After coming off the ferry from Kangaroo Island around tea time we headed straight to Parawa for an overnight stop before restocking the cupboards and having a look around Victor Harbour the next day.
Victor Harbour is to Adelaide what Busselton is to Perth so it was a popular place especially at this time of year. The coastline is lovely around this area. After Victor Harbour we drove back through Port Elliot, Middleton and Goolwa before heading north to spend a couple of nights at the small town of Langhorne Creek which is in one of the many wine growing areas. I have been surprised at how many seperate wine producing areas there are in South Australia. As a “foreigner” you only really hear about the Barossa Valley Wine Area. We stayed at the RV area just to the south of the town and surrounded by wineries. We did a wine tasting at the one across the road from the campsite. Even though I am not a wine drinker I usually find that when I do a tasting there is usually at least one I can handle but this place had nothing to either of our liking. Apart from a general store, a post office, hotel and primary school there was not much else in town but it had a nice rustic country feel to the place.
Heading south again we went through the town of Wellington where we crossed the Murray River again on a ferry. This was a busy crossing and with the number of caravans about we had to wait for a couple of trips before it was our turn. Locals must curse the holiday season when they have to queue to get to work or wherever they are going. It’s a great service though and it doesn’t take long to cross.
Further south we came across Lake Albert which is a runoff lake from Lake Alexandrina and through the lakeside town of Meningie. Again this was a nice little town. It was very busy. Lots of caravans and motor homes. Seems to be a popular lunch or rest spot for people travelling back up to Adelaide. Lots of holiday makers heading back to start work again on the Monday after the Christmas/New Year break. We had a look through the Meningie Cheese Factory Museum which was interesting before we headed to Coorong National Park and spent a couple of nights at one of several camping areas in the National Park. It was very cold and raining for the two days we spent here. We managed to do a walk to the ocean but it was blowing a gale so didn’t stay on the beach long.
After Coorong National Park we headed along some back roads through Policeman’s Point, Salt Creek and Coorong down to Kingston SE. Having 3 different towns in the one state must be highly confusing. There is Kingston Park, a suburb of Adelaide, Kingston on Murray near Berri, and Kingston SE (South East). Kingston SE was a great town and had one of the best RV Campgrounds I have stopped at. Right opposite the town’s jetty and just a walk across the park to the town which had a couple of supermarkets and the usual assortment of shops including a very good butcher. The RV Park was only $15 for up to 3 nights stay. Clean amenities and a very clean and tidy seaside town. We did the guided tour of Cape Jaffa Lighthouse. The lighthouse was originally built out to sea on the Margaret Brock Reef and opened in 1872. It was 41 metres high and the 8 roomed dwelling accommodated two lighthouse keepers and families with enough stores to last several weeks. The lantern could be seen by ships from up to 40km away. In the 1970’s an automatic light was installed and thanks to the local community’s efforts, the lighthouse structure was dismantled and rebuilt on the foreshore in Kingston as a museum. An excellent tour. The weekend after we left town they were having 150 year celebrations centred around the opening of the lighthouse.
Could easily have stayed a week or more in Kingston SE but we moved on to do further exploring of the coast. We went out to the settlement of Cape Jaffa and the new marina that has been built there. It cost $millions to build and locals told me it is a bit of a white elephant. The council is being handed control over the infrastructure this year from the developers and a local told me it is going to be a drain on council funds for a long time to come. Further south at the southern end of Guichen Bay is the holiday town of Robe. We spent a couple of hours here. They had had a large recent covid outbreak here so I was keen to keep moving but the town was very “touristy” but a pretty area.
South of Robe I took a back road thinking I could get through the Little Dip Conservation Park and to the west of Lake Eliza and Lake St Clair. The road got pretty rough so I ended up back on the Southern Ports Highway and then into Beachport. Beachport had an extremely long jetty which we walked out on despite the gale force winds. Beachport is on the northern end of Rivoli Bay. We followed the road around to the southern end and stopped at the caravan park at Southend.
After a couple of nights at Southend we headed to Millicent, Tantanoola, German Creek before arriving in Carpenter Rocks where we stayed at the RV Campground for 4 nights. This was a great little place right opposite a nice beach. To the north side of Carpenter Rocks was a long beach walk that lead to Cape Banks Lighthouse in the Canunda National Park. Carpenter Rocks itself is situated in Bucks Bay. On the south side we walked to Pelican Point.
Blackfellows Caves was an interesting little hamlet built around the caves which undermine the land overlooking the ocean. Eventually we made our way to Port MacDonnell which had a nice foreshore and shopping precinct. We stopped a couple of nights beside the ocean at Brown Bay. A fellow traveller had told us we should stop at Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Reserve. We pulled in there only to be a little disappointed at the smelly ponds (ie swamp). The area is highly regarded as a divers paradise with its multitude of underwater caves to be explored. From the surface it is not quite as appealing. I spoke to a ranger who pulled up to enquire how close we were to the actual Victorian Border. He said if we headed back to the main road and turned right the border was less than 3km away. So of course we “went into Victoria” if only to take the obligatory photos. We then headed back to Brown Bay before travelling half an hour north to Mount Gambier.