Saturday, December 18, 2010

Louth Bay Nov 2010

 After the cold wind at Lipsom Cove we thought that a few days in a caravan park in Port Lincoln were in order so that we could address an electrics problem  we had developed  and catch up on a few other things, however when we got to Louth Bay and discovered how sheltered it was we just had to stay a while.

 On our way there we went to Tumby Bay and I visited their lovely patchwork and wool shop.  As we have been travelling on the Pen.  we have noticed all the lovely roses that are out and don't seem to mind the salt air which is a real surprise. They really   are a picture!!

 When we arrived at Louth Bay 2 other rigs were in the process of setting up; a large bus and a big 5th wheeler. We went into town after setting up as I needed to stock up with groceries and on our return found 2 camper trailers were set up next to us and they were expecting more people later on. When they pulled out after the weekend a small 5th wheeler slotted into their place and we ended up with a lovely group of friends.
 Hair salon  Louth Bay Open

 Louth Bay camp ground

 Part of our group was several dogs and "Ally" in particular was rather cute although often naughty. She reminded me of "Hairy Mc Larey" a dog in a series of children's books.

 One of the main activities each day was to go down to the jetty and fish for squid. Everyone else had success except me. I got a couple of hookups but didn't land anything.

 Fishing for squid on the Louth Bay jetty

 We also were entertained by Lorraine one night when she brought out her piano accordion and we had a singalong with our sun downers. All in all we really enjoyed our time at Louth Bay to the extent that no one  wanted to leave , so we all decided to leave on the same day.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Eastern Side of Eyre Peninsula Nov 2010

 Our plans had been to go from Point Lowly to Point Gibbons but after all the rain we had had we were very reluctant to take the road to  Point Gibbons as it had water lying on it. Instead we wandered down the coast to Redbanks which is just north of Arno Bay.

 This area was named after the red cliffs that are  there.  The cliffs are also a haven for sea birds.  The camping area is only fairly small but we camped up the top where it is fairly flat and hadn't long set up when another van arrived . It was a nice sunny day but it was fairly windy with quite a bite to it . In a sheltered spot beside the van when we had "sun downers" with our new neighbours it was quite pleasant .

Pied Cormorants at Redbanks

 The next morning we went into Arno Bay and had a look around and then went out to the boat ramp where there was a lookout so that you could see out over the bay to the aquaculture sited further out in the bay.

 For our next stop we headed to Lipsom Cove. There were only a few camping spots here and again it was quite windy, blowing from the south. It was so windy that it was blowing in very cold air around the microwave so we stuffed wadding around it to keep the van warm. When I went for a walk along the beach I received a big surprise to find a colleague from Darwin walking her dogs  with her husband along the beach. We stopped for quite a chat to catch up on our travels.  They are very keen fishermen and had rented a shack at Port Neill for 4 weeks.  They were due to head back to Darwin in the next few days.

 The scenery around this part of the coast was quite dramatic, as we found  when we went for a walk around the cliffs. We thought we would get a view towards Cowell but it was further away than we thought.
 We decided that  the animals think it must be spring as the shingle back lizards were  being very amorous.

Rugged coastline at Lipsom Cove

 Crested terns
  This area had an island just offshore which you can walk to at very low tide. The whole area was obviously a bird haven with Crested Terns on the mainland beach and lots of cormorants on the island.

 Looking towards the offshore island

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Fitzgerald Bay and Point Lowly Oct 2010

  After a few lovely days at Port Broughton catching up with our friends, Nicky and Bob we headed north and west .

