May - June 2017
  • Day1

    Mildura

    May 8, 2017 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 10 °C

    Angela , I and Mawson ,our Mascot , left Drysdale early today on our caravanning holiday. Looking forward to this trip to the West then to the Kimberly , The Northern Territory and South Australia.
    Arrived in Mildura at 4.45 pm. Good trip but rough roads north of St Arnaud. A few crops emerging in southern mallee but not much in yet further north. Haven't seen many mobs of sheep ! Off to Port Augusta tomorrow.
    A very cold morning after leaving Mildura next morning. We stopped for an early cuppa . Angela , like Mawson our little mascot , thought they were in Antartica as they sat down for a cuppa !!
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  • Day2

    Port Augusta

    May 9, 2017 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 12 °C

    Past through pastoral country having freshly germinated trefoil clover and native herbage with abundant saltbush . On the way from Mildura to Morgan we passed well known sheep stations, The Gums , East Bungaree , Collinsville and John Parkers Old Canowie on the way to Jamestown . John Parker owned Avoca Para near Wentworth , and Mena Murtee at Wilcannia when I worked for him. Passed large wind farms across the ranges south of Peterborough.
    Near Wilmington on our way to Port Augusta we passed Mt Remarkable , where a fire had started on its northern side . We then wound our way through picturesque ranges and on to Port Augusta.
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  • Day3

    Port Augusta

    May 10, 2017 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 11 °C

    Went to the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens saw a lot herbage and shrubs that grazing has suppressed . Viewed the red cliffs and stood where Matthew Flinders once stood looking out to the Flinders Ranges.
    At the Wadlata Visitors Centre we saw the "Tunnel of Time" that traces the creation of the Flinders Ranges and what that land means to traditional owners and early explorers and owners . Ended the day on the old wharf where in early days camels where lifted off or on to boats.
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  • Day4

    Ceduna

    May 11, 2017 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 12 °C

    Left Port Augusta early - a cold start but soon 20+.
    The country on to Kimba was mostly pastoral with dense stands of saltbush, bluebush and other herbage . Iron Knob with its shades of red and brown stood out with its open faced workings and excavations - won't be a knob one day , it will have vanished.
    Wonderful roads straight as your eyes could see past Kimba , leaving the grazing country behind as it changed to expansive cropping land . There were many fallowed paddocks , a few being sown and some with a tinge of green shoots. Looked quite dry.
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  • Day5

    Eucla

    May 12, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Lunch on the Nullabor. No pics - had to surrender our lunch!! Sorry Border Control Quarantine took it all. They even opened tomato sauce bottle to see if it had honey in it . Luckily there was plenty of road kill but didn't have time to cook it. One was a prime steer !!!Read more

  • Day5

    Madura Caravan Park

    May 12, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Big trip across the Nullabor from Ceduna today. Left Ceduna @ 7.30 am , another cold start !
    Stayed at Foreshore Caravan Park in Ceduna, Very nice park , immaculate facilities and only $12 for the night !
    Surprised at the immense cropping operations from there to Nundoo where pastoral country took over .
    Saltbush and herbage , mallee etc.
    West of Nullabor Road house are the flat open plains of the Nullabor with sparse low herbage and bushes and a rare small tree here and there.
    We viewed the immense cliffs of the Great Australian Bight on our way to Madura camping ground where we stayed the night for a well earned rest - the trip from Ceduna took 10 hrs :-)!!
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  • Day7

    Kalgoolie

    May 14, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    Arrived at 5 pm after 10 hrs on the road from Madura after leaving to a full moon and pink hue in the eastern sky. On roo alert , lots of eagles feasting on road kill - roos and a prime steer . Past three individual cyclists along the way. The Nullabor plain vegetation is mostly Acacia , Saltbush and Blue Bush. We started out on Australia's Longest Straight Road , 146 km. Angela at the wheel , immediately had 2 big red roo's jump across the road. Then encountered fog !
    At Baladonna Roadhouse saw a piece of Skylab found from space mission in 1979. Nearer Kalgoolie trees were bigger , some species with copper trunks showing beneath shedding bark.

