Saturday, 9 November 2013

Norseman WA to Ceduna SA

Wednesday 23rd October

We were up at the crack of dawn again and off on the road to Norseman. The day was sunny and showed enough promise for me to wear a short sleeved shirt. The promise did not come true however, and while it was quite pleasant inside Indie, the instant you went outside, you froze. But it was sunny and that definitely lifted our spirits.

Norseman is a historical gold mining town and WA’s gateway to the Nullarbor. Legend has it that a prospector named Laurie Sinclair tethered his horse ‘Hardy Norseman’ to a tree overnight in the 1890s. By morning, the horse had unearthed a piece of gold bearing quartz by pawing the ground.
In the middle of town is a beaut looking herd of corrugated iron camels.

We walked around (that took 5 minutes) and I made my first purchase at an Op Shop (a pretty $2.00 Blouse). Immediately on our return to Indie, I put it in a bucket of Nappy San (along with one of Ron’s shirts) and off we went.

We stopped for lunch at (25) Fraser Range Rest Area, rinsed out the washing and set off again.
We drove through Balladonia where space debris from ‘Skylab’ came down in 1979.
Just down the road, we came upon this golden photo opportunity.

Just to prove it was straight, here is Ron doing his ‘look Ma, no hands’ as we speed along at 90 kph.

We finally arrived at (19) Woorlba Homestead Rest Area and set up camp. As I am finally feeling much recovered and mainly off the pain killers for the present, I did my social butterfly flit around the camp.

There were quite a few campers here and Ian and Cheryl from Port Pirie SA were really friendly.


I chatted to them for ages. Ronnie stayed in Indie and had a bit of a rest. He copes well with late nights, but the early mornings are finally catching up with him.


Thursday 24th October

We set off early and the wind was still quite cold but the skies were blue.

Just before Caiguna, there was a sign for the Caiguna Blowhole. We were a bit intrigued, as we were not that close to the ocean so sallied forth to investigate.

It turned out that they are like vents from underground caves. Apparently, all caves breathe: a cave breathes out when air pressure falls and breathes in when it rises. Nullarbor Caves breathe more vigorously than any others in Australia. Air movement in one cave was measured at about 72 km/h.
After that, we drove through Madura Pass with its great views of the Roe Plains.


Then we drove on to (9) Moodini Bluff for the night.
Friday 25th October
We are getting close to the border now. The sun is up. The sky is blue. And it is quite warm. We drove through to Eucla, best known for its Telegraph Station ruins. The Telegraph Station opened in 1877 and the first message sent was to Perth on 8th December and stated ‘Eucla line opened. Hurrah.’

It is amazing to see how much the sand has swallowed up of the old building. It is also amazing to see the quality of the building work, the way the stone blocks fit together.
We arrived at Border Village.
We crossed the border into WA at Kununurra on 16th June so we have had just over four fun filled adventurous months.
Being paranoid about fruit and vegetables at border crossings, we pulled over to the side of the road and hastily devoured every piece of fresh fruit and veg.
Then we realised that this is the checkpoint for vehicles entering WA and the checkpoint for vehicles entering SA is at Ceduna. Mind you if you get caught with anything between here and there you will be fined and it is 479 km away!
So, we travelled towards the town of Nullarbor for a distance of 164 kms, with Nullarbor National Park to the left and Great Australian Bight Marine Park on the right.

There were plenty of great views of both.


There were also plenty of warning signs for camels, wombats and kangaroos but we had only seen blue tongue lizards and one very fast moving black snake.
These spectacular Bunda cliffs which stand 60 metres high, continue for over 200kms to the Head of Australian Bight.

When you see the overhanging edge of the cliff eroded away like this, you really appreciate all the ‘Danger Do not go near the edge, it may fall down!!!!’ signs everywhere.


We arrived at (803) 164k Peg Rest Area. By now, the temperature was quite warm and I was thinking ‘summer nightie’. We set up camp and were having dinner when a strange man in a station wagon arrived and parked right near us. He didn’t have to, there was plenty of room. Ron and I were a little uneasy and Ron slept with his little axe next to his bed. (He figured if we were going to be slain by an axe murderer, he might as well use our axe!) It did not eventuate and in the morning he was gone.

Saturday 26th October

We left camp and headed out towards Head of Australian Bight.

It is situated on Yalata Aboriginal Reserve and there is a $7.00 entry fee each to go and through the Whale Centre and look from the lookout so we didn’t.
Ron thought he saw a Policeman in a tree with a radar gun- turned out it was a mannequin with a Freemantle Dockers flag probably left by supporters who drove over to Melbourne for the Grand Final.

We drove through Nundroo, the western extremity of SA agricultural land and Penong, ‘town of 100 windmills’.
From here we headed through to Ceduna and the Quarantine Station. The lovely man, came aboard, looked about and said ‘Pass Friend’.
We drove into town and most everything was closed. Foodlands was open so we grabbed more supplies and headed off to (789) A1 Cabins & Caravan Park ($22.00). It was probably the worst park so far.  It made Salmon Gums look good! After much discussion, we have decided that SA is best described as ‘shabby’.
Later on, a camper trailer came and parked right on top of us. There was heaps of room. We were the only non-permanents in the whole park so he had at least a dozen other sites to choose from.
The one good thing has been that it is much warmer. It is sunny and there is a warm breeze.


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