein History

Port Germein History

Port Germein History

Port Germein History

Port Germein Lighthouse

Port Germein Lighthouse

Port Germein Jetty

Port Germein Jetty

Port Germein Jetty End

Port Germein Jetty End

Port Germein Water Colours

Port Germein Water Colours

Port Germein Tidal Flat

Port Germein Tidal Flat

Port Germein Rail Shed

Port Germein Rail Shed

Port Pirie Country

Port Pirie Country

Golden Fields

Golden Fields

Port Pirie Attractions

Port Pirie Attractions

Port Pirie Silos
Port Pirie Silos

Port Pirie Streetscape

Port Pirie Streetscape

Freight Train - Double Decker Containers

Freight Train – Double Decker Containers

Freight Train

Freight Train

Quorn – Warren Gorge – Willochra Creek

We went to Kerrie’s to pick up the kids and set off for Warren Gorge for a picnic lunch and explore.  The country is so dry – I see sheep trying to graze, but am stumped as to what they are eating. The gorge is really spectacular and after our picnic we set off to explore and take heaps of photos.  Kangaroos are feeding near our cars and the sheep are grazing around too.  The light playing on the rock formations, and the magnificent gums make for great shots and we have heaps of fun taking shots of the kids.  The rocks look like books stacked side by side and I wonder how they stay so precariously edged without falling down.

After exploring the gorge we head for Willochra Creek, and on the way visit Hugh Proby’s Grave – Hugh, a noble Scottish man, drowned while trying to save a mob of cattle in a violent thunderstorm in 1852 – aged 24 years. There is another grave at the site – that of a local woman – no details are available about her death.

When we get to Willochra Creek, I’m fascinated by the creek bed rock formation – the mud has formed the bed into the most amazing patterns and there are salt crystals in some of the wells.  The kids love the freedom of running through the water and getting muddy feet – except for Thomas who hates dirt.  I was sorry to have to leave the creek and head back to Quorn after such a wonderful day.

Aaron & Bree took the kids back to Port Augusta and then we headed to the Austral Hotel for a beautiful meal – Sandra joined us and we had a lovely relaxing evening.

Warrens Gorge

Warren Gorge

Warren Gorge

Warren Gorge

Warren Gorge
Warren Gorge

Warren Gorge Geology

Warren Gorge Geology

Sheep at Warren Gorge

Sheep at Warren Gorge

Bree and Paula

Bree and Paula

Ella Jean

Ella Jean

Tyra and Kerrie

Tyra and Kerrie

Family at Warren Gorge

Family at Warren Gorge

Willy, Tyra and Ray at Warren Gorge

Willy, Tyra and Ray at Warren Gorge

Ella and Thomas

Ella and Thomas
The Kids posing

The Kids posing

Bree and Aaron

Bree and Aaron

Hugh Proby's Grave Information

Hugh Proby’s Grave Information

Hugh Proby's Grave

Hugh Proby’s Grave

Willochra Road

Willochra Road

Ray, Tyra and Willy at Willochra

Ray, Tyra and Willy at Willochra

Willochra Fun

Willochra Fun

Salt at Willochra

Salt at Willochra

Kids at Willochra

Kids at Willochra

Family at Willochra

Family at Willochra

Dingley Dell Campground – Stokes Hill Lookout –Wilpena – Arkaroo Rock – Hawker – Old Kanyaka Homestead Ruins – KanyakaWaterhole

I headed out of Dingley Dell Campground this morning on my way to Stokes Hill Lookout, which I have been told by Brian and Joy, (the Sydney couple I lunched with at Blinman), is spectacular.  The hill is too steep for my vehicle so I decide to leave it at the roadside and hike the 2 kilometres up the hill.  On the way in, I passed emus feeding and kangaroos in the spinifex.  The view makes me keep stopping to gape at the amazing sight – one one side of the hill is a plain, with the road threading through like a ribbon, but on the other is undulating hills with spinifex clumps.  In the distance is Wilpena Pound, the Elder Range is off to the south. The view is nothing short of spectacular.

