A Travellerspoint blog

August 2018

Kimba to Coorabie

...via Smoky Bay, Ceduna and Penonng

sunny 38 °C
View Sam Smart in World War II & Back to Oz on SteveJD's travel map.

Kimba has some quite nice murals on silos in the town but when we left in the morning they were in shade - maybe another time? The weather was dry and hot and we drove on roads lined with bands of low growing eucalypts either side, with flat fields behind them. On this part of the trip we noticed that the air conditioner was getting noisier. I 'phoned a mechanic in Streaky Bay who will carry out a minor service and look at the a/c tomorrow.

Near Koongawa we pulled into a rest area but this was not up to much so continued to another rest area near Kyancutta. Kyancutta itself is apparently little more than a ghost town now but at the rest area there was a small memorial marking the place where the Goyder Line passes through this area. In the last blog, I mentioned that General George Goyder had laid down a line across South Australia, north of which was deemed to be to drought-prone for 'safe' farming.

The marker for the Goyder line, with plaque giving details

The marker for the Goyder line, with plaque giving details

At Wudinna we pulled into a DIY car wash and removed months of red dirt - took quite a few dollars being fed into the machine but we had our Beast back, bright and shiny. By the time we reached Streaky Bay, the air conditioner was so noisy that for short periods of time we put up with the heat and just had windows open, not that that made a lot of difference! Our cabin was right on the beachfront and nice and roomy. Having checked in and done a little shopping, we headed south to Sceale Bay then east towards Calpatanna Waterhole Conservation Park. On the way we stopped at Baird Bay and I hopped out to take a couple of photos. When I got back in, I found a pile of leaves and dust at my feet - evidently the air conditioning fan had overflowed!

Panoramic view of Baird Bay

Panoramic view of Baird Bay

As the waterhole and general area were dry and without access, we continued to 'Murphy's Haystacks'. Apparently a Scottish agricultural expert (not Irish as one may expect!) was travelling through the district and mistook the granite inselbergs for haystacks, understandable from a distance but I would guess he took a bit of ribbing. Inselbergs are so named as they appear like rocky islands rising from the sea. The pink Hiltaba granite is 1,500 million years old and had been unevenly weathered over time. About 33,600 years ago, they were overlain by dune sand which has subsequently been blown or worn away, revealing the bare rock outcrops. Where several were grouped together among sparse trees, there was a suggestion of the 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' atmosphere. Erosion continues so these inselbergs will gradually disappear - not in my lifetime, I suspect!

View from our cabin over Streaky Bay

View from our cabin over Streaky Bay

An idea of the flat farming land near Murphy's Haystacks

An idea of the flat farming land near Murphy's Haystacks

20180308_P1140649.jpgTwo pictures of inselbergs which could have looked like haystacks

Two pictures of inselbergs which could have looked like haystacks

some of the inselbergs at the edge of the slightly spooky area

some of the inselbergs at the edge of the slightly spooky area

On Friday, the mechanic duly serviced the Landcruiser but did not touch the fan so I went to see him and he took the a/c fan unit out and more leaves and dust cascaded down but it appears that the debris had damaged some of the blades so he could nothing to remove the noise and suggested that we try to get a spare part from a breaker's yard. I 'phoned around and it seemed likely that a chap in Smoky Bay may have one, We wandered along the front at Streaky Bay which is a very pleasant seaside town.

Streak Bay Hotel

Streak Bay Hotel

Jetty in Streaky Bay

Jetty in Streaky Bay

Greenshank and magpie-lark in the shallows

Greenshank and magpie-lark in the shallows

Saturday morning we shocked ourselves by rising early enough to take some sunrise photos from the beach - and get bitten by sand fleas into the bargain!

Sunrise over the bay

Sunrise over the bay

Smoky Bay is about 73km from Streaky Bay and we just caught the breaker's yard in time to see the spare a/c fan tested and to pay for it - let's hope! In search of coffee, we stopped in Ceduna and were served by a very friendly bloke who happened to double as a mechanic and he explained how simple replacing the fan will be - the coffee was good too! Not far along the road we came to Penong which we had passed through last year as we did not have time to stop. This time we were able to see the Windmill Museum which was very interesting and quite photogenic too, well in our eyes.

