After our luxurious stay in Darwin it was time to hit the road. The work we had lined up over Christmas had been bought forward a couple a few weeks so we need to hot foot it across the continent.
Our first day we decided we would go via Litchfield National Park. It was raining on and off so we decided not to stay overnight. It is a beautiful spot which we will indeed head back to in our travels. While we were there we visited Florence Falls, Buley Rockhole and Wangi Falls. There is a few 4WD tracks in the park however these were closed due to the onset of the wet season and heat. These have also been put on our to do list. I swam in the plunge pool at Florence Falls and we both swam at Buley Rockhole. Neither of us swam at Wangi due to croc warning signs. This said there were many, many people swimming even though the weather wasn’t that grand.
From Litchfield we headed to Katherine. We stayed the night a motel. A feral motel with foul tiles. A mustard brown colour. There was a massive Indonesian party happening, like government officials. It was a very bizarre sight in the middle of Katherine that is for sure. We decided to escape the loud music and went out for tea at the country club which is where we went for Melbourne Cup. It was a nice night out but we had an early night as the next day we had a 1200km drive to Alice.
We left really early and drove to Alice we had a few stops but other than that just wanted to get there and get out of the car. The drive was pretty much a non event. We both got a bit stir crazy in the last 200km for the day. We got to Alice early evening, piked again and stayed in a motel. We again went out for tea as there was no cooking facilities in the room. We went back to Bojangles. Strongly recommend that place we had 3 meals there at different times and they were yummy!
The next day we hot footed it to Coober Pedy. We could now slow down and relax a little. We didn’t have any plans for which way we were heading across to New South Wales but we could work it out later it was time to relax in Coober. Now for those who don’t know Coober Pedy is the Opal Capital of the World. As well as Opals Coober Pedy is also famous for their underground homes and businesses. They are called dugouts and help the residents to escape from the heat during the day. I think it’s funny that Coober Pedy is Aboriginal for white man’s hole.
We got to stay in an underground hotel which was built in one of the first opal mines in Coober Pedy. It was amazing how cool it was down there, a pretty constant 21 degrees all year round.It’s a family owned and run business and they are lovely: top notch service and happy to answer questions and show you around. If you are passing through Coober Pedy be sure to stop in and stay the night (or two) at Comfort Inn Coober Pedy Experience. (click on the name to go to their website) We went out to dinner at John’s Pizza Bar and Restaurant recommended by the hotel. It might not look much but the meals were FANTASTIC. It was DELISH. YUM!! 5 stars. Get the point? While we were in Coober Pedy we did a opal mine tour organised through the hotel. It was so interesting to walk through all these underground tunnels that they built by hand back in the day. The mine dates back to 1918 while the history of the town itself dates back to 1915.
From Coober Pedy we headed down to Port Augusta the most northern port in South Australia. We were not impressed with the place at all. We stayed in a dodgy motel at a caravan park as everything else was booked out. They were rude, ignorant and not helpful in the slightest. It tarnished the whole town for us which is silly really. Next time we go through hopefully we will have a good experience.
We decided that we wanted to spend some time at the beach before we headed to Griffith to work for a couple of months. The closest beach was Glenelg, south of Adelaide so we drove through Adelaide and headed to Adelaide Shores Caravan Park. It was MASSIVE. It is the the biggest caravan park I have ever seen. To put it in perspective we were on 14th avenue – the caravan park had its own streets. It was right on the beach just a walk over the sand dunes. They had grassed sites and everything. We were really happy with it so we decided to stay two nights. The first night we went into Glenelg, 5 minute drive away and had a walk around the jetty and pier. It is a really nice spot. The next day we started off with some shopping much to Shaun’s disgust. We bought a few bits and pieces for our time in Griffith. We then headed to the Port to have a look around. We spotted some Dolphins frolicking around. From there we headed up to Mount Lofty, there is a lookout there back across Adelaide to the ocean. Beautiful views. We had lunch up there and then heading to the Cleland Wildlife Park. It is a conservation reserve for native animals. They roam free and you can pat and feed them. You even get to meet koalas and cuddle them. It was a fun afternoon playing with wallabies, kangaroos, wombats, bilbys, koalas and pottaroos. That afternoon we walked along the beach from the caravan park into Glenelg it looked shorter than it was it took us over an hour to walk the full way in. We had mandarin sorbet on the jetty, it was a really nice evening. We had an interesting cab ride on the way back to the caravan park. The driver was an illegal immigrant from Afghanistan. He came over by boat from Indonesia. His story was very interesting and sad. His main goal was to make a better life for his family. He has been in Australia since 2001 and he now has citizenship. It was one of those I can’t believe what I am hearing moments.
The next day we left Adelaide and headed for Echuca on the Murray River. It is a lovely spot and friends we are thinking a houseboat holiday on the Murray is on the cards. Will keep you updated. We spent the night at the caravan park on the banks of the river and in the morning we went on a paddlesteamer built in 1911. It was such a lovely cruise down the Murray.
We left Echuca at 11.15 and headed towards Griffith. Our first “working” stop of the holiday. Shaun and I have work lined up for harvest time. We’re all settled in. The car is all emptied. Never fear the blog will still be updated during our time here with all our antics. Griffith is in the Riverina Region and is part of the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area aka the M.I.A. 60% of Griffith’s population of over 16,000 are of Italian descent. Griffith is famous for its wine and food but once known for drugs and organised crime which was depicted in the 2009 Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities. We are living on a grape farm out of town so I am sure there will be lots of photographs and stories to tell.
Bye for Now