Monthly Archives: December 2018

Halls Gap, Grampian National Park VIC to Gundagai NSW

Wednesday 12 December 2018
Well our little detour to the Grampians National Park for our last adventure this holiday was a great option. Well done to my amazing husband and tour guide. Love you to bits.

We got up early and snuck out of the caravan park before breakfast to start our walk early as the forecast was for rain starting from about 11am. We had breakfast at the carpark of the hike start so as not to disturb our neighbours. DB always as trouble opening the tent and making a noise first. he always waits till he hears someone up and about before he gets up. He is a funny fellow. So after a quick break we were on our way on our hike by 7.30am. Amazing early start for us especially after our late arrival to Halls Gap last night.

The walk was a constant up from the Wonderland Carpark. Unfortunately I was feeling a little off with a nasty headache so I found it a bit of a struggle the whole way. The track was amazing, the work that had gone in to making it look natural with rock steps was incredible. We think they must have had some heavy duty manpower or use a helicopter. The walk up the steps through the Grand Canyon was fantastic, then the Pinnacle was spectacular. The 360° views across the valley was amazing. The whole area was a very much like the Blue Mountains. We then hiked back down. (Total 6km) We only passed 1 guy on the way up, met 2 guys at the Pinnacles lookout who were leaving as we arrived and a couple who arrived at the top as we were leaving. It was well worth getting up early to have this opportunity on our own. On the way down, the further we went, the more people we passed. In the end we would have seen maybe 30 people on the way down, maybe more. We were quite amazed how many people were in the Grampians.

After this we went to Reed Lookout and The Balconies (2.2km) followed by MacKenzie Falls, Broken Falls and Carange Lookout (2.7km). All of these were quite good but The Pinnacles and Grand Canyon were by far the best view all day.

We then headed down to Halls Gap where we had a lovely cafe lunch to prepare us for our big drive and to decide which way we were going. As always DB would like to go a different way. Should we drive south through the National Par then back through Ballarat, Daylesford, Albury and the Hume Hwy home (about 1300km) or go through Forbes, Parkes, Dubbo, Newcastle home (about 1500km) or take into consideration the forecast for horrendous weather and just go directly home the shortest route possible (about 1100km). As DB will do the most of the driving I let him choose after I decided we should forget going south. We enjoyed a nice lunch then headed off about 3pm, still not definite which way we were headed.

It wasn’t for a couple of hours that we had to decide and we went with the shortest option based on the fact the weather is forecast to be really bad and the car is being nursed all the way, needing a water fillip eery 200km. Lucky I have a mechanic with me who knows what to do. Hopefully he can fix it when we get home.

Anyway we are driving hard today and won’t get to Gundagai until 11pm but figured we would get as far as possible before the rain.

Port Vincent, Yorke Peninsula SA to Halls Gap, Grampians National Park, Vic

Tuesday 11 December 2018
We woke to a lovely day this morning, minimal wind and quite a nice temperature.  We really probably should have just enjoyed the day but instead,  in usual Broadbent style it was time to squeeze in one more adventure before we head home. So after a short walk through the very tidy town of Port Vincent—the seniors were out at 7.30am cleaning tables in the park, painting swings in the playground—we headed on our way to the Grampians in Victoria. This only adds about 2 hours driving time to our trip home. It was a very long day of driving but the temperatures were to reach 35° in Adelaide so an air conditioned car is quite comfortable. The car was a bit thirsty today, it used a few litres of water, but we managed okay. On the way we had a drive through Hahndorf which was a quaint little town. Next time we will spend a little more time there, but no time to stop today. We arrived at Halls Gap at about 8pm and after a quick dinner headed off to bed to prepare for our early adventure tomorrow.

See you in a few days.

Pondalowie Bay, Innes National Park to Port Vincent, Yorke Peninsula SA

Monday 10 December 2018
Well today we had big plans but unfortunately yet again the weather changed those ideas. We had planned to walk 21km along the Walk the Yorke trail from Marion Bay to Hillocks Drive Butlers Beach and then cycle back to the car about 21km. This was then shortened to Meehan Lookout to Hillocks Drive Butlers Beach a 10km walk and then cycle back. This was then totally canned as the wind was blowing very strong from the east which would have been horrendous the whole way. The beauty of life these days is we really don’t have to do anything we don’t want to do. So I am starting to adopt the David Broadbent ways and am not doing things in unpleasant conditions just because we had it planned.

