5th March 2019
The weather was forecast to be showery and so it was but only brief showers of a few minutes interspersed with sunshine.
Drove the 25km to Port MacDonnell (the southernmost town in South Australia) and paid a visit to the Tourist information office which was also the local library and Maritime Museum.
Opposite were some large murals.
The museum was quite interesting showing the local history but as a maritime museum it was a bit tedious being a history of ship wrecks along the coast including one which resulted in 89 deaths
Next door to the museum was the old Customs House with a German WWII mine in the courtyard – the Germans mined the sea route from Adelaide to Melbourne.
Next visit was to the site of the old lighthouse with its spectacular coastal views.
Had intended to drive along the coast but the road suddenly ended and the sat nav showed the route via Mount Gambier which seemed a bit of a waste of time.
Stopped at Mount Schank one of the many local extinct volcanos, there was a path to the rim. It was pretty steep but the views made it worth the effort.
Funny thing was that the sound of a herd of cows a few kms away sounded as if it was next door.
Returned to the caravan park after topping up with fuel and doing a bit of shopping.
3rd March 2019
Didn’t leave until nearly 10am because only a journey just over 200km today, not only that, South Australia is half an hour behind the eastern states.
It was a largely uneventful journey mostly using back roads to cut cross country. The only problem with these roads is that there are never any rest areas except street parking in any small town. The weather was overcast only reaching 23’C but a pleasant change from the heatwave of the previous two days. Everything looked very dry and there was no rain in these clouds.
Arrived at Mount Gambier about midday and checked into a caravan park virtually in the centre of town. The owner was very helpful with events and sight to see.
At 1pm walked to the Riddoch Art Centre to watch a film about describing how the local area was formed from volcanic activity when Australia separated from from Gondwana Land and how the weakness caused by this fault line later led to the formation of the Blue Lake and lava flows travelling for 100s of kms into Victoria.
Nearby is Cave Gardens right in the town centre – basically a sinkhole.
Returned to camp for a shower before wandering out for a walk ending up at about 5.30pm at the Mount Gambier Community RSL where we had a meal and a couple of drinks.
Just to give you an idea of the trip around Australia as a whole here is a rough map of the journey. It doesn’t show where I actually stayed – just the centre of the town – nor does it show any of the side trips.
The idea is that it gives you an overall view.
The First Day
My camper was in Canberra so leaving home was really just a matter of packing the car with all the stuff the camper couldn’t hold.
There was 30 litres of water and 20 litres of fuel though I cheated with the water taking empty containers and filling them up when I arrived in Canberra.
I spent the Friday night at Katie and Geoff’s House, in the morning I had to buy a few things like milk and ice (thank you Katie for taking me) but eventually I set off before noon.
22 April 2017 – Driving to Narrandera .
A well travelled route but I let the TomTom take me its variation of the quickest route via Jugiong and the back roads to Cootamundra, Junee and Coolamon. Definitely saw a lot of sheep going this way and not much traffic.
Arrived at Narrandera mid afternoon but having visited here only a month or go past did nothing but get fuel and eat.
The weather was warm and mostly sunny.
23 April 2017 A change of plan.
I had intended to stay the night at Balranald but after setting off at 9.30am was there just after 12pm. As I have said on other occasions the Hay Plain is not the world’s most exciting drive and apart from being buzzed by a crop duster (they are totally mad) this was no exception. Decided to press on to Mildura.
24th April 2017 Port Augusta
The weather was fine until the SA border when it started to cloud over. Usual stop at Yamba just inside SA for the state quarantine Service to check for Fruit, veggies etc Stopped at Morgan for ice and I also bought a sausage roll (living the good life).
From Bulla on the showers started and by Port Pirie it was a downpour, visibility was poor and when I bought fuel just outside Port Augusta the service station exit was under several inches of water.
The caravan park was quite a big one with more vans and motor homes than I had seen in a park but this is the last place on my journey that I have visited before so from tomorrow all is new and progress will be much slower.
All is forgiven – woke to a beautiful sunny morning. Showered, had breakfast wiped the windows and headlights clean of bugs (an advantage of wet weather).
Noticed A frame caravan owners are obsessed with sweeping before they dismantle their camper – a statistic based on an observation of two.
No rush this morning might only be only travelling about 155km.