To The Rock and Back
The family is on the road again, for our yearly trip into a never, never that is beyond our own.
After drenching calves, trucking a couple of steers to the sale yards (nothing like last minute farming decisions) and throwing the last minute items in the Engel, we finally headed off late last Monday morning, leaving the eldest son at home to house/farm sit.
First stop was The Grampians and lovely Lake Lonsdale. Second night was at South Australia’s Burra Gorge, a wonderful stopping place for us bush camping Victorians heading into SA. Water, magnificent ‘Old Man’ gumtrees, a spacious area to set up camp and toilets (always a plus)!
After passing through Kimba (claim to fame - halfway across Australia), next stop was Streaky Bay. A lovely little town sitting on the stunning Great Southern Ocean, with the cleanest main street and public facilities I have ever seen.
Moving onto Ceduna we stocked up on essentials, got ourselves a Desert Pass and headed north. Googs Track was made by a man called Goog Denton, his son Dinger and other family members. Goog decided a track to join the Ceduna area to Mt Finke was essential, so he set about building it. A stunning track of remote sand dunes and desert country, there are points of interest at the salt lakes (Googs Lake) and also the memorials to Goog and Dinger, both who died far too young. They were obviously very loved by family and friends and trees around their memorials are embedded with silver coins to create ‘Money Trees’. There is a story there I’m sure.
Mt Finke was the final curtain call for Googs Track, an imposing rock mountain so named by Charles Stuart after he took in the view from the summit and proclaimed it “fearful country”. He wasn’t wrong. Fearsome but beautiful.
Coober Pedy was a welcome sight. After no showers for three days it was a dirty, second-hand looking bunch who rocked into the opal mining town. We decided to ditch bush camping for the wonders of 20c coin/2 minute showers and washing machines. Traitors, aren’t we …
After a days rest where the kids wore out the swimming pool (and most probably their welcome – they forget they’re surrounded by neighbours in these places) – we headed out of the opal capital of Australia (yes, with a few opals in hand) and up the Ooonadatta Track.
Oonadatta was our next stop and the famous Pink Roadhouse (owned by Lynnie and the late Adam Plate). The gorgeous Irish accents on the girls serving behind the counter had us all intrigued. After a night by the dry creek we checked out the rest of town and were able to access the Oonadatta Railway Station Museum, a display in honour of the old Ghan line. Fascinating reading and photos. Well worth a visit should you rock into town.
Lunch was a dry creek bed on Todmorden Station, a property which takes in the Perdika Desert, and looked to be managed in excellent concerto with the desert country it inhabits. Wide tracks of flood out country were a feature of this part of the world after miles of desert. I loved it.
We love lunching in dry creek beds as there is usually some shade, and then it was onwards to find a camp for the night.
Tomorrow we point our bonnets towards Ayers Rock via any other dirt road we can find.