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Home > Travelogues > 2006 Travelogues Index > South Australia; south east
Short version only - full version with pictures yet to come
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At Bordertown, there is unique colony of white kangaroos in the wildlife park.  These are not albinos.  In 1980 a large white kangaroo (Western Grey species) was captured on a property and brought to the park. He went on to become the founding father of the white kangaroo colony that has grown to become a tourist feature.

South Australia

 

Bordertown is the birthplace of former Prime Minister Bob Hawke.  Hawke memorabilia is on display in the Civic Centre foyer. 

 

Around Bordertown there area number of ‘runaway holes’.  These holes fill with water in winter, and the water rapidly finds its way through underground limestone channels to recharge the underground water.  In summer, the water suddenly drains away.   

 

Taking a rural loop drive east of Naracoorte, an old shearing shed had eight stands and was probably a community shed, used by a number of adjacent farms.  Not far away was Weise’s Horse Dip – a remnant concrete and wood dip which local horses from the area were walked through and had the dip bailed over them to eliminate external parasites. 

 

At Naracoorte we visited the World Heritage listed Naracoorte Fossil Cave.  Here fossils of ‘mega fauna’ are still being unearthed.  We walked at first through a wet cave, where the ceiling is dripping with water and stalactite and stalagmite growth is active.  We then moved into a dry area, and this is where the fossils are discovered.

 

The caves record the Holocene and the mid-late Pleistocene period, a fossil record spanning at least 500,000 years. It is during the late Pleistocene that Australia’s ‘mega fauna’ became extinct.  Over ninety different species have been discovered in this cave.

 

This giant kangaroo like animal is one of many believed to have dropped to its death into the cave.

 

A large marsupial ‘lion’ has been reconstructed.

 

Heading towards Keith, we found an ideal camp site in an old gravel pit surrounded by bush.  We did not know it was a cold and frosty night until we got up and found frost has formed inside the four seasons and shower vents.  Frost remained on the car windscreen in full sun.

 

Travelling from Keith to Tailem Bend, where we crossed the Murray River by ferry, and drove through dairy farms to the edge of Lake Alexandrina.  We stopped a while at the pleasant small town Milang.  The former railway station is now the tourist centre.  Farm produce was once brought in by rail and shipped from the jetty on the lake.

 

Following a track we came to an isolated peninsula and parked on the cliff top.  We looked east to the Narrung Peninsula in the distance, where we had stopped on our way across to Melbourne.  

 

A track led to a lower level, and a car came and a man set up a tent with his family, but as it became windy, he packed up and went away.   We stayed on top of the cliffs and watched the windy sky at sunset. 

 

Next morning I woke early because of a strange red glow.  The wind was bringing the clouds in from the east, and the start of sunrise was very colourful.  I spent the half hour or so wandering around the edge of the cliffs enjoying the changing colours of the sky and the water, and watching the water birds flying in to land on the lake, until the sun broke through.

 

We called in at a lovely small settlement called Clayton with big new homes overlooking the water.  There were plenty of building lots for sale. 

 

It was almost surrounded by channels of water, and we looked across to a farm on Hindmarsh Island across a narrow channel. 

 

Boats were moored in the small marina. 

 

Goolwa is a very large and spread out town.  We crossed on the Goolwa Bridge to Hindmarsh Island, where a canal and residential estate development is being built, called Narnu Waterways. 

 

Large apartment complexes lined some of the artificially made waterways.  Along other canals, numerous houses were being built.  There are over 1,000 lots being created.  It covers a considerable area, and we found it all rather ugly. 

 

Further along through farmland and small settlements, we reached the Mouth of the Murray. 

 

Here there is a small opening to the ocean, and dredging of the channel is taking place on an ongoing basis.   Fresh water is maintained in the Lakes for irrigation by a series of barrages, and as no water has been released for many years, the mouth is silting up.  Closure would be disastrous for the birds and fish of the Coorong. 

 

From Goolwa, the coastline is a continuation of towns Middleton, Port Elliott, Victor Harbour and Yilki through to Rosetta Head. 

 

Looking back from Rosetta Head to Yilki, Victor Harbour and Port Elliott.

 

Beyond this bluff, farms run to the coastal cliffs then it becomes conservation park. 

 

We drove along the Range Road, through hilly farmlands and green valleys, with views to the ocean on both sides from the crests.  The beautiful Fleurieu Peninsula is similar to Tasmania, and a vast contrast to the majority of dry South Australia. 

 

At Cape Jervois the ferry was waiting for the morning to take travellers across toKangaroo Island, which was partially hidden by mist on the horizon.

 

We continued up the western side of the peninsula.

 

Early morning at the beach at Second Valley.

 

We spent the day at Wilunga to catch up with my friend from primary schools days, who came to the lovely town from Adelaide to see us.

 

We travelled through Strathalbyn and Mount Barker to Handorf.   Although the Autumn tree lined street was crowded with tourists of many nationalities and colours, the town is still a delightful one with a rich German heritage.  It celebrates art and in particular, Hans Heysen. 

 

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Crossing into South Australia near Bordertown, we look around south eastern South Australia, including the Naracoorte Caves, Milang on Lake Alexandrina, Goolwa and Hindmarsh Island, Mouth of Murray, Fleurieu Peninsula, Port Elliott, Victor Harbour, Strathalbyn, Handorf, Birdwood and Peterborough
 
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At Birdwood we went to the National Motor Museum.  This houses a large collection of old and unusual vehicles, many being custom made.

 

A steam driven early car.

 

Tom Kruze’s mail truck as seen on a television story about the restoration of the truck, andTom’s life as an outback mail man. 

 

We headed north, skirting the Barossa Valley and through sheep and wheat farming areas.  At Eudunda, a small town which is the birth place of author Colin Theile, we were stopping when a passing driver called out that we had a flat tyre on the caravan.  We checked – all tyres looked good and were at correct pressure. 

 

Continuing on, we stopped for the night at the Burra Creek Gorge – not so much a gorge as a creek line with large shady trees and plenty of camping space all along the creek line. 

 

On stopping, we discovered that a tyre had ‘peeled’ – this must be what the passing motorists saw, and we must have stopped with the peeling section down when we checked.  A large section had peeled off, but the tyre still retained full pressure – it was not flat.

 

An old farm near Burra Creek Gorge in the early morning light.  From Burra we headed further north, passing large Merino studs, in particular in the Whyte Yacowie area. 

 

In the old town of Terowie, which has been bypassed by the highway, one resident has a paddock full of novelty statues to draw the people in to the tiny town.

 

During World War II, Terowie was home for a military camp. It was here that General Douglas McArthur uttered those famous words, “I came out of Bataan, and I shall return”.

 

When we arrived back in Peterborough, the annual Peterborough Art Prize Exhibition was being held in the beautiful old hall.  There was a collection of work in a huge variety of styles.  With additional sections for school children and one for photography, there was plenty to see and admire.  I enjoyed the weekend helping the voluntary committee who run the Art Prize. 

 

The Judges choice was a clever painting by Keith Blake of men drinking at a bar – the clothes and glasses are painted on the dark background, but not the people; however the illusion is there – you can ‘see’ expressions on the faces that aren’t really there at all, and muscles on the arms resting on the bar.              

 

A novelty piece by Don Gangell called The Redback on the Toilet Seat.

 

Many paintings depicted the soft beauty and colours of the nearby Flinders Range scenery.  This beauty depicted in this style of art appeals to me.

 

See more about visiting Peterborough on our 2017 Travelogues.

 

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