Lockhart # 2

Another beautiful day for sightseeing so I headed for Urana about 40 Km from Lockhart to the west. The water tower here has a sculpture on it rather than painted artwork, you wouldn’t need to be suffering from Arachnophobia. The spider is so realistic but fortunately it is about 6 metres above the ground. Urana is a tiny town with a pub and, strangely a pharmacy, and not much else.

My next stop was to Collingullie but I had typed the town as Cullingullie in my itinerary, both spellings were shown as incorrect in the spell check so I didn’t pick up the error. I have three navigation devices installed in my car – a built in GPS, a Garmin windscreen mounted GPS and an iPad with Hema and Mud Maps installed. None could find the town, but it also did not show it on any of the maps where I thought the town was located, so I headed off to where I thought the town should be. Along the way remembered my phone, so I used Google maps on the phone and found the town was shown on that app and then I could see the spelling error. The GPS bearing coordinates I had in my notes were correct so I should have trusted them.

Once I had the correct spelling, the other GPS’s could find the place even though it still wasn’t shown on their maps, not surprising as the “town” was a couple of houses and a rough looking pub. The artwork was on two water tanks at a roadside truck parking area, the tanks seemed to be for drinking purposes, but were labelled “not suitable for drinking”. They were located out of town near 12 Mile Road, 12 miles from Wagga Wagga. These tanks are my favourites so far on this trip and must have taken the artist ages to paint.

The two tanks were painted in May 2019 by Wiradjuri artist , Owen Lyons. It is understood that they were painted to encourage travellers to rest a while at these stops. The tanks were in full or part shade so they look a bit subdued, but well worth the visit.

Back to Lockhart where I made a hardboiled egg roll and headed for the picnic table at the sculpture walk set in bushland. It was a beautiful day and very relaxing sitting in the sun enjoying lunch in a very pleasant setting. The walk takes 15-20 minutes and starts with a passenger buggy, unfortunately they were not taking passengers!

The rest of the sculptures were made from corrugated iron or flat steel sheeting and were all very good despite the basic material used.

I made a quick visit to the Lockhart museum today, a great little museum with lots of interesting stuff. There was a gallery of portraits “painted” with wool by Doris Golder. She is a renowned local artist whose paintbox consists of one of Lockhart Shire’s most historical and important resources, wool.

The wool is washed and combed by hand and then twisted together into fine threads and then cut into tiny pieces which are then placed on the canvas. Doris uses naturally coloured wool to create a wonderful array of landscapes and portraits, from Slim Dusty and Greg Norman to Bob Hawke. The portraits are excellent and truely capture the image and personality of the person.

Outside the gallery was an array of farm historic equipment which I found very interesting. There was a good collection of vintage tractors including one owned by Tim Fischer, a deputy prime minister and a genuinely nice bloke. I have always wondered why Ford tractors were named Fordson. It turns out that when Henry Ford started making tractors in 1924 someone else had claimed the Ford name for tractors so he chose Fordson, I will be able to sleep tonight! There was also a 1946 teardrop camper, a bit more basic and smaller than the modern ones. I remember sleeping in one just like that around 1956.

The other two machines that I found interesting dated from a time when our brightest people stayed in Australia and when companies invested in Australian innovation and manufacture. The first machine was a Braybrook stripper developed in Australia the 1890s and it was the first mechanical means of harvesting wheat. It replaced the scythe and sickle and revolutionised wheat harvesting. It was pulled by horses and the wheels drove the machinery through connecting belts. Notice the pressed steel seat on the right of the machine, a bit different to the modern machines with air conditioned cabins, piped music and GPS guidance.

The other machine was a self driven auto header manufactured by H V McKay at their Sunshine works in 1924. It was the first self driven header in the world and the fundamental design is the same as used in the massive headers used on farms today. Before this machine was developed headers were pulled by horses. At this time wheat was transported in bags and the header had one man driving the header and another one or two men on the back of the header bagging wheat and sewing the bags closed. Modern machines move the wheat in a conveyer directly to a large bin. I had a drive of one of the modern ones a long time ago and the turning circle was massive and I was driving it from about 4 metres above the ground.

All the shops in the main street of Lockhart have traditional verandas so the town has been described as the veranda town. I’m not an early riser by choice and I have only been able to get a photo of one side of the main street with cars parked outside the shops so the effect of the verandas and posts are much reduced. All the shop fronts have been renovated and the signage appropriately subdued and sized.