There is a monument at the top with a relief of the surrounding countryside, the hills raised in the copper and the pound clearly visible. There is also a memorial which has two plaques., and I wonder if this place is these people’s favourite spot.

On returning to the bus, I head for Wilpena for a spot of shopping, and on to Rawnsley Lookout(which looks out towards the Arkaroo Rock) for lunch before hiking in to the Arkaroo Rock Aboriginal Art Site. This cave art is an hour’s hike from the carpark, up some very steep country in places, but I am so glad that I decided to find it.  Amazing to be sitting in front of cave art which was done by aboriginal artists so long ago – thankfully it is very well preserved for generations to come.  The cave itself overhangs the inscriptions so the weather doesn’t play havoc with the symbols. I could have sat for hours trying to decipher the meaning of the symbols but needed to be off to Hawker as I want to visit the gallery again. On my way down form the cave I was surprised to see about 8 feral goats, vainly trying to get a drink from a dried up creek bed.

After Hawker, I head towards Quorn and find the Wilson Historic Site, surveyed in 1881 – the Wilson Stationmaster’s Residence stands alongside the highway and the site has its water tank intact. A sign across the highway directs you to the Wilson Cemetery.  A little further along the road, through creeks and flats lie the Old Kanyaka Homestead Ruins – this site was surveyed in 1863 and is quite remarkable – so much of the original homestead, and the outbuildings are still standing – crumbling walls pose a risk but the entire homestead precinct is still visible.  They even have a floor plan on one of the information boards. I explore before taking my leave and heading to the Kanyaka Waterhole parking area.  I walk down to the waterhole – with its lime kiln and huts – all part of the original station. The waterhole is magical, with river gums galore, one can imagine families playing on the banks. I head back to the parking bay and set up for the evening – one very tired but extremely satisfied woman.

Winding road to Stokes Hill

Winding road to Stokes Hill

Stokes Hill View

Stokes Hill View

Stokes Hill Relief

Stokes Hill Relief

Wilpena Pound From Stokes Hil

Wilpena Pound From Stokes Hil

Wilpena

Wilpena

Arkaroo Road

Arkaroo Road

Arkaroo Hike

Arkaroo Hike

Arkaroo Goats

Arkaroo Goats

Art Site

Art Site

Art Site

Art Site

Aboriginal Art Site

Aboriginal Art Site

Arkaroo Rock Hike

Arkaroo Rock Hike

Livin' at Arkaroo Parking

Livin’ at Arkaroo Parking

Wilson Historic Site

Wilson Historic Site

Wilson Stationmaster's House

Wilson Stationmaster’s House

Kanyaka Information

Kanyaka Information

Kanyaka Ruins

Kanyaka Ruins

Kanyaka Waterhole Information

Kanyaka Waterhole Information

Kanyaka Waterhole

Kanyaka Waterhole

Spinifex

Spinifex

Wilpena Pound Resort – Blinman – Dingley Dell Campground

I set out for Blinman this morning, a 61 kilometre drive to the highest town in South Australia. The drive takes me through some very stunning and at times rugged country – blue hills in the distance and rugged outcrops abound.  My first stop for the morning is at Huck’s Lookout – an amazing vista lays before me of the Wilpena Pound to one side and the ABC Range to the other. There is an information board here to explain the ages and strata of the countryside which I find very interesting, I realise just how old this land really is, and wish that I had taken Geography as a subject at High School. There is also a memorial to an aboriginal stockman and language interpreter who died near here in 2001.

I am in awe of the view on this drive – sparse hilly country and the road twists and turns around through the hills – around each bend it is a little different and I find myself wondering what will come next.  Creek crossings bring silt on the road and towering gums – around the next bend could be emus in the spinifex country – so diverse and beautiful.