Group of windmilss

Group of windmilss

The biggest windmill in Australia

The biggest windmill in Australia

198073e0-a267-11e8-b232-2f927a475d76.jpgTwo views of the windmill from Anna Creek Station

Two views of the windmill from Anna Creek Station

The countryside from Penong was very flat and dry with little vegetation to speak of, clearly the edges of the Nullarbor Plain but first we had to turn towards the sea to stay in a cabin on a farm at Coorabie. The cabin had the name Maralinga plastered all over the front. Deb, the farmer's wife explained to us that when the nuclear test site closed down, a whole range of buildings and equipment from the support base were auctioned off and we were staying in part of the former medical centre. It was fairly basic and quite hot although air conditioners were going full pelt but it suited us for a couple of night's stay. The farm is a sheep farm and as we were taking sunset photos, we spotted some dust and saw a lot of sheep being herded in by vehicle and quad bike. Deb also told us that the Nullarbor had had some rain and was quite green, something to look forward to. We managed to extract the a/c fan except neither of us could budge the plug but luckily there was a shearer nearby who had stronger fingers and thereafter it was simple job to put the new unit in and enjoy the quiet hum of the a/c working again, better in fact than when we bought it!

The Beast parked outside our cabin

The Beast parked outside our cabin

This wagon has seen better days

This wagon has seen better days

Singing honeyeater

Singing honeyeater

Sheep being driven in

Sheep being driven in

Sunset over the farm

Sunset over the farm

Sunday morning we drove down to Fowler's Bay which is pretty remote but apparently good for fishing. It was rather chilly when we were there so the regular coffee top up was required, served by a German lass who loves it there - each to their taste. On our way back we spotted a bobtail on the road. When we lived in Perth, they seemed to pop up with regular monotony, even in our garden, but we haven't seen many on this trip. Back on the farm we had a wander around and I managed to get some photos of galahs which are quite common but beautiful.

The Beast parked in Fowler's Bay

The Beast parked in Fowler's Bay

The cairn with plaque explaining how the town got its name

The cairn with plaque explaining how the town got its name

The jetty at Fowler's Bay on a rather blustery day

The jetty at Fowler's Bay on a rather blustery day

Processionary caterpillars on the march

Processionary caterpillars on the march

Bobtail

Bobtail

View over the farm

View over the farm

Hope this wasn't a previous visitor!

Hope this wasn't a previous visitor!

Pog (farmer) and Deb drenching the sheep

Pog (farmer) and Deb drenching the sheep

Galahs near the campsite

Galahs near the campsite

The Camp Kitchen!

The Camp Kitchen!

On the farm, we had internet access but it was on the slow side so we fell behind with a number of things, including the blog! Tomorrow we set off west and back into WA again, retracing our 'wheel marks' for much of the way.

Posted by SteveJD 15:08 Archived in Australia Tagged sunset scenery sunrise coastline bush south_australia streaky_bay Comments (1)

Flinders Ranges - Kimba

...via Wilpena Pound, Bunyeroo Gorge, Hawker and Port Augusta

sunny 39 °C
View Sam Smart in World War II on SteveJD's travel map.

Had we not overslept, we would have seen that Tuesday dawned fine! Anyway by the time we got going it was heading for another hot day, albeit with a slight breeze. We decided that we would go to Wilpena Pound but first drove to Station Hill Lookout from where we had good views of the ranges around the station.

20180306_P1140523.jpgRwnsley Range

Rwnsley Range

Elder Range in the distance

Elder Range in the distance

The scenery between Rawnsley Park Station and the turn off to Wilpena Pound was again very eye-catching but did not delay further and on arrival at the Visitor Centre, we bought tickets for the shuttle (walking was going to be hot enough without adding extra kms!). This took us to a trailhead and we chose the most direct route towards Hills Homestead. Along the way we saw kangaroos and several birds, some of which we even managed to identify at the time!

