Some places we've been and some places we're going.

Archive for May 3, 2018

Quorn: Day 3

Unlike the night before last night was warm and we even had our roof top skylight open. We could see stars but about 6am it started to rain so I quickly shut it.

We’d decided that today would be the one we went back into Port Augusta to see the Power Plant and the Australian Aridland Gardens. A big solar energy plant has been built at Port Augusta and we thought we’d check that our first. “Sungro” turned out to be a fortified cluster of gigantic hothouses where Coles get lots of their stuff. We still don’t know where the Solar Power plant is.

As we drove towards town and the Aridlands Gardens the skies opened. The irony of it wasn’t lost on us as the windscreen wipers were switched to frantic. Luckily the downpour was shortlived. Before we went to the Visitor Centre we went to Matthew Flinders Lookout and it was while we were there I noticed a wicked looking black cloud wave moving in our direction so we went back to the car and drove to the Visitor Centre.

Matthew Flinders Lookout, looking towards The Dutchman’s Stern

Irony Number 2: There are about 6 houses in our street but having driven 310 kms to Port Augusta there at the Visitors Centre were 2 couples from our street!

The gardens were interesting. In amongst the living plants were lots of dead ones and after today’s rain I’m sure there will be an explosion of new growth. Very few plants were flowering but we did see a few mallee species we’d like to have at our place.

After our walk around the gardens we fancied a hot drink but there was still a line up for food and drinks in the café so we drove back to Quorn to the Quandong Café. Although there was nothing to indicate it they did have some GF food and it was delicious.

Our next point of interest was the Lions Club display of old farm machinery. If that doesn’t rotate your chaff cutter don’t bother with the following slideshow.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Quorn: Day 2

Touches of local colour:

Lady ordering her pub meal last night – Salt & Pepper Squid with gravy, please.

In the local supermarket this morning:

Cashier to customer, “Would you like a bag?”

Customer’s response, “Oh yeah, as long as she can cook!”

In the local petrol station/hardware shop this morning:

Cashier to customer: “Hullo Mr Brody, what impossible task do you have for me this morning?”


After that fun start to the day we erected the annexe. It’s always better to do these things when there aren’t many spectators. Alex says it was relatively easy, I say I’m going to write down the procedure when we take it down so it takes less than an hour next time!

Just needs a bit of tweaking here, I think.

The Dutchman’s Stern was our first port of call for the day. We didn’t pay to drive up to the top because we’ve been before and the little trip to the base was enjoyable.

The rock formation looks like the stern of an old boat.

We revisited Warren Gorge too, it has great campsites all along the gorge, the trees and rock formations are stunning.

We took a little walk to the Buckaringa Lookout and put our stones on the cairn.

Proby’s Grave was our stopping point for “lunch”…. chips and a cider. I always like to visit Proby’s grave, he was only 21 years old when he was swept away by floodwaters in the Willochra Creek. He was trying to save his cattle.

Hugh Proby’s grave – he came from Scotland to an isolated spot in the Flinders Ranges.

Willochra Creek is usually dry but we actually saw some water in a section of it. You can tell the torrent that does come down after storms by the deep cuttings in some banks.

A section of Willochra Creek today.



Evidence of dashed hopes are everywhere perhaps the most obvious being Simmonston, “the town that never was”. The thinking in the 1800s was that “Rain will follow the plough”. Wise farmers these days have very slow stock levels, appropriate breeds and they don’t try to grow grain.

Most of the signs showing road conditions were flat on the ground so we didn’t see the one that said, “Road Closed”. Our planned route to Hawker via Partacoona came to an abrupt end so we backtracked and drove there via Bobby Creek Road. At one point we created a bow wave of bulldust.

By the time we reached Hawker we were desperately in need of a shower so we passed straight through and headed to the great showers at the Quorn Caravan Park.