    Big sleep and a sleep in ! Went the Big Pit look out. Doing a 1.5 hr Big Pit Tour tomorrow. Went to Gold Museum which we enjoyed and checked out Kalgoolie/Boulder.
    At the museum we were lucky to see a silver exhibition on loan from the national gallery- one item on display was the Currie cup , awarded in 1862 to Scottish born John Lang Currie , awarded for the best sample of Australian grown wool . After leaving Scotland he purchased a property called Larra in the Western district -I wonder if there is a connection with our present day Lara , where he produced some of the finest merino wool in the country -Pic of the ornate silver cup complete with a sheep on the top. We also viewed one of the original Cobb and Co coaches from the area -pic attached .
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  • Day9

    Kalgoolie

    May 16, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

    Day 2
    Visited the Town Hall which has pictures, displays and stories of Kalgoolie's early days. Also has a theatre with pressed metal ceilings and red velvet seats typical of the day.
    Went on a tour of the Big Pit , the huge opencut gold mine. It is owned by KCGM , a joint USA & Canadian venture.The super pit produces 22,000kg per year/60kgs a day ,of gold and works 24hours a day 365 days of the year. Some of the machinery used comes at great expense for example the haul trucks, trucks that look like Tonka toy trucks, 40 on site cost 4.4 million each . A face shovel , photo attached , 4 on site cost 18.5 million each ,and two wheel fixers on site cost 2.6 million each.
    We later took a look at St Mary's Catholic Church and Angela was very impressed to know that this Church was built using locally sourced stone. It was later discovered that this stone was laced with gold. The Church is under the protection of national trust listing and therefore protects it from demolition in order to retrieve the gold from its walls. It is said the early streets of Kalgoolie were paved in gold -in fact this is true as the initial rock used to build the streets of Kalgoolie also contained gold , unlike the St Mary's Church these streets didn't survive, as when this gold in the streets was discovered they were ripped up the gold removed and the roads rebuilt.

    As evening approached we drove a short distance to the look out on Mount Charlotte and watched the sunset over Kalgoolie .
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  • Day9

    Northam

    May 16, 2017 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 15 °C

    Left Kalgoolie @ 7.30am and 14 deg but sunny. Checked local weather forecast as we left -complements of Bryce at our caravan park -(see pic) On our way to Northam, the road runs close to the Golden Pipeline that supplies water to Kalgoolie from Perth. Scrubby country before Southern Cross soon opens up to flatter cropping land mingled with areas of scrub and small eucalypts.
    Getting a little tired of continual rises and long straight stretches ahead to greet us !!
    No livestock to be seen in surrounding paddocks.
    We passed the historic site of what was the rabbit proof fence- remnants of which remain on display. This fence stretched some 1837 km-from Esperance to Port Hedland.
    The last part of our days drive we entered the area known as the wheat belt-with evidence of stubble, some emerging crop and dry sowing. The road side eucalyptus are now taller and more substantial than we had seen for days . As we neared our overnight stay at the town of Northam , we saw some mobs of sheep in surrounding paddocks.
    On the way we were accompanied by the large pipeline from Perth to Kalgoolie
    We were met at our overnight caravan park by a beautiful chocolate Labrador obviously waiting to be helpful .
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  • Day10

    Cervantes

    May 17, 2017 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

    Left Northham at 8.15 to what was a chilly but clear morning. We made our way to the historic town of Toodyay, pronounced (2J) with plenty of charming heritage buildings. After taking what we thought to be a short cut but in fact became a long cut, we made our way through the Avon Valley (WA road signage is woeful ). Unsure of what road we were actually on we ended up with a silver lining to our wrong road and ventured into the town of New Norcia. We could see some magnificent buildings and on driving closer found ourselves at this idyllic settlement complete with a Spanish-style monastery and buildings linked to an Aboriginal mission which was run by Spanish Benedictine monks. The monastery continues to be home to the Benedictine monks and it is possible to join them in the 1,500 year old tradition for prayers-6 times per day. The New Norcia hotel has a sweeping staircase, high ceilings and wide verandah-a very upmarket Best Marigold Hotel ! You can enjoy a delicious meal and have a glass of their own Abbey beer or a wine from the Abbey wine range. This is certainly a calm peaceful and still place.
    Attached are photos of some of the buildings.
    Eventually finding our way to the Indian Ocean coast line we booked into our fantastic overnight caravan park at Cervantes. We drove to Hanson's lookout then to Lake Thetis which contains stromatolites and strombalites, one of the earths oldest living forms of life. They appear as circular mounds on the waters edge (see photo)
    Sunset was spent at the painted sands of the Pinnacles desert , which is studded with thousands of limestone pillars. These are remnants of compacted seashells that over millennia subsequently eroded. We took Mawson our little penguin mascot to enjoy the Pinnacles with us -he enjoyed having his photo taken at this amazing
    place ! Our evening was complete watching a beautiful sunset over the Indian ocean.
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