On the way to Wilpena Pound

On the way to Wilpena Pound

Western grey kangaroo

Western grey kangaroo

Path leading back towards the trailhead

Path leading back towards the trailhead

The Hills Homestead

The Hills Homestead

The homestead is a reconstruction of the homestead that the Hills lived in from 1899 to 1914 when they were forced out, not by drought but by floods! The Pound itself had been 'discovered' by William Chace in 1850. The following year, it was surveyed by Frederick Sinnett and the lease was taken up by Henry Strong Price who owned the property until his death in 1889. The homestead is in a very attractive area of the Pound, close to the creek so would have been quite a pleasant place to live. From the homestead, we made our way past a Dreamtime sculpture up to the lower of the Wangara Lookouts which gave splendid views over the Pound. I have been unable to find any other information about the sculpture or the derivation or meaning of Wangara (other than as a Perth suburb!).

Dreamtime sculpture

Dreamtime sculpture

View down to Hills Homestead

View down to Hills Homestead

Panoramic view from the lookout

Panoramic view from the lookout

We walked back, with fewer delays than on the way in, caught the shuttle bus and enjoyed a picnic lunch, surrounded by a couple of ravens, a magpie, a yellow-throated miner and nine, very noisy, apostle birds.

The magpie had a beady eye on our food

The magpie had a beady eye on our food

Yellow-throated miner

Yellow-throated miner

One of the apostle birds

One of the apostle birds

Now replete, we drove about 9km to the Bunyeroo Gorge Road. This is another unsealed and quite bumpy road but with magnificent views back over Wilpena Pound and with more amazing geology. The two lookouts, Bunyeroo and Razorback were well worth stopping for.

On Bunyeroo Gorge Road with Wilpena Pound in the distance

On Bunyeroo Gorge Road with Wilpena Pound in the distance

The Beast at Bunyeroo Lookout car park

The Beast at Bunyeroo Lookout car park

View from Bunyeroo Lookout

View from Bunyeroo Lookout

Looking at the road ahead from Razorback Lookout

Looking at the road ahead from Razorback Lookout

27d29020-9f49-11e8-ad3f-add0db351dba.jpgTwo examples of the fascinating geology in views from Razorback Lookout

Two examples of the fascinating geology in views from Razorback Lookout

Once in the gorge itself, it was a case of must stop for the views, the trees, the geology and, to our surprise, more yellow-footed rock wallabies - what a delight!

fe308510-9fc0-11e8-85c9-11350096bd3d.jpgA couple of views inside the gorge

A couple of views inside the gorge

fd4e6270-9fc0-11e8-b7b6-1f2869d2a0c8.jpgYellow-footed rock wallabies are so photogenic

Yellow-footed rock wallabies are so photogenic

Another part of the gorge wall

Another part of the gorge wall

The drive took us through more beautiful scenery and finally joined the Brachina Gorge Road. As time was ticking by we decided that we couldn't make a repeat visit to Brachina Gorge, so headed east backwards the Flinders Ranges Way. Once again, we had to cross the Aroona River and again we stopped to see what wildlife there may be and again we were rewarded with some good sightings, a very productive spot for us.

Red arrow dragonfly

Red arrow dragonfly

White-plumed honeyeater

White-plumed honeyeater

Blue skimmer dragonfly

Blue skimmer dragonfly

Female purple-backed fairy wren, in moult

Female purple-backed fairy wren, in moult

A euro or common wallaroo by the river

A euro or common wallaroo by the river

Sadly, that was the end of our stay in Flinders Ranges and on a hot Wednesday, we made our way south-west. Someone we met in the area had recommended that we stop in Hawker to see the Jeff Morgan Gallery and this we duly did. It is not a large place, as galleries go, but has some truly amazing paintings. Morgan, understandably, specialises in painting in the Flinders Ranges but his hallmark is the production of magnificent panoramic paintings. The first we saw was of Ron's Creek, 15m long x 4.5m high and on the floor are stones and bits of wood etc., which run up to the painting giving a three-dimensional result. Similar effects were achieved with a panorama of Arkaroola Pan, 5.5m x 46m circumference. The first circular painting completed was Wilpena Panorama (3.5m high x 30m circumference), which shows the Pound as viewed from St Mary Peak and has a room to itself with a central raised viewing point. It really is an incredible piece of art. It has been formally recognised by the International Panorama Council which has recognised only about 70 circular paintings around the world, with very few having been completed by one individual (acknowledgements to the Jeff Morgan Gallery for this information). There is also a very good rock, mineral and fossil collection on display. We would certainly recommend this to anyone travelling in the area.

