Posts Tagged With: South Australia

Great Ocean Road

Great Ocean Road, originally uploaded by gypsy woman1.

After 4 days the rain was clearing so we are on the move again. It was a refreshing stop in Mt Gambia and refueled our batteries…

So now it was heading for another of the great Australian icons, The Great Ocean Road.

On the way we stayed in Nelson and had a cruise down the Glenelg river. Again very high due to the floods in Victoria and a very chocolately colour.The cruise took us to the Princess Margaret Rose caves, Impressive look at the under world of this volcanic region.

Next stop Bridgewater beach and cape and went for a 2 hour walk up to 130 metres above sea level to look at a seal colony, it was a very windy day and sort of tested our heart rates. Then we went round to see the blowholes and petrified forest only to see a sign telling us that the walk to the seal colony from that side of the cape was not so steep…. Oh well we told our selves we needed the exercise…

That night we stayed at Portland and found the first Aldi store since we left Queensland, very good wine prices, some at $2-99 so of course we stocked up to keep us in “happy hour” supplies.

Next stop Port Fairy, a beautiful seaside village with charm and character. We got the bikes off and biked around the art trail and looked at the stone heritage listed houses and buildings. Weather was perfect for biking.

As we left we went to see the Hopkins river waterfall it was roaring and almost like a miniature Niagara falls. This is volcanic area and every where there is evidence of the past volcanic activity. Tower Hill is a large crater formed 12000 years ago. That seems a long time ago but to put it in context it is said that the aboriginals were here back then and have many dream time stories of the eruptions. It is now a national park and has been restored to the original vegetation after been stripped in the mid 1800s for farming. Native flora and fauna are now back in the area and we saw koalas and emus, in fact had a bit of a scary encounter with an emu as he got very close as I videoed him…

Then it was on to Warnambool where we planned to stay for the night. We have had no problems getting into camp grounds because even though it is middle of the school holidays many people have cancelled due to the floods every where, so we just look for some where to stay as we arrive in each area. Well suddenly the holiday high season caught up with us and we were told camp grounds would be approx $50 a night for a powered site. There is no freedom camps in this area, with fines if you try to stay any where but in a camp ground. So we just kept going and Warnambool missed the pleasure of our company….

We did find a place just outside Warnambool at $35 even that was hurtful to the budget.

Then it was on to the Great Ocean Road..

Categories: australian travel, Camping grounds, caravan park, emus, South Australia, video | Tags: , | Leave a comment


Coorong , originally uploaded by gypsy woman1.

As the weather had been hot in Adelaide, mid 30’s+, we decided to take the coast road, the Limestone coast, we had no idea what to expect but it is turning into a delightful drive.

First night we stayed at Meningie on Lake Albert, one of a series of lakes fed by the Murray just before it reaches the ocean. These lakes have been so low due to the drought one person in the van park, who comes regularly from Adelaide to spend time here, told us you could almost walk right across a few months ago. Now due to flooding in Queensland it is now full right to the banks and you could swim in it from the van park.

We had stopped for groceries in the village and parked next to us was a family of aboriginals. Jack got talking to the elder of the group and he told us he was a relation of David Unaipon, whose portrait is on the $50 note. He also told us of an aboriginal cultural centre to look for on our way out of town.

That evening we went to the Old Cheese Factory restaurant, which is right next to the van park. Their speciality is a sea food platter for 2 at $39 and featuring Coorong mullett, the delicacy of this area. It was delicious with a glass of wine…

It was a beautiful evening watching the sun go down over the lake.

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Hahndorf home of Hans Heysen

Hahndorf , originally uploaded by gypsy woman1.

One last highlight before we left Adelaide was a trip into the Adelaide hills to visit Harndorf. Fabio took us in his car and we spent a very pleasant day wandering around this historic german village. It was settled by the Lutherans fleeing Germany in the 1800’s and it has retained its German atmosphere and is a very popular place for a day trip from Adelaide. With interesting galleries, boutiques, antique shops, op shops,cafes and pubs.Being 2nd January it was a public holiday and was crowded with families and tourists enjoying the atmosphere. We had a good roast lunch at the Old Mill pub and it only cost us $7-90 each and was delicious.