I will be hunkering down tomorrow as we expect lots of rain. After that I will move on toward Forbes, not sure of the destination, it will depend on the weather.

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Barmah to Lockhart

From Barmah I travelled to Katamatite to see if the silo there had been painted, as proposed, but it was still bare concrete. So on to Walla Walla near Wagga Wagga as it happens, maybe they needed two goes to get the name right! I headed for the tower but lost sight for a minute and then found I was going down a dead-end street toward a mobile tower, I had thought the aerials I could see over the roofs were on the water tower. I was so lucky I could just manage a U turn at the end of the street as I had the caravan in tow. As usual there is something in the area to detract from the photo, this time bollards and warning tape.

The next water tower was in Lockhart Shire at Yerong Creek. The painting on this tower was a very new one and in a nicely landscaped area, once the plants grow. The tower depicted activities of the local population. It is the third tower painted in the Lockhart council area and was finished this year. I don’t especially like the deliberate blurring of the edges and cartoon like depiction of the main features in the artwork, but it is very colourful.

The next stop on the way to Lockhart was to Milburlong still in the Lockhart shire and this tower was the second one painted in the shire. The tower is a concrete tank positioned on tall concrete piles and depicts Eastern Rosellas.

I set up camp at the council run caravan park at Lockhart, a delightful caravan park on a small creek with a park on the other side of the creek. After setting up I went for a wander through town and found sculptures along the way. They were very well done and made out of scrap metal, bits of machinery, chains, wire, mesh, household appliances, basically anything that you could weld. The horse and wagon below won the National Farm Art Award in 2010. The wagon is planted with colourful annuals that are not yet in bloom. It would look great with them in flower.

At the entrance to the caravan park is a Murray Cod jumping after a small fish, but it’s hard to see the samll fish in the photo. On the edge of the is a mob of kangaroos and across the bridge is a monster.

Finally there was a sculpture made out of corrugated iron (except for the car) depicting a carload of people heading for a dance, you can see a couple dancing on the left of the building.

I enjoyed the stroll, not much traffic, lots of parks and tress and creative sculpture. I also called in at the water tower in Lockhart that I visited last time I was here, so I haven’t included a photo of that just the wagtails painted near the base of the tower and a horse sculpture in the garden next to the tower.

Tomorrow I will drive to a couple of water tower art sites and walk around sculptures in a bushland area in Lockhart.

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Mt Eliza to Barmah (Morning Glory)

I’m on the road again this time travelling through Victoria and NSW visiting silo and water tower/tank art, sculptures in the bush and some National Parks along the way. There are something like 30 silos and water towers that have been painted since my last big trip in 2019 so this trip will fill in the gaps. The first stop was at Redesdale between Kyneton and Heathcote. It was a small tank alongside a sports ground depicting farming scenes and a bushfire.

Next stop was at Colbinabbin 50 Km west of Murchison. This silo site had been well landscaped with a big viewing area, a car park and a picnic area with a few tables, a bit of an exception. There was also a cafe in town at the general store so the town was giving the visitors a chance to spend money. Many of the small towns I visit do not have even a general store let alone a cafe. The silo art across seven silos was excellent, but the sun behind the silos made photography difficult.

In painting the silos the artists used 360 litres of primer and 580 litres of matt finish coat plus 70 litres of anti graffiti paint.

The next stop was Tatura where the single water tower was carefully positioned behind multiple power lines and buildings, making photography a bit of a challenge. It is very poetic that the tower that celebrates Sir John Monash with his image, is painted on a water tower he designed and was built in 1912. The tower has a water capacity of 364,000 litres and has remembrance poppies on the other side.

On to Picola where a small silo features the Superb Parrot, on a backdrop of the nearby Barmah National Park and some of the native flora and fauna found in the region. It was painted by Melbourne-based artist Jimmy D’Vate, whose work is also featured on the Goorambat Silos (a wonderful team of Clydesdales and a Barking Owl)

I stopped for the weekend at Morning Glory Resort on the Murray in NSW between Barmah and Echuca. My daughter Nadine joined me for the weekend and we had a relaxing but busy time planning a November group camping weekend, our 50th camp! We managed a BBQ in the Barmah national park at one of the few camping and picnic areas not under water. Campfire chats were enjoyed for three nights but rain forced us inside on Sunday where age triumphed in a few very enjoyable games of Risk Express. I was lucky, skill had no part of it. Tomorrow I head into NSW to Lockhart.