Our cabin at Rawnsley Park Station

Our cabin at Rawnsley Park Station

The Beast at the entrance/exit for Rawnsley Park Station

The Beast at the entrance/exit for Rawnsley Park Station

The Jeff Morgan Gallery in Hawker

The Jeff Morgan Gallery in Hawker

One of Morgan's panoramas

One of Morgan's panoramas

Panoramic view of circular painting (unfortunately, the canopy intrudes into the camera view)

Panoramic view of circular painting (unfortunately, the canopy intrudes into the camera view)

Out of Hawker and on the road south, we again went through some pretty drear country in which we found a few ruins which are all that remain of the settlement of Wilson. In 1865, the Surveyor-General, George Woodroffe Goyder had drawn a line across South Australia showing where it was believed that, due to the likelihood of drought, farming was not safe. There had been god seasons in the 1870s into the early 1880s, defying Goyder's predictions, so settlers came to grow wheat and established the town of Wilson in 1881. There was no natural water supply but in spite of the return to the normal dry seasons, some people stayed on, some switching from wheat to sheep. These brave (or foolhardy?) pioneers struggled on until the last person left in 1954 and the town was left to gradually disintegrate.

20180307_P1140608.jpgTwo of the ruined buildings

Two of the ruined buildings

About half an hour further on, we came across Kanyaka Waterhole which was like a little oasis in the dry plains country. Apart from the well-treed waterhole there were also some interesting rock formations. As we approached the waterhole, we could see many birds but I slipped on some loose stone and everything within cooee vanished, so we have no wildlife photos from this detour!

Steve seeing if anything came back!

Steve seeing if anything came back!

The waterhole

The waterhole

20180307_P1140617.jpgTwo views of the weathered outcrops near the waterhole

Two views of the weathered outcrops near the waterhole

By the time we reached Port Augusta, it was approaching lunch time, so we made for the Australian Arid Land Gardens where we had an excellent lunch in very photogenic surroundings.

Sturt's Desert Pea in flower

Sturt's Desert Pea in flower

The ubiquitous red wattlebird

The ubiquitous red wattlebird

Not far from Port Augusta, as we drove west, we came across some roadworks and were mildly annoyed at the delay until we saw a flock of birds take off. Judith swiftly pulled into a handy layby and we watched the birds swirl around and then come in to land near our vehicle. It was a flock of banded stilts, a new bird for us so a pleasurable delay.

Flock of banded stilts coming to land

Flock of banded stilts coming to land

A little further on we could see a large cloud of dust and came across a very large mob of sheep being herded through the dry bush by the roadside by one bloke on a motorbike with a kelpie, which after some hot dry dashing around, took a ride on the bike!

The mob on the move

The mob on the move

Kelpie hard at work

Kelpie hard at work

All sorted, the kelpie takes a break on the bike

All sorted, the kelpie takes a break on the bike

Near Iron Knob, we saw some distant rain and thought we may be driving into it but it stayed on the range and we arrived in Kimba in the dry, although by then it was cloudy and windy.

Distant rain near Iron Knob

Distant rain near Iron Knob

Other than being half way across Australia, Kimba did not impress itself on our memories, other than its Big Galah! However, it was fine for an overnight stop on our way to Streaky Bay.

The Big Galah

The Big Galah

Posted by SteveJD 07:12 Archived in Australia Tagged mountains wildlife south_australia flinders_ranges wilpena_pound bunyeroo_gorge Comments (2)

Flinders Ranges - Brachina Gorge via Appealinna Homestead

...with various lookout points

sunny 38 °C
View Sam Smart in World War II & Back to Oz on SteveJD's travel map.

