Monday, 29 July 2013

A road less travelled - Melbourne to Flinders Ranges

I'm sitting in the sunshine at Wilpena Pound in the Flinders Ranges. It's 11 a.m. and Shirley and I are in day 3 of another of our outback adventures.

Day 1 was spent travelling from Melbourne to Waikerie in South Australia. Victorian farmland in this area is lovely and green normally at this time of the year, but it was really sad to see so many fields with very little crop growing and hardly any dams anywhere near full.

Farmers really do need all the help we can give them as they are the lifeblood of the country.

By the way if you don't know already when crossing into SA you need to dispose of any fruit so disease isn't spread across borders. Your car will be checked at the checkpoint once in SA.

Waikerie is situated along the mighty Murray River and is a timely spot to stop for the night. it is home to Nippys who make some of the best orange juice, iced coffee and ginger beer around and we stocked up on each for our trip.

Day 2 and it was a cold start to the day as we hit the road again with our destination this afternoon Wilpena Pound Resort. We drive through orange and mandarin groves and vine country then the rolling hills of the SA countryside and of course it pays to stop at roadside stores to pick up fresh mandarins and dried apricots to have as "munchies".

We cross the Murray River via ferry at Cadell. This service runs day and night and is fun to experience and probably less expensive than trying to span the river with bridges at every town.

Next we pass through the town of Morgan and onto Burra and a number of other towns it seems time has forgotten. One of the most telling examples is Terowie where we turn off to head to Peterborough. This town has lots of beautiful old buildings that it seems people have just packed up and abandoned as the town drops off the map.

Driving through we only saw 2 people, a mother and child, who were only too happy to give us a cheerful wave. 

A short drive takes us to Peterborough a fantastic town with magnificent stone buildings. Their Town Hall is heritage listed and claimed to be the largest Town Hall in Counrty South Australia. This town has a history with the Southern Pacific Railway and is still on the train line from Adelaide to Broken Hill and Sydney.

Continuing on the road we come to the town of Orroroo and its amazing sculptures. We turned onto RM Williams way and headed to Hawker. On the way we passed through several one pub towns. The one that sticks out is always Craddock where the old stone pub always looks inviting. We keep saying we will stop there for refreshments but alas we never do and I think we are poorer for not allowing time for it.

Turning off at Hawker we head into the Flinders Ranges and onto Wilpena Pound where we will camp for 2 nights and relax around a welcoming camp fire.

More to follow.....

1 comment:

  1. What is outback?
    I think the large areas of land in Australia that are not used for growing crops and are far away from any city or town. Boat Cruises Melbourne