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Morning Glory

On our way from King River to Morning Glory we detoured a little to Kyabram to see the water tank there, the artwork is very good but it is fenced off so you can’t walk around it very easily. However there is an excellent viewing platform for you to view this side of the water tank.

The Major Mitchell Cockatoo was particularly well painted, I think the artist has captured the mischievous look, so typical of all cocky’s.

We did a bit of shopping in Kyabram so when we arrived at Morning Glory we made a fresh ham roll for lunch which was delicious. We love the Morning Glory campsite and have booked 12 power sites for November cup weekend; the photo below is of the area we have booked. We will be sending an email out in a couple of days inviting people to the November camp.

The amenities block (on the left of the photo) has a rustic appearance but is good and clean inside with amenities, a well equipped kitchen and a laundry around the back of the building. Tank water is available on the end of the building. Water is available at some sites but it is just river water and was quite muddy when we were there. Forty-four gallon fire drums are provided. The photo below is another view of the sites we have booked and shows the unpowered area which is passed the white caravan to the right, some power sites are on the edge of this area which are some of the sites we have booked.

There is a beach at Morning Glory about 1 Km drive along the river that is suitable for swimming and there is also a boat ramp.

One day we went to Cape Horn Winery but it was closed, it is usually open 7 days a week and advertises as such, you can buy platters and Pizzas to eat on a grassed picnic area on the Murray. The bend of the river here is the same as Cape Horn at the bottom of South America, hence the name, it is a great place for a relaxing picnic so we were disappointed that it was closed. On the way we passed Morning Glory which is on the other side of the river and could see our campsite as in the photo below.

We decided to stay an extra day at Morning Glory and visited Barmah National Park where lots of the roads were flooded from environmental water releases. We eventually found a dry picnic table in the shade near old mustering yards and enjoyed a BBQ using Deen’s new butane portable BBQ, this BBQ is next to Deen on the table.

The old mustering yard had been constructed hand hewn post and rail which would have been a massive job as the yards are quite extensive.

There was a very interesting bush gate at the mustering yards made from a log with a counterweight to balance the weight of the log. A forked branch held the end of the log gate when open and another forked branch had been provided for when it was closed. It is shown in the open position.

We enjoyed our visit to the National Park, it was good to see some tinges of green on the ground and all the red gums and grey box trees looking very healthy, they are all a very vibrant green rather than their usual dull grey green. Tomorrow we are off to Nug Nug Reserve, a small camping area near Myrtleford and Lake Buffalo.

When we arrived at Nug Nug we were surprised how many camps had already been set up, there were around 60 power sites already occupied but we were able to find a couple of vacant ones. Deen doesn’t have an inverter yet in her van so she needs power for her laptop, as she still has a few business meetings to attend. Her project goes live on Jan 17 and things are at a critical stage. The campground has lots of trees which is great as the day temperatures are in the low 30s.

My camp is at the bottom centre of the photo; most of Deen’s is behind a tree but the white square across the road in the middle left of the photo is her kitchen awning.

Today, Thursday, is my last day away, the end of what has been a sort but very enjoyable holiday. We talked to the caretaker of Nug Nug Reserve and he mentioned that there could be 600 people here by the end of Boxing Day! My guess is that there would be 3 times as many camps here as shown in the photo, not a scenario I would like at all.

Deen has an infected toe so she went to the doctor this morning and he lanced and dressed it and put her on a course of antibiotics, it started feeling better as the day went by. After the doctors we headed to Milawa about 45 Km away and had lunch at the Milawa Kitchen, which is in the same building as the cheese shop. We chose a share platter which was excellent, a delicious beetroot and cherry relish, olives, a bread stick from the bakery (also in the same building), ham, three different salami, semi dried tomatoes, a piece of brie and butter for the bread. All delicious and accompanied with a Beechworth Pale Ale

A relaxing afternoon to follow will to wind up the holiday. Who knows where my next holiday will be and where I will be able to travel. I was thinking of going to WA but I think I will defer that to 2023. Best wishes for Christmas to you all.

