Day 70 – Nuriootpa to Warrandyte 774km (15,295km)

Last day of the trip…. boo hoo!

After a lovely pub meal last night in Greenock with our friends, we had our last pack up of the trip and were ready to go by just after 7am.

After a quick fortifying coffee in Nuriootpa, we were back on the road and travelling across from Nuriootpa to Tailem Bend, and onto home. It was a sunny morning and passing through all the little winery towns of the Barossa was a real treat.

Once we got to Tailem Bend we stopped for a quick break and looked at some old fashioned cars that were parked in the centre of town.

Then it was on to Melbourne, stopping at Nhill for lunch, and we arrived home late in the day for dinner around our kitchen table at home. We had officially covered 15,295km travelling between towns, but estimate that with an average of 50km of daily driving within the locations we stopped at, we guessed we had covered closer to 18,500km for the whole trip… What a great trip!

Friday 4 October 2018

Day 69 – Hummocks Station to Nuriootpa 148km (14,521km)

A better start to the day weather-wise this morning and we headed on to Clare for a coffee and to check out the house that Nanna lived in when she was young.

Then it was on to check out a couple of wineries in the Clare Valley.

Then onto Nuriootpa for our last night of the trip, and to get our camping gear dry before the final pack up tomorrow.

In the evening we were joined by our friends Rob and Rachel and their children Hugo and Clem, friends from home who had done a similar trip, and we had a lovely dinner at Greenock Pub, a great way to end the trip.

Thursday 4 October 2018

Day 68 – Coffin Bay to Hummocks Station (near Snowtown) 562km (14,373km)

Where did the good weather go??!!

After a perfectly still and mild evening last night with the open fire, the rain hit overnight and continued into the morning, and then we woke up to a real Scottish-style ‘pea-souper’ drizzly rain morning, photo below after we had raced around packing up wet gear in the rain!

With the rain falling and the weather looking like it had well and truly set in for the day we had made the call that a second night at Coffin Bay was not the best idea, and that a better idea would be to get on the road and seek better weather (and some wine!) in the Clare Valley. Decision made, we headed into the Coffin Bay township to take some photos and grab a coffee and tray of oysters for dinner, and onto Port Lincoln.

A bonus of moving on was that we found out that Dad’s auntie Kay, uncle Glen and cousin Judith were on holidays in Port Augusta, so we drove up through Port Lincoln and Whyalla to Port Augusta for a rendezvous and cup of tea.

Then it was back on the road towards Snowtown and Hummocks Station, our destination for the evening.

As we drove southward the weather still looking a bit threatening….

The photo above shows the view we had coming out of Port Augusta at the end of the day, and we were a bit concerned about: a) the weather we could see through our windscreen; b) the thunderstorm warning we subsequently read for Snowtown on our weather app (we we were to be camping!), and c) our sodden swag and camper trailer tent that we had packed up in the rain in the morning (and our damp jeans and jumpers which were our only ‘long-sleeve’ clothes!).

With our concern mounting, we arrived at our destination, Hummocks Station and got out of the car in the blustery wind to pay for our camp site…

Camp site… no way!

A quick conversation later and we had booked into the warm shearer’s quarters with: a) no wind; b) a roof and walls; c) a real bed; d) linen and fresh towels; e) hot showers with real soap; and f) a camp kitchen!

In case our joy isn’t palpable enough through the text of this blog post, here are some photos of the outside, where our camper is in the wind, vs inside, where we are, and where Eliza is currently running around to each member of the family to show them how clean and fluffy bath mat is (vs us, who are not ‘clean and fluffy’, but who soon will be when we have had hot showers with fluffy towels, AND, we have Coffin Bay oysters and Kalbarri Fish tacos for dinner! Whooooo hooooo!).

Photo below is our car and camper outside in the wind and the camp ground we would have stayed in, including the trail of smoke blowing from the poor campers outside in the cold:

And, the photos of the warm inside where we are with beds, happy children, no wind and soap!