Blinman is a small town, population at present is 19 – a mine tour, a hotel, and tourist accommodation seem to be the main employers.  They hold a Camp Oven Festival on the long weekend in October and the fire rings are embedded in a terraced hill beside the North Blinman Hotel. Copper was discovered in the area by a one legged shepherd named Robert “Peg Leg” Blinman in 1859 and this ensured a boom for the next decade.

Lunch at the Hotel was enjoyed with the Sydney couple I met yesterday who were exploring Blinman today too. It was nice to have such great company and we explored the cemetery together before they headed back to Wilpena.

The Great Walls of China (just South of Blinman) are superb and I stop to photograph them from this angle, the ruggedness of the land is sobering. I want to stop at the Aboriginal Rock Art site before heading to Dingley Dell Campsite for the night, the art is a little hard to photograph and one wonders how they made the imprints in such hard rock. There is an explanation of the symbols at the gate leading to the site. Gill Coulthard (Ashley’s Dad) helped to interpret these.

Dingley Dell Campsite is beside the creek (dry of course), which has an amazing slate rock bottom, a rugged cliff face and those majestic gums again – a peaceful spot.  There is only one other couple in the camp tonight.

Huck's Lookout Information

Huck’s Lookout Information

Huck's View of Wilpena Pound

Huck’s View of Wilpena Pound

Rex Stuart Plaque

Rex Stuart Plaque

Majestic Hills

Majestic Hills

Emus

Emus

Rugged Hills

Rugged Hills

Wilpena to Blinman

Wilpena to Blinman

Blinman Grader

Blinman Grader

Blinman Hall

Blinman Hall

Blinman Outside Dunny

Blinman Outside Dunny

Blinman Streetscape

Blinman Streetscape

Blinman Hotel

Blinman Hotel

Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

Oraparinna

Oraparinna

Heading South

Heading South

Aboriginal Art Symbols

Aboriginal Art Symbols

Adnyamathanha Art Site

Adnyamathanha Art Site

Rock Art

Rock Art

Dingley Dell

Dingley Dell

Dingley Dell Gums

Dingley Dell Gums

Dingley Dell Creek Bed

Dingley Dell Creek Bed

Quorn – Hawker – Wilpena Pound Resort

Up early to return to Hawker and catch up on phone calls.  I went to the Wilpena Panorama – what a magical treat this is – an amazing 360 degree panorama of the Wilpena Pound from St Mary’s Peak, and that’s only the start.  The experience is enhanced by the large paintings in the back of the gallery. This amazing artist, Jeff Morgan’s landscapes cover full walls.  One loses themselves in the 50ft “Ron’s Creek” panorama – my personal favourite.  The background bush music adds to the ambiance.  You feel as if you are part of the landscape before you. The pelicans on the Cooper on one wall are also superb. Very enjoyable!!

Hawker was once a thriving railway town and has retained much of its 1880’s charm. The visitor’s parking and information bays are well used so tourism is thriving. There are several lookouts around town as well.

After a quick lunch I headed off to Wilpena Pound Resort, 52 kilometres from Hawker. On my way, I call into the designated lookouts to photograph the magnificent Flinders Ranges, The Arkaba Hills, The Elder Range, Red Range and Mt Aleck – the amazing vista blows me away and it takes quite a while to get to Wilpena with all the stops.

I book into the resort and set off to Wangara Lookout for a view of Wilpena Pound.   The walk follows Wilpena Creek along a track which has the most majestic towering River Red Gums – huge specimens and pines dot the landscape too.  I saw Kangaroos feeding near the creek and beautiful parrots.  The first 3.2 kilometres along the creek are reasonably flat and easy walking, then, after reaching Hills Homestead, the real fun begins – 400 metres climbing to the first lookout, then another 400 metres to the next lookout – climbing on rocks and quite steep, but the view is stunning and very worth the effort.

The vista of the Pound spreads out before you and I have never experienced any view like this before – I guess that’s why we are fascinated by it. Magical!!  The bushwalking guide sums up the area in this way “Ancient and dramatic mountain landscapes, peaceful tree-lined gorges, a seasonal wealth of wildlife and the sense of space unique to the semi-arid zone combine to make the Flinders Ranges National Park one of Australia’s best bushwalking destinations”.  I couldn’t agree more.