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King River Valley

We have had a very relaxing week in a quiet bush camp right on the King River, very shady, which is just as well as it has been quite hot.

The facilities are basic with one long extension cord for power, no water and one combined toilet and shower, but it would be hard to beat the environment. Most of the time we are the only people camped here with occasionally only a tent well away from us. The day after we arrived we drove to Lake William Hovell which is at the end of the King Valley for a BBQ lunch followed by a bit of 4WD in Deen’s Jeep.

The next day we went to Paradise Falls for a picnic lunch followed by a 500 metre return walk to the falls. We had to use stools to sit on so to eat lunch we could be in the shade. Deen used a new portable gas BBQ she had just purchased and it worked a treat and was easy to clean. It was a delightful walk but the hundreds of steps were a bit tiring. In the photo below you will see two faint white lines in the centre of the photo, they are the falls.

The views along the walk to the falls were excellent, across the King Valley to the mountains behind.

Wednesday was a bit rainy so we went to the Mountain View Hotel in Whitfield for an excellent meal in very pleasant surroundings, well worth a visit. The weather was heating up so we mainly stayed around camp and relaxed but we fitted in a BBQ lunch at Moyhu in the Lions Park, it was disappointing that we missed the lions though.

Today we went to Gracebrook Winery for lunch and had the best sharing platter that either of us had been served before. There was heaps of food – four different cold meats, three dips, lots of bread and biscuits, olive oil for dipping, olives, apple (2 types), raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, watermelon, walnuts, pickled walnuts, tomatoes, hard boiled egg, celery, carrot, and lettuce. Most of the food was home made at the winery with the bread and cheese coming from the cheese factory at Milawa. The only reject was pickled eggplant which was a bit like eating rubber. We ate out on the lawn where it was cool under the trees with a wonderful view.

The Gracebrook wines that we tasted before lunch were very good and we both ended up buying a mixed dozen. Tomorrow is out last day here and we are thinking of going to the Brewery just down the road for a tasting and a meal. Then it will be off to Morning Glory on the Murray to see if it will be OK for the November camp, our 50th November camp.

There are still a few of us that can remember that first camp at Waratah Bay when it was just a bush camping spot. This is our camp in our first camper, a Sunwagon.

There were a lot of people at the first camp and we had a campfire each evening as has become our tradition. Not many photos were taken but this one survived, try to put a name to the people.

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Broken Creek Bush Camp

Sadly we had to cancel our planned trip to the Eyre Peninsula for the third time, I’m now on first name basis with the people at Lincoln National Park and they do the refund applications for me now. The SA COVID testing regime was just too onerous for us given the limited time we had to make the trip, but we will get there one day. So the hastily redrawn plans have us staying 3 days at Broken Creek Bush Camp near Benalla in Northern Victoria. It is a very relaxed camp with sites well spaced and basic facilities. It is Deen’s second trip with her new van and it is still performing very well.

You can see that it is very dry and also has the requisite fire place which we have used every night, firewood was $15 for a load delivered by front end loader. The host also cooks wood fired pizzas on Saturday night so we have one on order for tonight. Yesterday we went for a drive to see some of the silos in the area which I had visited already but it was good to do it again. The first was at St James a small village about 20 Km north of Benalla. I used the drone this time to give a different perspective

From there it was further north to Tungamah an even smaller village about 50 Km north of Benalla. Taking the photos in bright sun proved difficult as it was very hard to see the photo on the iPhone that controls the drone, even with the screen brightness at max.

Our next stop was Devenish where the silos had a military theme commeratting the contribution of people in the area to our armed forces.

The last silos on this excursion were at Goorambat another small village which is well organised and they have opened a cafe in town since the silos were painted. They have also set up a second viewing area for the second set of two silos. I liked these silos the best, the draught horses look like they are galloping toward you as you drive into town.

The other two silos are about 50 metres behind this one and I especially like the owl painting.

The evenings at Broken Creek did get cool so a fire was needed to keep us warm. Deen took this panorama photo one night.

There’s not a lot to do around Benalla but we did find Reef’s Hill State Park about 5 Km East of Benalla. It was a scrubby dry box forest with many small twisted eucalypts growing on a native grass forest floor. We found a fire BBQ and picnic table and enjoyed a peaceful couple of hours over lunch.

Tomorrow we head off to the King River Valley for a week.

