Sunday, July 31, 2011

Nyroca Bush Camp

Nyroca Camp was a wonderful and serene place to spend a few enjoyable days.  Set amongst majestic and picturesque Red Gums and Sugar Gums, just 8klms from Wangary township with a lovely creek meandering through the property I can highly recommend this spot for you to spend some quality time.
Parked at the camp in lovely serene bushland
  Located on the Flinders Highway, 55klms North West of Port Lincoln on a natural bush setting and is ideal for camps and with a unique outdoor bush chapel, for bush weddings and church retreats.  It has sleeping facilities for about 36 guests with over seven dormitories all containing double bunks.  It also features a kitchen (modern and fully equipped), dining and recreation rooms containing a wood heater with satellite TV, DVD and internet access. 
Rotary bridge
 Outside is a wood supplied campfire circle, a large gas fired BBQ and rotating spit, volleyball and table tennis and a rope making machine.
The Pyramid in the pond
There is also lots of farm animals for the children big and small can interact with and feed.
The Ducks
The Goats
  Daisy the dog is extremely friendly and is known to chase the odd ball or two, but bring the camera out and she is off. 
Mal (caretaker) and camera shy Daisy
 Honey is processed also on the premises and free range eggs are available.  A powerful telescope is available in the recreation room for star gazing and when in season you can catch yabbies in the nearby creek.  Plans are afoot to have a special section in the camp for Motorhomes to park, with a dump point etc so watch this space.  Not far from the camp are the beautiful waters of Coffin Bay where you can purchase oysters direct from the farms.
Coles Point at the monument
Coles Point
I just love these rock formations at Coles Point
  Swimming or fishing at nearby Coles Point and Greenly beach or you can climb the Marble range. 
Greenly Beach
Mt Greenly
We travelled over 200klms yesterday to arrive at a roadside stop just 5 klms from Streaky Bay.  We had full intentions of staying at Elliston, but arrived there on a Saturday afternoon and nothing was open and I mean nothing.  We were unable to reach the person we were going to stay with so we made a executive decision to venture on and meet up with  Lance & Kay (Rats Nest) and Ted and Mayrke(I feel Better now).  We have spent two nights here around the campfire solving the world’s problems and tomorrow we will move on to another roadside stop about 40 klms away.  A big day tomorrow.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Port Lincoln and Nyroca Camp

Boat outside Museum
We only travelled about 40klms to the Nyroca Scout Camp just out of Coffin Bay on Tuesday so I travelled behind the bus in the car.  Can anybody please tell me why, the lord and master has 3 GPS’s in the bus and I have none in the car?  I mean to say why does he need to use all 3?  Do you know what the worst thing he is that he argues with them all?  I didn’t mind taking the car as I don’t seem to get much driving in these days so I need the practice. 
One of the many bays near Port incoln
 I had some mixed feelings leaving Port Lincoln as it was a really lovely town. 
Emus near Lincoln National Park
Surrounded by pristine water in all directions it is easy to see why it is reported to house the most millionaires in Australia.  The fishing industry is particularly prolific in the area especially the fishing of tuna.  Fishing boats of all shapes and sizes can be seen gliding along the water, moored in the Marina or on the jetty  transferring the catches on to the ships for export. 
In the Pickling Room
 Yesterday we did a Seafood tasting tour of a Seafood factory and watched demos of all aspects of shucking oysters, filleting fish, dissecting squid etc followed by a lovely tasting plate.
Bay near Lone Pine
  We then drove over to Lincoln National Park where we were again treated to a picturesque view of the many bays.  Beautiful blue, clean water against the craggy rock formations it was breathtaking. 
Another lovely Bay
 If fact the Eyre Peninsular which is where we are now has over 2000klms of coastline ranging from spectacular towering limestone cliffs, sweeping surf beaches and sheltered coves and bays.  Because of the seafood and aquaculture in this region explains why we chose to visit here last.  We officially have now done the whole lap of Australia and are on the road home. 