The Hills Homestead reminds me of the pioneers who used to live in this homestead – what a hard life they must have had – but in such an enchanted setting. The  homestead was built sometime in the early  1900’s to replace a pug and pine shepherds’ hut, built in 1888,  which the family had lived in whilst clearing land in the pound.  On my way back to the campsite, I meet a couple from Sydney who are camping at the resort as well so chatted to them and exchanged travel stories – Dinner, washing and shower before catching up on diary.  I’m so very tired so will sleep well tonight.

Hawker Country

Hawker Country

Hawker Sculpture

Hawker Sculpture

Heading North to Wilpena

Heading North to Wilpena

Heading North

Heading North

Elder Range - The Hills of Arkaba

Elder Range – The Hills of Arkaba

Elder Range

Elder Range

Rawnsley Park Station Sign

Rawnsley Park Station Sign

Arkaroo Rock

Arkaroo Rock

Wilpena Campsite

Wilpena Campsite

Wilpena Hiking Map

Wilpena Hiking Map

Wilpena Creek

Wilpena Creek

Kangaroo Feeding

Kangaroo Feeding

Wangara Hike Bridge

Wangara Hike Bridge

Creek Crossing on way to Wilpena

Creek Crossing on way to Wilpena

Red Banks of Price Creek

Red Banks of Price Creek

Blue Hills in Distance

Blue Hills in Distance

Paula on Wangara Hike

Paula on Wangara Hike

Pink Car Mailbox

Pink Car Mailbox

Hills Homestead Information

Hills Homestead Information

Hills Homestead

Hills Homestead

Aboriginal Sculpture

Aboriginal Sculpture

Rock Formations

Rock Formations

Wangara Lookout Hike

Wangara Lookout Hike

View of Wilpena Airstrip in distance

View of Wilpena Airstrip in distance

Going Down

Going Down

 

Black Rock – Oorooro – Hawker – Quorn

I left Black Rock early so that I could see the sights in Orrorro – I wanted to go to the Tank Hill Lookout just outside of the town. It didn’t disappoint, giving a great view of the surrounding countryside and the town itself. The Catholic Church building here is impressive.

I also found the Giant Gum tree – I’d seen the signs so needed to investigate. This gum is estimated to be over 500 years old and has a circumference of 10.4 metres. It is six metres before there is a fork in the trunk so it is a very imposing sight.  These trees are likely to lose limbs and there are signs everywhere warning of the dangers of falling limbs. It is a magnificent specimen though.

I’m heading to Hawker to see my niece, Gerri Monaghan and her family – they’re in town fixing Ash’s Dads grave up so it’s a great time to catch up with them all – it’s been ages. I fuelled up and then went to the information bay to wait for them.

Gerri, Bree, Luke, Jarrod and Raylene arrived and we had a great catch up – lunch and then decided that I’d go to Quorn for the night as Aaron is in hospital and Bree needs to be home with him.  I parked my bus in one of Ashley’s family’s spare block and off we went.

In the afternoon I decided to explore Quorn’s historic main street – such amazing buildings – a legacy of the town’s Railway history which dates back to the 1870’s. The hotel buildings are large and there are still four hotels operating in the town.

The Quorn Hotel was opened in 1890, the ornate Town Hall building in 1891 and the beautiful Uniting Church operated as a Methodist Church in 1880 – there is much history in these older towns. The Pichi Richi Railway runs restored steam trains on the Old Ghan Line from Quorn through South Australian Outback.

So lovely to be around family and catching up with their news – we had a barbecue with Dish and Kerrie (Ray was the only child home so will have to meet the other two next week). We talked and reminisced until 2 am.

