A Travellerspoint blog

Road back to NSW

We left the beautiful Clare Valley early for our long journey across to the Murray Valley. Once again we had forgotten about the Fruit Fly Zone and we had to hand in our fruit at the Quarantine Station at the border. We stopped for lunch beside the river at Renmark after we had looked at the paddlesteamer "Industry". In one day we left South Australia, then travelled into Victoria and ended up in New South Wales at Wentworth.
Paddle steamer at Renmark
Lunch beside the Murray at Renmark
The junction of the Darling and the Murray Rivers
Perry Sandhills Wentworth, sandhills formed during the ice age

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A couple days around Clare Valley

Today we had a great day exploring the copper mining town of Burra which dates back to 1845. After purchasing a Heritage Pass we were given a key to 11 heritage sites in the town to visit at our leisure. Our first stop was the Morphett's Enginehouse of the Burra Mining Company which was used to pump water out of the mine.
We also visited the Redruth Gaol (1856) home for 30 prisoners, male and female.This was where the film Breaker Morant was made.
Miners Dugouts, where miners made their own housing by digging into the cliffs of the river banks. Obviously the Cornish miners were very short!
Yesterday after travelling up from the Spencer's Gulf area we visited a few wineries in Clare, tasting some very good wines. The area was very lush and green and many of the homes which are made out of the local rock are stunning. It was well worth the visit.

St Aloysius church at Sevenhill Winery. The winery has been owned and operated by the Jesuits since 1851.
Selection of wines at Sevenhill Winery. This winery also had an underground cellar to visit.

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Hills Around Port Germein

After heading into Port Pirie to buy a few supplies we ventured out into the rich farming areas of Gladstone, Laura and Stone Hut. We stopped at an olive grove for lunch then headed down the windy road through Port Germein Gorge and past the remains of the village of Bangor which was surveyed in 1853 We stopped to have a look at the remains of the Bangor Hotel.

Historic Bangor South Australia
Remains of Bangor Hotel

Lunch at Hickory Run

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Desert to Gulf

After a few hours driving we had left the desert for the flat coastal towns of Spencer"s Gulf. Morning tea was at a deserted homestead before we crossed the Pichi Richi Ranges and saw the Gulf.
We spent the afternoon fishing for crabs and squid on Port Germein's 1.5 km wooden wharf which is the longest of its type in Australia. No luck today only an undersized crab.

Road leaving Leigh Creek
Deserted homestead
Wharf at Port Germein
Rob and Howard trying their hand at crabbing

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Flight over Lake Eyre and Farina

What a fantastic day! A rare opportunity to fly over Lake Eyre when it was full. We headed off early to Lyndhurst for our flight. After meeting our pilot at Lyndhurst pub we headed for the airstrip graded in the red dirt. We all felt a bit apprehensive and excited as we were allocated our seats. What we were in store for was an incredible experience and worth the cost. We flew over the Aboriginal ochre pits an important source of ochre traded for thousands of years. Then further north over the old ruins of Farina once an important rail centre.

Inspired by what we saw from the air, we decided to visit Farina- the old town which was a centre of trade when the Ghan was an important means of transport in the Outback- and the Aboriginal ochre pits. We returned to the Lyndhurst Hotel for a counter lunch; the steak sandwiches were outstanding. After lunch, we visited Talc Alf- an interesting character , who carves letters into slabs of talc and loves a chat.

A short stop at the Leigh Creek open cut coal mine was interesting and worth the effort.

After returning to the Leigh Creek Caravan Park we decided to have a round of golf on their golf course. It could be said that the course wasn't quite the standard of a resort course, however, presented as many challenges with its rocky, scrub covered fairways and uneven sand greens.

A great day!

Our Plane
Plane's Reflection
North Lake Eyre
Farina north of Lyndhurst
Underground Bakery Farina
Leigh Creek Mine
Leigh Creek Golf Course

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