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Dunkeld Cup Camp

We met up at Dunkeld for our 49th Cup weekend camp and enjoyed a few days of relaxation in the company of good friends. We stayed at the Dunkeld Caravan Park where Deen set up her new camper for the first time and found the setup much easier than the Gidget she had owned previously. As usual lots of fellow campers wanted a guided tour of the new camper.

A lot of time at the camp was spent just sitting around chatting and relaxing

Peter G brought lots of fire wood as usual so we had a camp fire every evening and lots of good conversation. It was great to have Davo, Cheryl, Shelby and Maddie with us again plus Adam and Julie, Pete and Barb with Deen and I making up the numbers. Deen took a few photos around the fire without a flash, which proved a bit difficult.

Shelby, Adam and Julie around the fire

Deen also managed to catch one of me

And another of Maddie, Julie and Adam

Lots of our conversation was about where we would go for our 50th camp next year. It’s hard to believe that the camping group started by Eric in 1973 is still going strong, and that is something worth celebrating. Deen is doing some investigation into Morning Glory, a camping resort on the Murray near Echuca which may be suitable.

Within a short walk of camp was the Dunkeld Arboretum where there are some magnificent old Red Gums. We enjoyed the walk and watching Pete try out his new drone, he managed to have only one crash!. There is an old saw mill dating back to the 30’s in the Arboretum and it was interesting old building and equipment now run by volunteers.

A lady from the local community had used a chainsaw to carve some sculptures, I liked the black cockatoo the best.

On Saturday we all headed off to Cavendish and enjoyed a wonderful lunch at the Bunyip Hotel, excellent food and well worth a visit. Everyone except Deen and I went home Sunday so, after they had left, we headed off into the National Park for a very enjoyable BBQ in the camping area at Jimmy’s crossing. After lunch we had a drive around the park ending up at Mafeking where 10,000 people lived mining for there gold fortune in the early 1900’s, now just bush with no evidence of mining except the abandoned shafts.

After Deen left on Monday I went back into the National Park and enjoyed a delightful walk up Little Pickaninny. The bush was filled with a wonderful array of small native bushes, many in flower, and even a few orchids.

Along the way i met up with an echidna snuggled into a hollow, I stayed still for awhile and eventually the echidna moved off and gave me an opportunity to capture a photo.

The view from the top of Little Pickaninny was well worth the walk.

I also visited Freshwater Lake for a BBQ.

I had to run a couple of U3A Cryptic crossword Zoom sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday so I spent those days around camp relaxing before returning home on Thursday to Mt Eliza.

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The country changed a little as I approached Morgan, which is on the Murray, the plains were dotted with saltbush rather than dead grass or no grass. The dusty green-blue of saltbush was a welcome change from dull brown that I had been travelling through since I arrived in SA. I crossed the Murray on a ferry at Waikerie, a largish town of nearly 3,000 people. The name ‘Waikerie’ is said to mean ‘many wings’, after the giant rainmoth ‘Wei kari’, the name given to the moth by the indigenous peoples of the area. The silos I was to visit were visible from the ferry so easy to find and plenty of parking available on the roadside. The silos have been painted by two different artists, one semi-abstract and the other lifelike. Both artists used enamel paints, exclusively on the semi-abstract silo whereas the other silo was mainly painted with aerosol spray cans. The work took 16 weeks to complete and used nearly 500 litres of paint. Sorry about the car in the foreground, I could have picked a better place to park.

Waikerie Silos

I think the left hand abstract silo is well painted but I find the colours a bit subdued, I think silos look better with more vibrant colours, unless the artist uses sepia tones or just black and white. The theme for both is a healthy riverscape so on the left-hand silos there are fish, turtles and cockatoos that are prevalent in the area.

Waikerie Yabby

The Yabby is fantastic, such detail and beautiful colouring, perfect shadows, so lifelike, one of the best paintings I have seen on a silo.

Waikerie Silos Rear View

This photo is of the back of the silos. At the bottom right of the left-hand silo you can see some moths, these are the Rainmoths after which Waikerie was named. The parrot is the endangered Regents Parrot painted above the river a brown rock bank, characteristic of so many of the bends in the Murray in SA.

Waikerie Silo Regents Parrot

I think this is a wonderful artwork, when you think about the scale of the painting and the detail achieved, the artist has done such a brilliant piece of work.

