It was windy last night but the camper was fine, no buffeting or flapping. We went to get fuel and discovered a section of the main street was closed and there were people with big white boards and cameras. An episode of a TV series was being filmed, it isn’t one we’ve seen. “Wanted 3” stars Rebecca Gibney, someone I’m supposed to know! The scene being filmed will actually be depicted as on the Nullarbor.
The movie set
Pursuers of the woman who ducked into the toilet block
Actually it’s Hawker.
From Hawker we went to Orroroo …
Crafty metal golf cart
Clever use of old glassware
Clever use of old glassware – garden ornaments
Old pub somewhere along a lonely road
…. then Auburn, by the time we arrived there the sky was darkening and the winds strong. It was unpleasant to be outside so we decided that rather than camping for the night we’d head home.
It’s been a very interesting and enjoyable trip, we’ve seen new places and enjoyed the company of a variety of people. Of course there are things we’ll do differently next time eg. download the Country Pub Campsites and maybe Wikicamps so that we can see what different camp sites are available even if we don’t have internet. Another thing for us to overcome is the lack of Telstra phone coverage in some isolated areas.
After we overcame our initial problems with the after-market sway controller the camper and car performed well. We were able to go on dirt tracks without any issues, the only time we were aware of the camper was when we went up steep hills. It wasn’t difficult, the car was just a bit slower pulling the load. We have our ticket to travel the outback. What ticket? Although I wanted a Wildfire Red, Prado it seems that a white Prado is practically compulsory.
We left Marree this morning and were immediately struck by the number of vehicles heading towards the Birdsville Track. We’ve spoken to a lot of people who are going to the Big Red Bash, I think someone said the organisers were expecting 7 000 people. It’s hard to imagine the area around Big Red housing that number of people. Our neighbours tonight have come from Penguin, in Tasmania, and they are on their way to The Bash.
Just out of Marree is a rock construction depicting a man, we stopped to take some photos and to have a little play around.
Now it’s a woman
We didn’t intend stopping at Farina but the signs advertising the Bakery were too hard for Alex to resist. They’re currently using the old Bakery and there is a concentrated effort at fundraising for the restoration of the town.
The old Bakery
Inside the Bakery
Wooden tools for getting bread out
Bikers always know where the good Bakeries are
Our next stop was Lyndhurst and a visit to Talc Alf. He’s a real character, being a geologist is incidental, we always admire him for his carving skills and are amazed at his rapid fire thinking and talking. After Lyndhurst the road is bitumen.
Talc Alf at home
Since we’ve already stayed at Hawker we decided to go to Blinman instead. It meant driving through Parachilna Gorge which should have meant re-deflating the tyres but we went very slowly and carefully instead.
Old cottage made from wood slabs
Old mining cauldron
Grader – original
Personal account of Grader working
The restored Grader
The shops were busy and the Caravan Park basic so we decided to continue on to Hawker.
We’ve had no internet for days so keeping up with posts has been difficult. This will simply be another photo post.
The Oodnadatta Track follows the line of the old Ghan Railway which followed the line of the Overland Telegraph line which followed John Macdouall Stuart’s route which followed the ancient Aboriginal traders’ route. Because of this all the way down the track the same references appear.
Display – Coward Springs
Fettlers Cottage – Margaret Siding
Springs and Bubblers
Strange Flora around Blanche Cup
Weird and Wonderful – “Planehenge”
Now we’re back in Marree.
There was another lovely sunrise this morning after a very cold night, I’m glad we have power so we can use a heater in the mornings.
Morning chorus begins
Train on the Ghan line at the back of the campsite
The stand-out from today was the Painted Desert. I thought it would be hard pressed to rival the colours of the Ochre Pits at Lyndhurst but it excelled. Unfortunately photos don’t do the place justice, it was stupendous. Not only the colours in the hills but what seemed to be flood plain had an amazing mix of colours. Just awe inspiring. They say the time to see the place is sunrise or sunset but that wasn’t an option for us, we don’t want to risk hitting a kangaroo, emu or cattle. It didn’t matter, the colours were already magic.
Start of the Painted Desert Road
It’s my road too!
Close up of the “sand”
Zoomed out a bit
Expanse of the “sand”
Zebra Finches – about in their thousands
The signs made by the late Adam Plate of the Pink Roadhouse certainly add to the enjoyment of places. We’d miss many things if not for his signs. He was actually killed in a classic car rally not far from our home so I feel a connection with him. Thanks Adam.
Unfortunately I think he’s left a big gap in Oodnadatta, certainly the facilities at the caravan park desperately need maintenance.
It’s hot …. not every night!
Oodnadatta Movie House
Boy on a toy
Great idea unfortunately it wasn’t working
We had a nice meal at the Transcontinental Hotel and enjoyed the atmosphere very much. The hosts go out of their way to make everyone feel comfortable and welcome.
There isn’t really anything to write about today. In the campground though before we left we spoke to someone who had come along the Birdsville Track, his vehicle was covered in mud. Apparently there was a big storm in Birdsville and driving on the road was a nightmare with the vehicle skating across the clay.
We left Kulgera and drove to Marla which as usual was crowded with vehicles calling in for fuel, hot snacks and a lawn area to relax and eat. A “Groovy Grape” minibus stopped and the driver set up a table with lunch makings. The biggest group of passengers were young Asians.
After Marla we continued on until Cadney Homestead. The emblem for the Homestead is an eagle, there are various eagle objects in the Bar and Roadhouse but in the immediate area not a single live eagle to be seen. I did see a lovely one today with blonde wings and several others feeding on roadkill but didn’t manage to get any photos of them.
Cadney Homestead Roadhouse
These roads are tough on tyres
Bar in Cadney Roadhouse
swimming Pool rules
Before we arrived in Alice we were told the Beanie Festival was on then we discovered it didn’t start until today. This morning we found out it didn’t start until 12:00 and because we needed to continue our journey south we didn’t want to wait around any more. The venue was just across the road from the Caravan Park so before we left Alice we popped in for a look.
Welcome to the Beanie Festival
Volunteers make the festival a success
It’s all about style
A few of the Beanies
Even old guys get into the spirit
Check it out
Our first stop on the road south was at Stewarts Well, I expected to see camels there but business must have boomed because now the camels are away from the Roadhouse and it looks well setup for Camel Rides or Treks.
Water from the well entering the pond
When we reached Erldunda it was busy, as usual. It’s the turning point for those heading to Uluru and motorists are always pulling in for fuel. There was a lot of information about emus on display and it said there was an Emu Farm.
Erldunda – gateway to Uluru and Kata Juta
Emu Farm resident
Kulgera is our stop for the night, it’s only about 20kms from the South Australia/Northern Territory border. Although Kulgera has 50 residents only the Roadhouse is clearly visible, about 20 people would be employed there. There is a one-man Police Station, I don’t know what else.
Where’s the dog?
Camel driven Whip
Mud Map – One of Adam Plate’s efforts
Galahs seem to appear from nowhere at dusk