Welcome back! It's Monday night and were at
Bay, SA. (Google it)
We didn't make the 550ks to Eucla. We stopped short
and free camped at Mundrabilla East Rest Area with the flies... a very
uninteresting Rest Area short of Eucla. The flies
here on the Nullarbor are unbelievable! Their
favourite food is Aerogard!!
The night was cold and VERY windy and we left early
and covered around 400ks, passing through Eucla, on
to the SA border. We expected to be 'searched' at
the border, but we drove straight through. It was a
WA checkpoint... SA has their border checkpoint at
this leg, we called in to a spot on the Great
Australian Bight, where we were told we would see
whales. It is called 'Head of Bight' and was 14ks
off the main highway and $14 admission, but it was
all worthwhile. They have the area well set up and
we saw several whales with their young, frolicking
in the shallow bay. They didn't seem to be in any
hurry to move south, back to the colder waters. The
coastline across the Great Australian Bight is truly
Leaving there, we again
free camped at another boring spot with the flies,
150ks before Ceduna. That night, Sunday,
we were awoken around 11.30 by a very strong
Free Camping Nullarbor
We were certain a storm was coming, but when
I went outside to check everything, it was a starry,
moonlit night. The van shook violently and it took
quite a while to get back to sleep. By morning, the
wind had eased and it was a beautiful day.
went on to Ceduna and were going to stay a night
there, but moved on instead to Streaky Bay, where we
have power and an internet connection. We've booked
in for 2
Fish Cleaning in Park
nights for some R&R after the Nullarbor
Crossing. There's not much here, but it's a pretty
little place and the caravan park is right on the
Bay... we have a lovely Bay view from our van.
There's a boat ramp right here in the park and a
fish cleaning bay for the many fishermen. The
seagulls and pelicans swarm around when the fish
cleaning is on.
Our next leg is 293ks to Port Lincoln, where we'll
spend a couple of nights, taking in the race meeting
on Thursday. Then it's off to Port Augusta and from
what we've heard, it will only be an overnighter.
Port Lincoln, Port Augusta and Nuriootpa
we had fine weather on the trip from Streaky Bay to
Port Lincoln. We arrived after lunch on Wednesday
25th and booked in to the Port Lincoln Tourist
Park a Top Tourist Park, for 2
nights, before setting off to see the sights of the
It's a medium sized town, with a Coles and Woolies,
but no shopping Centre, which we found unusual. Many
smaller towns we've visited did.
No, we weren't the
only ones there!
the rain pelted down, but the skies were clearer by
morning so we went to the Port Lincoln Races as
planned. We both lost, but had a good day.
Friday morning we made tracks for Port Augusta. We
were going to stay at one of the 2 Parks there, but
just before we left the Port Lincoln Park, Bev got
talking to one the other guests and he told her
about an inexpensive camp at the back of the local
Sport's Club. He didn't know the name of it or where
it was, so I Googled it
eventually found it... Port Augusta Football &
Community Sporting Club. Petal (Navman, remember?)
easily got us there and there were around 10 or so
others already set up. The Club only charges $7 per
night, but you need to be totally self sufficient,
which of course, we are. Having arrived early, we
spent the afternoon in the Club Tab, having a beer
and a punt! Yes, I won. No, Bev didn't.
Our next stop was to be at Discovery
Holiday Park in Adelaide. I booked online and
paid for a week there, but later got an apologetic
call that they were fully booked! All they could do
was 2 nights on one site, move to another for 2
nights then another for 2 nights. Stuff that!
Thankfully, we met a lovely couple at the
club, who suggested we stay at Nuriootpa.
heard of Nuriootpa!
So, long story short, we are now at the Barossa
Valley Tourist Park in Nuriootpa (no I can't
pronounce it either!) in the Barossa Valley for a
Tomorrow, Sunday, we'll go to the races at
Gawler 20 or 30 clicks away, then Monday I suppose
I'll have to take a wine tour of the region!
Yes, sacrifices have to be made.
We have made a week's booking at the Discovery Park
in Adelaide starting October 7, so we may have a few
more nights in this area, probably at Gawler.
Nuriootpa, Barossa Valley Wine Region
is a lovely little town in the southern edge of the
Barossa Valley Wine Region. The Barossa Valley
Tourist Park, where we are now, is a nice spot to
be... close to the many attractions in the area.
