Aus Update 25 - Adelaide Hills, Barrossa Valley, Mannum, Murray Bridge, Coorong National Park, Kingston SE & Naracoorte

22-Dec-2006

<Paula> 18-Nov  Wow, what a long title. I guess we have seen a lot in the last couple of days.  We set out from Port Elliot towards Goolwa where we sat and enjoyed the busy Murray River and then headed north towards the Adelaide Hills.  It was a very nice drive through the hills, although I am sure that Chris would prefer to be driving his Evo. There is a rally on over the weekend through the Hills too and although the cars were vintage they are very nice and very fast through the corners.  We stopped at Mt Lofty, named so by Matthew Flinders in 1802. It is 700m above sea level and has been used as a land mark for surveying for the last 200 years.  The Cairn was replaced in 1902 as a centenary celebration.  It is odd to see photos of people at the turn of the 1900's celebrating such an event in Australia.  There was another plaque from 2002 as well.  I guess they will just keep adding them.  So here is our sole picture of the city of Adelaide taken from Mt Lofty.


If you look closely you can see the green garden belt around the city center.

above:We thought this warning in the car park was an interesting one.
right: Carin used for surveying purposes on top of Mount Lofty.

From here we continued driving through the hills towards the Barrossa Valley.  We have our Navman Navigator unit set halfway between take all main roads and avoid main roads, so we end up taking a mixture or roads on our way.  One road it thought was there was someones backyard and another one was called Corkscrew road.  It was VERY  steep with a few hairpin corners.  We took a photo of what the road looked like from the perspective of the navigation unit and from us.  They were pretty tight corners in a 3 tonne 4x4.

we stayed the night at a Conservation Park just out of Gawler. It boasts of having 130 different species of birds in the park.  We got to experience them before dawn, and yes they were quite spectacular.  It was a nice park, we went for a walk just before sunset and there were some really really big kangaroos.  

19-Nov  We headed into the Barrossa Valley.  Very beautiful, lots of vineyards of course.  In the town of  Tinunda  we had read about Nice Ice ice cream. It is made locally, of course we had to try it, it was delicious.

We traveled on to Mannum where we met up with the Murray River.  We stayed on it's banks in a reserve it was very nice, the photo of the baby ducklings was taken from our campsite. In 1956 the Murray River flooded and it was interesting to look at a display of photos taken around town at the time. Shops and homes on the banks were flooded up to the ceiling.  The hotel kept operating out of the 2nd floor, but I guess you had to arrive by boat, or swim (depends how much you need the drink).


20-Nov Murray Bridge was our first port of call for the day.  It of course was the first bridge built on the Murray River, hence the name.  It was built in 185?. The photo show both the original road bridge, still in use, and the rail bridge.  You will note that you can't see any water.  The land was reclaimed for pastoral use a century ago, the river is just beyond that, you can't see it in this photo.


above: the two bridges.
right: Chris eating lunch.

We continued on  to Coorong National Park, boasting of 240 different species of birds.  Apparently it is a bird watchers paradise. I always can find the best in a place that we visit. Every place we have been has some good points.  I was unsuccessful in finding the positive points of this National Park.  I don't know if it was the low water levels,  the really bad weather that was coming, the fact that we paid $4 for a campsite that had no toilet but  millions of ants that you just could not get away from, or if it was just the really really rough roads.  

21-Nov We tried to make it an enjoyable experience but to no avail.  We walked to the pelican lookout.  They have islands here that they breed on.  There were many on the islands, but they were to far away for our binoculars and the telescope that was usually there was away getting serviced.  It just wasn't working for us so we left for the town of Kingston. But not before finding out some interesting information about pelicans.  They are truly amazing birds.  They fly up to 150 km's per day and eat 2 kg's of fish per day.  They would need to, they are so large.  Each breeding season they  band up to 1500 pelicans, of which are regularly sighted as far north as Papua New Guinea and  everywhere in between.  They are a very graceful and noble looking bird.  Unfortunately we didn't see one here to  take a photo, we have seen them everywhere else in the surrounding regions though.   Here is some photos of the Coorong National Park.  

We thought this was an interesting place to put the for sale sign.  The salt lake wasn't that big you think they could have found a slightly more appealing place  for it.

Next was the town of Kingston that had some things that needed to have a photo taken of them for no other reason than they were there and it seemed appropriate to do so. The big lobster...what can you say about this?  You can tell it is just asking to have it's photo taken and the funny thing was that the roadside had multiple cars and caravans pulled over quickly just to lean out the window and take a snapshot of this amazing thing!

The Jaffa Lighthouse was relocated here from a reef.  It was built there in 1862 and as you can see there was room for the keeper to live there too.  You would think that you would miss soil after awhile.  It was a great feat of engineering but apparently no longer required and shifted here in 1976.

This one we took photos of because we thought it was really interesting.  It is an analemmatic sundial  and proved to be very accurate.  You stand on the  date to get your shadow for the time.

We went on from here to Naracoorte.  All the way there there were thunderstorms off into the distance and the lightening display was incredible. One of the lightening strikes set off a fire and while we were parked in Naracoorte we could see great black clouds reaching across the town (our 4wd bottom left).