Orrorro Entrance Kangaroo Sculptures

Orrorro Entrance Kangaroo Sculptures

Orrorro Lookout

Orrorro Lookout

Orrorro Tank Hill Lookout

Orrorro Tank Hill Lookout

Orrorro Catholic Church

Orrorro Catholic Church

Giant Gum Tree Information

Giant Gum Tree Information

Giant Gum Tree

Giant Gum Tree

Gum Tree Facts

Gum Tree Facts

Paula at Orrorro Lookout

Paula at Orrorro Lookout

Heading North

Heading North

Gerri and Paula

Gerri and Paula

Paula, Luke, Gerri, Bree, Jarrod, Raylene

Paula, Luke, Gerri, Bree, Jarrod, Raylene

The Mill - Quorn

The Mill – Quorn

Quorn Shopfront

Quorn Shopfront

Quorn Streetscape

Quorn Streetscape

Quorn Railway Station

Quorn Railway Station

Quorn Railway Station

Pichi Richi Railway – Quorn Railway Station

The Old Ghan Information

The Old Ghan Information

Quorn Austral Hotel
Quorn Austral Hotel

Quorn Transcontinental Hotel

Quorn Transcontinental Hotel

Wallaby Information

Wallaby Information

Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby

Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby

I left Spalding headed for Jamestown – TomTom has taken me on another adventure – up a gravel road towards Belalie East – then across onto the bitumen. The countryside is very pretty and at times tinged with green which is a nice change from the golden wheat fields. I am fascinated by the carrying capacity of this country – very different to where I grew up. Shearing sheds litter the landscape.
Before I arrive in Jamestown, which is situated in the Mid North agricultural region, I want to explore the Bundaleer Forest and do the Sugar Gum Loop Walk. Bundaleer Forest became the first forest planted by the Australian Government, and pioneered the propagating of plants in small tubes (originally made of bamboo). I drive the trail and find that the forest has been subject to a recent bushfire and not really suitable for walking today. The road takes me through farms, ruins and burnt out forestry till I get to a place where I felt I should turn around and go to Jamestown to explore other options.
Jamestown was founded in 1871 and has four standout features for me – the very wide streetscape, the Murals, Belalie Creek and the RM Williams Story. The main street, with its historic shopfronts has two lanes each side divided by a median strip which is about 30 metres wide. Parking in the centre of the median strip is under Pepperina trees so I park and have lunch.
The beautiful murals dotted around the town and depict life as it was in pioneering days. The artist John Whitney and students from Jamestown and Peterborough created these murals in 1993. They even have a mural festival, where artists spend five days creating themed murals and the public then votes. Belalie Creek runs through the town, complete with walking paths, is very relaxing (The stunning River Red Gums are lit at night, which would be spectacular). I wandered around the town and photographed the murals then set out to visit another feature – the RM Williams Tribute Story. His story is portrayed in sections and is very interesting. The bust of ”RM” is carved in wood, and a good likeness.
I am heading for Peterborough via Yongala, a small hamlet on the way. Yongala has a couple of massive silos and an historic streetscape.
I love the trains at each entrance to Peterborough and the one on the Jamestown road doesn’t disappoint. I got some shopping done in Peterborough and travelled to Black Rock Campsite to catch up on the washing and maybe blog if I can get coverage for the internet.

