Port Germein to Quorn SA

Thursday 19th May 2022
Time to check out of our cabin at Port Germein today. David has managed to do some work but we must keep moving.

Today we will continue training for our big hike with a hike near Quorn. We will hike to the summit of Mt Brown along part of the Heyson Trail and Olive Grove Trail. This was a 16km hike going up almost 700m in elevation over 4.5 hours. So a good distance to work out the legs again. It was very scenic with stops at Bald Hill viewpoint, the summit with its lookout tower giving almost 360° views and a couple of more view points on the way back down. The way to the lookout was a continuous uphill climb for 6km where we enjoyed lunch with a view. Thern the return was over 8km with an unexpected uphill climb followed by a gradual down to the end. We had a quick look at Waukarie Falls at the end of the track but unfortunately this was dry.

We had intended doing Devil’s Peak climb as well today but unfortunately finishing at 4pm it was a little too late. We have settled in to our camp at Quorn Caravan Park which is a little expensive for an unpowered site but it is what it is. We had a quick dinner in the daylight again and then headed to the Silo Lightship. This was a little history lesson about the area projected on to the silo. t was quite interesting.

Tomorrow we might hike Devil’s Peak before heading on our way towards Coober Pedy.

 

Port Germain, SA

Wednesday 18th May 2022
We had a quiet rest day today.

We started with a 7km walk along the foreshore or Port Germain followed by a walk out along the jetty. The water was calm and the tide was out. As we finished our walk on the way back along the jetty, David noticed tyre tracks heading out passed the jetty. We were wondering if maybe boats were towed out to the deeper water like when we were at Marahau in New Zealand. Our question was answered as we goy to the start of the jetty, we saw a boat being towed out and later that day I saw a tractor tow another boat out.

I tended to house keeping stuff and David did a bit of work for the rest of the day. I went for another 5km walk in the other direction of the foreshore this afternoon. It was a very pleasant walk.

Time to move on tomorrow.

Alligator Gorge – Mt Remarkable National Park, SA

Tuesday 17th May 2022
Well today we intended starting our walk early so we would be finished by lunch time so David could work this afternoon. Yet again, it was an epic fail.

We drove to the start of our walk in the Mt Remarkable National Park which was 31km as the crow flies but to drive there, it was actually 80km and took over an hour. In hindsight, we should have booked a cabin at Wilmington. Oh well, you live and learn, or not. Hehehe!

Start time – midday, not quite the 9am we were anticipating.

Today’s hike, another training run to see how we back up day to day on there trail, was a 10km hike through Alligator Gorge, The Narrows, along the ring Route and The Terraces. It consisted of 250 steps down into the gorge where we chose to go clockwise through the Narrows first. This was a gorge a couple of metres wide which stretches for several hundred metres. It was magnificent orange/red sheer rock faces with a rocky creek bed underfoot. You then hiked out on to a fire trail which went continuously up for over 3.5km with an elevation gain of over 270m. The terrain of the fire trail made this quite an easy climb albeit continuous. We then headed back along a single trail down into Alligator Gorge, through the Terraces which are a series of platforms which the creek flows down. Then back up the 250 steps to the carpark. We then went to the Gorge lookout and the Ali lookout. Each of these didn’t show the enormity of the gorge but they were a picturesque view all the same. Our total hike time was about 3.5 hours. Sadly, we have not seen many birds or wildlife so far this holiday.

We then headed back home via the Horrock’s Pass which is a winding road through the most beautiful countryside. Unfortunately the day was slowly coming to an end and David true to form would be starting his working day after dinner. Fortunately for me, we had a lovely day.

Note: A hike for another visit
Mount Brown Summit Hike
https://www.walkingsa.org.au/walk/find-a-place-to-walk/mount-brown-summit-hike/

Mt Remarkable National Park, SA

Monday 16th May 2022
Well, today was one of many changes. Last night we were heading to Coober Pedy with a possible change to Kangaroo Island. After checking the weather conditions on Kangaroo Island we realised I had checked Kangaroo Island inBrisbane the other day. This was a bummer as the weather was perfect for us and we should have gone there on Saturday. It was just too tight a schedule to get to Cape Jervis for the midday ferry, so we ruled that one out. So off to Coober Pedy we go, or not!

After looking at our 2018 blog at breakfast time, I realised we had a couple of hikes we could have done in the Mt Remarkable National Park last time, so we decided it was time to start training for the Larapinta in a couple of weeks. So Coober Pedy will have to wait for a few days. So with a total change of mind, we headed to the Mt Remarkable NP for a 14km hike, with over 600m elevation gain.

