Dead End, Sink Holes and food policeFebruary 27, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C
Yesterday had been windy but bright, today has been windy, drizzle, cold and overcast.
We set of to go to Lake Condah that I had listed as “Old settlement. Aqua culture system etc”. “Lake Condah is a shallow basin measuring approximately 4 km by 1 km. The lake and the surrounding area contain evidence of a large eel and fish farming system that was built about 6,600 years ago. The Gunditjmara people used volcanic rock from nearby Budj Bim (Mt Eccles) to construct fish traps, weirs and ponds where they farmed and smoked eels for food and trading.” You’d have thought that Google would have been able to get us there but after a couple of miles of dirt track signposted as a no through road, and then asking us to turn right onto an invisible track, we decided to give it a miss and turn around..
Everyone knows that each state in Australia has different laws etc. As we approached South Australia we suddenly remembered that it is illegal to take most fruit and many other food into the state. The fines start at $3,500 to a maximum of $100,000. They have a zero tolerance policy! Even a minimum fine make a bunch of grapes pretty expensive. Unfortunately we’d been shopping yesterday. Yes I’m mean but I also hate the thought of food being thrown away for no reason so, as we approached the state border we pulled into a forest track and made “lunch”. It consisted of everything we weren’t allowed to take into South Australia. Bun wasn’t sure that my salad that contained tomatoes should have blueberries added. Actually blueberries and tomatoes taste really good together, it was the olives that spoilt it. The second course was mango, nectarine and banana. We were stuffed and still had to resign ourselves to throwing food away, but we’d done our best.
Mount Gambier, just into South Australia, has many sink holes. The area is limestone and has hundreds of sink holes and caves, plus old volcanoes. Many of the sink holes and caves are used for caving and scuba diving and present a big challenge with regular loss of life when individuals underestimate that challenge.
“The Umpherston Sinkhole (or the Sunken Garden) is one of the most spectacular gardens located in the Mount Gambier region. It was once a typical limestone cave that formed by the corrosion of limestone rocks by seawater waves and the sinkhole was naturally created when the chamber’s roof collapsed. The Umpherston Sinkhole was made into a garden by James Umpherston in 1886. It is a beautiful sunken garden that offers a perfect setting for visitors to enjoy and spend some time.” “... as the sun sets, the Umpherston Sinkhole comes alive with hundreds of possums as they come into this tranquil garden to feed”.
In contrast, the Cave Garden was a very sad place. Smaller than Umpherston, the bottom of it was littered with rubbish. As none of the paths went to the bottom, I guess that cleaning the rubbish out requires rock climbers.
We drove up to The Blue Lake that is formed in an old volcano and famous for its annual colour change “During December to March, the lake turns to a vibrant cobalt blue colour, returning to a colder steel grey colour for April to November.” Unfortunately the only blue we could see were each others lips in the cold. The water was hardly a vibrant cobalt blue when we looked at it probably because it feels like winter.
Lastly we went for a walk around the Valley Lake Animal Park but gave up when it started raining. Time to find somewhere to stay. We drove to Millicent where we are now the only campers on the recreation ground campsite.Read more