Belalie East Gravel Road

Belalie East Gravel Road

Bundaleer Forest Turnoff

Bundaleer Forest Turnoff

Burnt Bundaleer

Burnt Bundaleer

Bundaleer Ruins

Bundaleer Ruins

Bundaleer Olives

Bundaleer Olives

Bundaleer devastation

Bundaleer devastation

Never Never Track Bundaleer ForestNever Never Track Bundaleer Forest

Jamestown Anglican Church

Jamestown Anglican Church

Bank SA Jamestown

Bank SA Jamestown

Jamestown Footbridge

Jamestown Footbridge

Jamestown street sign

Jamestown Roundabout

Jamestown Mural

Jamestown Mural

Jamestown Mural

Jamestown Mural

Jamestown Mural

Jamestown Mural

Jamestown Mural

Jamestown Mural

RM Williams Wooden Bust

RM Williams Wooden Bust

RM Williams Story

RM Williams Story

Outback Challenges

Outback Challenges

RM Williams Way

RM Williams Way

First Pair of Boots

First Pair of Boots

A Unique Australian

A Unique Australian

Jamestown Country

Jamestown Country

Yongala Streetscape

Yongala Streetscape

Wind farm and Cattle

Wind farm and Cattle

Peterborough Entrance Train from Yongala

Peterborough Entrance Train from Yongala

Heading North

Heading North

Saddleworth – Riverton – Rhynie – Auburn –Penwortham – Clare – Spalding

Judy was ill at breakfast so Evelyn took her to Riverton Hospital, so I cleaned up and went over to the bus to organise it – the dust needed removing and the hut had to be cleaned before showering.  I washed and then swept the bbq area and mopped it to try to help Evelyn who has bad sciatica. Judy was admitted to hospital – suspect muscular damage but query heart attack.

All set to hit the road again after morning tea so I set off to Riverton to get the gas filled.  From there I went to Rhynie – I’d never been on this road – there’s really just a pub and a hamlet – surrounded by farmland.  Today the farmers are burning off the stubble so the breathing is a bit laboured.  From Auburn I travelled to Clare to fill up and get a few groceries before heading to Spalding.

I come across an unusual entrance way to a farm stay – a wagon perched high above the driveway – very effective advertising. Kangaroos are enjoying feasting on the stubble in some of the paddocks – I’m glad I don’t travel at night in this country.

The road winds through undulating hills of gold – interspersed with new plantings of green. The town is bordered to the south-west by the Yackamoorundie Range merging with the Never Never Range (what fabulous names these ranges have). Towards Spalding the hills remind me of Peterborough country and it is no surprise that I find wind farms on distant hills(the Camel Hump Range).  I found a parking area about 1 ½ kilometres from Spalding – a nice treed barbecue area, so decide to pull over and go for a walk into Spalding to sightsee. I’m only about 180 kilometres north of Adelaide today.

I went to the information centre in the council offices, and armed myself with some pamphlets on the place. The town walk includes the Pub, which has an amazing collection of barbed wire and fencing equipment (collected over forty years), it was well worth a look. The hotel was first licenced in 1877. There are the usual historic stone buildings – former shops and churches as well as a grandstand at the oval. Trout fishing is very popular in the Broughton River.

The Morgan Whyalla pipelines run parallel to each other on the southern edge of town – the first pipeline was constructed in 1941 to supply fresh water to the industrial town of Whyalla – the second was constructed in 1964.

It only took me 15 minutes to walk from the park to town so a very pleasant stroll around town and then back to camp for dinner and blogging. The wind is very strong here tonight.

Saddleworth Golden Fields

Saddleworth Golden Fields

Saddleworth Welcome Sigh

Saddleworth Welcome Sigh

Burnoff at Rhynie

Burnoff at Rhynie

Rhynie Smoke Haze

Rhynie Smoke Haze

Rhynie to Auburn

Rhynie to Auburn

Clare Valley Vineyards

Clare Valley Vineyards

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Clare Valley Racecourse

Clare Valley Racecourse

Farmstay Entrance

Farmstay Entrance

Farmstay Wagon

Farmstay Wagon

Kangaroos at Spalding

Kangaroos at Spalding

Spalding Country

Spalding Country

Livin' at Spalding Campsite

Livin’ at Spalding Campsite

Riverbank at Campsite

Riverbank at Campsite

Campsite Trees

Campsite Trees

Spalding Information

Spalding Information

Spalding Streetscape

Spalding Streetscape

Spalding Country

Spalding Country

Water Pipes

Water Pipes

Barbed Wire Pub

Barbed Wire Pub

Barbed Wire Display

Barbed Wire Display

Fencing Tools

Fencing Tools

Barbed Wire Collection

Barbed Wire Collection