Since we are staying at Rawnsley Park Station, overlooked by Rawnsley Bluff which is part of the Rawnsley Range, it may be a plan to see who Rawnsley was. The origin of the name is described on the Rawnsley Park Station website as follows "The name Rawnsley comes from Rawnsley Bluff, the southern tip of the pound. This, in turn, was named after H(enry) C(harles) Rawnsley who arrived from England under false pretences claiming to be a surveyor. Rawnsley spent three months supposedly surveying from Mt. Remarkable to Wilpena before he was recalled by the Colonial Government. We will never know if the prominent landmark or the deception of the man was responsible for the naming of Rawnsley's Bluff." Another site states that he was employed by the NSW government as a surveyor but gives no other details while another site says he was appointed by the SA government but was discharged for incompetence after three months. Perhaps, after all, not a name one would wish to remember?

Our first full day based at Rawnsley Park Station was fine and hot and we drove out onto the Flinders Ranges Way and, a few kilometres on, turned in at the drive to Wilpena Pound.

Panoramic view of Wilpena Pound from the road, with Judith for scale

Panoramic view of Wilpena Pound from the road, with Judith for scale

During the drive in we saw several kangaroos and wallaroos and were to find that wherever we travelled in the Flinders Ranges (now properly known as Ikara-Flinders Ranges although I will use the old form for simplicity), there were more kangaroo-type animals than anywhere else we have been so far. At Wilpena Pound Visitor Centre, we found that to get into the 'pound' we had to have a shuttle bus trip in and then a good walk so decided that we would leave that for tomorrow and satisfy ourselves with a cup of coffee at the cafe. We saw a few birds while there, few co-operating photographically, and more kangaroos and wallaroos on the way out.

Red Kangaroo at rest

Red Kangaroo at rest

Emus below Rawnsley Range (part of the Wilpena Pound Range)

Emus below Rawnsley Range (part of the Wilpena Pound Range)

Mallee Ringneck parrot

Mallee Ringneck parrot

Group of Red Kangaroos

Group of Red Kangaroos

Euro or Common Wallaroo

Euro or Common Wallaroo

The land between the ranges tends to be flat and parched

The land between the ranges tends to be flat and parched

Wilpena is reportedly derived from an Aboriginal word meaning 'place of bent fingers' which could refer to the mountains resembling the shape of a cupped hand or the freezing cold of winter. However, the local Aborigines call the Pound 'Ikara' which means 'meeting place'. All rather confusing for a visitor!

A short way up the main road, we saw a small sign pointing to Cazneaux's tree. Harold Cazneaux was a well-known New Zealand photographer (and grandfather of the well-known Australian entrepreneur, Dick Smith) and his photo of this tree was widely published. We decided that we would see what we could do with the tree and also a few other trees in the vicinity. An interesting exercise in an attractive area.

Panorama containing Cazneaux's Tree

Panorama containing Cazneaux's Tree

Cazneaux's Tree as it is today

Cazneaux's Tree as it is today

As near as possible to Cazneaux's image 'Spirit of Endurance'

As near as possible to Cazneaux's image 'Spirit of Endurance'

Tree-lined creek behind Cazneaux's Tree

Tree-lined creek behind Cazneaux's Tree

A small mob of kangaroos with Cazneaux's Tree in the background

A small mob of kangaroos with Cazneaux's Tree in the background

Travelling further along the Flinders Ranges Way, we stopped at Huck and Stokes Hill Lookouts, both with wonderful views over rugged scenery. At the latter lookout, there is a bronze three-dimensional plaque or tablet which shows the direction and features of Wilpena Pound. I can find no origin of the names Hucks Lookout but Stokes Hill Lookout apparently honours Francis W. Stokes who was an MP and co-owner of a property in the area.

