Sunday, November 30, 2014

Week 21 - Purposeful Meandering around Oz

Whyalla – Wilpena Pound – Port Broughton – Point Turton
Kilometres          25997 – 27187 km

We opted to have a stopover in Whyalla on Monday, unfortunately the weather wasn’t too favourable as it spent much of Sunday night and all of Monday blowing a gale. The van constantly shook and our few loads of washing either dried in minutes or ended up on the ground and needed re-washing. For a few hours in the morning I headed for a bit caching while Leonie used a few hours in the afternoon to start our Christmas shopping. We quickly realized how hard it would be to keep presents a surprise from the kids, but so far they are none the wiser…. Once again we took advantage of the vanpark’s oven with Leonie baking some cookies and muffins while cooked dinner in the oven. Its funny how you miss the simple things when traveling.
Wangara Lookout - Wilpena Pound
Tuesday we headed north to Port Augusta and onto the Flinders Ranges, much of this area we’d visited some 11 years ago when Sam was only 3 months old. As we passed through Quorn we snaked alongside the Pichi Richi rail line which is famous for its steep steam train ride up the mountain. Another stop along the way was the township of Hawker where the kids learned about a seismograph and earthquakes. Apparently the area is renowned for having one of the highest earth movements in Australia. We saw how the needle had recorded a very small tremor only 24 hours earlier. By mid-afternoon we were at Wilpena Pound and were soon setup for a few days. While Leonie took the kids for a quick swim in the nearby resort pool, I walked out to the rim of the pound and took some beautiful sunset pictures of the area.
Flinders Ranges
On Wednesday morning we were heading out for a walk into the pound. The kids were intrigued to read the story of the woman who lived in the valley homestead with her 4 brothers and 3 sisters helping look after some 20000 sheep. Walking to the nearest lookout we were amazed by the views and the various rock formations which make up the Flinders Ranges…. Back at the van the kids had a quick swim before we headed out for a bit of 4WDriving through the Bunyeroo and Brachina Gorges. Once again the sheer magnitude of the area was hard to comprehend…. We finished another hard day sightseeing with a beautiful BBQ and a bottle of our Margaret River wine.
Hughes Enginehouse - Moonta 1865
It was moving day once again for us. Our 2nd visit to Wilpena Pound had been so much fun. We had a good laugh last night as the couple only 50m away from us decided to let their animal instincts get the better of them at 10pm ensuring the whole camp ground heard them…. Heading out of the Flinders ranges we freakishly bumped into some of our traveling friends as they headed into the pound. After a quick chat/catch-up we were both on our ways again. After reaching Port Augusta we headed south detouring via the Mount Remarkable and then down into Port Pirie where we’d intended to stay the night, however with the smelter shutdown happening accommodation was tight so opted for the more relaxed, more picturesque Port Broughton…. After setting up we all had a swim, the kids played in the park while we enjoyed an extended happy hour.  
Port Broughton foreshore
Friday was predicted to be a scorcher so we planned a lazy day by the water. We had a beautiful morning walk along the foreshore precinct and boat ramp. Many of the locals of this sleepy hamlet were taking to the water in their boats and we wished we could be part of it… The early morning conditions were perfect. For us we spent most the day by the water, either the van pool or the peninsula foreshore. We took the kids for a spot of fishing but we’d missed the best time as an afternoon breeze pushed across the bay making fishing unpleasant, but the kids never seem to mind….. By days end we were all a little red from a day in the sun.
Point Turton harbour
Saturday saw us moving further south into the Yorke Peninsula, there was no respite in the hot weather as the temps hit 35deg. We spent much of the day sightseeing through the towns of Walleroo, Kadina and then Moonta where we took the kids to a geocache we’d placed there some 11 years ago. Continuing south we had lunch at Port Victoria, while we were here the local fire brigade were activated to a nearby bushfire. The kids were amazed to hear the old fire activation siren ring out across the town. Somehow technology hadn’t reached this sleepy hollow…… Heading further south we made our way to Point Turton where we decided to base ourselves for the next few days. This picturesque town sits on the Hardwicke Bay with the caravan park having water frontage and views over the fishing jetty. Once setup we took the kids fishing off the jetty where we spotted numerous stingrays, squids and a plethora of fish…… It certainly was a nice way to finish the day.
Towering cliffs of Cape Spencer
Sunday saw much of the van park empty out as the local holiday makers headed for home. We spent the morning relaxing by the van as once again temperatures sawed into the mid 30’s, but just as we headed out sightseeing the south-westerly wind and clouds were blowing in cooling the day. We drove through the various fishing hamlets before heading to the most southern point of the peninsula. Cape Spencer has a number of lighthouses and spectacular beaches, but the weather had deterred our enthusiasm for a swim or simply for being outside the car….. Returning to the van we decided to finish the week sampling the local seafood at the nearby tavern.
Sunday night dinner view
It’s been such an enjoyable week.


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