 In the "bible" Fitzgerald Bay looked a good sheltered spot at the top of Spencer's Gulf, however when we arrived it was quite windy without much shelter and the wind kept shifting so it was very difficult to set up camp with a sheltered side so we could sit outside.  It also wasn't very warm as the wind had a real bite to it.
Story board at Fitzgerald Bay
 Fitzgerald Bay was also the first place we ran into the masses of flies that were around. I  went for an early morning walk along the beach as far as the shacks at Fitzgerald Bay but it wasn't very pleasant because of the flies.
 We stayed overnight but by mid morning as the flies and the wind weren't abating Lynn decided that we should perhaps move to Point Lowly/ Port Bonython.
  The move was only about 8klm back down the sealed road and past the Santos Gas Plant . At the free camp we found several other rigs camped in various places , but we decided to camp on the flat to the left of the bay and in the shelter of a large 2 storey house.

 Again the wind and the flies were a problem but at least we now had an outdoors sheltered area . To rectify the fly problem when we went into Whyalla the next day I bought 2 fly nets to make things more comfortable.

 On the way to Fitzgerald bay at the top of the hill there is a good view of the bay and we saw an aquaculture farm with several pens set up . We had  also come past a Cleanseas Tuna  factory which is just on the Point Lowly side of the gas plant. So when the work boats appeared in the bay at Point Lowly we were not surprised.
Santos gas plant in the background

Most days there was activity of some kind either the small work boats going out and coming back in to tie up for the night or the bigger boats coming in to pick up fish food and drop off the harvest. The bigger boats had hiabs on the front of them for loading gear which was taken off the lorry with a large crane .
Point Lowly Lighthouse

 busy loading the boat
 heading back out

 The area around Point Lowly is noted for its fishing and several of the campers were there for the snapper  which in this area are quite a size. However the snapper season finished just after we arrived there .
 The waters near the gas plant are protected as there is a major giant cuttlefish breeding area there. 
 We had quite a good time there with great company but the weather didn't improve much and was mostly cold and windy. We also had some big thunderstorms with quite a bit of rain.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

South of Adelaide Oct 2010

 From Adelaide we decided to go to Goolwa where we could camp on Lynn's sister's block which was just back from the beach.

 However getting there was not plain sailing.  As we were driving along caught up in a traffic jam on Port Wakefield Rd we were advised by a lady that there were strange noises coming from the van wheels on the drivers side. Unable to hear anything and unable to stop we continued on and eventually after we had passed a  fatal accident we were able to get clear of the traffic and pick up the pace a little. However as we were travelling along Military road we were advised that one of the van wheels was wobbling all over the place. Lynn was able to stop this time and found that the wheel was hanging on on only 2 wheel nuts so he pulled around the corner to attend to it and the wheel fell off all together.

 As the brakes and bearings had recently been serviced by a mobile outfit he contacted them as he felt that they hadn't tightened up the nuts properly.  They came after about 30 mins and fixed the van up so we could continue on to Goolwa. They said they would come to us with the wheel that they took to get fixed and also fix the plumbing that got ripped off when the wheel rolled out the back.

 At Goolwa we found the block and set up. We tried to put the new annex up but as the block was sloping a bit we ended up with only the front and side walls up.  It initially provided shelter from the southerly winds but then 2 days later the wind swung around and the annex was coping a pounding so we took it down  and packed it away.

 While we were in the area we went to Victor Harbor and Port Elliot as well as looking around Goolwa a bit more .
 launching a new tourist boat

 We found a spot down by the lake where we could get some water  and while filling up on one of our visits to the tap we were pleased to see that with the water filling up , people  are putting more tourist services in place . Further down the lake an existing paddle steamer could be seen.
 ? houseboat

 On our way back from  Victor Harbor  where we went looking for drawer runners for the cutlery drawer, we stopped for lunch at a lovely fish and chip shop where we got a lovely meal and then took it to the Memorial Gardens which have a lovely view over the bay.
 corner of Port Elliott
 looking towards the caravan park

 While we were at Port Elliot our friends Nicky and Bob rang to say they were heading back to SA . At the time we were still waiting for the wheel to be fixed but it appeared a couple of days later so we decided that as the weather was cold and windy perhaps it would be better over towards York and Eyre peninsulas.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Adelaide S.Aust Sept/Oct 2010

 The reason why we had returned to  Adelaide was because Lynn's Mum was travelling from N.Z. for her 90th birthday. We originally thought that the family would be going to N.Z ,but a couple of months beforehand she changed her mind and decided that she would like to make another trip to Australia. As you may have gathered she is quite a fit and fairly sprightly lady.