The next silo I visited was at Paringa, which is near Renmark, about 50 Km from where I am camped. I found it a bit disappointing, but it did celebrate significant people in the area, but it was not to my taste.

Paringa Silos

The silo on the right features Charles Chaffey, one of the Chaffey brothers, who instigated the irrigation of the riverland area, which had an enormous impact on agriculture in Australia. The silo on the left is of Sister Balfour-Ogilvy who was one of the nurses machine gunned by the Japanese in what is known as the Banka Straits Massacre. Of the 22 nurses only sister Bullwinkle famously survived by lying in the water, wounded and motionless with the other dead nurses. She visited my kinder when I was a kid, she seemed to me a very formidable person, much like Miss Hugo a teacher at Ashy State School.

Sister Balfour-Ogilvy, Japanese Massacre Survivor

After Paringa I headed off for lunch and ended up in Berri at the Berri Hotel Bistro right on the Murray with a landscaped grassed river bank and wonderful red gums as the outlook. I enjoyed excellent fish and chips, I have yet to have any inferior fish and chips in all the many trips I have made to SA. The most memorable was at Peterborough many years ago, when Marg and I enjoyed King George Whiting in a pub bistro, perfectly prepared and presented, and that’s 100s of Ks from the coast. It is strange that the people who enjoy “pie floaters” (pies floating in pea soup) also want and enjoy excellent fish and chips. On the way home I visited a mural and sculpture in Berri on an abutment of a bridge over the Murray.

Aboriginal Warrior at Berri

You had to walk a short way to the mural and this sculpture was at the start of the walk. The tonings of the mural under the bridge were subdued, but interesting abstract shapes and yabbies.

Berri Bridge Mural

There was also another steel sculpture panel next to the bridge abutment that was well done.

Sculpture at Berri Bridge Abutment

I was going to do some travelling in Victoria but that is now off the agenda, so it will be a quick trip home for me tomorrow. I decided to put the drone up one last time at the caravan park to show how the Murray twists around in this part of its journey to the coast.

Murray at Kingston on Murray

The water at the bottom of the photo is the Murray at the caravan park, in the middle of the photo you can see a fine line of water leading to a patch of water on the right, that is the Murray going back on itself. Then at the top you can see some more water on the left of the photo which is another bend in the Murray. It is a real zig-zag with each zig and zag being a few kilometers long. It is a wonderful river and I love it.

So I’ll sign off and see you next time I go travelling.

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Yorke Peninsula to Riverland

I was a bit sorry to leave Stansbury, I had a very relaxing time there and it was very interesting to be able to watch a silo being painted from the beginning. This is the photo I took on my first day at Stansbury.

Stansbury Tower Day 1

As a drove away from Stansbury I took this photo, which will give you an idea of the amazing progress the two artists had made in just eight days, actually just seven days and an hour or so on day eight.

Stansbury Tower Day 8

Finishing the artwork will require some finer detail but I expect that they should be finished in a week to ten days, depending on the weather.

I headed up and across the peninsula to Kadina where there was a relatively small water tower in the middle of town. It took me some time to get to the tower because there were many one way streets in town that were not on my GPS, just as well I have a small caravan. The GPS kept sending me to streets I couldn’t enter. There were only two images on the tower, the first is a Maypole girl holding some grain, as grain was and is the main driver of the economy on the Yorke peninsula. She is also holding a piece of copper as copper mining was also big on the Yorke peninsula (this area is called the Copper Coast)

Kadina Water Tower

The other image was of a steam train, reflecting the important role that rail played in the transport of grain to the ports on the Yorke peninsula, and poppies for remembrance (the railway line ran next to the carpark).

Kadina Water Tower

The Kadina water tower was in a busy car park, but there was reserved parking for RV’s and caravans, just as well, because the car park was chockers. From Kadina I headed for Snowtown, the town famous for the bodies in 44 gallon drums, I made sure the streets were clear before I got out of the car! The now disused water tower was another small one with the fireman’s face a stand out, it depicts a volunteer with over 25 years service with the CFS. This side faced the road.

Snowtown Water Tower Road side

The other side had a young footballer on the top section of the tower but this was not as good as the fireman.

