Thursday, February 20, 2014

Southern Flinders Ranges

Thursday, Feb 20th 2014 - Round 4 Day 27

Hancock's Lookout, South Australia

The run through the northern edge of the Eyre Peninsula was uneventful, if unexciting. This is a wheat and barley growing area and is fairly flat and uninteresting. To the north are the Gawler Ranges and I have often thought about taking a swan through the area, but it would mean stopping in somewhere like Kimba for a few days and using that as a base. Maybe next time, I'm told it's worth the effort.

Stopped in Kimba for a break and a coffee, took the obligatory photo of the Big Galah.

Arrived in Port Augusta and did a bit of shopping to top up the larder, then headed up through Horrock's Pass towards Wilmington. This road is as steep as I remember from years ago and nearly gave the poor old Kia a hernia. Still, probably no worse than driving up Greenmount coming out of Perth, except that it is only one lane each way and of course I found myself behing a grain road train half way up.

I found the track to Hancock's Lookout easily enough, it was well sign-posted and the 7 km track in was fairly reasonable although it looks as though it would be a mongrel in the wet.

The camping area is OK, fairly level but very rocky, room for 8 or 10 vans at a push, although there have not been any caravans here since I arrived. A couple of Toyota Land-cruiser campers, one camper-trailer and a couple of back-packer vans and a couple of cars tenting it and that's about it. Perhaps the caravanners and motor-homers aren't adventurous enough to try it.

The view is to die for. I can see the power station in Port Augusta to the north-west, the gas refinery at Port Bonython to the south-west and at night I can see the lights of Port Pirie to the south, Iron Knob to the west and Whyalla to the south-west as well as those of Port Augusta and Port Bonython. Out in front of me and stretching tight across from left to right are the waters of Spencer Gulf with the coast of Eyre Peninsula beyond. Magnificent. The photos are not all that clear because there was a fair bit of haze around, but if you click on them, they will blow up and you can get an idea of the vista.

The day I arrived, Monday, was fine and warm and I set up and had a glass of wine and some nibblies and watched the sun go down over the gulf.

Since then the weather has been pretty dreadful. Tuesday was a bit blowy and overcast and after dark the wind came up to, literally, Gale force and there were several heavy showers overnight. Yesterday it was pretty awful with complete overcast and the wind from the south was so bad I had to roll the awning up as it blew down several times. The gale kept up all last night but it has cleared up a bit this morning although very cold (8 degC this morning when I woke up) and the forecast is still for "scattered showers", I just hope they scatter elsewhere.

Although the place is very picturesque, there is really not much to do here. The camping area is surrounded by fences and there are signs saying to keep off private property, so nowhere to do any bush walking. Provided that it stays fine, I will pack up in the morning and head for Burra Creek tomorrow, via Orroroo, Peterborough and Mt. Bryan. I am not sure what to expect as the area is called World's End. Should be interesting???

That's all for now, see you in a week or so.


Bill Boyd said...

Hey Mike.
If you get a chance take a trip down too Elliston Eyre Peninsula.

Check out the Coastal track.
Lots of Sculpture's at strategic points along the track, along with some great scenic views.
cheers Bill

Bill Boyd said...