 We both have family in Adelaide so having to come back to S. Australia was not really a problem to us ,although no one has room in their backyard for us so we have to stay in a caravan park.  The previous trip we stayed at bolivar and this time we hoped to get into the park at Windsor Gardens but they couldn't take us so we ended up at Bolivar again.

While we were here we spent some time with my daughter and her family of 3 boys. One morning we had breakfast with the family and then walked up the road to the North East road to watch the Bay to Birdwood Run which is a rally for vintage vehicles.  It travels from Glenelg to Birdwood where the vehicles are on display while their owners enjoy a picnic. Birdwood is also the home of a  great old car museum.

 We stood on the side of the road for about an hour and watched the vehicles go past . they came in batches as they had a break at the Tea Tree gully park . There were 1700 vehicles: cars, motorcycles, trucks and buses. Some were very old and some not so old. Many of the people in them wore costumes relevant to the period of their vehicle.

 Lynn went berserk and took about 500 photos so I have just included a few. Don't' ask me what each one is because I don't know.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Milang S.Aust Sept 2010

  After spending some time along the Murray  River we headed down to the coast  near Victor Harbor. 
 We went via a quiet country road from Loxton to Murray Bridge .  We passed through some very small places where there were only about 2-3 very old farmhouses.  The roadside was again magnificent with lots of wildflowers mainly wattle  in it's many varieties.
 When we arrived at Milang we booked into the caravan park and although there were quite a few vans there there weren't many people staying there. All the rest were what many parks refer to as "annuals", people who only come down to stay in their vans at Xmas or other holidays.

 Milang is on Lake Alexandria and for the first time in many years it was almost full. The whole area , right down to Goolwa and beyond were expecting a bumper tourist season as people from Adelaide and elsewhere came to take advantage of seeing the Murray flowing out to sea again and all the other attractions that would be running now there was more water in the lake.

 The area has a lot of maritime history and we had a look around Milang and Goolwa. We did a day trip to Goolwa to see a whale that was sighted off the beach. we went in the morning as the day was expected to deteriorate weather wise but we ended up with a perfect day .
whale sighted from Lookout at Goolwa Beach

 From Goolwa we drove across the bridge to Hindmarsh Isalnd and had a look aound the marina before heading sacross to the other side of the island. On our way we came across directions to a lookout that offered views othe the Murray Mouth , so we folowe the signposts and came across  the Lookout.
 This board tells the story of how over the years wiht in suffiecent flow in the Murray and the creating of the barrages to raise the levels in the lakes and reduce the salt levels that they have had to dredge the Murray Mouth for many years. Now of course  they don't have to do it and the barrages have been opend.
 Dredging the Murray Mouth.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Menindee Lakes

 From  Bourke and lots of rain we headed further south to Cobar where it was not only wet but freezing cold. We stocked up again  on food and grog and then headed off to Meadow Glen a camping area about half way to Broken Hill where we planned to meet up with Nick and Chris again.  They arrived there about 5 mins after us. So we both proceeded to find a level patch of ground that wasn't likely to get too muddy as it was still showering.  Chris hunted around for some wood and lit a very pathetic fire which we managed to keep going most of the afternoon until it just got too cold and we ran out of dry wood.

Mining display at park opposite Information centre

 We had planned to stop at a rest area before getting to Broken hill but didn't find anything suitable so continued on and stopped at the first  caravan park we saw. As it was dog friendly I looked for Chris and Nick and sure enough they were a few rows across from us.

 After a few nights in Broken Hill and getting more fuel etc we headed off to Menindee in the pouring rain and wind. It was easing to showers by the time we got there but still very windy so we opted not to camp by the lake but camped at the Bourke and Wills camping area along side the river. We camped in an open spot away from the old river gums as we didn't trust them.