Joanne and Luke visited this area some time ago and
Jo has given us some 'must see' places to visit, as
well as some 'must buy' wines from the region!
The wine tours here are around the $95 per head
mark, so we will probably only take one tour. From
the brochures we have, one of the all day tours
takes in the points of interest of the area, as well
as the wineries, so they will probably get our loot.
(UPDATE: Didn't take the
wine tour. Instead of spending the $190 on a tour, I
opted instead to buy some wine for less than half
We had booked into the Barossa Valley Tourist Park
for 3 nights, but we can't get into our Adelaide
Park until the 7th, so I was able to extend our stay
here for 9 nights. That will give us plenty of time
to tour the Region.
The tour started yesterday (Sunday) with a visit to
the Gawler Races. We didn't realize, but it was
Gawler Cup Day and the place was chockers and we had
to stand all day. Tough for a couple of oldies!
Unlike Rocky where you
need to travel 100ks south or 330ks north to get to
the closest towns, the towns in this area are pretty
close together. So much so, we were able to visit
many small towns in the Barossa area (I call them
Villages) and enjoy the 'country ambience' so to
speak... the village bakery, the butcher shop, the
PUB (of course) and specialty shops such as the
coffee shop, the cheese shop and the olive shop, to
name a few.
A visit to Maggie
Beer's Farm Shop was an essential. Who's Maggie
Beer? A celebrity chef on Masterchef, her own TV
show on ABC... etc. She has a VERY popular 'Farm
Shop" near Nuriootpa where
sample practically ALL her wares. We bought a bottle
of her 'famous' marinade to try on steaks, lamb,
noticed on the TAB website today (Friday) that the
Gawler Greyhound Race Meeting was on, so off we
went. I'd describe Gawler as a big 'little town' in
the area with a population of around 21,000.
Nuriootpa would be second at around 5700. Some of
the quaint little villages only have a few hundred.
have 3 more nights here and then it's off to
Adelaide, where we are booked into the Discovery Holiday
Park at Semaphore Park.
Adelaide - Monday 7th October
Peacock at Toy
was only a short 70k trip to Adelaide from Nuriootpa
and we were booked into Adelaide Beachfront Caravan & Tourist Park at
249 Military Road,
Petal found 249 with no trouble...
except it was nowhere near our Caravan Park!
Military Road is very long and apparently, there are several
249's. Seems the numbers reset as you pass through
each suburb. A phone call to the park soon got us
back on track. The Park is in a great location, just
a short walk to the beach, but way too cold and
windy to even contemplate.
Wednesday, we drove to a nearby 'Park and Go'
Railway Station and took the half hour train trip to
the city. The Adelaide Railway Station is virtually
underneath the Adelaide Casino, so it was a short
walk for our first visit. As you know, Bev and I
have visited the majority of Casinos in Australia
and we would have to rate the Adelaide Casino well
down the list.
Today, Thursday, we had planned on a self-drive
'Wine Tour' of the McLaren Vale Wine Region. But the
weather again turned sour with rain and cold wind,
so we instead went north to the Adelaide Hills.
first stop, after a winding road trip to match the
Mount Morgan Range (but longer) was the Toy Factory
at Gumeracha. That's the place that boasts the
world's biggest rocking horse and they aren't wrong!
They make and sell 100's of wooden toys, ranging in
price from a few dollars to as much as $500.
From there, we headed on to Melbas Chocolate Factory
at Woodside and stocked up on some 'necessities' to
keep us fat. From there, it was down the road and
into Hahndorf which, as the name suggests, is
steeped in German history and tradition. You could
be forgiven for thinking you had entered a Swiss or
German Countryside Village. Although a smallish
town, it has a l-o-n-g main street and there were
people everywhere. The entire main street is lined
both sides with cafes, pubs and shops of every
at the Park now, we've had dinner and the wind has
picked up again. It got so windy last night, we were
up after midnight raising the awning, which sounded
like it was going to get airborne. Hopefully the
weather will improve for the rest of our stay.
we're going to Victor Harbor for a couple of days,
before heading off to Victoria. We've allowed 4 or 5
days to get to Victoria and travel the Great Ocean
Road, before setting up in Melbourne for a couple of
Adelaide - Victor Harbor
I must be
getting old... no mini-bus wine tour in Margaret
River or McLaren Vale.
