Monday, April 27, 2009

Round Trip Thru Flinders Ranges

The Map showing where we went

The Flinders Ranges

The weather is still very miserable here, so yesterday we did a round trip through the Flinders Ranges a total of 300kms. We drove up through Wilmington to Orroroo, then up to Carrieton,

St Cecilias Church in Carrieton

Cradock and met up with dear friends Andy and Marg (fellow travellers from WA) in Hawker then back down to Quorn and home again. Some of the towns were where the original old Ghan railway went through and also the Pichi Richi Railway which still has tours from Quorn to Port Augusta. We stopped for morning tea at Orroroo, a lovely quaint little town. There was a resident artist in Hawker where we had lunch and a beautiful exhibition of photos and paintings in the Panorama theatre. Quorn was a lovely little town, obviously years ago it was quite thriving but now it is mainly known for its tourism. They were putting the Trains away when we arrived (too late for the tour) It actually looked a bit like Thomas the tank.

The railway station has been restored and now houses a museum.

It boasts three hotels and there was a lovely two storey building (badly needed restoration) which still had the original signs e.g Antiques, Hats & Apparel, etc.

The Old Ghan Restaurant

Talk again soon

Saturday, April 25, 2009


One of the guns on the Whyalla

Another gun

Thats me looking very excited

Another boat in the Museum

The sign says it all

Port Broughton Hotel where we stayed for a family reunion in the 80's it has recently received a nice coat of paint. The lace work looks fabulous

It is Anzac day today. The day we remember our soldiers who went to war. The weather is still very miserable here so we caught up on all our washing etc. Tomorrow we are driving in the Jimny to Quorn and Hawker and hopefully will see more of the Flinders Ranges. Here are some more photos, I may have to sack the photographer he seems to be getting a bit slack lately, spending too much time chatting to the people we have met in the park. Yesterday Sue pulled in with her motorhome from our hometown and we have spent many happy hours with Pam, Margaret, Ron, June, Hadie and Russell, Carole and John.
Lest we forget.

Talk again soon

Friday, April 24, 2009

Port Augusta, Snowtown & Port Broughton

What a week!! The weather changed drastically from absolutely beautiful to cold, wet and miserable. We said goodbye to our neighbours John and Vicky and also to Chris and David, who very generously allowed us to stay on their Industrial Block. It was also very sad to leave Whyalla as I had grown quite attached to the town. Maybe it was all the lovely people we met. Sunday we paid a visit to the HMAS Whyalla the first ever warship built in Whyalla, beautifully restored and homed at the Maritime Museum. We toured over the whole ship, quite an experience. We arrived in Port Augusta Monday and we are now camped in a Motorhome Parking area near the local Sportman's Club. $5 per night or $25 per week no power, toilets or showers. Lucky we have our own. There are hot showers available at the BP Service Station for $2 for those who need them. We were able to get the radio sorted out at long last. We were lucky again as the Technician discovered that a part we only just purchased for the equalising of our batteries (our House power) was the wrong one and was getting rather hot and could cause a fire. We rang the company to exchange the part but it meant a quick trip up to Adelaide (This is the capital city of South Australia to those who don't know) and back about 300 kms one way. Wednesday saw us on the way again headed for Adelaide in the Jimny. On the way we noticed some fellow travellers from home camped along side of the road. We pulled in and had a cuppa with Ron and Colinda, Luckily again I was having problems deciphering a pattern and she was able to set me on the right track. Thanks heaps Colinda. We arrived in Adelaide about 11.30 and were following the GPS which kept on sending us on to the Southern Expressway (the wrong way) we managed to overcome this by driving further up and being diverted back to the correct road. After we picked up the part the salesmen informed us that the Southern Expressway goes one way in the AM and reverses in the PM but if we left straight away we could go via that road as it changed at 12.30pm. As it was 12.15 we made it back quite safely. On the way back we called in to Snowtown for a little bit of nostalgia. My father originated from Snowtown and moved to WA in his late 20s and never returned. He was one of 13 children so we still have lots of rellies in this area and Port Broughton. We managed to find a cousin Jenny and enjoyed a chat with her. Unfortunately Phyllis and Keith (another cousin) had left for Adelaide that day and wouldn't be back until the weekend. We were over here for a family reunion in the 1980's, it was huge. Thursday, Bill felt sorry for me and again in the Jimny we went on a mission to find other lost rellies in Port Broughton about 107km away along the coast past Port Pirie. The two addresses I had drew a blank as nobody was home. Rather than leave disappointed we stopped for a coffee in the local cafe and borrowed a phonebook. We drove out to meet Basil and his wife Maureen and they were able to lead us to Uncle Fred and Aunty Barbara, and from there to Ted's (He was married to cousin Joan who passed away about 2 years ago.) We were sitting down enjoying a chat when another cousin walked in Roma, who is Aunty Alice's daughter. There were lots of other rellies we could have caught up with but we ran out of time. I was a bit sad that Aunty Joyce was'nt home because I would have loved to have met up with her. Uncle Fred and Aunty Joyce are the last of the siblings and they are in their late eighties. I will include some photos next time.Talk again soon

