R&R in SA

R&R for six days.

Reaching Ceduna the car was filled with bang water after the Nullarbor crossing, we decided to head for Streaky Bay. This move would allow the kayak to be un welded from the roof racks to do some fishing.

Sad (not) to say we stopped in to Smoky Bay 39ish kms from Ceduna on the way to Streaky Bay for a look.

What a magic little spot. Great sheltered water, a huge jetty and good boat ramp with rock walls placed strategically to protect from the weather. I urge you all not to tell anyone about this place especially fishermen.

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Checking in to THE neatest van park that we have ever seen we decided that this was the place to stay instead of the very commercial Streaky Bay. The van sites are on sand/shell grit and Mark our host along with his lovely lady Vicky actually rake the sites as vans leave on a daily basis, removing the leaf fall and debris that the trees drop and levelling the sites.

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Amenities are spotless and the camp kitchen has to be seen to be believed. $26 per night was well worth it in this place and the tap water was even almost good for South Australia! Tank water was available for kettles etc. but not for water tanks fills.

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The fishing was not to be. Rod has been crook for about 3 days and Mavis came down with flu on our second day. Day 3 was planned to take the kayak out and fill the keep it net with King George Whiting and Blue swimmer crabs both of which were easily taken to the daily bag limit, they were every where. Folks were catching crab and huge whiting off the jetty.

Kayak off the rack and rods rigged we snuffled through the night looking forward to the next day peddling and fishing. Awaking early next morning to a howling on shore gale (Westerly), a run to Streaky Bay was done with some diversionary sight seeing instead of fishing (Grrrrrrr) and coffee enjoyed in the bakery, meat procured from the butcher and supplies from IGA. Very pretty coast.

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Things could only get worse and they did. Mavis came down harder with her horrible lurgy and I managed to nearly stop coughing but everything moved to the head you guessed it runny eyes nose and feeling like sh.t sorry something the cat dragged in.

As a consequence we are off tomorrow heading south then East to Port Augusta, with the forecast telling us that we are in for howling Southerlies for the next couple of days, oh joy oh bliss that will be a change grin.

Car is mostly packed, van also and we are sitting inside, both on the computer feeling very second hand. Guess we can’t be good all the time!

Two dozen oysters that added up to 30 individuals were purchased from Smoky Bay before we left for the grand sum of $6.50 per dozen. A little history on the oyster farming here, all of their spats (baby oysters) are imported from Tasmania as they don’t reproduce here,strange aint it and the cheapest oysters that we could buy in Tassie earlier this year were $8.

Can’t gripe too much about being unwell this trip has been superb on the whole.

The Southerly did not arrive luckily but the Westerly wind continued, giving us an off the rear quarter boost for our travels. Nice run but not too far we stopped at Kimba free camp in their sporting complex. Great town (RV Friendly designated) with all amenities.

Next morning was a very late start after both of us having the best nights sleep for a long time.

Fuelled up at Port Augusta and visited the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens see http://www.portaugusta.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=820 Nice spot to walk around, the bird life matched the wild flowers and plants in abundance.

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Moving on we tackled the trip over the Flinders Ranges from Port Augusta eventually heading for the run across the Hay Planes to Wagga Wagga for Grandsons march out from Army training on the 7th of October. Only 15 days to get there so guess we will have to do some site seeing before we arrive.(Bugger aint it)

Camped tonight the 20th Sept. was at Goyder’s Line Memorial rest area 3km North of Melrose

A beaut spot beside a dry creek bed with a massive variety of bird life nesting in the most beautiful old gums.

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Mavis got shuckin and I got cookin as we had the oysters from Smoky Bay that had to be devoured. As stated two dozen were purchased and Mavis ended up shucking about thirty oysters. Not too bad at all grin better that a bakers dozen!.

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Rang a friend the next morning who is travelling back to Perth with his new Spinifex van and we are trying to catch up for a cleansing ale. The decision was made to travel South to the Barrier Highway and stay at a camp at Mt Bryan township opposite the old pub.(The things we have to endure whilst travelling are quite harsh some times grin.) This would be on the route that our friend would take to Port Augusta from Renmark.

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We rang them and told them where we were camped. He said that they would be there tonight and were just getting in to Renmark. After dinner the roar of the red hot F250 could be heard docking beside our van. We have never seem such a huge set up. The air suspension was levelled then a dust settling beer was cracked while we were shown around the rig.(awesome more like a mobile apartment grin)

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We woke next morning to the throaty rumble of the big Ford diesel warming for departure. Dressed hastily and bid safe travels and farewell to the boys for their return to Perth.

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Off to the East from Kalgoorlie

We bid farewell to our friends at the Discovery van park at Boulder and took off for Norseman via Kalgoorlie about 190km Not much in the way of wild flowers today but there were some beautiful grevilleas.

Fuelled up at Norseman after a pleasant run from Kalgoorlie then had a look around town.

This is the last semi cheap fuel before the 1200km of extremely expensive fuel. Thank goodness for the long range tank.

If you buy coffee at the servo in Norseman make sure the microwave is on in the van as it is not too warm but still yummy!

Mavis made lunch while we were there to use up some fresh salad veg before the border check in a couple of days time.

The wild life has gone boogie with the arrival of a decent wet season for the first time in years. The Nullarbor is carpeted with grass seeds and flowers about to burst from the trees.

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Budgies  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budgerigar are flying like swarms of bees in their thousands and the flocks are every where. An unfortunate by product is the amount of road kill. Hundreds of kangaroo, wallaby and a few birds dead on the side of the road.

An unfortunate sight near the end of the Nullarbor was about 2kms which had 5 wombat bodies on the sides of the road.

