Monday, March 3, 2014

Yorke Peninsula

Monday, Mar 3rd 2014 - Round 4 Day 38

Port Julia, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia.

Sunny Yorke Peninsula, 32 degC, not a cloud in the sky and light breezes, 4G wi-fi and quiet neighbours, what more could you ask for???

I left Burra Creek Gorge on Friday, 28th (last day of summer) and headed towards Yorke Peninsula by taking the back (gravel) roads. Some fantastic sights of the farming country in the area. Passed through Auburn, Balaklava, Manoora, Port Wakefield and Ardrossan, as well as some delightful little "villages" such as Emu Downs and Black hills which consist of just a couple of houses and (usually) a small church.

The run was pleasant and uneventful until I got onto the coast road down the east cost of Yorke Peninsula. The number of vans on the road is amazing. Luckily, they all seemed to be going the other way.

I had planned to stop at Black Point, but when I tried to book, was told they were full up. The same thing happened three years ago when I tried to stop there, so if I try it again, looks like I may have to book well ahead.

I continued on down south to Port Julia where I stayed in 2010 (I just checked my notes and it is exactly 4 years ago that I was here). The spot is very much the same, although the prices have gone up. It is now $40/week, but that is still very reasonable. The spot seems quite popular, with about 10-12 vans here each nigh, most staying for at least 3 or 4 days to a week. If you look at the photos of the campground and the town, you can see why.

The campground is fairly basic - No showers, but flush toilets, a camp kitchen with free barbecue, plenty of shade and nice level van bays as well as a large grassed area for tent (although haven't seen any).

The local progress association maintains the area on behalf of the YP District Council and also maintains a coast walk with informative signage. The down has about 30 houses, another 10 or so beach shacks, a jetty and a public phone and that's about it - no other facilities, no shop or petrol station, but it's only a 10 minute drive along the coast to Port Vincent which has all facilities including a pub and (small) supermarket.

The weather is warm and clear, so I don't have to use the generator and the black shower bags are doing their job. I'm in heaven. I plan on staying here until Friday (7th) and then head to Adelaide and the first Caravan Park since I left Perth. That will be exactly 6 weeks, which is about the time I like to spend betwwen CP stops. I need to do some washing, fill up the water tanks and do a little bit of shopping and 6 weeks is about right.

Unfortunately I mis-calculated my timings, Monday 10th is Adelaide Cup Day, so of course the CP's are charging Peak rates for that weekend. I had made arrangements to see somebody in Adelaide at that time, so I can't change it. Oh well, it happens.

I am staring to think that things are starting to get old. After the episode with the satellite dish, I have now broken the boddom hinge on the fridge door, so only the magnetic seal is holding the door closed. It still seems to be working alright, so I will have to see if I can fix the moulding of the hinge with some super glue. Cross your fingers for me, I really don't want to have to buy a new door.

See you when I get to Adelaide.

Friday, Feb 27th 2014 - Round 4 Day 34

Burra Creek Gorge, Mid-North South Australia.

I left Hancock's on the  21st and headed south through Wilmington, Orroroo and Peterborough. I had previously spent some time in these places, so only stopped long enough to stretch my legs or have a cuppa and headed for The Burra. This has to be one of the most interesting towns I've visited. The local council or historical society or someone has made a determined effort to keep many of the historic and heritage places and it is well worth spending 2 or 3 hours wandering around the town. I did so in 2009 and was absolutely knocked out. I checked back and didn't put many pictures in from that visit, so here are a few.

If the last one looks familiar, it is the Redruth Gaol, use as a film set in the Breaker Morant movie.

After picking up some brea and milk, I continued on south, down the ominously-named "World's End Highway" to the burra creek gorge campground. Another spot with a really big tick from me. Good shade, level spots, clean (non-smelly) pit toilet (although no paper) and regularly cleared bins.

There are two separate areas. The "upper" is very much a bush-camp on the edge of the creek and the "lower" which is set up more as a picnic area or day area. With the weekend coming up, I chose the one less likely to have hordes of screaming kids.

Plenty of scope for tramping and I walked at least 2 km along the creek to where it flows out of the surrounding hills. A warning to those who may not be aware of the dangers of River Red Gums (Eucalyptus Camaldulensis). The are known colloquially as "Widow Makers" because they regularly, for no apparent reason, drop large brenches. They give a tremendous shade and are magnificent trees to look at, but don't, don't, don't ever camp underneath one.

Within about 500 metres of the upper campsite is an old abandoned farmhouse and associated buildings. From the looks of it, it hasn't been abandoned all that long, but it was obviously originally built a long time ago. I spent a good couple of hours exploring.

 Amazing to see good old Aussie corrugated iron imported from America!

Some of the photos from all along the creek. The term "Gorge" is a bit misleading, but you have to allow for poetic license.

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