Monthly Archives: November 2018

Flinders Ranges to Whyalla, SA

Friday 30 November 2018
Today we got another slow start to the day as I have had about 4 nights in a row with poor sleep. Not a good day to start slow as we were expecting temperatures of 30° today. Oh well, DB would have like to hike Rawnsley Bluff but it was about a 5 hour hike and we need to set off at about 7. Not happening today as we set off about 10am. Oh well, maybe next time.

We went on a short walk to the Twidale Top – a mesa on the Rawnsley Park Station. It was only a 2km return walk up a hill but gave some lovely views. We then set off on the Rawnsley Park mountain bike trail, hoping it was a better track than the other day. Luckily for me it was. I also had improved my skills from the other day. We thought this would be about an hour ride but it ended up 1 hr 50 minutes over about 16.5km. The ride went up and down hill, through rocky creek beds, past the Bluff, the airstrip and along the road. It was quite an enjoyable ride. By the end of the ride we were quite hot and sweaty so we had a sit under the tree for lunch.

Next stop – Arkaroo Rock to see some Aboriginal rock art. We set out on this hike at about 2pm, it was really quite hot by then. The walk was only a 3km loop trail but started with a climb most of the way up, the rock art wasn’t that impressive but the views were quite good. Luckily for us the return was all down hill.

By the end of the walk it was about 3.30pm. Where to now?

We started heading south and decided to head towards Coffin Bay on the Eyre Peninsula. Our destination for tonight is Whyalla. About 2 hours south of Hawker where we tried to visit a Gallery. Unfortunately it was closed. The drive was quite pleasant, the scenery was very nice and the traffic wasn’t too bad.

After a stop at the shops in Port Augusta we arrived at Whyalla Discovery Park on the water at about 7pm. A bit late for us these days, but with sunset not till after 8pm we had plenty of time to get dinner before it was dark.

All in all, we had a lovely day today.

Flinders Ranges SA – Drive Day

Thursday 29 November 2018
Today we gave our feet a rest and did the tourist drive from Wilpena Pound to Parachilna and Blinman via Bunyeroo Valley and Brachina Gorge. We had a tasty bush lunch at the Prairie Hotel at Parachilna. We then travelled through the centre of the Flinders Ranges National Park to Aroona Ruins and then headed to our home for tonight Rawnsley Station. The drive was very scenic and picturesque as you will see from the photos. It was also a very well earned rest day.

We spoiled ourselves with a beautiful meal at the Woolshed Restaurant at the Station. Our meals were so nice – Dukkah crusted kangaroo fillet on bed of beetroot, sweet potato and chickpea salad for me and slow cooked lamb and mushroom risotto for David. The main ,gal was so lovely we both had dessert. Quandong cheesecake, on quandong jam with mango sorbet for me and Wattleseed and berry pudding with caramel sauce, nut praline and raspberry sorbet for David. It was very very nice. A real treat in a lovely restaurant with fantastic ambience. A fitting end to a lovely day.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring as we need to make a decision in which direction we shall head – Eyre Peninsula, York Peninsula, Kangaroo Island. ??? Who knows. Not I.

St Mary Peak, Flinders Pound, Flinders Ranges SA

Wednesday 28 November 2018
Well we were planning to head off early for our hike up St Mary Peak today, but unfortunately a bad night’s sleep for me put us a little behind schedule. We got on our way at 9.20am instead of about 8am. Oh well. The plan is to hike St Mary Peak in Wilpena Pound, Flinders Ranges. There are 3 choices for this walk. The Inside trail 9 hrs 21km return, the Outside trail 6 hrs 14.6km return or the Inside Outside loop trail which we don’t really know how far this is but about 22km. We were thinking we would just do the outside trail as this leaves from near our campsite and will be enough for us today as it is only our 2nd hike this holiday. Only time will tell what we end up doing.

We headed off, and went up an unnecessary hill at the start. Very silly, we just took a momentary wrong turn which went up the hill instead of around the base. Oh well, hopefully we get better at this.  The walk started out quite easy along fire trails and then single trail but quite easy under foot. This didn’t last too long before we started to climb up. The walk went from about 500m elevation to 1172m high, so the climb was quite consistent all the way. The view was amazing in all directions a lot of the time. The closer we got to the peak, the harder the rock scramble became. It took us about 3hrs to get to the top and we decided to enjoy the fantastic viewpoint for our lunch break. We even stayed an extra 15 mins to enjoy the view a little more.