So we started the day with a walk from our campsite to Pondalowie Bay and back through the little sleepy fishing village (3km). Then after breakfast we headed to Pondalowie Surfbreak walking the track and boardwalk (1.1km) where we watched the surfers and dolphins for a little while. There was an ok sized wave. Then we headed to Royston Headland where we hiked 5km return through the bush and out along the cliff. This was very pleasant and a great view for most of it. Then next stop was a couple of beaches where we saw the Shepherds Hut. Then on to West Cape Lighthouse (1.3km). It is amazing how different each lighthouse can look, this lighthouse looked like a spaceship. You can see 5 lighthouses from the lookout.

Next stop was Marion Bay where we enjoyed pizza for lunch at the Tavern and debated whether to do the long walk, the shortened version or not at all. As we watched the white aps out to sea whilst we ate our lunch, the final decision was made to abort the mission. Yeehah!!

So the rest of the afternoon we drove along the bottom of the Yorke Peninsula and then up the east coast to our home for tonight. Port Vincent. Here we just sat around reading for me and researching animals we had seen for David. In the Innes National Park we had seen lots of emus, Western Blue Tongue Lizard, lots of shingleback, feral rabbits, Central Bearded Dragon, kangaroos, lots and lots of flies.

A little bit abut the Ethel Beach Wreck
“On the 2 January 1904 the iron barque Ethel ran ashore on Reef Head, near Cape Spencer (Yorke Peninsula). One crew member died trying to get ashore with a line, but the rest reached safety. The wreck was visible for many years from the cliffs in Innes National Park, before it broke up completely in 1980s.”

Balgowan to Pondalowie Bay, Innes National Park, Yorke Peninsula SA

Sunday 9 December 2018
Today was to be a big day.

We started with a 23km bike ride before breakfast along the Walk the Yorke Trail. This started out nicely on a gravel track on the cliff leaving Balgowan on our way north to The Gap. It wasn’t long before we left the coast and were riding along past the wheat fields again. Instead of the muddy path of yesterday we had a very rutted, sandy trail. Both of these things I find a big challenge. Oh well only 23km of difficult riding for me, with lots of oops and arghh. I struggle when slipping not to cry out in some way. Well it wasn’t too interesting and I survived the challenge. David saw 2 foxes, 2 kangaroos, about 5 rabbits, and a shingleback. Unfortunately I was concentrating on the trail and only managed to see the shingleback and it was dead on the track.

After our bike ride we headed on an exploring drive from Balgowan to Pondalowie Bay in the Innes National Park via Maitland, Port Victoria, Minlaton, Hardwicke Bay. Point Turton, Point Soutter, Couch Beach, Corny Point, Berry Bay, Marion Bay, Stenhouse Bay, Inneston. It was a very scenic drive through wheat fields, along cliff edges, on sandy beaches, gravel roads, to 2 lighthouses, a few pretty bays, picturesque headlands and all in all a beautiful drive.

Once we arrived in the Innes National Park we went on a couple of walks. We did a 2km Stenhouse Bay Lookout loop, 600m Cape Spencer Lighthouse walk and 2km Inneston Historic Trail.

We then headed to our camp at Pondalowie Bay. We arrived at about 6.30pm so haven’t explored here as yet, but will do that tomorrow before we leave.


Wallaroo to Balgowan, Yorke Peninsula, SA

Saturday 8 December 2018
After an early morning run we headed off exploring the area of Wallaroo where we stayed last night. It was another town of industry.

“Wallaroo is a port town on the western side of Yorke Peninsula in South Australia, 160 km northwest of Adelaide. It is one of the three Copper Triangle towns famed for their historic shared copper mining industry, and known together as “Little Cornwall”, the other two being Kadina, about 8 km to the east, and Moonta, about 18 km south.”