The final highlight of the day was a visit to “The Cedars” the home of Hans Heysen. A short way out from the village, the home has been kept as a monument to his work and left as it was when he lived in it. We had an even greater privilege in store as Sheila Heysen, the second wife of David Heysen, son of Hans, was visiting the home and she took us on a tour of the house, telling us many stories and anecdotes of when the family lived here, and explaining the stories behind many of the beautiful paintings hanging in every room. Then we went over to the studio that Hans had purpose-built for him to work in. Around the property of 40 acres there was still many of the magnificent gums that Hans used in his paintings and a novel way of displaying them was to erect a copy of the painting showing the gums in front of the trees that had been used in the painting.It was late afternoon as we walked around and the light on the gums was magical.

Categories: australian travel, South Australia | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Rundle Mall, Adelaide

Rundle Mall, originally uploaded by gypsy woman1.

This is the heart of Adelaide’s CBD. A green, leafy, inviting place to wander along listening to the buskers or sit and people watch, one of our favourite past times, and Adelaide is a rich mixture of nationalities. We found out that the reason migrants come here is that they are encouraged to choose South Australia as they are given 5 extra points and need fewer points to settle here rather than go to the eastern states.

It is rich in dress and different cultures. The historic architecture is well-preserved and the houses in suburbia are solid stone or brick cottage style in their own sections.

Categories: Adelaide, australian travel, South Australia | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Adelaide botanic gardens

Adelaide botanic gardens, originally uploaded by gypsy woman1.

These botanic gardens are so interesting and the rainforest in the bicentennial dome was my favourite part of the gardens. Every 15 minutes there would be a light misty rain fall and as it finished the sun reflecting through the top created this magical effect.

Categories: australian travel, botanic gardens, South Australia | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Boxing Day 2010

Adelaide couch surfing, originally uploaded by gypsy woman1.

Boxing day was a get together of a league of nations. This is one of the great things about couch surfing, you meet so many interesting people. Marion is a very welcoming hostess and never turns requests for a couch down. So on Boxing day we had Taave, from Estonia arrive after HITCH HIKING across the Nullabor, ( he slept in his tent that he is carrying with him) Sebastian from Belgium and his girlfriend from France came to stay a few days before going out back to work on a large sheep station. They really do not know what to expect but it will be a great adventure they are looking forward to. Then Fabio, Marion Jack and me and of course Marion’s delightful little Jack Russell called Weasel that we fell in love with. Will get a better photo of him as he shook his head just as I took the photo.

So it has been a great Christmas and now the weather is starting to heat up with 46 deg day today, 30th December, and the same predicted for tomorrow the last day of the year, phew, I think we can finally put the winter clothes away…

Categories: australian travel, couch surfing, South Australia | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Adelaide couch surfing

Adelaide couch surfing, originally uploaded by gypsy woman1.

10 years ago before Marion bought this house it was a plumbers supply shop. Now the shop area has been stripped of all the fittings and one end of the large area changed into a work area and the other end is a buddhist shrine.

The living area behind the shop is large and comfortable, so Marion has plenty of places for couch surfers to stay. Jack is sleeping on a very comfortable mattress on the floor in Buddhas room. I am sleeping in Matilda.

Categories: accomadation, couch surfing, free travel accomadation, South Australia, travel | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Adelaide couch surfing

Adelaide couch surfing, originally uploaded by gypsy woman1.

We are couch surfing again and have been very lucky to stay with Marion. Her house is in Richmond, a suburb within a 20 minute bike ride of the CBD and it is flat and has bike paths all the way, but a further bonus is if you are on a seniors card you get free rides on the public transport. Matilda fits nicely into a corner of the drive.

Marion has a very interesting garden it is a permaculture design and is a rustic mix of vegies, herbs, fruit trees and flowers. At this time of the year many of the plants have gone to seed but the idea of permaculture is to leave them all to self sow. We find a lovely selection of greens and herbs for our meals

Categories: australian travel, couch surfing, garden, South Australia | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Flinders Rangers

Flinders Rangers, originally uploaded by gypsy woman1.

