14th – 20th April 2017: Adelaide to Port Augusta

Departing Black Cockatoo we took the scenic route via Moana Beach, Seaford, past the Onkaparinga River mouth and Port Noarlunga.  Arriving in Adelaide Easter eve was good and bad.  The good being that we would be in a caravan park over the 5 day break, the bad, the traffic into Adelaide and trying to food shop.  By mid-afternoon we were well and truly settled in and enjoying the tranquil surrounds of the Brownhill Caravan Park.


Good Friday, we took Jan and Ross for a tour of Adelaide and surrounds starting with Mount Lofty lookout.  With just a light haze over the city and ocean the views were quite spectacular from the Yorke Peninsula in the west to Aldinga Beach in the south.  We drive through Uraidla, Summertown, down Greenhill road, which is very steep, winding and narrow but provides awesome views of the valleys, city and ocean.  Being so steep the housing can be quite unusual and spectacular.

Derick drove through the centre of Adelaide, which being a public holiday was very quiet.  We stopped at Montefiore Hill, which provides excellent views of the new Adelaide Oval, parks and surrounding tennis venues.

Next stop was Glenelg, where found a place to eat on the marina side of the complex, and then walked the ocean side to the mall where the tram’s stop.


Saturday we caught up with family (from the reunion).

20170416_154729Sunday we walked up to (45° angle hill) Carrick Hill, which comprises a magnificent home, with surrounding English and Australian gardens.  Carrick Hill is a publicly accessible historic property at the foot of the Adelaide Hills, in the suburb of Springfield, in South Australia. It was the Adelaide home of Sir Edward “Bill” Hayward and his wife Lady Ursula (née Barr-Smith), and contains a large collection of drawings, sculptures, antiques and paintings. Completed in 1939 and built in the style of an English manor, it is one of the few period homes in Australia to have survived with its grounds undiminished and most of its original contents intact.

The nearly 40-hectare property was the wedding gift of Ursula’s father to the Haywards. After their marriage in 1935 the couple spent a year-long honeymoon in Europe. They bought many of the furnishings for their new home, including an imposing staircase, at the sale of Beaudesert House in StaffordshireEngland. Construction of Carrick House began in 1937 and was completed in 1939. During this time Lady Ursula designed the gardens.  Carrick Hill was bequeathed to the state on Sir Edward’s death in 1983 (his wife having predeceased him).


Monday lunch with Derick’s family.

Adelaide feels like a second home to us so was sad to say good bye, but every day is a new adventure and so on we go:).  We arrived at the Greenock Centenary Park, in the Barossa Valley late morning, found a spot, setup and settled in.  What a beautiful spot, donation camp $5 per night!


During the afternoon we wandered the town of Nuriootpa, then visited Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop, which is located on the family farm property adjacent a dam with at least 10 turtles that we counted, the usual ducks and water birds.  A very nice spot to sit on the verandah and enjoy lunch, or afternoon tea.  We taste tested almost everything possible, chatted with the very friendly staff and yes made some specific purchases.


Day 2 we went to Seppeltsfield Winery, what a location?  Stunning architecture with magnificent gardens and a few vintage cars on display.  While Derick went for the tasting I wandered the gallery and the theatrette.  The family histories of these old wineries all start with a vision, along with a lot of hard work.  The videos include family photos of vintages right back to the beginning of the dynasty which I find fascinating.


We walked the main street of Tanunda, found Fay and Ray’s old home then relaxed with a coffee in the Black Bird Coffee House before heading to Basedow’s Cellar Door on the main road.


Once again the history of the family and the name are very interesting and we were lucky enough to have a lady with the time and knowledge to tell us their story.  Derick stocked up here with wines and port!!!

Our plan for tonight’s camp near Melrose was changed to plan b as the weather was atrocious!  So a quick phone call to the Shoreline Caravan Park in Port Augusta to ask if we could check-in a day early, the answer YES:).  Although a long day (for us) for safety’s sake we drove the distance for the shelter of the park.  When we reached the high point of Horrick’s Pass we were driving through cloud, and with the rain could barely see the road ahead.  Derick was extra careful on the downward drive, the road is very narrow and windy and with limited vision a bit scary.

The highlight of our stay in Port Augusta, the Pichi Richi Railway Afghan Express; wow what a wonderful day.  The configuration for our trip was a steam engine with 4 carriages; a car captain in each carriage and a fire ‘truck’ following about 500 metres behind just in case some sparks ignited the bush.


Our car captain, Bill, told us the history of the region and the commencement of the Pichi Richi line.  Its revival, the volunteers and the other trips they run on a half day or evening basis.  The Afghan Express was a 2 hour ride to Quorn via the Pitchi Ritchi Pass, and although the day was overcast the countryside was very green, the rock outcrops very orange and the kangaroos numerous.


With 2 hours in Quorn, upon arrival we head straight to the Austral Hotel for a delicious lunch and afterwards a walk around the town. The visitor centre is strategically placed in the reception area of the train station, encouraging souvenir purchases before reboarding the train for the return trip to Port Augusta.

The trip home seemed to be much quicker as we were travelling downhill, however the time taken was still 2 hours spent chatting and just enjoying the experience of steam in the country!



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