South Australia

Algebuckina Bridge, on the Oodnadatta track

This rusting monument to the Victorian era spans the Neales River, an area prone to flooding, and the impressive engineering still dominates its surroundings 125 years after its official opening. Long disused three graves lie nearby, and a rusty 1948 FJ Holden that was hit by a train as it tried to cross the bridge in a flood

With a total length of 580m long, built in the remote heat of an area west of Lake Eyre and near the southern reaches of the Simpson desert, its worth a stop, if only to cool off in the river.

 

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Categories: 4WD, Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Offroad, Photography, Photos, Road trip, South Australia, Travel, Travel Adventure | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Ewen’s Ponds

Where refreshing (some say “cold”) springs bubble through the sandy pond floor, the life source of an verdant underwater ecosystem

Categories: australia, Australian Outback, Discover Australia, Explore, Explore Australia, Photography, SA, South Australia, Travel, Travel Adventure | Tags: | Leave a comment

Unreported shark attacks along the south coast!

On our travels along the southern coastal bits of the country we have noticed an alarming number of shark attacks that go unreported. The evidence of these attacks can easily be found as the poor victims body parts are strewn across many of the beaches we have visited.

I have even personally witnessed one such attack in the water in Sydney and can report that luckily the victims are already deceased. The sharks are actually just doing their duty of cleaning up the dead carcasses of cuttlefish. Cuttlefish have a relatively short lifecycle usually only living 2-3 years. They breed and die shortly afterwards, providing a vital food source to any hungry scavengers. All that is left after the clean-up process is the brittle internal cuttlefish bone that can be found washed up on the beach. We have frequently found these cuttlefish bones bitten in half, or covered with shark teeth indentation marks (see photo).

Basically it is the case of nature taking its course and nothing sinister as the heading might have implied.

Victims of shark attacks

Victims of shark attacks

 

Categories: Animal Action, australia, Beach, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Natural World, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, West Australia | Tags: | 2 Comments

Elliston and Streaky Bay (flashback)

From Coffin Bay we drove north up the west coast of the Eyre Peninsula towards Streaky Bay. The kids really wanted to see the famous Great White Shark caught in 1990 that weighed 1500kg and was caught by rod and reel on 28kg line.

 

First stop was Elliston where the Tourist Information doubled as shop for local jams – raspberry was the pick of the day, and Op Shop with some cool shorts for the boys. Heading out of town we drove the scenic cliff drive lined with sculptures, giant thongs, surfer on a bike, Rapanui-style heads and a few other impressive ones too.

Just beyond Elliston we paid a quick visit to Talia caves, worthy of the 6km detour. The combination of limestone on top of sandstone has been eroded by the sea over the millennia resulting in long caves under the cliff. In the case of the Tub the thin roof has collapsed, leaving a tunnel to the sea.

Further north again beyond Sceale Bay a dirt road takes you out to Point Labatt where a sea lion colony can be observed from the cliff top.  Sea lions and Fur Seals were both present and the former were in quite a playful mood in the shallows of the protected reef.

 

 

Categories: Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Natural World, Photography, South Australia, Travel, Travel Adventure | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Postcards from Hannah and Xavier

Postcard from Xavier

Recently we arrived at Four Mile beach. We set up camp and walked to the beach. We all thought it was the best beach because at the start they saw a snake and when they got on the beach Dad and Mum found dried seadragons. The cool bit was that it was Valentine’s Day. Then the next day my Dad came to the beach with me and found his favourite animal dried. It’s a leafy seadragon, but its head fell off.

I wish I could go back soon.

Postcard from Hannah

Recently I have been across the Nullarbor. The first stop was Cactus beach. It was really nice and it was really good because we met some kids from Perlubie Beach and they were coming to Cactus beach. We were very lucky to get some friends to play with that we already knew. After Cactus we went to see Fowler Bay. We didn’t stay there, though we stayed somewhere nearby that was called Fowler Bay National Park. It was full with rubbish but we made sand dune houses out of sand. We had a factory, a toy world, and a caravan park. We mainly spent all of our time up in the dunes.

In Eucla we met a girl called Amber. She owned a park. She let us feed the chickens, the sheep, the geese and the horses. She even let me ride the horse, let me look at the  sheep, geese, and the chickens and horses. Amber has two horses and they are called Dolly and Matilda. We rode Dolly because she was a 20 year old pony and Matilda is a lot wilder than Dolly. My favourite horse was Dolly because we got to ride Dolly and feed Dolly.

Amber does school of the air. I would think it would be awesome to do school of the air.

We fed Matilda an apple and some horse biscuits. We only fed Dolly horse biscuits when Dolly was good and did what we said.

Categories: australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, National Park, South Australia, Travel, Travel Adventure, West Australia | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Into the Nullarbor

As we drove towards the Nullarbor Plain we couldn’t resist to stop for the road signs, look out for Camels, Kangaroos and Wombats. Pulling over at lunchtime the kids soon were running back to car clutching beautiful feathers, asking what they were from. A quick scan of nearby trees revealed a group of Major Mitchells, or Pink Cockatoos, beautiful birds and one to add to the list of sightings.

 

At Nullarbor we turned north off the road, to look for Murrawijinie Caves, lying approximately 10km along a dirt track. The temperature gauge snuck up to 46 degrees and was testing everyone. Why were we looking around in this heat in the bush for caves didn’t need to be said but the moment they set foot in the cool shaded environment below all was forgiven. I have never seen Amanda move so fast down a 3m log to get out of the heat. We found a wall with aboriginal red ochre hand paintings which proved quite exciting for the kids. In one cave we climbed down some tight passages until we found a large pile of bones, those of animals who had entered and perished after failing to find their way out. Many raptors roost and nest in the cool caves and so we found many rodent bones scattered in piles too, particularly beneath one owl nest.

