Norseman to Minlaton 2008

8 December. Left Norseman for South Australia. There are plenty of rest area's on this stretch from Norseman to Ceduna. 1200 KM. The first 800 KM is not very interesting but it has the longest stretch of straight road in Australia. The third night on the Nullarbor is spend on top of a ridge overlooking the valley below. We got here already early afternoon and it is getting overcast. Thunder in the distance and it starts to rain heavily with hailstones in it. luckily no big ones. Susan has been cooking all afternoon getting rid of our vegetables. we are nearing the border where we are not allowed to take those across.
 

 

    
 Eyre Highway, better known as the Nullarbor Plain.  Some of the more interesting signs.
 

11 December. The weather has deteriorated. Constant overcast, rain every now and then and strong wind in the wrong direction. I thought I could drive till Eukla without filling up but I had to fill up 70KM before. Luckily the diesel is getting cheaper still 40 cent more than Perth. In Eukla we went to see the old telegraph station but it  still looks the same as 5 years ago, I thought that it might have disappeared under the sand by now.
 
 

  
    Some people must have been bored driving here.                    Eukla telegraph station.
   There are several of decorated trees along this stretch.
 

11 December and we pass the West Australian and South Australian border. We have been in WA for 5 month and 3 days. we probably will never go here again but nothing is for sure. The road passes very close to the coast, which is steep limestone cliffs. There are plenty of lookouts an we spend the night at one of those.
 
     
 
  
Border of West Australia and South Australia.   The truck has four layers of sheep   The kangaroo is actually an advertisement for beer.
 



Impressive coast where the Nullarbor Plain meets the sea.
 

13 December.  After 5 days on the Ayer Highway we are in Ceduna and a chance to fill with water "which is a scarce commodity" and empty the grey and black water tank and find a laundromat.  The weather is still cod and rainy  . Spend the day in Ceduna. When we wanted to leave the next day the bus did not want to start. Worked on it all afternoon but it is dead. At 10PM a police officer tells us it is not allowed to camp here but it is ok to stay. Next morning I try another few things and it springs to life again. The starting or non starting is a hit and miss affair. Because it does not happen all the time it is difficult to find the cause. The mechanic thinks he found something because it started every time after he changed a wire but the next day problems again. But it does start eventually.
15 December off to Streaky Bay. Most of the coast is very rugged but the hinterland is flowing hills with mostly grain and where the soil is too poor for this low trees or grass for the sheep.
 
       
  This is where the sea lions congregate. To be viewed from a platform.     Sea lions asleep.
 
Apart from the coastline the sea lion colony is the big attraction. This is the only colony on the mainland. We camped for a couple of nights overlooking the ocean.
17 December. Trouble starting again. Finally drive back to Streaky Bay. On the way we see what looks like the Sahara Desert. Sandhills as far as you can see with here and there a tree. After some shopping and fuel we are slowly heading south.  Next stop Murphy's Haystacks. Giant boulders sticking out of the ground. We spend the night at the ocean's edge at Venus Bay Reserve. During the night the wind had picked up and is blowing a gale. It is overcast and we have some rain. Next morning to Elliston. This is a very small place but the coastal drive is well worth it. The coast is as rugged as before but to make it a tourist drive they placed artwork along the way.
 
 












 

                              
 Sand hills at Streaky Bay.                                               Murphy's haystacks
 

19 December. Stopped in Coffin Bay for three days. We spend the day doing small walks and generally looking to the bay. The weather was beautiful for the first two days, the last day it was blowing a gale. Coffin Bay is a holiday town with mainly holiday houses. Just after Christmas the place tripples in size. 22 December. Port Lincoln. We booked in to a caravan park for the festive season. There are not many vans yet but after XMas it will fill up. This is the first normal caravan park we stay at since August. We stayed at plenty National Park camps but they are a bit primitive. We bought a National Park pass for South Australia. They have a good system here that the pass includes camping fees.
 
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

                       
Coffin Bay in front of our bus.                          Port Lincoln caravan Park.
 



A merry Christmas and all the best for 2009.
 