It was a nice little explore of the town. We then headed to Kadina where we went to the “Farmshed Museum”,

“The Farm Shed museum tells the story of Australian dryland farming, the local copper mining industry and the social history of Kadina, through thematic and photographic displays, across half a hectare of undercover exhibition space including the historic Matta House built in 1863.”

This was very interesting and had a varied display of old industry and farm equipment, and other general old things including War uniforms, doctors instruments, kitchen appliances, etc.

Then off we went to the 3rd town of the triangle – Moonta. From 1861 to 1923, it was the centre of a copper mining industry that formed colonial South Australia’s largest mining enterprise. we went to a few mine sites and saw the remains of some of the buildings.

Then we headed to Balgowan – our home for tonight. we went for a 18km return bike ride along part of the “Walk the Yorke” trail which is 500km of walking and cycling trails around the outskirts of the Yorke Peninsula.

The end of a long day of exploring.

Whyalla, Eyre Peninsula to Wallaroo, Yorke Peninsula, SA

Friday 7 December 2018
Today we woke to an early morning low of 31°. It was so warm. We started the day with a lovely walk to the wharf where we saw a couple of resident dolphins who came to say hello to us. We then headed back and had a swim on the foreshore in front of the caravan park. It was very pleasant in the water. We then headed on our way, still deciding on today’s route and tonight’s destination. It was so hot we really didn’t mind where we went as long as it was in the air-conditioned car. As we drove we decided we really didn’t have time to do the Great Ocean Rd, so decided on heading down to the Yorke Peninsula. So off we headed, our first stop was Port Pirie where we went to the Visitors Centre and Art Gallery. They were currently exhibiting artworks by Kenya McInerney who was part of the stolen Generation. Her artworks were very moving. We then went grocery shopping which we made take longer than usual just for some respite from the heat. We also went across the Bridge to Nowhere which was exactly that.

As this is a big seafood area we decided to try again today. We bought 2 Blue Swimmer Crabs, Some King Prawns and 1/2 dozen oysters. I ate the oysters straight away in the car to avoid another loss like yesterday.

Then off on our way again down the coast. We called in to the little town of Port Broughton, where we ate our seafood dinner on the waterfront. The crab and prawns were very fresh and yummy. We made it to camp at Wallaroo at about 7.30 and are planning the next few days.

“An exhibition of powerful works by artist Kunyi McInerney depicting life at the Oodnadatta Children’s Home in the 1950s.

As Kunyi says: ‘I am telling my stories, so they don’t ever do it again. They took us away from our families, our language, our culture. These are true stories, a part of Australian history. My paintings speak for me, and my exhibition is for all the Aboriginal children taken from their mothers.’”


Coffin Bay National Park to Whyalla, Eyre Peninsula SA

Thursday 6 December 2018
Today turned out to be a travel day. Not necessarily how it started out but that is how it ended up. We woke to a very windy morning with temperature not as high as we were expecting. Or so we thought. We headed out of the National Park as the forecast was for Severe Fire Warning. They ask that you don’t stay in the park with this fire rating. So head out we did. We would have liked a swim before we left but after yesterday’s beautiful conditions we didn’t bother. We should have stopped at the beach we swam at earlier yesterday but I made a poor decision there. Oh well. It happens sometimes.

Once we got back to Coffin Bay I bought some more local oysters for dinner tonight. Yummy!

We then headed on a scenic drive north west to Elliston.  In hind sight another bad decision as there really wasn’t much to see along the way and it was further than we thought. After a quick swim at an average location we headed back east. Halfway back I realised I had left my oysters out of the fridge when we got a drink at Elliston. Bugger, bugger, bugger. I had to throw them out.

We decided to drive back to the coast at Whyalla as it was still 37° at 7pm. We were very grateful for the air-conditioning in the car and the couple of ice blocks we had during the day. We arrived at Whyalla at about 7.30p and were happy there was a slight breeze off the water at the caravan park. After dinner we had a lovely walk along the foreshore.


