Out of Melbourne, heading slowly west

Updated: Mar 26, 2018

Melbourne to Lincoln National Park via Adelaide, the festival city

Link to a few recent pictures here:

Well it has been almost three weeks since we left Melbourne; getting out of town took a little longer than expected and included another overnight stay in hospital for a sleep test. I think I failed the sleep test as I couldn’t get off to sleep with the array of wires connecting many parts of me to monitoring machines, so I checked myself out at 2:30am and went home to sleep.

And so, Monday 5th March, we finished packing the trailer and drove away from home and out of Melbourne to the west for a quick 5-hour drive to Glenelg River National Park. Of course, that was plan A but as with so many of our plans we ended up in Annya State Forest at a delightful camping spot, complete with koalas in the trees and a little breathing space after being back in the suburbs for a week. We stayed a couple of nights enjoying the peace of the forest, the girls happily adapting back to our “on the road” lifestyle complete with some school work thrown in.

We had a date in the Adelaide Hills to catch up with great friends who had also hosted us on our 2016 travels, so taking the slow road via Mount Gambier, and its amazing Blue Lake, through Robe and onto Wrights Beach for a three night stay. We stayed at a small, low-key campsite complete with old style lime long drop “dunnies” and a beautiful beach for splashing around and fishing. We caught some fish, a good-sized flathead being the best of them and managed to get ourselves stuck in the soft sand a couple of times and had to dig ourselves out with the aid of the maxtracks which had been carried from day one for just such an occasion. There are no pictures of this mildly embarrassing event, especially not the second time when I managed to get stuck again while on a solo fishing run at dawn 😊

Leaving Wrights beach, we followed the coastline towards to the mouth of the mighty Murray River, via the Big Lobster,

enuff said.

We continued along to Wellington, taking a small ferry across the river Murray to cross into wine country at Langhorne Creek.

We visited Bleasedale Wines, an old favourite winery of mine, to discover it had a far richer history of winemaking in the area and some amazing old parts of the winery using original Red Gum barrels and still housing one of the original Basket Presses also made from local red gum. After a quick tasting session, we made our way into the Adelaide Hills to catch up with our friends.

We stayed in and around the Hills for nine nights, managed to catch a day at the World Music Festival [WOMAD] to see some fabulous music acts and be reminded why Adelaide is known now as the Festival City. The Adelaide Fringe was also in full swing and we managed a quick visit on the last Saturday of the Festival. We walked around, the kids catching rides and all of us crowd watching - a great way to spend an afternoon & evening and topped off by the Art / Light show along North Terrace just after dark. To protect the innocent and the numerous bottles of wine consumed I will just say we had an absolutely delightful time in and around Adelaide and I know we will be back again at some stage.

Leaving the Adelaide Hills and our friends was as hard as leaving Melbourne but we drove out through Hanhdorf and the Barossa Valley heading towards Mount Remarkable National Park for a quick stop on the way to Port Lincoln.

The national park was on the outer limit of the Flinders ranges and a quick walk around one of the tracks in the morning reminded us we were getting closer to the outback landscapes we enjoyed so much on our trip in 2016. The bird life in the park was prolific and we were also fortunate to spot a large goanna soaking up the last of the afternoon sun near our campsite.

In the morning a quick detour into Aligator Gorge was rewarded with a great little walk through a narrow red rock gorge reminiscent of Karajini National Park in North West WA.

Our Landcruiser was booked in for a 10,000 km service at the Toyota dealership and our trailer needed a little TLC after an errant moment when I forget to wind up the stabilizer legs [Oops – Ouch – a small reminder to pay attention 😊].

Port Lincoln is a bit of an oasis after driving down the east coast of the Eyre Peninsula, we stopped in at Cowell for an overnight stop (the wind threatened to blow us into West Australia) and also called in at Tumby Bay for a look at the National Trust Museum, a fascinating and rich history of recent European history including a record of all 31 local schools. The girls had great fun using a typewriter, an adding machine, a gramophone and small piano accordion, as well as my favourites, some old phones and switchboards. A delightful step back into recent history.

And here we are at Port Lincoln, in Lincoln National Park enjoying a sunny Saturday afternoon by another beautiful and un-spoilt beach. I caught and released a few fish yesterday evening and again this morning but really was just enjoying being in the warm water on a pristine beach with the sun shining and children playing happily in the sand and safe water.

We were reminded Easter is coming so will probably use the long weekend to avoid the crowds and head across the Nullarbor Plain into WA.

We have a few more days around here and then on the west coast of the Eyre Peninsula.

Talia Caves, just north of Eliston SA, is on our list of places to stop and investifate after a recommendation from a good friend who visited them just a week or so ago. We plan to stay there for a couple of days before heading past Venus Bay, Streaky Bay, Smoky Bay and into Ceduna and the big drive west.

Regards Roy, Helen, Sophie & Zoe

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