About 400km was achieved today before camp was set at Woorlba Homestead rest area. A fire was cranked up and we had a nice easy night with some red wine and white along with some friends that we had met at Boulder and some other new friends that wandered over to say G-day before night fall.

Aint life great on the road?????

The morning after the rig was pointed off to the East again. Only managed to achieve about 150km before we turned in to have a look at the Eyre Bird Observatory.

The trip in was a 30km diversion and have to tell ya that the road was less than ok. The first 20km was very lumpy with exposed rock and lots of dust.

How great to finally have a capable dust proof van to follow the car grin.

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A sign warned us that the van could go no further so we disconnected and proceeded without her.

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The next 10 k’s into the observatory was deep rutted sand and large exposed rocks but a bit of fun!

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What a great place to visit. I did say to Mavis that it would be great to stay over for a couple of days just to explore the birds and the walking tracks. Massive range of birds!

They have accommodation ($90 per night all meals supplied) with pretty basic facilities. None the less hot showers and hygienic toilets are on hand and the volunteer caretakers are great. A guided tour of the museum and old building was provided as a consequence of paying the $10 entry fee and tea or coffee with home made fruit cake and short bread bickies were enjoyed.

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Thoroughly recommend this place if you can stand the drive in grin.

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On the way out we stopped to re inflate the tyres on the rig before a run to the next over night at Moodini Bluff.

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Lunch today the 13th Sept was taken at Nullarbor Roadhouse ( the plane is in the car park waiting for customers)  before the next night time stop about 50kms out of Ceduna to eat up all our veg and fruit before Ceduna where the SA quarantine station is (East bound).

Off to Kalgoorlie and more flowers.

We left our friends at Canna heading for Mullewa where we joined the Geraldton Mount Magnet road.

A diversion at Pindar to see their Wreath flowers and smoko at the guest house. The wreath flowers here were better than we had seen elsewhere.

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Lunch and a fuel stop was had at Yalgoo about half way to Mt Magnet.

At Mount Magnet we checked into the caravan park to do some washing and top up the water tanks and load on some supplies. This is a great park at $23 per night one of the cheaper ones that we have seen.

There was a good butcher in town an IGA and a bakery that had the best sausage rolls and beautiful fresh warm bread.

After the larder re stock we headed for Sandstone. The road sides were spectacular to say the least.

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At Sandstone we had another bite to eat then went out to see the famous London Bridge. A most spectacular site.

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After leaving Sandstone we headed for Leinster where we turned South to Kalgoorlie. Just after Leonora we made camp at Niagara Dam (camps 6 350). A nice quiet spot near the small dam which had toilet facilities and garbage bins and the ever important toilet dump.

Next morning was only a shortish run to Kalgoorlie. The Grevillea’s in this area were fantastic but not much else in the way of flowers.

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At Kal we checked in to the Discovery van park to meet some friends that are on the Spinifex Forum site. They both works here in Kal.

Plan “A” is to stay for three days before heading for the Nullarbor and on to the East.

It’s not over yet but we do hope that you have enjoyed our ramblings and pictures of a most extraordinary experience.

First instalment WA wild flowers 2011

Day one 29th August we arrived at Moora caravan park and set up for a two day stay.

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The park is quite small and we were concerned that our friends would not get a spot if they turned up late, (they needed power).

I had (as I thought) booked two powered sites but on arrival rang the posted phone number and was told that they had not reserved any sites for us and to just pick a spot. We did and anxiously awaited the arrival of our travel companions. Vans were coming in at a great rate. Our friends did get there in time to set up on the site beside us bar one.

Next day we did a big run in search of flowers but only managed to see a disappointing few.

Non the less we had a great day (as you do on the road grin).

Moora to Mingenew (pronounced with the G silent) was a good run. The exception was the leaving the freezer not shut properly.

So sad but we turned into a big bonus. We had scallops, fish and prawns that had the be dealt with in some way.

Rod volunteered to bash up a seafood curry.

What a superb delight it was. Night one we all had the curry and plain rice, with a small quantity of good wine around the Aus pig (fire).

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A trip to Coal seam Conservation park the next day was rewarded with a spectacle that was amazing. Wild flowers spilled off the sides of every road and all over the distant hills.

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Night two we made a fried rice to alter the monotony a tad to have with the remainder of the superb curry, again with some yummy wine and warm fire as an accompaniment.

Luckily for us we did the Coal Seam trip when we did as rain closed the park the next day.

Day three we headed to Morawa.

A great morning tea was had at the bakery (superb coffee and sausage rolls to die for grin). After this great repast we drove off to find the rare and elusive Wreath flowers. We found them along one very greasy 4wd only wet road. The sight of these rare flowers was fantastic.

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They grow only on disturbed ground and it has to be gravel. Amazingly beautiful things.

Back at camp a pub meal in THE pub at Mingenew was enjoyed day 3, It was a monster. Mavis had Garlic prawns and Rod had a Camembert stuffed chicken breast. This tucker could not be finished. The meals were huge and superb ( the local beers and wines were not too shabby either).

We wallowed back to camp on foot to await fiveses as you do grin.

Another raging oz pig fire with friends and a few wines. Can life get any better?

L.G. For sure grin.

Sunday the 4th we headed off to Canna to see the orchid displays that nature provided.

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How great this place is.

Camp behind the church with power (if you are quick enough or need it, about 5 outlets are available) hot showers and toilets for a requested donation of $5 per night. Love this place!!!

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Tomorrow we are off to Mt Magnet to find even more flowers.

But tonight Lamb shanks in the thermal cooker and a few more wines after a hard day walking and enjoying heaps of eye candy.Don’t you just hate the yanky sayings but it does apply here for us!

More to follow. Love to all.