Thursday, 21 November 2013

Poochera to Broken Hill

Sunday 27th October

We did a quick drive past the Ceduna waterfront but it was overcast and not looking its best so we drove on to Poochera.

We arrived at Poochera and stopped at the roadhouse. The man there insisted we go to the Markets. They were tiny but attracted a huge crowd (probably from the outlying properties because the town was tiny!)


Then it was off to Wudinna to see ‘Australian Farmer’ a huge granite statue 8.5 metres high and weighing 130 tonnes.

We drove on to (766) Polkdinney Park next to Kyancutta General Store.


It was a pretty little spot. It must have been good because 40,000 blow flies can’t be wrong!

We settled down and at about 4.00 pm a strange little man arrived and parked his car about 50 metres away and just stared at us. He didn’t get out of his car or anything, just sat there. Anyway, at about 9.00 pm his car started up and we thought ‘that’s a bit odd; what a strange time to leave’. It turns out, he didn’t leave, he just came and parked right next to us. Now that was just too weird!!!!  This is the third time this has happened and we figured maybe South Australians just get lonely and feel the need to be almost touching or this is a psychopath with homicidal tendencies. After ten seconds of thinking music we decided to hightail it out of there and as we drove off, he just gave us a smile and a wave….very strange.

Any way, we figured better a live chicken than a couple of dead ducks so we drove on about 11 km and parked up at (765) Goyders Line Memorial Rest Area.

It was totally deserted and we parked right up the back so we couldn’t be seen from the highway and decided to watch a couple of TV shows to settle our nerves. We started off with N.C.I.S. This proved to be not the best choice because the opening scenes showed a woman being stabbed to death in her shower….shades of Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’. Later, however things improved somewhat and we finally fell asleep.

Monday 28th October

Goyders Line  was a line marked on the map by the Surveyor General in the 1800s as the limits of land considered safe for agriculture.


And by the way, two other vehicles had joined us during the night.

What is it with these people????
We drove on to Kimba, a lovely little RV friendly town. It has free camp sites in the town and the town is the neatest, least shabby town we have seen so far in SA. Kimba is renowned for having The Big Galah but after doing about 3 laps of the town proper and not finding it, we headed out to White’s Knob Lookout. 
It has great views and a huge metal sculpture of Edward John Eyre and his Aboriginal guide.



Having almost despaired of finding ‘The Big Galah’ and beginning to feel that we were actually the only big galahs around, imagine our delight at stumbling upon it on our way out of town.


In our outpouring of joy at this find, we almost overlooked the fact that we were actually Half Way Across Australia!!!

A short drive down the highway brought us to Iron Knob, birthplace of the Australian Steel Industry.

Iron Ore was discovered here in 1894. Now, sadly, it looks almost like a ghost town. The houses are very deserted looking but the mine is still operating.


From there, it was straight on to Port Augusta. We went to Woolies and booked Indie in for a service at Emanuele Bros. As we headed off to Shoreline Caravan Park ($29.70), there was the all too familiar sound of crockery smashing to the floor. Never the less, we continued on and on arrival at the Caravan Park, I related my tale of woe, vis-a-vie the crockery and the lady told me that on one of their outings, they lost a jar of pickled onions in a similar manner.


We had a lovely view across Spencer Gulf to the Flinders Ranges.


Tuesday 29th October

We got a message from Ben with another photo of the gorgeous Xander. Note the outfit he is wearing with ‘Lock up your daughters’ emblazoned on it was purchased by his loving Uncle Paul in Dubai.

This is the first photo we have had for ages with Xander’s eyes open and it looks like they are quite brown instead of the original Johnsen Blue.

We wandered around Port Augusta and went to the Tourist Info Centre and gleaned as much as we could about Broken Hill. Then it was off to Big W to replenish crockery supplies before heading off to Flinders Look Out for lunch.

Then it was off to get Indie’s service done. The folk at Emanuele Bros were quite good (although they did end up charging us $401.70). They had a lovely lounge area where we could sit and wile away the hours (all three of them). There was another couple, Leonie and Graham from Hervey Bay there as well and we had a good old natter.


Then we were off on the highway again, through Wilmington and the Flinders Ranges. I just had to get a pic of this road sign. It cracked Ron and I up.


The scenery around here is just stunning.

We finally stopped at (327) Orroroo Rest Area. The birds were making a terrific row and jumping all over our roof. Ron ran outside and did his best possible impression of a robotic scarecrow and they moved only to return immediately he came back inside.


At least this time we are alone (or so it seemed). When Ron went outside again later, there was a caravan parked nearby but at least this time it was at a respectable distance.

Wednesday 30th October
We headed off and the scenery was still lovely. We even stopped to see The Big Gum Tree, estimated to be 500 years old with its circumference of 10.89 metres and the view from the top of Tank Hill near Orroroo.

Then it was off to Peterborough which embraces its connections with the railways.  


It is one of the few places in the world to have all three railway-line gauges. Between 1881 and the 1950s when the population was around 5,000, up to 3,000 were dependent on the railway system for employment.

From here, we drove through several towns where ‘Welcome to ….’ And ‘Farewell From ….’ Would both fit in the same photo.

Then we finally arrived at the border


We drove on to Broken Hill, called at the Tourist Info Centre which was just about to close and settled in to Broken Hill Tourist Park ($32.40) for at least the next three nights.

We had spent over 4 months in WA and just 4 days in SA. May be next time……


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