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Point Lowly South Australia

The fishing village @ Point Lowly
Taken from the beach note the Stirling Ranges in the distance
Hi everyone, We are still in Whyalla but only until Monday when we will move on again. Thursday saw us driving to Port Augusta in the jimny to take the HF radio to be repaired. Its a long story but we were connecting the NEW radio to the power supply and Pzzt something fried. They rang today and said the radio was OK it was probably the Aerial so when we leave here we are planning on spending a couple of days in Port Augusta, so they will be able to check it out properly. Yesterday we took a trip out to Point Lowly, a lovely little fishing spot about 14km out of Whyalla then turn right, it is 22 kms off the Lincoln Hwy on the way to Port Augusta. A very nice place to stay and unwind. The Lighthouse is situated there and the lighthouse workers cottages are now available to stay in plus lots of free parking for the caravan or the motor home.

The Lighthouse

A little Knowledge on the Lighthouse
There is a Tuna Fishing Farm just of the beach near the turnoff near the gas plant.

The Tuna Farm

A Tuna Boat pulling the nets

And yes there is a gas plant nearby, not too close to spoil the beautiful views though.

The Gas Plant

We have been busy today, getting ready to move, cleaning the bus, doing the washing, even cleaning the solar panels, yes it is not all fun, sometimes we have to do the mundane things. We don't know when or if we will have power, so we have to do these things while we can.

By the way just for the record, in the Snapper Fishing Competetion the winning Snapper weighed 15.68kg not bad hey!!!!!!

Talk again soon

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Whyalla where the outback meets the sea

The foreshore from Hummock Hill

When we first arrived in Whyalla I didn't realise how much we would grow to love the town. The people are very friendly and you experience both the outback and the sea. For a long time Whyalla was known for their steel and ship building.

Giant Cuttlefish

It is also reknown for the annual spawning of the giant luminescent cuttlefish. These amazing 'chameleons of the sea ' are the largest species of cuttlefish found in the world and can reach up to 60cm in length and can weigh up to 5kg. Cuttlefish are intelligent creatures able to change their colour, shape and texture as they move along the seabed to imitate rocks, sand or seaweed. Cuttlefish are colourblind, they have W shaped pupils which are thought to allow them to see both behind and in frnt at the same time. They also have blue blood 3 hearts, 8 arms and 2 feeding tenacles.

The Steel Mill

Hummock Hill as Whyalla was originally known developed from 1901 as a departure port for iron discovered at nearby Iron Knob. The town renamed Whyalla in 1914 flourished around its BHP steelworks and mining operations (now owned by Onesteel)

A ship coming in to be loaded.

The HMAS Whyalla

At the Whyalla Maritime Museum is the former HMAS Whyalla the first modern warship to be built in South Australia in 1941

The Foreshore from Hummock Hill

The Town from Hummock Hill

Talk again soon

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Snapper Fishing Comp & Fishy Fringe Festival

Here we are again, still in Whyalla, and will be for another week. The Snapper Fishing Competition is on here over the Easter weekend so things are really buzzing. We went down to the foreshore this morning and at that time the biggest snapper caught was 13.85kg, not a bad size. The lowest in the top ten was over 10kg. They also had the Fishy Fringe Festival on today. There were markets, Clydesdale Horse rides, Helicopter rides and lots more. We didn't seem to get much further than the Mettwurst Stall, it smelled absolutely divine and DH purchased some to take back to the motorhome. Some of the other Motorhomers are also in the Lions Club and were manning a stall selling oile boles (probably not the correct spelling) they were like a doughnut consistency with apple and sultanas deep fried and coated with icing sugar. Very nice but not very good for diabetics. We spent the rest of the day visiting friends and having Happy Hour as some of us are moving on tomorrow. We will be moving to another spot to join some friends who are in the HF Radio Club, hopefully DH will learn how to use his new radio.

This is a photo of Bill doing the washing. He says he doesn't know what we women complain about, washings not hard. He sat there while the machine was going chatting to everyone that went past. I pointed out to him that we usually do other things while the washing is in progress.

Talk again soon

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cowell & Lucky Bay South Australia

This was taken on the way to Cowell just after leaving Whyalla. I believe it is called Iron Duke

Sunday, it was a beautiful sunny day and along with Brother and SIL we set off for Cowell about 111kms from Whyalla. When we arrived the local Sunday markets were well underway and there was also an Art exhibition going on. We wandered through the markets and lunched in the Commercial Hotel.