Coffin Bay National Park, Eyre Peninsula SA

Wednesday 5 December 2018
Off into the National Park we go again today. Coffin Bay National Park this time. We are in for a warm day today, expected temp in the early 30s. Yay, at last, some sunshine. We drove into the park and checked out a few lookouts along the tar sealed road. Then off-road we go again. We saw many emus, a lost baby emu, shinglebacks, lizards and more emus. The view was quite amazing. It was like driving along the side of the ocean a lot of the way. We went to Point Avoid Lookout, Golden Island Lookout—where we had a swim in the ocean, Yay,—Yangie Bay (Marine Sanctuary) and then finally our home for the night Black Springs. The scenery today was amazing, crystal clear blue water under a lovely blue sky on a great sunny day. Black Springs is on a very peaceful stretch of clear water. Another swim in warmer water and a long rest this afternoon. A long read of my book and a lovely time. The flies were nuts though. We both resorted to wearing our fly nets. And cooking was a bit of a challenge and we ate in the car. But apart from that, the location was beautiful, the lack of people was fantastic and we had a very restful time. We head out of the park tomorrow as the temperature is to be in the high 30s. Heading I am not quite sure where, possibly to Elliston.

Memory Cove Lincoln National Park to Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula SA

Tuesday 4 December 2018
Today we couldn’t decided whether to stay or go. It was such a beautiful spot but unfortunately the water was freezing. i think if the water had been nice and the weather a little warmer we would have stayed another day in solitude. It is one of my favourite types of camping. So onwards we march. But first let’s explore the rest of this side of the National Park. We had a leisurely, less rough drive out due to the speed we drove and enjoyed some lovely encounters with the Australian wildlife. Lots of birds, emus, including some babies, shinglebacks, lizard and a blackish skinny snake which could have been the brown snake common in this area.

We drove along the rocky track for a few hours and stopped at a few lookouts along the way. They included Cape Catastrophe. Williams Island Lookout, Cape Tournefort and Wanna Lookout. The scenery and views were out of this world. We had lunch at a lovely spot overlooking Williams Island only to drive 5 more minutes to an even greater spectacular lookout. It was a great day. We finally exited the park at about 2.45pm and had to take the key back to town. We decided rather than head to the other part of the same park and stay at Surfleet Cover, that we would head to Coffin Bay and enjoy some Oysters at Happy hour. So off we go in search of the fantastic oysters. Unfortunately our research wasn’t good enough tonight. Bar 1802 is closed on Tuesday, so then we headed to Beachcomber Hotel to find that there happy hour was earlier and closed in a few minutes. So instead we just went for as bike ride around the bay. We decided on pizza for dinner, only to find on our arrival there that they are closed on Tuesday as well. We then stopped in at the Beachcomber Hotel for dinner and their kitchen was closed at 6pm as well. They offered us their remaining 3 pies in the oven as otherwise they would have thrown them out. So alas, that was tonight’s dinner, plus a bag of potato chips. I could have cooked I suppose but was given the night off. We are heading in to the Coffin Bay National Park tomorrow.

Port Lincoln to Memory Cove Lincoln National Park, Eyre Peninsula SA

Monday 3 December 2018
Today we spent a bit of tie looking around Port Lincoln. We headed up to Winter Hill Lookout which has a fantastic viewpoint of the town’s harbour and the countryside. We then  headed out to the Marina, after a look around there we had the best fish and chips ever! The Fresh Fish Place – we enjoyed a pan fried salt and pepper prawn and calamari with greek salad, and a piece of pan fried Gurnard (the poor man’s flathead) and chips. It was very fresh and tasty. We also went the whole hog and bought some fresh king prawns and Coffin Bay oysters for our entree tonight. Yummy!

We then headed on our way out to the Lincoln National Park which was a rough dirt road through a locked gate to Memory Cove. The drive was not too far but took about 90 minutes. It was a tranquil setting with only 6 campsites and only 15 vehicles allowed on the track at any given time. This is regulated by having to get a key from the Visitors Centre. There is only a family and a couple of bird enthusiasts here.

We headed for a walk along the cliff for about an hour which was lovely, then headed back for a quiet time on the beach, where for a change we sat and enjoyed our oysters, prawns and some dip and bickies. This is where you would have beer and wine if we drank that, but instead had a powerade.

Then we had a nice dinner and headed for an early night. We are yet to enjoy beautiful weather but it isn’t raining or blowing a gale so we are lucky in that case. Anyway. We have another day in this National Park before we move on somewhere else.