 On our first excursion back into Menindee we came across Pat who we knew from Lake Dunn.  She was out walking her dogs and doing some bird spotting. On our trip into Menindee we just got the paper and a few groceries. 
Since we had arrived ar the lakes the weather had slowly improved and after a couple of days it was really quite nice and we explored the area , checking out all the lakes and weir and went up to Cosy hollow where a local guy told us some of the history of the area. We also did more exploring around Menindee township and found an old rail/ road bridge over the Darling  and the old pub.
  Where we were camped was just down from Burke and Wills base camp so we often had people driving into the area to check out this piece of history.
 Lake Pamamaroo sunset

    The whole area was full of pretty wildflowers and lots of birds both big and little. Pat, is a keen bird watcher and was pleased to find some different birds where we were when she came to visit one day. Her knowledge was very useful and helped me to identify more birds.
 Mallee ringneck parrot

 As the weather had settled down Lynn decided that perhaps we should move to be lakeside like most of the other campers in the area. We found a lovely spot with almost a beach in front of us and again we got lovely sunsets across the water just like at Lake Dunn.  There was also different birds and flowers around us.
 Cosy Hollow

  We stayed at Menindee lakes for about a week and explored the area fairly thorughly. We had a day out at Kinchega National park and visited the old homestead and Woolshed which were quite interesting. Our only problem that day was that the loop road was closed after rains and we had to double back quite a long way to get from the lake back to the homestead.

 Lynn with a different steam tractor that had been "walked" from Melbourne

 The woolshed was quite interesting and seemed to be in better condittion than the Yanga one ( see relavant blog). but although the equipment was in better condition the story boards weren't as good.
 Timber jinker  note the wooden wheels

Kinchega woolshed

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Surat August 2010

 From Roma we went to  Surat fishing club campground.  This lovely little area is beside the river.  Just outside Surat. Where fro a donation there is water and toilets available and it is an easy walk into the centre of town.  There is also another area on the other side of the road at the boat ramp where there is a fishing platform and people are able to launch canoes etc.
 One side of the storyboard at the campground.

 This board gives a good idea of what services and what attractions are in the town
The walking track into town culminates in an exercise track with stations provided for various physical activities.

 One of the things that is rather interesting in  Surat is the old Cobb & Co changing station which has been turned into a museum.  It was more than just a changing station as it was also a store and was run a one for many years after the coaches stopped running in the district.
 Model of 1/12th scale of a Cobb& co coach

 Store section of the museum

  There seems to be a dispute as to which was the last coach to make a run in the district but not only is there the model of a coach and horses but there is one of the last coaches there too.Lynn admiring the coach.

  A short walk up the street from the museum takes you to the old shire hall. This building has recently been repainted so that it looks quite smart. The council office is now in a new modern building .

 From  Surat we drove to Cunumulla and although we planed to stay at the showgrounds there we found that they had been closed and the only place to stay was at the caravan park. It was quite a nice park and we were very pleased to be given a site next to Chris and Nick from  Tassie who we had met earlier in our travels. we had 2 days cacthing up on washing and other chores.  Chris and I both did some baking in our turbo ovens . I made a pie and Chris made biscuits.

 Heading south from there we had to be very careful where we stopped as there had been so much rain . even morning tea stops were had beside the road as in lots of places it was too wet to get off any further.

  We eventually arrived at Bourke and made enquiries about camping along the river but were advised that at Mays Bend where we wanted to go there was black soil and it wasn't recommended. Instead we camped at Kidsons Camp caravan park which is just north of the town and had lots of drive through sites. It  started to rain just after we set up and pured all night.
 Although we hadn't talked to Chris and Nick prior to finding a park we were very glad that we stayed there as when we caught up with them next they said  that a vehicle from a van had been stolen from the Caravan park in town next to them. They had to stay there as it was the only park that took dogs. they were travelling with their border collie Buddy.