Commercial Hotel A lovely place to eat.

Cowell is again a fishing town well renowned for their oysters situated on the Franklin Harbour, a 48sqkm natural harbour with calm fish filled waters, has for many years fostered Cowell’s reputation as one of the best fishing destinations in South Australia. The words Cowell and Jade go hand in hand; as it is here that the beautiful nephrite jade was discovered in 1965 in the nearby Minbrie Range. Cowell Jade is recognised as the oldest and one of the largest deposits in the world, with a variety of colours and patterns not found elsewhere. Jade jewellery and souvenirs can be purchased at the Post Office.

The Black Stump placed in the centre of town between two Hotels the sign below explains it all.

I also found another best kept secret. A local patchwork shop Stitch ‘n’ Bits is located in the main street and lucky me it was open on a Sunday. A real treasure trove, not only did it burst at the seams with fabric and patchwork it also housed lots of brick back and gifts and old worldly house items. My only indulgence was to purchase some sock wool in a variegated black & white so that I could knit DH another pair of socks when I finally finish the ones I am knitting now.

The main street of Cowell the Hotel in the front is the Franklin Harbour Hotel.

About 5kms from Cowell, in Lucky Bay we stopped to watch the ferry come in. It comes across twice a day from Lucky Bay to Wallaroo.

The Ferry

Loading cars on to ferry

We arrived home in time for the final farewell for the Rally the CMCA raised over $20,000.00 towards a new F scan machine for the local hospital from gate takings, raffles etc for the open day on Saturday. The F Scan machine picks up problems with the feet and circulation for Diabetes patients. They anticipated that over a two million dollars was also spent in the town over the week. Not bad for a small group.

Is this the smallest Caravan?

Have a Happy Easter everyone and safe travels to our Motorhome friends.

Talk again soon

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

CMCA Whyalla

Hi everyone,
Well the CMCA Rally is over and we are still here at the showgrounds until after easter. The good news is that we have power so I'll be able to blog a bit more often. I have so much to tell you all. This will probably only interest our CMCA friends, but I have enclosed a video of all of us at the Rally. Beryl if you look closely you are featured in a photo about 3 or 4 in. I have been busy knitting Dh's socks and have managed to finish one. I have also made a "mock" for my phone. I indulged in a little bit of patchwork shopping and some 1930's fabric jumped into my hands when I went shopping . I purchased a Down Under Quilt magazine yesterday and of course it profiled a friend of mine, Lurline.Talk again soon

Thursday, April 2, 2009

CMCA Rally Whyalla

Hello Everyone,
Sorry I haven’t blogged for a week but lots of things have been happening. Don’t worry the bus is fine. We decided not to go to Iron Knob, when we drove through the town it didn’t look very exciting, although I am sure it is seeped with history. The most interesting part was the fact that emus and Kangaroos roam freely in the main streets. We sighted two in the street as we were driving through. We arrived in Whyalla on Thursday and set up camp on one of the prestaging areas before the Rally which opened on Monday 30th March. We met up with lots of friends and made some new friends as well. The whole town is going all out for the CMCA members meals are cheap at all the clubs in town and can be purchased from $6 for lunch up to a 3 course meal for $10 of course we indulged as we would. I will write about the town later as this week is taken up with Seminars, chatting, Happy Hours, Chatting. Workshops, Chatting etc a lot of likeminded people in one place and lots of potential friendships. My brother and his wife rocked up on Sunday and Monday we were ready to enter the Rally. We decided that there would be too many motor homes arriving early (some were even lined up the night before) so we waited until after 11am. It still took us an hour and a half or more to be sited. We had to take Jimny out of the trailer as there wasn’t a lot of room in the venue, so I drove behind the bus and we had to travel a kilometre and a half of gravel, dusty road to the entrance. While we were in the line we all managed to make a cuppa to drink while we waited. There are over 750 Motor homes of all shapes and sizes in the showgrounds, 302 are first timers (or virgins as I say). We have to wear a ribbon which has first timer on it. See I told you all I was a born again virgin but you didn’t believe me. But not any more!!!!!! The first timers had a meet and greet Tuesday, so more friendships were made. We have vouchers for discounts at lots of shops in town and gift vouchers for lucky numbers. There is so much to talk about, see and do that I am in a bit of a head spin. Anyhow I must go as the generator is only on for a short time and I must get this posted. We have been without power ever since we arrived in Whyalla. I promise there will be lots of new and photos soon.

The red square is where we are parked. If you zoom in you can see us

Talk again soon