This post is to be updated after hot showers, and cold oysters and champagne, have commenced… more to come!

Post-script:

After hot showers, oysters and drinks we had a great dinner of fish tacos and a sound sleep in real beds!

Wednesday 3 October 2018

Day 67 – Smoky Bay to Coffin Bay NP 367km (13,811km)

When we woke up this morning in Smoky Bay the sky was clear, the sun was shining and the wind had dropped, the perfect day for a mooch down the coast.

After a leisurely breakfast and pack up, we hit the road and our first stop was Streaky Bay where we had a walk on the pier and a snack at the coffee shop.

Then it was back on the road until we reached Elliston, where we had lunch and checked out the play ground.

Last stop for the day was Coffin Bay where we picked up some fresh-shucked oysters to go with our pre-dinner drinks. Coffin Bay was amazingly beautiful with clear blue water. We decided that it would be better to head into the National Park to camp for the night, and just our luck there was a site available, so we travelled on and set up camp at Yankie Bay. Below is the view from the lookout on the way into the park and the second is the view from our camp.

What a camp site, we absolutely loved it. We did a time lapse of our setting up camp, had a stroll around the camp and then settled in for the evening. Our camp was surrounded by trees and kangaroos and had a view of the bay, the wind had dropped again and it was a clear sky, so set the fire, had our oysters and then had dinner by the fire – what an amazing spot and the oysters tasted amazing!

Tuesday 2 October 2018

Day 66 – Eucla to Smoky Bay 555km (13,444km)

The weather report for Eucla today was for thunderstorms all day from 8am, so we packed up and hit the road early to keep ahead of the storm.

Thankfully the weather remained ok and we had a stop at the whale research station at the ‘Head of the Bight’, and whilst it was pretty windy, we did get a great view of the coast, and there were four Southern Right Whale mothers with their calves.

Then it was back on the road to Smoky Bay, and on the way we talked about all the things we had learned on our trip, and al our favourite places and moments (to be published soon!).

Then we arrived a Smoky Bay, and it was so great with a super view of the water, and really quiet, friendly and picturesque. We had a walk on the beach and then had dinner and played cards.

Monday 31 September 2018

Day 65 – Norseman to Eucla 710km (12,889km)

A long driving day today to get us on our way home. It was overcast and rained all the way, but as we all agreed it was better to get the rain down here than to have had it up north (and the last rain we had was way back in Uluru).

We had been looking forward to arriving at Eucla, a location for which we have had so many recommendations, but when we checked the weather it was to rain all night and then thunderstorms are predicted for all day Monday from 8am, so in the end we had a quick overnight stop and kept moving… see you next time Eucla!

Sunday 30 September 2018

Day 64 – Cadoux to Norseman (via Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie) 687km (12,179km)

This morning it was chilly and we woke up to rain, and we have not had rain since Uluru.

We really liked Cadoux, it was a friendly and cute little town and the camping area was great.

As it was raining we packed up and had breakfast as we were driving and listened to the Couldabeen Champions on ABC Radio and then the pre-broadcast for the AFL Grand Final, which was great to listen to as we drove through the Australian landscape.

We decided that it would be good to pass through Kalgoorlie on the way so that we could find a pub and watch the footy, and to do this we passed through Coolgardie, which Dad remembered from the Coolgardie Safe, which was an early form of fridge that used water evaporation from wet fabric to keep things cool.

Then it was onto Kalgoorlie, and we went to the Star and Garter pub to watch the footy. It was the best game ever and really close, as West Coast won right at the end, which everyone in the pub though was really good, given we were in Western Australia and everyone wanted to beat the Victorian team.

We learnt that Kalgoorlie is a mining town that was started from a gold rush, and still mines gold (and nickel) today in a Super Pit, that was started when Alan Bond bought up a number of old mining leases from the original gold rush.

Then we drove on to Norseman, which was only a couple of hours further and at the start of the Nullarbor Plain, which will take us back to South Australia and toward home.

Saturday 29 September 2018