Lyn and I, accompanied by Graham and Megan Black. Travelled over east in our caravans earlier this year. Our plan was to travel to the Murray River and along it from Renmark to Echuca. Then to a couple of wine areas, the three peninsulas of SA, Streaky Bay and home. We met up with Tony and Skye Bacall in Nuriootpa after week four. Majority of the time we stayed in caravan parks and at many a bakery along the journey.
We travelled across the Nullarbor, after stopping at Salmon Gums (great spot) on the first night, taking in the sights along the way. Arriving in Renmark, Lyn and I did a paddle streamer tour. Seeing the old steam motor driving the boat was amazing. They even supplied homemade scones, jam and cream with a tea or coffee (approx. $15). We then followed the Murray River as close as we could to our destination, Echuca, popping in and out of South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria.
At Mildura we experienced a massive dust storm, which left our vehicles dusty and muddied. We had to wait for the next rain to clean the vehicles because of the drought conditions in most of the areas we travelled. With no bridges we had to cross the river twice via a barge, which is different. The barge runs 24/7 and one thing that you can’t help but notice is the number of houseboats along the river.
From here we dropped down to Bendigo to visit Bill and Juliet Kitson, across to Stawell to view the Grampians (glad we didn’t take the vans on this bit) then across to the wine areas. We were a bit worried about wine availability as we were about a week behind Graham and Barb Gooding and their relations, but all was well!
We met up with Skye and Tony at Nuriootpa and dropped in on Maggie Beer’s farm. One could live on the tastings for days. Lyn and Skye attended a cooking demonstration, though there was no Maggie in sight. The group booked a lunch and it was amazing. The Beer Farm just happens to be in the Barossa Valley – slurp! Then onto Clare Valley and more wine (slurp!) and cooler cold weather. Oh Boy! How many winners can there be. While in South Australia we toured the Fleury, York and then the Eyre Peninsula.
After six weeks it was time to head home.
A three night stay in Streaky Bay was followed by a two day stay in Fowlers Bay. The squid were running if you went on the right day/night. Fowlers has a big sand hill which is slowly encroaching on the town. Tony and I had a couple of days fishing in at both places.
Then it was back to the Nullarbor. We stopped off at the Head of Bight Visitors Centre and walked down the board walk and some whales were swimming in the bay. Back on the road and we stopped the night about 40 Km from the border to cook and eat any vegies or fruit still on board. Great spot as it’s about 60-80 metres straight down (from the cliffs) - no sleep walking! The Blacks carried on, as they had to get home.
Next morning we crossed the border into WA and met some very nice quarantine people, then onto Salmon Gums Caravan Park. Nice people. We won’t mention the cost of fuel at Balladonia. Cheaper on the Nullarbor and Norseman. We did an overnighter at Lake King, Nice pub, then onto Dumbleyung. Home sweet home, although it was a great trip had by all!
Article by Graham Wilson