Instead we opted for a self-drive tour of wineries,
which sucks really, 'cause I can't do all the
tastings available and BJ won't drive the tug!
However, we visited 3 of the 4 wineries recommended
by Joanne in the McLaren Vale area on Friday
(11/10/13) and walked away with 5 or 6 bottles of
modified grape juice, one of which I'm enjoying
The town of McLaren Vale appeared to be a little
more 'modern' than many of the small towns we've
seen in South Australia. I don't know its history...
maybe it's a little younger than some of the
it was off to the races at Morphettville Park, Adelaide's
major Metropolitan Track. I Googled the address and
punched it into Petal, but when we arrived at that
address, there was no sign of a racecourse.
Thankfully, the new Navmans have search features
which allowed us to locate the destination.
Morphettville Race Course is an impressive complex
and we had a 'good' day at the races.
we took the train to the city and had a look around
the CBD. After a Subway lunch in a Food Hall, we
went to the Casino for a final visit. Bev dropped
(gambling code for LOST!) fifty on the Roulette
table, but I was able to turn my $50 into $170, so I
gave her, her $50 back and kept the $70 profit for
The weather turned crap again last night (Sunday)
and blew a gale, but thankfully eased this morning
to pack up and head off to Victor Harbor.
have the heater on tonight as it's quite cold and
more strong winds are predicted. Tomorrow, we'll
have a good look around Victor Harbor and Port
Elliott, before it's off again... this time to
be long and we'll be in Victoria. From there, it's
all uphill to Rocky!
Victor Harbor, Robe and Mt Gambier
Harbor (yes, that's how they spell it...not Harbour)
is a lovely little town, situated on the coast, 84ks
south of Adelaide. It was a rather slow trip, much
of it through suburban Adelaide and nearby towns
being swallowed up by a sprawling Capital City.
arrived just after lunch and booked into Victor
Harbor Holiday & Cabin Park for 2 nights. The rain
had eased, but the never-ending wind was always
present. It was very noticeable during our walk
across and back the 600m long jetty to Granite
Island was really worth the visit and is a top
Penguin viewing location, but we were not keen to
return at dusk, which is when the little fellas come
out. There is a horse (Clydesdale) drawn 'Tram' that
does the trip across the jetty every hour or so, but
Bev and I decided we needed the walk. We are both
starting to look like a couple of Clydesdales'!
Port Elliott was also worth a visit and like many of
the towns in this area, steeped in history.
Strathalbyn, a name very familiar to us because of
our horse racing interest, was only 48ks away, so we
took a trip there Tuesday for a look around. Again,
steeped in history, but really not much to see. We
had a Pub Lunch at a quaint old country pub and
headed back to the Park.
Apart from a good look around, that covered our
visit to Victor Harbor and Wednesday morning, we
left for Robe, SA with another cold front moving
through the area.
trip to Robe took us from Victor Harbor to
Strathalbyn, onto Wellington, where we had to cross
the mighty Murray River on a barge (free) and then
onto Meningie, Kingston SE and finally Robe, a 332k
In the middle of Summer, Robe would probably have
been a nice place to visit, but with the continuing
bad weather, it wasn't pleasant. A drive around with
closed windows was enough for us. (No photos)
That night (last night) the strong wind, rain and
hail hit, shaking and hammering us all night. Thankfully
hail wasn't large, but was very noisy on the caravan
roof. This morning (Thursday) we packed up in the
VERY cold wind and headed off slowly for Mount
Gambier. It was so cold packing up outside this
morning, I think hypothermia was setting in. I had
difficulty breathing and my
fingers were so cold I had a lot of trouble doing up the safety
chains and the weight distribution hitch.
We finally got away on the short trip to Mount
Gambier mid morning and arrived here around 11.30am.
We had pre-booked at Blue Lake Holiday Park, a
lovely Big 4 Park next to
the famous Blue Lake, setting up again in the
very cold wind. We had no longer set up camp, when
the light hail hit again. By tea time the wind and
rain had eased and the sun came out, but what breeze
there was, was COLD!
