We woke to a very cold morning and were grateful for the little heater we have in the camper, there is AC but we’ve found the heater works far more quickly, quietly and effectively. The crazy man went off to the shower wearing shorts on his lower half and I’m sure it was no more than 6 deg. A Wicked Camper came in some time last night and it certainly made me smile unlike many I’ve seen before with very sus graphics and text.
Great to see a paint job like this on a Wicked Camper
I was very happy to discover that Death Rock, which we saw yesterday, is not so-called because of a grisly murder. A fellow camper had a leaflet telling the story. An old Aboriginal man knew he was dying and wanted to spend his last days at the beautiful waterhole. His community came with him to the special place, made him comfortable at the rock and stayed with him until he died. For me, that act of love adds another dimension to Kanyaka Waterhole.
The canvas on our annexe was quite damp with dew so we took our time packing up hoping it would dry out in sun but it didn’t quite happen so we’ll need to open it out again at home.
We decided to drive back home along smaller backroads and we stopped at a couple of places we’ve always driven straight through before.
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What about the Puppet Museum – the largest in Australia? Also the Toy Museum.
Lovely entrance into Wilmington
Old cottage and cart, Wilmington
Sculpture of C.J. Dennis , poet and one time resident of Laura.
Sculpture -C.J. Dennis Laura
Why shouldn’t it be trundling down the Laura main street on a Saturday afternoon?
Another interesting story I’d never heard about a pioneer.
The well was fed by a spring. Rhynie
One of the murals on the information gazebo, Rhynie
Old phone box from the railways. Rhynie
Information about the phone box.
We’re ready to set off on a longer trip now …… when the brake controller is definitely working properly.
Last night tested out the camper for wind resistance and happily it came out unscathed. The caravan owners all retracted their awnings but ours appeared secure so we left it up. During the night we heard canvas flapping but this morning everything still looked fine so it seems the springs on the guy ropes do a good job.
This caravan park is immaculate and the showers wonderful, that’s not something you find often. Water is scarce here but there was plenty of lovely hot water for a rejuvenating shower.
Today we headed out on the Hawker Road again to see the Kanyaka ruins. Hugh Proby took up the first lease on the land but after he was drowned in 1852 partners Alexander Grant and John Phillips took it on. A real community was established with a massive stone Woolshed, Homestead, Overseers House, Cart Shed, Stables etc. Kanyaka Run was home to over 70 families.
Kanyaka – The Overseer’s house, toilet on the left
Kanyaka -you can see the mason’s tool marks
Shearing Shed – 24 stands
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Drought made the property not viable and the Homestead was abandoned in 1888. There were lots of other settlement sites in the area including Wilson and Willochra. The train line brought great optimism with it but unreliable rainfall caused them all to fail eventually.
Great stonework made the Wilson well
From the Kanyaka Woolshed we walked to the spring fed Kanyaka waterhole and Death Rock. I can see why it was a sacred place for the aboriginal people.
Death Rock -I think
Rocks around the Kanyaka Waterhole
After our visits to the various settlement ruins we went into Hawker for lunch. The food at the Sightseers Café was a revelation and after our wonderful meal there we didn’t another meal for the day. There is also Jeff Morgan’s gallery in the town and the examples of his work that we saw in the town were stunning, his gallery will be a place to visit next time.
Taranaki Gate, some wire, star picket, bit of pipe and ingenuity.
Not only buildings are disintegrating
We drove back to Quorn and walked around the Powell Gardens before coming back to camp.
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.
Rather damp Aridland resident
Sculpture at the gardens
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.
Quorn shop banner
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.