We enjoyed the lovely, winding road through the countryside to the trailhead near Melrose Caravan Park. This brought back memories of David fixing the old Prado, lying under the car on the dirt. We finally got on our way about 11am and headed along the Northern Summit trail to the top. The track started with a comfortable undulation on the usual bush trail, this quickly changed to a continuous uphill, albeit gradual all the way for the next 6km to the top. Much of the track was on rocky stones which moved under your feet on every step, therefore making the track a little more challenging. The scenery along the way was beautiful. At the summit we ate lunch on a lovely platform with no view at all. This is always disappointing as it would be so much nicer to rest with 360° views, which is always the best reward for your efforts. After lunch we hiked down the southern train which was another 7.5km to the bottom. Once again the track was very rocky underfoot, made a little bit harder as it was downhill. As always when going down the legs just keep on going. The views were more filtered on the southern trail but we still had some nice views along the way. We completed the 14.5km summit loop trail in just over 4 hours, which was pretty good considering we haven’t done much hiking of late.

After the hike we made the decision to stay at Port Pirie in a cabin for a couple of days so DB can do a little bit of work, in between walks. So not too many decisions to change our minds on over the next couple of days.

Murray River National Park near Renmark to Port Germain SA

Sunday 15th May 2022
We woke to beautiful sunshine and a picturesque morning was had alongside the Murray River. We then headed off for our drive today towards Port Augusta. We never quite know how far we will get. We drove through more vineyards and citrus farms, plains and then towards the ranges. We noticed the scenery changing to less green except in the town of Morgan which was vibrant green. We managed to get to Port Pirie in time to do some groceries and noticed most of the people were wearing masks. We were then told that they were having an uptake of Covid cases. Fingers crossed I survive the outing.

We then headed to Port Germain for the night. We enjoyed a walk along the jetty – 1.5km each way – the longest timber jetty in the southern hemisphere. We were here in 2018 after the World Titles in Adelaide. Well the plan is to head north to the Northern Territory tomorrow. Not sure how we will go for phone service so if I go missing for a couple of days you will know why. 

Take care and stay safe!

Lake Benanee NSW via Mildura VIC to Renmark SA

Saturday 14th May 2022
We enjoyed a beautiful morning by Lake Benanee, it was so picturesque. We then headed on our way to Mildura with a little bit of sunshine. We wasted a few hours at the shops, almost sidestepped to hike for 5 days on Kangaroo Island because we could manage to get on and off the island on the ferry but the weather forecast turned us off. So instead we headed into South Australia where we drove through some lovely countryside with vineyards of grapes, citrus and olive trees. It was very beautiful. In new Broadbent style we found ourselves a lovely camp in the Murray River National Park just west of Renmark about 4.30pm. We enjoyed a lovely dinner by the river before 5.30pm and were washed up enjoying the peacefulness by 6pm. Very unusual for us. We are now sitting outside enjoying the stars and the serenity of the bush. 

So we enjoyed a lovely breakfast in NSW, Macca’s for lunch in Victoria and another lovely dinner riverside in South Australia.

Hillston to Lake Benanee NSW

Friday 13th May 2022
It was well organised to stay in a cabin last night as we had a considerable amount of rain. And it enabled me to get some food organised for the next couple of days in the comfort of our little home.

We had a long driving day today leaving before 9am and continuing throughout the day, not stopping till about 4pm. We had varied weather throughout the day but it was mostly dry with ever-changing skies.The terrain was mainly flat plains and very beautiful. We had a lovely walk along the Murrumbidgee River at lunch-time in Hay. We had some interesting discussions about life, the Big Bang theory, evolution and God. I am always so amazed at the knowledge held in my husband’s head. He seems to have endless information in there and leaves me feeling a little inadequate. Either that or he has me hoodwinked. Hehehe. We were hoping to make it to Mildura but never keen to stay in the bigger towns, we opted for a free-camp beside Lake Benanee just west of Balranald. We are about 1 hour and 100km shy of our destination of Mildura. Oh well. Maybe tomorrow. 

Parkes to Hillston NSW

Thursday 12th May 2022
Today was to be a big drive day as we haven’t really made a great deal of distance in the last few days. We have seen lots of different things and gone up and down and roundabout, changing direction on a whim. It has been lots of fun.

