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Lawson to Clandulla - the end

We spent one night at Lawson, where the daffodils were beginning to bloom, to unpack the van then headed out to Clandulla where as expected the wattle welcomed us home.
That's the end of this trip, I hope to retire before we set off again.

Gundagai to Lawson

From here is was a quick drive along fast familiar highways to home and I began to think of yellow things … the canola just beginning to flower, the daffodils I expected to find in my garden and the winter wattles welcoming us home.

Gundagai exploring

We were having a coffee at the bakery and I noticed a sign on a hotel saying it was a Cobb and Co coach stop.  That got me wondering if there was a hidden Royal Hotel in the town.  A quick google revealed not that hotel but this derelict one as the former Royal.

Gundagai

We decided to stay a couple of nights at a favourite campsite by the Murumbidgee River and nestled between the wonderful old wooden bridges at Gundagai.

I am hopeless at taking iPhone photos, that's my finger in the shot.

Lockhart to Gundagai

We planned to stay in Lockhart for two days but it rained all night and the next morning the creek outside our van door was looking like this so we decided to move on.

Lockhart

I was keen to visit Lockhart, having seen it very empty on Christmas day last time we were out this way. It's a tiny bit busier on a wet work day.

Tocomwall to Lockhart

We found this wonderful old Royalish Hotel in Urana.

Tocumwall chasing things

We stayed a few days at Tocumwall, delaying our inevitable return home.

Down by the river we found this mural and asked a young man who photographing the flood whether he was chasing Pokemon (the craze had just begun at the time) and he said no but his mother-in-law was up in the bushes stalking one.

The Latter Day Saints missionaries said they would prefer to talk to people than catching Pokemon but it turns out their phone wasn't capable of it anyway.

My phone only chases email and I was getting tired of the rigours or working travel.

Tocumwall

Sadly it was time to turn North and head home.  At the border we saw the Murray for the last time on this trip.  There had been so much rain the river was up.

Castlemaine Exploring

From Castlemaine we explored Maldon. It's all old gold towns in this area.   If you look carefully at the window below it says Royal Hotel … yay my first Royal for the trip, though just a Fergie (former Royal).


Castlemaine

We were sad to find our favourite bookshop in Melbourne was gone like so many other bookshops but glad to find Book Heaven a stuffed full second hand bookshop in Campbells Creek was still there.

Melbourne

Our rendezvous was in Melbourne for my niece's wedding.  After wonderful weeks of warm mostly dry weather in South Australia, cold wet Melbourne came as a bit of a shock.

Stawell exploring

I wanted to visit this area to see the Grampian mountains.  We had so little time as by now we were hitting out deadline,  I must visit here again.

Stawell

What a great camping spot, and warm enough to sit outside and observe the birdlife.


Port Elliot to Bordertown to Stawell

Ooops I think I forgot to take photographs for a while.  Here is my abandoned house for the trip … this one is really cactus.

Port Elliot Exploring

We took the historic railway between Goolwa and Victor Harbour where there is a horse drawn tram out along the causeway.  This area has a nice feel about it, I think it would be buzzing in the summer time.

Clare to Port Elliot

I was anxious to go down the Fleurieu Peninsula to see where the Murray River joins the sea.  I didn't really see it but that's Lake Alexandrina over there - where the Murray ends up.


Clare exploring

We found a little time to go on a drive to see the local towns  This wonderful old squatters mansion is outside Mintaro.

Clare

There are lots of lovely towns in this area.  Disappointing that I didn't have time to explore and photograph them.

Whyalla to Clare

We headed back into wine country.  The vineyards are not quite to picturesque in the winter.  I guess now, several weeks later they are looking different.

Whyalla exploring

I guess no visit to Whyalla is complete without a visit to the steel works.

Whyalla

It was our third camp in a row beside the sea. This was the view from our van.

Port Lincoln to Whyalla

Sadly this is the turning point of our trip, we are now on our way back home but still lots more to see.  I don't know what I expected to see in the Eyre Peninsular but I think was was surprised by the amount of green farmland.

Lincoln National Park

It was the weekend so we could take a drive to Lincoln National Park, it was blowy and cold, not surprising I guess given how far south we were.

Port Lincoln

We are now down almost to the end of the Eyre Peninsula.  Beautiful farm land and fishing in these parts.

Arno Bay walk

We went for a short walk on the board walk - made me a little sad because I realised how little time I had on this trip to enjoy photographing the detail of vegetation and lovely old towns.

Arno Bay

A couple of days beside the sea.

Quorn to Kimba to Arno Bay

Today we are heading down the centre of he Eyre Peninsula, passing by Iron Knob and farming country.  Our original plan was to stay at Kimba but in the end we moved back the coast to Arno Bay.

Quorn sight seeing

It was the weekend so we were able to take an outing on Pitchi Richi railway where we saw a little of the famous Flinders Ranges country.


Quorn

Quorn is an interesting old town at the foot of the Flinders Ranges.  I would have loved to have time to revisit them but there was not time on this trip.

Morgan to Quorn

The landscape is fascinating changing from flat semi-arid land to green rolling hills in the course of a morning.  We have visited these places on our last trip to South Australia so were not tarrying for long in each of the towns.  Talking of the lovely old town of Burra, I said remember the big wind farm - it didn't look at all impressive on this day as most of it was enshrouded in cloud.

We couldn't resist a quick visit to sleeping town of Terowie which so fascinated us last time we were here.  The photo of old cars is still the most visited post in this blog.








Morgan walk

In South Australia there is a distinct change in architecture and certain arid feel to the landscape - you can tell these places are hot in summer but were beautiful in the winter.

Winam asked to know more about this town so here is a quick summary - according to the web population is around 2000  but it felt smaller than that.  It has mostly old homes and shops similar to the above.  It's close enough to Adelaide to attract weekenders, in newer homes on the other side of the river.  There is a ferry crossing the river, an old wharf similar to that at Echuca (but not in great condition) and a historic railway station.  The town is very neat and tidy and the locals seem to take a lot of pride in their history.


Morgan

I picked Morgan on the map just because it was midway between where we were and where we wanted to go.  It turned out to be a delightful old river town beside the Murray, a lovely spot to spend a couple of days.

Mildura to Morgan

We threw out fruit to enter Victoria and restocked only to find out we were going to have to throw it out to enter South Australia and this time they were checking vehicles.  Fortunately we had been warned and ate up what we had.

This landscape shot is deceptive.  We saw plenty of vineyards and orange groves.  But as you move through South Australia the landscape constantly changes.

Mildura

We are back in river country, this time the beautiful Murray River which forms the border of NSW and Victoria.  Mildura is in Victoria.

Hay to Mildura

Hay Plains
We are crossing the Hay Plains, one of the flattest places on earth and pretty much treeless as well.   The image you can see on the car video is from the rear view camera on the van.  Looks the same back and front, the same whatever direction you turn.

River at Hay

Murrumdigee River, Hay
Do you remember at school drawing all the inland rivers on the map and the stories of explorers having trouble crossing them or dying of thirst depending on droughts and flood.

We are in the Riverena.  You'll see more of rivers before we're done.

Hay exploring

It was the weekend so plenty of time to explore. The Shear Outback centre was good.

Hay

We don't stock up much, preferring to have an excuse to explore the town to buy our food.

We are going to stay a couple of nights at Hay ... it's blowing a gale and very cold ... though according to the news it was much colder back home.