So off we go about 1.15pm on the descent. We still were deciding which way to head home. You know us, always up for a challenge and we also don’t like to go the same way back. So as you can imagine we have a choice of 6km back the same way or 12.6km along the Inside trail. Do you need to guess which way we went, or are we our usual predictable selves. Yes you were right. We went the long way along the new path. The inside trail which heads into the pound and across the middle. Well the down hill was quite tricky for the first 90mins or so, as it was a rock scramble down. We kept heading down steeply until about the 8km to go mark when it flattened out and became a wide fire trail. Then it was a matter of just one foot in front of the other for the next 2 hours. Not long. The scenery for most of the steep part was amazing, then the rest was a nice walk. The markers were every 200m counting down the distance home. At the 4.6km market DB said it is now just a walk to Doggy Point and back to go. This was really good for my head as I could envisage this and it was just our usual walk at home. The last 1.5km was getting a bit tougher as our legs were now very tired. We were also watching the time hoping to get back before the shop shut to get our reward ice block. It was 5.15pm and we only had 1km to go. Will the shop be shut or not. Luckily for us it was open until 6pm. Woohoo! Icypole time.

We have had dinner, done some washing and are now very tired. Our legs are both aching and we are ready for bed. So I will sign off for tonight! Sorry for so many photos but the views were amazing.


Port Augusta to Flinders Ranges SA

Tuesday 27 November 2018
Oh well, we had a back and forth start this morning in Port Augusta. Between getting the radiator checked, heading off, then heading back for some goop for the car, then off again. We finally made the decision to continue on to Wilpena in the Flinders Ranges and hope the car was OK. With my mechanic n the car with me, I am sure it will be fine. The worst that can happen is I sit on the side of the road while he fixes the car.

So on the way we stopped at Hawker, with a little visit to the War Memorial. This was quite a moving little site.

We then drove to Wilpena, as we went we were surprised how much the range looked like Larapinta. It would have been nice to see them with a little sunshine to highlight the colours a little better, but the clouds were amazing. Rain was around on and off throughout the day but not too disrupting to our day.

We arrived at Wilpena Visitors Centre and were given information about the area from the Aboriginal guide. He was really good, even telling us the Dreamtime story about the forming of Wilpena Pound. It was very interesting.

The campground has an amazing area and we cycled around to get an adea of where our hike would start from tomorrow. We are hoping to hike Mary’s Peak. We went to a little Aboriginal Welcome talk before dinner which was also quite interesting.

All in all we had a good day, albeit a little quiet and slow for us. I even got to do a bit of reading. Yay!

Mt Remarkable to Port Augusta SA

Monday 26 November 2018
Well today was a day of changed plans. We aborted the idea of climbing Mt Remarkable in favour of a quieter day. We headed off a little late and only went as far as Willowie Forest on the way to the Flinders Ranges. We went for a mountain bike ride – I wanted to do the 6.5km, 4km and 2km loops but David just said we will do the one. Just the 6.5km one. I know he is the clever one and I always try to bite off more than we can chew but I thought we would handle the distance no worries. We were only 2km into the 6.5km loop and I was wishing it was over. I now remember why I don’t put my hand up to cycle in the bush very often. Quite frankly – I DON’T LIKE IT!! I keep trying but it is a bit like horse riding, I don’t feel in control and that is where the whole process breaks down for me. Anyway, apart from not enjoying the rocky track we did manage to see some emus and kangaroos along the way. With a bit of walking, riding and sliding, we finally made it to the end of the 6.5km. It was almost as slow as walking. Hehehe!!

This took until lunchtime and we then ate lunch in the car because the flies were “Oh so Bad”.

Then off to the Flinders Ranges via Quorn for some groceries. Quorn has a population of 1200 so we thought they would have a little grocery store, which they did. After replenishing our fridge we were headed to Wilpena Pound at the Flinders Ranges when DB decided he couldn’t cope with the car troubles any longer. He just couldn’t enjoy himself with this problem hanging over his head, so we did a 180° turn and headed back to Port Augusta, where tomorrow we hope to have a few things checked out. I started looking for 4WD on carsales but there is only 8 Diesel Prados in the whole of SA. Oh well. Let us see how the car saga unfolds tomorrow.

Mt Remarkables National Park to Melrose SA

Sunday 25th November 2018
As usual we had a great night’s sleep in the National Park. Seems to be a consistent occurrence. Love it!