We are here for 2 nights, so I'll update before we
leave. Our next stop is Warrnambool in Victoria,
bypassing Portland, before we hit the Great Ocean
Road. We have already booked into Melbourne Big 4
Holiday Park at Coburg, just 9ks from the CBD.
We'll be there for 15 nights starting October 23rd,
so we've got a couple of days up our sleeve before
South Australia to Victoria
One thing we've noticed, travelling
around this huge country of ours, is the
difference in geology from area to area.
We go from flat, dry rolling plains one
day to hilly, rocky escarpments the
next. Arriving in Mount Gambier, we were
struck by the large number of craters in
example, the Caravan Park we stayed at
was the Blue Lake Holiday Park, so named
for the huge 'lake in a crater' I
alluded to in my last post.
Nearby was the 'Mutton Leg' crater, that
looks exactly like that (from the air)
and the Valley Lake Crater, and others,
which to my mind is the result of
ancient pre-adamic volcanic activity.
'crater', which is in the heart of town,
is the 'Umpherston Sinkhole'. (Read
about it here) It's a very
impressive sight and Bev and I took the
walk down to the bottom, mainly to
escape the bitterly cold wind above!
After the shitty haircuts we both got in
Bunbury, WA., Bev couldn't stand it any
longer. We sussed out a hairdresser
Thursday and made an appointment Friday
for BJ to get a perm. When I went back
to pick her up, I got a trim, to make my
haircut less shitty. (Didn't work!)
We didn't plan it this way, but working
out our travel schedule for the next few
weeks, it turns out we will be in
Melbourne for the Melbourne Cup!
I only packed one pair of slacks and one
long sleeved shirt, neither of which
would be 'suitable' for The Cup. So we
went shopping here in Mt Gambier
Thursday and I bought a pair of slacks,
a shirt and tie. I have yet to buy a
pair of black shoes and maybe a sports
coat. Bev got herself a nice expensive
(in my mind) dress, a jacket and a
lovely pair of shoes, so I guess we're
nearly ready for the Big Event.
We had a good look around the nearby
area and headed off Saturday morning, to
Warrnambool, 182 ks away.
Our solution to
this dilemma was to install a Satellite TV System. My research had
narrowed the choices down to 2 companies:
Access Antennas & Satellites a West Australian company
in Perth, with offices as well in Bunbury and Brisbane.
SatGear.com.au an Internet based company that has earned
the respect of travellers around Australia.
Both companies offer a full Satellite Caravan
Kit at great prices. I was ready to order a full kit from
Access Antennas, when an email changed everything.
a subscriber to the popular Caravan & Motorhome on Tour
Magazine, which I enjoy very much. In November 2014 they sent out an
email to entice new subscribers and get current subscribers to
extend. To sweeten the deal, they were offering a
Satellite Dish Kit with a 15 month subscription, for $149!
I used to buy the Magazine each month from the
Newsagent and 15 issues @ $9.95 comes to $149.25. Just so happens,
the Kit they were offering is the
Access Antennas kit, selling on their website for $339. This is
the full kit, without the Decoder Box.
I had to buy the
VAST Decoder Box separately, which cost $235 postpaid. So I got
the full kit, worth $584 including the Bag, plus 15 issues of the
magazine ($149.25 across the counter) for only $384!
Now that's a deal !
But it doesn't have to be
this way! Stop the frustration! My New Guide
will lead you step-by-step towards a successful set-up every
Read More Here
Caravan Improvement Projects
I love working on new projects that will improve our quality of
life on the road. Here's one project I just completed recently. See
if it will suit your setup... you may want to do it for your van.
Usually, we don't
stay in a Free Camp location longer than 2 days. We like to share
our Free Camping experiences with Caravan Park stays. Therefore,
we don't need a lot of Solar. Even so, our setup includes 2x 130w
Panels fixed on the roof (above), powering a 110AH Battery.
We also have a second battery in the tug.
a supplement, we also have a 120w Folding Panel. We have never
come close to running out of power, thanks to our van's highly
efficient LED lighting and low power draw appliances.
lumped a generator around Australia, but in two years, have
never used it !
Anyone want to buy a genny?
Read the full Article Here
Simply enter your current location in the box and hit
enter. It's preset for the Optus C1/D3 Satellite.
The only drawback is, you need Internet to
use it. They also have an iPhone app as well. (No Android yet)