 Anyway we are now settled down at the Nyroca Scout Camp in Wangary.  It is a beautiful serene bush setting and there are lots of outdoor activities to do.  There is a resident Peacock, a dog called Daisy, sheep, goats, a kangaroo, chickens and bees as well as home grown vegetables.
The resident Peacock
  Mal, the caretaker has resurrected the camp from its humble beginnings to the wonderful campsite it is today.  There is lots of accommodation; dormitory style, a huge activity room and a huge great commercial kitchen, also outside there are lovely hot showers and toilets for all to enjoy.  There is also room for the odd caravan, tent or motor home to enjoy a short stay.  There are creeks running through the property with lots of bridges for easy access.  Satellite TV and internet is also available.  Unfortunately our internet connection isn’t the best due to the fact that we are nestled in a valley so I have a couple of days blogging here in one.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tumby Bay SA

Axel Stenross Boat Ramp Port Lincoln @ night
I am sitting here looking over the pristine waters of Port Lincoln reflecting on the past few days.  We spent a lovely few days in Cowell, visited Turners Oyster Farm and on Wednesday night the Franklin Harbour Hotel had a pig on a spit night.  For $10 you were served freshly cooked pork, roast vegetables and salad smothered in lovely thick tasty gravy with a bread roll on the side. 
The Main Street of Cowell
 The local craft shop also sold fresh homemade cakes and we availed ourselves of a couple.  On Thursday evening we had fresh oysters and King George whiting on the menu for dinner.  The oysters we purchased fresh from the oyster farm and the whiting we received in Port Broughton.
How is this for a Ride on Lawnmower?
  We drove over to Cleve for a day visit, quite a nice small town which also had a lovely RV park at the showgrounds, $10 for a powered site and $5 for unpowered per night within walking distance of the CBD. 
The view from the Highway lookout
We took the tourist road back through rolling green hills and stopped at the highway lookout for a view of the whole valley.  
Jetty at Tumby Bay
 We left Cowell on Friday and spent 2 nights in Tumby Bay, again at a lovely RV park near the golf course, fees were $5 unpowered for the night with the purchase of a permit at the local Cafe.   There was plenty of room for us on nice firm ground with plenty of room to turn around, ideal for big rigs. 
Parked at Tumby Bay RV Park
Another Motor Home (The Silver Ghost) joined us, with Bill and Shirley on board; their converted bus was immaculately painted and maintained.  The second night our group extended to three motor homes with a small Winnebago bedded down for the night. 
Seabreeze Hotel Tumby Bay
We had a nice meal of a $12 rump steak at the Sea Breeze Hotel on Friday night and Saturday we enjoyed fish and chips at the Ritz Cafe situated right on the water.  Tumby Bay has a history that dates back to 1802 when Mathew Flinders passed through on one of his journeys.  The jetty was built in 1874 as one of his first monumental features of the town.  In 1953 The Soldiers Memorial hall was built as well as the first motel.   
Art Gallery Tumby Bay
 We also drove through picturesque countryside to the small town of Cummins for a day trip.  We arrived at Port Lincoln  this afternoon and we are parked at the Axel Stenross Maritime Museum on the boat ramp, right on the edge of the water.  We have booked a tour for tomorrow, but it will only go ahead if there are two more people wanting to go.  We have had a little bit of interest in the Motor Home as we have the “for sale” sign up but nothing serious as of yet.  We have decided to sell the old girl as we have nowhere to store her when we get home.  It will be sad to see her go but we have to move on to our next phrase of life, hopefully we will still do some travelling.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Whyalla & Iron Knob SA

The Port at Whyalla from Hummock Hill
We spent a lovely three days at Whyalla camped at the Showgrounds.  We went to pay our fees on Monday and they said we couldn’t park there any more; we were planning of staying a bit longer but decided to move on the Tuesday.  Whyalla was a bit like de ja vu, we had previously explored most of the town when we were there for 5 weeks in April 2009. 
The Beach at Whyalla
 Nothing much had changed and it was still a nice place to visit.
A House in Iron Knob
  We drove over on Monday to Iron Knob, a small mining town 52 klms North West of Whyalla.  Not a very pretty town, but with a population of about 200 and the mine still working there were still some very proud local residents about. 
We certainly know what this is
 The town boasted a lot of Murals which added a splash of colour to further boost its charms.
The Emus
  It is not unusual to come across Emus roaming the main streets and there are signs advising people that emus were crossing. 
The Mural outside the Info Centre
 The Information centre was manned by some lovely volunteers and coffee and tea is available to quench your thirst as you wander through the many exhibits.  BHP mined here until about 1999 then the mine was used by One Steel who are still currently the occupants of this present day.   
The Mine
Today we left Whyalla and are bedded down in a lovely seaside town of Cowell, 110klms south.  There is an Oyster Outlet opposite the RV Caravan Park, so we plan to visit there soon.  A permit is needed to stay here if you are self contained for a small fee of $5 per night; there is a dump point but no other facilities.  The area is lovely and green and flat and not many trees to shade the solar panels and we have the whole area to ourselves.  The township is very nice and clean and consists of 2 pubs, an IGA, Chemist, Op Shop, Deli and Bakery as well as other incidental stores.  It also had a community run Art and Craft Shop and a Patchwork and Gift Shop called Stitch and Bits.  This is a beautiful shop and you could browse for hours, we visited here as well in 2009 for the day and the shop is still very interesting.  The town also has the Black Stump mounted on the main street.  Have to catch up on some household chores tomorrow but we may visit other towns in the area in the next few days.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Melrose and Mt Remarkable