View from Hucks Lookout

View from Hucks Lookout

View from Hucks Lookout with wallaroo sheltering under a tree

View from Hucks Lookout with wallaroo sheltering under a tree

A young wallaroo snug between two grass trees

A young wallaroo snug between two grass trees

Wallaroos out to greet us at Stokes Hill Lookout

Wallaroos out to greet us at Stokes Hill Lookout

View from Stokes Hill Lookout towards Wilpena Pound

View from Stokes Hill Lookout towards Wilpena Pound

Back onto the main road and still heading north, we found another signpost to follow, this time to Appealinna Homestead (the origin of this place name is another which escapes me but it sounds as if it could be of Aboriginal origin). Here we had our picnic lunch before exploring the area and trying not to disturb the local wildlife too much!

Euros in the creek bed

Euros in the creek bed

Two Euros boxing

Two Euros boxing

And now all is calm...for a while

And now all is calm...for a while

In the 1850s, Joseph Wills and his wife set up home on the south side of the creek but, sadly, only ruins remain today. Wills ran a small herd of cattle on the property. On the north side of the creek the base, for a copper mining operation further east, was set up and for many years the use of the water was the cause of an ongoing war of words. One night, Wills' homestead was burnt down. He blamed one of the men in the miners' camp and subsequently he served a spell in jail for taking the law into his own hands (as far as I can find out, he burned down some of the miners' huts in retaliation - not a good move!). In the end, drought caused the Wills family to leave the property. It is a sad story but not atypical of the difficulties besetting people who set out to settle the Outback. Ruins are also all that remains of the mine buildings, the only winners being the local wildlife who seem to flourish along the creek.

The ruins of the homestead

The ruins of the homestead

A magnificent river red gum by the ruins of the kitchen

A magnificent river red gum by the ruins of the kitchen

Partially restored ruins of the Mine Manager's house

Partially restored ruins of the Mine Manager's house

The scrub where Wills' cattle would have subsisted

The scrub where Wills' cattle would have subsisted

Back on the Flinders Ranges Way, we had not gone far when we chanced on a Wedge-tailed Eagle on some roadkill. When we came closer, we found that there were two of these beautiful birds.

Wedge-tailed Eagle perched just by the road

Wedge-tailed Eagle perched just by the road

On starting out, we had decided that Brachina Gorge would be our destination and we now turned off the Flinders Range Way onto the unsealed Brachina Gorge Road. For anyone interested in geology this is a fascinating area. As we drove west, we drove through rocks that date back to 500 million years, gradually coming across older rocks until at the end of the gorge the rocks are 650 million years old. The rocks are sedimentary rocks of various types and have been heaved up and tilted over the aeons, evidence of which is clear to see.

The name Brachina has two suggested origins, both of Aboriginal derivation. The first source contends that the Aboriginal word is one which means'place without trees' and the other source says the origin is a different word meaning 'the place where the emu got forked feet'. Certainly there are plenty of trees in the gorge although this may not always have been the case but I rather like the second suggestion as I can imagine a flat-footed emu getting forked feet from walking over the rocky base of the gorge. I then came across another website which suggested that Brachina is derived from another Aboriginal word meaning'cranky'! I'm still going for emu though.

Brachina Gorge Road was generally good with a few rocky patches further in

Brachina Gorge Road was generally good with a few rocky patches further in

Panorama of the bush alongside the road

Panorama of the bush alongside the road

We start to see some evident results of ancient earth movements, this a bit contorted

We start to see some evident results of ancient earth movements, this a bit contorted

Then we have a gentle tilt of the strata

Then we have a gentle tilt of the strata

And, at the beginning of the gorge, some very tilted formations

And, at the beginning of the gorge, some very tilted formations

The road is a Geological Trail and there are twelve different formations or rock units to be seen, with information posts to tell you what is in each area. It is all quite mind-blowing. This is all part of the Adelaide Geosyncline, which was a trough running from Kangaroo Island up through the Flinders, of which Wilpena Pound is one of more well-known features. Much of the 'trough' has been disguised by subsequent earth movements. It is very rugged terrain but with a beauty of its own and, although predominantly red, with so many colours or shades. We really love this area.

