I entered South Australia through Renmark and pretty much straight away it started raining and started getting really cold. I was tempted to turn around and start heading north but resisted. A short drive away was Berri which had a good vibe to it. This looked like a nice place and would like to come back in “better” weather.
Next I headed to Walkers Flat where I caught up with a couple of other Coaster owners, both of whom live on the road full time. It’s good to share ideas on “all things Coaster.” It was a lovely campground beside the Murray River. My lack of interest in the subject of Geography at school (among other subjects) was brought home to me when I found out where the Murray empties into the sea in South Australia. Mind you living “in” the geography is a much better learning experience than reading about it and looking at maps of it!
To get to Walkers Flat, which sits in the middle of a bend in the river, I had to cross a ferry. That was a fun experience. The ferry which is free to use, runs 24/7. On our side of the river was a general store. It was worth the 600metre walk for their inexpensive and delicious hamburgers. After a couple of days we all went out seperate ways and headed further south to Tailem Bend. From here I went west again to Murray Bridge where I caught up with another Coaster friend before camping beside the river.
I then headed north and stayed a few days at Cockatoo Valley in the Barossa Valley, just near Gawler. At this stage my intention was to head to Port Augusta to do the trek up the Centre of Australia. My plan was to “do” South Australia at a later stage if my trip so I didn’t do a great deal of “sight seeing” other than to mainly just drive through these areas. I went up to Burra and caught up with a cousin and her husband who were on their way across to Streaky Bay just east of Ceduna.
I am not a wine connoisseur so the wineries of the Barossa or Clare Valleys are not a draw card to me but it was interesting to travel through and past familiar names like Jacobs Creek, Wolf Blass and the like. There are thousands of little boutique wineries some with really strange names and others with quite clever namings.
Burra was a lovely historic town and we had a walk around the old mine site. The town is sort of divided with the (original) two mines running through the middle. The northern mine wasn’t as good a strike and only lasted a few years whereas the southern mine was very successful.
I travelled up through Clare to Ororroo (see Bucket List #57) and over Horrocks Pass down to the head of the Spencer Gulf at Port Augusta.