The town of Melrose overshadowed by Mt Remarkable
Our next excursion was to go to Melrose, a lovely little town nestled under Mt Remarkable, about 80 kms from Port Germein.
Old Police Station & Courthouse now a museum
Melrose is quoted to be the oldest town in the Flinders Ranges approximately C1865.
Bluey Blundstones Blacksmith Shop.
Bluey Blundstone 's Blacksmith Shop dates back to 1865.  Built of pug, pine and stone is now listed on the State Heritage Register.  The complex has been lovingly and authentically restored and is now a coffee shop and B & B.  Featured inside is an extensive collection of historical tools and machinery. 
Mt Remarkable Hotel
We decided to return via the Bridle Track ( A 4 Wheel Drive dry weather only track) down over the mountains and through private property. We drove along a narrow path skirting the mountain and through the gorge, it was scary in parts but the jimny managed the road OK.   I think we climbed 700 metres above sea level  but the view was absolutely breath taking, you could see Port Pirie to the left and Port Augusta to the right and even Whyalla.  
Looking over the landscape
 The weather was kind to us and although it was still coolish the sun tried to peep through the clouds.  In Port Germein there is rather a unique junk shop, I don’t know how else to describe it. 
The Junk Shop in Port Germein
 There is stuff all over the place and piled high some things you can’t even get to and barely a walk through for others.  I would love to be able to fossick in there for a few hours because I think there are some very serious treasures hidden in there.  I found 2 toy antique sewing machines hidden in the corners, but I don’t think the owner really wants to sell anything as I think she has grown to love everything in the shop.  She was the most charming of ladies although a little bit eccentric and I mean this in the nicest of ways.  She was wearing an orange coat over a patchwork skirt teamed with Doc Marten boots with patchwork motifs painted all over them, topped with a black western Hat adorned with feathers and brass trimmings with a fringed patchwork scarf draped around her neck.  Quilters are notorious for being a bit alternative, different or eclectic so I am no stranger to this but she looked great.  There were antique quilts hanging from the roof covered in spider webs and dust.  She very generously showed us two of her quilts that she had just finished.  One was made out of men’s ties (complete not unpicked at all) woven top and tail and only stitched where the ties crossed.  It will be a feature in an upcoming Quilt magazine so I won’t give too much away.  She had also made a quilt of coffin shaped blocks some opened showing a skeleton underneath and it was secured with a skull shaped button.  The fabrics she used depicted skeletons and skulls it was very quirky.  I would have loved to have taken some photos but didn’t think I could push my luck.  So look out for the magazine. 
 Parked at Port Germein
 Tomorrow we move on to either Port Augusta or Whyalla for a few days we haven’t quite decided yet.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Telowie Gorge

A seagull perched on part of what appears to be a bridge
Yesterday we headed into Port Pirie, about 25klms away to do some much needed shopping. 
The Smelter near the Port
 We explored a little and had lunch at Barnacle Bill’s seafood Restaurant. 
The Port and the jetty in the background
 On our return we decided to go into Telowie Gorge about 8klms off the main Road.  We decided to do the 1.6klm walk into the gorge. 
The creek running through the Gorge
Now I always think that there is nothing more pleasant and peaceful than wandering in the Australian Bush especially after the rain. 
The path through the bush
 The melodic sounds of the creek cascading over the rocks sounded like a muted concerto in the distance.  The birds are chirping, the light glistening on the leaves of the shrubs all added to the experience. 
The sides of the gorge
 Inside the gorge we followed the creek along a narrow and sometimes difficult track to be taken to a special place where you could just admire the beautiful rock formations and vegetation. 
See I do have other coloured jackets!!
 Telowie Gorge conserves a significant portion of the Southern Flinders Ranges.  Telowie Creek has cut this gorge through the ranges.  Today the weather was a little sunnier but still slightly cold.