Plans for today was to hike in the Mt Remarkable National Park, which walk was yet to be decided. We had a car issue again, the water seems to be going down after travelling at high speed. DB not sure what to do, so we decided to, as usual, have our walk first and deal with it later. So off we go after breakfast on the Sugargum Lookout (8km return) walk. We decided this was the best option as we haven’t really done any hiking for a while. The option we would have liked to do was the 18km Gorge walk but this seemed a little too big for our starting hike. The walk was along a creek and through some amazing gum trees. I love it as usual. Then past Scarfes Hut (an old shepherds hut) and then a short steep climb up to the lookout. Then back down we go, unfortunately for DB it was back along the same track most of the way.

We then did a short 2.2km loop walk through Davey’s Gully. This was an enjoyable walk with further gum trees and at the alter stage looking out to the water across the plains. It was very beautiful.

After this walk we had a look at the Baroota Homestead Ruins. The Baroota Homestead ruins are well worth a look. It really depicts the hardships that farming families faced in the early 1900’s with drought, isolation and the effect of living within the Goyder Line. Then we headed on our way to test the water problem on our 1 hour drive to Melrose.

We stopped on the way at Port Germain and walk the 1.65km jetty. Lucky the carnival wasn’t on at this beach as it was a 1.5km run across the flats before starting the board race.

We then drove through the very small town of Murray past the wheat fields to Melrose which will be the start of our hike tomorrow morning. Up to the Mt Remarkable Summit.

A big day today, followed by some car experiments, unfortunately no solution yet.


West Beach to Mt Remarkables National Park SA

Saturday 24th November 2018
Happy birthday Paul. Hope you have had a lovely day.

Well it is time to move camp. After a week of not so great weather we are leaving West Beach Big 4 Park. It has supplied wonderful amenities, extremely hot temperatures, very cold, extremely windy and pretty much ordinary weather. We have endured a night in the car, a day of sun stroke conditions followed by a day of hypothermic conditions, then the following day gale force winds. Such varied climate. Well they say it is the state of extremes and they weren’t joking.

So where to next?

First stop the camping and hiking shops in Adelaide City to explore a few options for our camping and hiking. As always, this takes much longer than expected, or not. We are creatures of habit and we both struggle with the decision of major purchases. DB always wants to do more research and I am keen for the purchase but struggle to make the decision. We finally came away with a new blue hiking daypack for me (in hindsight I wish I got the green one. Typical of me, buyers remorse), and a pair of hiking socks for both of us.

Okay so by now it is 4pm. The question again is – Where to next?

Answer: The Mt Remarkables National Park. The lower part of the Flinders Ranges. Just north Port Pirie. We realised that we needed to go here first because of the weather and then on further research established that the Flinders Ranges National Park closes on 30th November until March next year. So off we go, back home to the bush. This was a 3 our drive, with sunset time of 8.08pm we decided to go for it. We arrived at about 7.50pm and found our site, then set up cooking facilities. Oops, here comes the rain, so a quick setup of the gazebo over the back of the car. Oops oops again. Here comes the wind so we had to lower the back of the gazebo down and station David there to hold it down. Then it was still and the rain stopped. So we managed a nice home cooked dinner again tonight, with lots of vegetables. Yay.

Oh well, off to bed now in one of our favourite locations.

West Beach SA

Friday 23 November 2018
We woke to a light rain but by 9am we had a nice sunny day, still windy but at least the cloud had blown way. I spent the morning resting, washing and then went for my first run in over two weeks. It was very pleasant and not as hard as I expected. We then headed over to Harbourtown where we bagged a few bargains in the Black Friday sale. I needed some new running shoes, and we both got a half price long sleeve hiking shirt. We then did groceries to ready ourselves for the next adventure which we will hopefully leave on tomorrow. It was a lovely quiet, restful day. Although still quite cold, only 16°.

Well we are considering the Eyre Peninsula, the York Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, the Flinders Rangers or the Victorian High Country. We have recommendations from a few people here at the caravan park so will keep you guessing until my next post. At this stage I would only be guessing our next destination. So until then, take care. Love Fiona and David.

Glenelg SA – World Titles Day 3

Wednesday 21st November 2018
Well today we woke to miserable conditions for Day 3 of the World Surf Life Savings Titles. Beach events day. Unfortunately for the boys this was to be a very long day of waiting around. It started off slowly with a café/coffee shop crawl. How long can we make a cuppa last so we can stay inside out of the cold, raining and windy day. We moved from one café to the next chocolate and coffee shop. The boys then headed off to the beach and us girls headed up the main street to look at some shops. I then took advantage of the lay day and went to the hairdressers. Unfortunately for our bank account Glenelg has Terrigal prices. The hairdresser was a lovely guy who did a pretty good job. I spent 3 hours out of the rain but it was a shame I missed the sprints and relays. Due to the atrocious windy conditions on the beach they moved the events a block back from the beach onto a grassy park. The boys managed 8th place in the beach/grass relay.