We are really happy we stayed in the Motel last night as there was a lot of rain overnight and it was still raining this morning. After a slow start we headed west towards Condobolin, halfway there we took a detour at Yarrabandai and headed south towards Bedgerabong, to then head NW to Condobolin. This detour was to see a couple of new sculptures along the way. They were amazing. Definitely a worthwhile detour. We then headed west to Lake Cargelligo for a late lunch, unfortunately the weather impacted the scenery here, as it has for the last couple of days. We then headed further SW to Hillston. It was an enjoyable albeit tiring day of driving for David with the rain, road conditions and length of time. On arrival at Hillston after checking in to a cabin for tonight we went for a walk around Lake Woorabinda before the rain started again.

Wellington to Parkes via Molong, NSW

Wednesday 11th May 2022
Well we managed to get all packed up and on our way just as it started sprinkling. We headed to Mt Arthur and hiked the Apex Nature Trail to Mt Arthur summit. The weather was inclement but we were lucky to hike to the top with minimal rain, just a light sprinkle. The views were good over the town of Wellington. It was a lovely 3.4km walk which took us just under an hour. We then headed on our way to Parkes, at Yeoval WikiCamps indicated many points of interest along the Banjo Paterson Way, so we decided to follow this quiet road through the countryside to Molong for a lunch stop. The points of interest were all part of the animalsonbikes.com.au trail. SO there were emus on a bike, echidna on a bike, dogs on a bike, snakes on a bike and probably my favourite was the frill necked lizard on a bike. This extended our drive by 45 mins but was light entertainment. The rain continued to drizzle all day. We then headed to the Parkes CSIRO Radio Telescope – The Dish where I am always amazed at how much information my husband has in that head of his. Before we got there he explained about how parabolas work. We got to see how this worked as they had 2 dish setup 100m apart and facing one another. We both stood facing the dish and talked softly. We could hear each other talking clearly. It was really cool. Inside the visitor centre there was a fountain of information, of which I will remember very little but David loves to absorb all the information. I am sure he will impart some of it to me along the way. It was amazing to see some of the things developed by the CSIRO. We are staying tonight at the Coachman Hotel Motel to stay a little dry as the forecast is for more rain.

Cassilis to Wellington, NSW

Tuesday 10th May 2022
We had a lovely night at Cassilis Campground, it was so peaceful and was well away from the main road which was a big plus. Our new underlay beneath our mattress even though it is only about 1cm thick it was amazing. We both slept extremely well. I didn’t wake with too many aches after my fall last night. A couple of tender and bruised wrists and a sore knee. Apart from that I came away not too bad. Phew.

I started the day early with a little yoga session and then after breakfast we enjoyed a little walk around the small town of Cassilis. It was very quiet and peaceful. Life is so different here in the country. 

We then headed on our way, the initial plan was to head to Dubbo Zoo but David found a road less travelled and we headed along the Ulan Road to Ulan, gulping and Wellington. We had hardly been driving for maybe 20 mins when we detoured off the road to some Aboriginal Rock Paintings called ‘Hands on Rock’ which was a short 650m walk each way with a little extra as we went the wrong way. The paintings are on a long sandstone overhang painted by the Wiradjuri hundreds to thousands of years ago. There are over 100 stencils of women and children hands, emu feet and other motifs. 

Then a little further up the road we went on another bushwalk to the Drip Lookout walking track which was about 3km. This meandered along the Goulburn River to the Drip which is a 35m overhanging cliff on the northern side of the Goulburn River Gorge. At The Drip there is a continuous drip of water seeping from the cliff, huge fallen blocks of sandstone , pools and small rapids. 

We enjoyed a lovely drive from here to Gulgong where we enjoyed the views at Flirtation Lookout and then continued along to Wellington. It is so peaceful when we take the road less travelled. When we arrived at Wellington we had intended to go to Dubbo and then visit the zoo but we weren’t expecting this little detour to take until 3pm, so it was time for a change of plan. WE decided to stay the night at the Wellington Caves Caravan Park where we went on the last tour of the day into the Cathedral Cave. This was a 1 hour tour into the Cathedral Cavern where the altar was depicted with Stalagmites behind it. The altar still has an old bible on it which has now been covered with crystal. They have a couple of weddings here each year and they previously had Christmas and Easter services.
After the tour we managed an early dinner, yay for us. Dinner and dishes done by 6.15pm. We then enjoyed the lovely facilities in the lounge/camp kitchen.

Tomorrow is supposed to rain all day so we will see what develops.