Christmas was now getting closer but before we left this area I wanted to have a look at the Flinders Ranges. It was a beautiful drive with the incredibly old mountain range and the huge sky we had to keep stopping for photos. When we came to a small town called Hawker we went to see the Panorama of the Wilpena Pound area (click on this link it tells the background and shows pictures of the painting). It was stunning. It was housed in a specially built round building and when you entered the room there was a raised platform so you could see the whole panorama. It was so realistic, and even more remarkable was that Jeff Morgan the artist was self-taught.
This is the off-season in this area as usually it is much hotter by now, we were lucky again with the weather, and as it was Christmas week many of the attractions in the area were closed, galleries, coffee shops, etc, we could only peer through the windows, it wetted our appetites to see more so maybe we will have to come here again…
One place that was open, but only just, as Teresa, the owner, was busy packing up her stock, was a small gift shop in Quorn. She invited us in to look around and I bought a small decoration to put up in Matilda and Teresa insisted on piling us up with gifts, “I don’t want to pack all this up” she said, and would not take any extra payment. We came out with a lovely carpenter teddy bear, gift pack with quondong chutney and seeds of the quondong tree plus a beautiful sun hat decorated with sunflowers that she gave me when I said I love sunflowers, how very kind people are.
So Now it is Adelaide here we come….
Categories: National Parks, South Australia, travel | Tags: , | Leave a comment

The Nullabor

The Nullabor , originally uploaded by gypsy woman1.

Well we have done it….

Nullabor, the word is surrounded with an aura of adventure and mystique. An endless, treeless plain stretching to the horizon under an azure blue sky with the sun beating down. But in a way, to start with, it was an anti-climax. The adventure part has gone with a dozen emergency phones at regular intervals, parking bays every 20 to 30 ks, road houses with petrol and all basic supplies and friendly staff approx every 300ks.Also good free camp spots and an excellent road surface, no bulldust to be seen. The landscape was an ever-changing vista. The first part was still the eucalypt forest we had seen at Norseman and Kalgoorlie. The eucalypt trees were shimmering with new growth and some of them were flowering. We were told that there had been an unusually high rainfall during spring. Last month had double the YEARS total.( Weather patterns are strange every where. WA was suffering from its driest winter ever.)

Gradually the trees thinned out and golden grass waved in the breeze, dotted with more stunted trees, shrubs and salt bush.

The first night we stayed at Caiguna Roadhouse caravan park. A very basic van park. Next day the weather continued fine and sunny with a light sea breeze keeping the temperature to approx mid 20’s. What a lovely drive, we averaged approx 300ks a day. The scenery was still interesting and varied. Every so often a dead tree would be festooned with “things” ie a shoe tree, a hat tree even a bra tree, gave us some thing to watch for and of course always the possibility of seeing a native animal, but we didn’t.

Second night we found a beautiful free camping spot in the bush. Tracks led off from the highway and wound back through the bush with pockets of shady areas to camp in.I cooked all our remaining vegs for dinner as tomorrow we go into SA. That night there was a stunning sunset.

Third day dawned fine again and today we crossed the border into South Australia . Along here the road runs close to the ocean and we took the side trips to the lookouts over the Bunda Cliffs. They stretch 200kms and tower 90 metres above the Southern Ocean pounding in on the rocks below. Awesome sight….

As we approached the Nullabor Roadhouse, our camp for the night, the landscape flattened out to the iconic “treeless plain”, stretching to every horizon.The roadhouse was again a very basic, gravel parking lot, but we did manage to get under one of the three trees in the area.

At 2am we woke with a wind roaring across the plain and shaking Matilda frighteningly.We moved all the equipment down from the top shelf and pulled the pop top down. At 5am we woke to the sound of thunder and a storm with heavy rain passed over. When we looked out at 6-30 and started packing to move on, the sky was very black and stormy looking.

We now found out what the Nullabor can throw at you and how it can change so suddenly. The very strong wind was blowing from the north-east, across the desert area, and was like a hot blast from an oven. It would dehydrate you very quickly if you had to walk out into it. The sun beat down and we were very thankful we had air con. Even with that on the van was hot and uncomfortable, but Matilda just kept going at a steady 100kms/hr. We did have one side trip when we went down to the Head of the Bight lookout that was $5 entry and in the whale watching season is a perfect view-point, but the season is now ended. The treeless plain stretched for approx 100ks.

We were very pleased to arrive at the Ceduna Roadhouse at 4-30 and go into their air-conditioned cafe. We bought an iced coffee and took our books in and settled in a corner till the temperature started to cool down.

So we have experienced the Nullabor and I wasn’t disappointed with the trip, but don’t think we will be doing it again….

Next day it was another complete change of weather with the temperature dropping to 21deg and as we drove down the Eyre Peninsular even had a few showers.

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Categories: australian travel, camping, The Nullabor | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

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