Some way in, we crossed the Aroona River. There was not a lot of water flowing at this time of year but I thought we may find some bird or animal life there so pulled over once we had gone through and walked back. We were rewarded with Chestnut-rumped thornbills, Grey Teal, Spurwing Plovers (I think now known as Masked Lapwing), glimpses of Variegated Fairy-wrens, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters and Grey-fronted Honeyeaters - what a feast - not to mention some rather dashing dragonflies!

Grey Teal

Grey Teal

Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater

Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater

Grey-fronted Honeyeater

Grey-fronted Honeyeater

The river was quite low

The river was quite low

Red Arrow (dragonfly)

Red Arrow (dragonfly)

The origin of Aroona is rather refreshingly from an Aboriginal word meaning 'running water'. Again there is another suggestion is that the name is derived from an Aboriginal word meaning 'place of frogs'. Although we didn't see or hear any frogs on this trip, either meaning is plausible.

At last we reached the gorge proper and it was stunning - wonderful rock formations, river red gums scattered along the roadside and just a wonderful experience. Not so wonderful, from an environmental perspective was the presence of Feral Goats clambering on the rock ledges.

Steve having a rest in a dry creek bed

Steve having a rest in a dry creek bed

Beautiful stand of river red gums

Beautiful stand of river red gums

Gnarly growth on river red gum trunk

Gnarly growth on river red gum trunk

A majestic river red gum

A majestic river red gum

Feral goat clambering on the rock face

Feral goat clambering on the rock face

Female Red Kangaroo

Female Red Kangaroo

River red gum white bark contrasting with the red walls of the gorge

River red gum white bark contrasting with the red walls of the gorge

One river red gum outdoing the rocks for bending!

One river red gum outdoing the rocks for bending!

Some way through the gorge, Judith spotted a sign stating that a fenced off area was Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby habitat, so we pulled over and had a look. It took a few minutes for our eyes to engage with the landscape and pick out small movements which betrayed the presence of several of the lovely little animals. The road continued round a bend through another part of the gorge and found at least two more, one of them quite close to the road .

00369110-95b7-11e8-a224-bb66cfca78c2.jpgffcb9a40-95b6-11e8-a224-bb66cfca78c2.jpg20180305_P1140483.jpg

Three 'portraits' of Yellow-footed Rock Wallabies - beautiful animals

Not long after leaving the gorge, we turned south onto the Outback Highway. This is a good (sealed) road running parallel to the Heysen Range which proved quite photogenic. Hans Heysen was a German-Australian artist who specialised in watercolour landscapes with eucalypts as the prime focus. He lived in Hahndorf (see earlier blog for our visit there) and made nine trips to the Flinders Ranges to paint the beautiful trees in the stark landscape. There is a cycle trail that runs from Cape Jervis all the way north into the Flinders Ranges and ending at Parachilna, a town we unfortunately did not have time to get to.

View across bush to the Heysen Range

View across bush to the Heysen Range

Part of the Heysen Range - we can make out a face!

Part of the Heysen Range - we can make out a face!

Heysen Range with (I think( Mount Sinnett

Heysen Range with (I think( Mount Sinnett

Lovely rock formations on Heysen Range

Lovely rock formations on Heysen Range

Mount Abrupt (I think) at the southern end of Heysen Range

Mount Abrupt (I think) at the southern end of Heysen Range

There are many trails through the Flinders Ranges but there appear to be two main ones that vehicles can follow for part of he way and some way past the end of the Heysen Range, we turned off the Outback Highway onto the unsealed Moralana Scenic Drive which is part of the Mawson Trail. This is another cycle trail which runs from just north of Adelaide north to Blinman, another town we would like to have had time to visit. The road wound its way along roughly parallel to the southern part of the Wilpena Pound Range and, again, proved irresistible to our inner photographer. We were rewarded with another gorgeous sunset to cap off a long but thoroughly enjoyable day.

Posted by SteveJD 14:35 Archived in Australia Tagged animals birds australia oceania south_australia flinders_ranges brachina_gorge Comments (0)

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