After killing some time out of the heat we finally had to re-emerge from the caves and find a camp. We camped at the head of the Great Australian Bight, literally on the clifftops, not a place to go if you are at all susceptible to sleepwalking.

Up early and off again before the wind could blow us over the cliffs! We found a zebra crossing in the middle of the Nullarbor Plain (only a few hundred cars cross the 1600km plain daily) so we had to use it. After a couple more lookouts we decided to explore and drove off along an unsigned little track.

After 15km a myriad of diminishing tracks brought us to a homestead and a vintage car graveyard. We were looking for more caves but gave up eventually fearing our ability to retrace our route back along the tracks. But first we had to take photos and a GPS position to check where we had been later.

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Finally we worked our way back to the main road and headed West again. Next stop West Australia!

 

Categories: 4WD, Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Camper Trailer, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Photography, South Australia, Travel, Travel Adventure | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

West Australia – here we come

Just as we approached the West Australian border a wild dingo calmly crossed the freeway in front of us. It was our first on the trip. We pulled over for lunch to eat some residual items that we knew would be lost through quarantine. 25km short of the border the coastline becomes a sloping descent rather than precipitous cliffs. Whilst a dirt road to the beach beckoned we gave it a miss and the kids had fun catching desert cockroaches in the car park. These insects were of herculean stature, buzzing past slowly everywhere. We swatted a couple for closer examination.

At the border we decided to play another Nullarbor Links hole to relieve the boredom of long straight roads. The straight par 3 hole looked a doddle, but when the clubs were handed over without balls, “because everyone loses them”, we noticed the fairway was largely rocks and dirt and it wasn’t long before balls were ricocheting into the bush in all directions. Armed with two clubs, one for striking the ball, the other for defence against abundant brown snakes, we zigzagged our way up the fairway several times, as we all wanted a go and we only had two balls. Best score of the day, two over par, 5.

50m away as we crossed the border we had a good chat with the quarantine officers who spoiled the kids with chuppa chups. We surrendered the few remaining items we hadn’t been able to eat then drove through. Here we are in West Australia after almost 15,000km on the clock.

Categories: 4WD, Adventure, Animal Action, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Camper Trailer, Car, Challenges, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Mitsubishi, Photography, South Australia, Travel, Travel Adventure, West Australia | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Ceduna and heading towards the Nullarbor

Ceduna was just a stop to fill up with water, clean up a bit, stock up with supplies and plan for the trip across the Nullabor. All but the planning were performed proficiently. We found a few spares that were required and spent quite a bit of time catching blue swimmer crabs off the jetty again.

After two days in Ceduna we travelled the one hour or so north west to the famous surfing beach, Cactus, at Port Sinclair. The three main surf spots there are Cactus, Castles and Caves, all a short distance from the campground. The swell was small but there were enough waves to keep the surfers happy. Most impressive was the windsurfer catching the waves though. With no board it was frustrating just having to watch, but with two shark attacks in NSW in the last two days, and a memorial plaque for a surfer taken from Cactus in September 2000, I was happy to watch the keen ones surf beyond sundown.

The next day we went for a swim in a nearby salt lake and found a golf ball ready for the next challenge. We stopped in Penong for a hole of golf on the Nullarbor Links course, the longest in the world. With not a single blade of green grass to be seen we all launched in and I think the best result was a score of 8 on the par 4 hole. Challenge complete!

Next stop Fowlers Bay where we camped near the beach in the National Park. We all snorkelled and I fished one night/morning with limited success – still not sure what fish I caught and returned but think it might have been a small jewfish. Time to press onwards and into the Nullarbor.

 

Categories: Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Photography, South Australia, Travel, Travel Adventure | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Streaky Bay and heading north

From Murphy’s Haystacks we headed west towards the coast and took in the three scenic drives for the area. The first took us to the sealion colony at Point Labatt, then back up via Sceale Bay we drove the Westall Way loop drive that has a number of lookouts, Granites and Smooth Pools where a huge the promise of a huge ocean rock pool in the heat was very enticing. Unfortunately the strong south easterly breezes continued to blow and when we all got out of the car it didn’t seem such a good idea again.

 

Passing through the quiet, but attractive town of Streaky Bay the Cape Baer loop drive showcased some beautiful beaches, Hallys Beach being the standout. Whistling rocks were trying their hardest to perform, but the tide was not right to witness any action at the adjacent blowholes. In big swell the five holes in the ground must put on an impressive show but we missed out.

Back in Streaky Bay we finally got to see the replica Great White Shark in the roadhouse.

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Our destination for the night was Perlubie Beach and driving into a dusty carpark behind the beach our hearts sank. It looked average and while I tried to find a flat spot in the last viable spot we just parked and decide to check out the beach. Our spirits lifted again when we found the camping spots were actually on the beach, with cabana covers for sunshade. Sweeet!

School term is back in progress and we had found a great place to get the kids back into it.

 

Perlubie Beach Camp

Perlubie Beach Camp

 

Categories: australia, Australian Outback, Beach, Big Lap, Camper Trailer, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Photography, South Australia, Travel, Travel Adventure | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Murphy’s Haystacks

In between last blogs we had an overnight stay at Murphy’s Haystacks. Not much too add other than to display the photos – a very photogenic spot and gave me time to find out more about my camera, what it can and can’t do, and experimented with a few new shots.

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Categories: Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Natural World, Photography, South Australia, Travel, Travel Adventure | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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