Christmas gone. The weather forecast was for sunshine but it was overcast all day and rain in the afternoon. Susan went to church in the morning and after a beautiful breakfast time for the pressies. Lunch with a lot of seafood, no turkey. Because of the weather we did not have a lot of contact with the neighbours. The previous day happy hour outside with a few neighbours. Boxing day also spend in the caravan park.
27 Time to use our National Park pass in the Lincoln National Park. The road is a bit rough but not too bad. The national park is mainly beaches which are very scenic, safe for children to swim and the fishing is supposed to be good too. I even did a bit of snorkelling but saw no fish. We planned to stay a few days but the weather changed from 100% to 50%. Overcast and raining. So we decided to move on to Tumby bay and than inland to Cummins ant then head north. All there is to see here are wheat fields. It rained on and off all day.
 


                          Lincoln National Park.  The camping spot is right beside the water.
 
 


      Dunnies like these are used by us regularly. Easier then emptying the cassettes.

Pildappa rock. Near Minnipa.


29 December. Woken up to a beautiful day. Blue sky as far as you can see. Drove to Pildappa Rock. We wanted to go to the Gawler National Park but found out that if you want to see something you need a four wheel drive and we would have to drive at least 100 Km dirt road with the chance that we will not see the special sights. We camped beside the rock. Drove back to the main road via Kyancutta, Kimba, Iron Knob to Whyalla. The countryside reminds me of the Northern Territory. The yearly rainfall is very low. Therefore the vegetation is small. The big planes with mountain ranges in the far distance.
The weather has been kind to us the last couple of days.
31 December. Whyalla. There was not much to do in town. The only venue that looked promising to spend the night was booked out. Had a meal in the pub ant went home at 8. This is the first new years night that we did not stay up till 12. The town was deserted the first day of the year. Drove around a bit and went to the maritime museum. The ship was build here during the war and is the only boat which is displayed 2KM inland on dry ground.
 


                      Kimba Galaa.                                       Whyalla maritime museum.
 
2 January. Drove 35 KM to Point Lowly. A popular free camp and fishing spot beside the sea. We stayed here for three days. No success with the fishing. Just sat under the awning and looked out over the sea. And at 5PM happy hour with fellow motorhomers.
 


  Whyalla Point Lowly. View to the left.                 Whyalla Point Lowly. View to the right.
 
5 January. Port Augusta. We did not spend a lot of time here. Only shopping, email and a few lookouts. We will pass here again on the way to Alice Springs. South Australia has a marvellous system with their internet access. Anyone can become a member of a library and when you are a member you can log in any time for free. Even after hours you can sit outside and log on.
In the afternoon we drove to Mount Remarkable National Park. The summer has finally arrived and the temperature is up to 35 . This also mean that there is a total fire ban and large parts of the park are closed. When you have a tent you are not even allowed to use a gas stove. Also in the brochures they show all those marvellous places to see in the park, but when you are there you need a 4 wheel drive or you have to walk 20KM. However we did a 8 KM walk this morning but the view was not very spectacular. Needed all day to recover.
7 January. We ventured in to Yorke Peninsula. We missed this last time because the brochures did not show a lot of exiting scenery apart from Innes National Park. So far a lot of near flat country with a lot of grain fields. The villages are all from around 1880 / 90 with a lot of stone buildings. All have a long pier because the beach is very shallow and there is a lot of it at low tide. The whole place looks very laid back. Places visited are: Port Pirie, Ardrossan, Port Vincent.
Had our first flat tyre.
 


Ardrossan from the lookout. Grain field on foreground and grain silo's at wharf.
 

9 January. Had the flat tyre fixed in Warooka and off to Innes National park. Good road to and in the park and plenty of free camping spaces. As any park in this area the landscape is not very interesting but the coastline is very rugged. We stayed here for four days in different camping spots. Had a slight mishap backing in to a fencepost but the bus will survive. These things always happen in three's. When we were in Warooka filling up with water I hooked a signpost and bend the bar which holds the spare tyre. It only took two seconds to do but one and a half hours in the workshop to straighten. It is not fixed properly because the bar that slides on the inside to hold the satellite dish would not come out. We ended up cutting it. It has to move otherwise you can not open the motor compartment door. Had the oil changed at the same time. Later in the afternoon headed for Corny Point where we spend two nights in different camp spots.
 


    Innes National Park
 


 Corny Point camping spot and the lighthouse nearby.
 

15 January.  Minlaton. The motorhome club had a chapter meeting here. They showed me how to catch squid which everyone goes for here. The cleaning is an art in itself, nothing like scaling a fish.
 







    Port Minlacowie. My first ever squid.
    Same beach with the other motorhomers from the CMCA Yorkeys Wanderers.