After a long day in terrible conditions we headed out for dinner which tonight was a lovely Thai meal. the wind continued to howl through the streets of Glenelg and the rain kept pouring down. On the way home to the caravan park we checked accommodation nearby as we were concerned how the night was going to progress with our rooftop tent. Unfortunately the area was heavily booked at late checkin was only available at a few expensive places, so we decided to tough it out. Unfortunately wind speed of 60-80kmh with wind gusts up to 90kmh was too much for our tent and after setting it up, I sat in it for about 10minutes. It was like sitting on a bucking bull, I was rocking and rolling all over the place. We decided it was too dangerous to sleep in, so we put it down again and slept in the front seat of the car. As you can imagine we didn’t sleep too well. We should have accepted Anita’s offer to sleep on their apartment floor. Or thought about taking our pillows and doona to the TV/lounge room at the caravan park. Unfortunately we did neither of these 2 tings. Oh well. Lesson learned.

Barossa Valley SA – Wine Tour

Thursday 22 November 2018
After very little sleep last night due to the wind gusts up to 90kmh we woke to another not so great day weather wise. It was still overcast and very windy. The first day of surf competition for the Youth was cancelled today.

Our agenda for the day was a wine tour of the Barossa Valley. So off we headed to the Barossa at about 9am. It was about an hours drive to the Valley but took a bit longer due to the traffic delays. Our first winery was the Grant Burge Winery. This was a very professional outfit and we sampled many types of wine – Chardonnay, Semillon, Savignon Blanc, Rosé, Moscato, Merlot, Shiraz and Tawny Port. My preferred would be the Moscato and Tawny Port, but I can’t see myself starting drinking any time soon. They still don’t taste that great. Everyone was surprised that David and I tried so many wines. We did only get a splash in our glass and it was shared between DB, Smithy and myself, as opposed to the amount they all consumed. Mind you if we kept trying all varieties at the 3 wineries we went to, by the 3rd winery we would have been tipsy for sure.

The 2nd winery was the Lou Miranda which was Anita’s daughter-in-law’s uncles winery. This was a beautiful building and I really like the ambience here. As for the wine I only tried a couple and it was the moscato again that I preferred. I think it was because it was a little like lolly water. DB was the same, they tasted a bit more like the fruit. David and Smithy agreed that we would all prefer to try sample the actual fruit instead of the wine.

We then headed to Chateau 1847 Yaldara for lunch and our third tasting. We had a lovely Ploughman’s Platter. It was delicious and I was given my own which was gluten free and very yummy! The 3rd tasting I only tried the Moscato and Port, and really only liked the Moscato, sort of. The girl here was a bright, bubbly character and was very good at making it an enjoyable experience. We bought some really nice cacao with blueberries, strawberries and coconut.

Then we headed to a gin or craft beer tasting, but we headed to a café and had a hot white chocolate on almond milk with gluten free brownie. A fitting end to my day. Yum yum yum.

This was followed by a visit to the Maggie Beer shop. This had many samples to taste. My favourite would be the Salted Brandy Caramel and the Pomegranate & Raspberry Jam. She had so many things to sample and they were all very nice, if we weren’t travelling for a few weeks I would have bought a few things there for sure.

Maggie Beer’s Philosophy
“My food philosophy will always remain; to cook from the heart, making the most of each and every ingredient I have to hand. Taste and quality are paramount in the creation of my range. My aim is to make the very best products available to everyone, regardless of cooking skills or the time restrictions of a busy lifestyle. I hope I can share my love of a good food life with you all.”

It was a lovely day. We then headed back to Glenelg for our last meal with the team as we are all going our separate ways tomorrow. Some head home, some to the Flinders Ranges, others to family and we still don’t know our plans so we will stay another day to sort this out and do some washing as we should have a fine albeit windy day tomorrow. Hopefully DB will get a chance to do some reading and decide on our next adventure.

We had a lovely Mexican meal tonight. That’s 5 restaurants in 5 nights, each with a different cuisine. Italian, Burgers, Greek, Thai and Mexican. We will be happy to do some shopping tomorrow and have some home cooked vegetables.

Anyway. Nighty night.