Aus Update 4 - Where we've gone so far

12-Aug-2006

We've been travelling nicely. It's taking us a while to get everything organised in terms of making and breaking camp, and although we've headed in the direction we'd planned, we haven't travelled as far as we'd expected, and we haven't stopped where we expected either.

So on Thursday the 10-Aug we left Theo & Katrina's place (& Zeke's). It was lovely countryside and I was elated to be on the road.

We were heading for Mildura, but it was getting late so we picked a closer campsite from our book ("Camping in Australia").

We ended up camping at a place called Green Lake. The campground was a local council's. The overnight fee was $6. There was nobody else staying there, and there was no one to collect the money, just a slot at the gate. The place was beautiful! They had a wonderful toilet block with 10c hot showers. It was all left open, we just helped ourselves and got on with it. We had a street light to setup by and there was even a Telstra phone box there. As for the lake itself, well, like much of the surrounding countryside, it was dry. I guess it's a popular place in summer (if there's water in it). The signs show it is setup for water skiing.


Our first dinner on the road

Hot chocolate to finish with after dinner

What we found in the morning!

The lake...........................!

Friday morning we had our showers and prepared to get on the road again. It took a while to get packed up again. We have every convenience we could think of to make our home away from home pleasant, but we hadn't really worked out what needed to be stored where. I'd had some trouble with the tarp over the roof rack flapping the previous day and it took me quite some time to re-pack the roof rack.

We did travel through Mildura, but only stopped briefly to go to the supermarket for food and Super Cheap auto for some more tie down straps (and walked out with a chamois, new wiper blades and some Bars Bugs windscreen washer additive as well).

We stopped for the night (again compelled by the fast fading light) at a small place called Lake Cullulleraine. This was a local RSL campground. There was no mobile phone coverage, but again, a Telstra phone box and a street light! We had a couple of other co-visitors to the campground. One a caravan and the other a pop up tent trailer. The guy with the pop up tent told us that just the previous night he'd met another couple from NZ with the same sort of vehicle as ours and using the same side mounted shade / living space that we had. They'd flown to Adelaide to pick up the whole setup from a previous owner. That's what we were looking for, but ended up preparing from scratch ourselves. Oh well. The caretaker visited us and relieved us of $15 for the nights stay. Good shower and toilet facilities, but out of drinking water!


Sunset from our campsite

Chris rushing to get setup

Paula rushing to get setup

It just got better...

Saturday morning we headed for Port Augusta. We did get to South Australia, where the border quarantine officials took all of our fruit and most of our vegies off us. If only we'd known, we wouldn't have bought a sack of potatoes yesterday, that's for sure!

We had entered Port Augusta -- as our destination into our Navman iCN530 unit and were quite surprised by the direction it was sending us in (nearly to Adelaide). We tried to make it go via an intermediate direction to find the reason it had sent us that way was to avoid a ferry crossing. We persisted, and told it not to use the ferry crossing, but still to go via an intermediate point. It came up with what we felt was an acceptable route. Imagine our surprise then when we turned up at a ferry crossing! Turns out it's not really an iCN mistake, because this was a federally funded 24x7 free ferry crossing to ensure a complete national highway network. Oh well. 

Our next surprise was what passed for a road on this quite major route! Turns out it was a shortcut around a minor town that the highway actually passed through. Good old iCN, always knows the quickest way!

As on the last couple of days, we never quite made it as far as we expected, and settled on a place called Appila Springs. Another local council campsite. Facilities were limited to a better class of longdrop - the composting toilet, but a very pretty location. Did I mention that it's free too? A couple of locals stopped by for picnics, but we were the only ones staying overnight.