Snowtown Water Tower Railway side

My Journey now is taking me away from the Yorke peninsula and east across through the windy roads of the Clare valley and up through Burra and then onto flat country as I head toward the Riverland. The drive through to Clare and Burra was more interesting with undulating countryside and a lot more trees, but the travelling was a bit slower with lots of bends. The next stop, this time for silos, was Farrell Flat, which was the last artwork to see before I reached the Riverland around Renmark and Loxton.

The town is a ghost town, I was the only thing moving, apart from the trees in the strong wind! The only operating business in town was an old dilapidated pub, a couple of old and closed shops made up what passes as the commercial centre of Farrell Flat. The group of silos are at the end of the main street.

Farrell Flat Silo Art

It is interesting that they have chosen to paint a passenger train but, apparently, the artwork depicts the last train that ran on the line in the 1990s. The rail line was between Rosebery and Peterborough with the latter being a major railway hub and service centre.

Driving through the flat wheat growing parts of SA is not a highlight. The countryside is an unrelenting dull brown, flat, few if any trees, average to poor quality roads and a lot of the small towns you pass through lack any shops and anything of interest. There is an overall appearance of tiredness and neglect, except in the larger towns as such Clare, Burra, Kadina and Yorketown. The wind on this day was extremely strong and the fuel consumption went up significantly. At Kadina I had to take a step back to keep balance in a particularly strong gust, while I was taking photos.

When I get to the Riverland I will be staying at Kingston on Murray, so called because there is another Kingston in SA, Kingston SE, which is located on the south coast near the Victorian border.

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Yorke Peninsula

I had a home day today as I had a Zoom session with my Cryptic Crossword group. However I did visit the Stansbury water tower to check progress.

Stansbury Water Tower Day 3

I had an interesting talk to one of the two artists, they work off paintings they have made and loaded onto their mobile phones. He showed me a painting of the green seaweed on his phone that is under the crab and he was going to add a yellowy colour to the seaweed to highlight parts and make it lighter. The painting on his phone was just of the seaweed, there is a separate one of the crab. So it is all freehand artwork using their eyes to transfer a phone image onto the water tower. These two artists had just finished the Edithburgh water tower, which had excellent detail, the Stansbury one is going to be more simple. They were using airless spray guns for this more detailed work, spray guns that have an inbuilt small piston pump to spray the paint out in a fine mist.

Next day I was off the Yorketown for supplies and to check out the water tower there, it was good but not to my taste.

Yorketown Water Tower

While in Yorketown I learned of a water tank with artwork on the road to Port Moorowie, only a few Ks south east of Yorketown. The water tank was not in use and it was literally in the middle of nowhere on Boothill Station Road.

Moorowie Water Tank

However the artwork on the tank was very good with a horse team facing the road I drove down.

Moorowie Water Tank Horse Team

A little further round the tank were two emus, I love emus and the wild look they get in their eyes, and these two were perfect.

Emus on Moorowie Water Tank

Facing the intersecting road was a painting of men harvesting salt from a dry salt lake. Salt harvesting was quite an industry in this area in the last two centuries. In this century the salt lakes have become a tourist attraction, not sure why, and there are signs on every corner pointing to the different lakes, and there are many. Some do get a beautiful pink colour, but not my idea of a touring highlight.

Salt Harvesting on Moorowie Water Tank

This tank was on private property so I had to negotiate getting over a barbed wire fence twice to get the photos, which I did with great care and not much dexterity, gingerly would be the word. On the way home I called in at Port Vincent and had a meal of the most excellent fish and chips from the Kiosk in Port Vincent. Garfish, chips salad and potato cakes that they battered and cooked to order, delicious, and eaten at a table on the foreshore. If you are down this way make sure to call in and have some. On the way back I checked progress on the Stansbury water tower and there was the start of a pelican on the back of the tower.

Pelican on Stansbury Water Tower Day 4

On day 5 a jetty and pine tree had appeared on the tower.

Stansbury Water Tower Day 5

It’s now Saturday and I head off to Innes National park which is right at the bottom of the Yorke Peninsula about 100 Km away. Marg and I camped here many years ago when it was undeveloped and the only campground was a barren footy ground sized area with not trees. All that has changed, the park has a number of campgrounds all good and the one we had stayed at, Pondalowie, now has trees and bushes with campsites in between and the sites are suitable for caravans. I will stay there next visit. A bitumen road takes you through the park to a number of viewing points over seascapes and to an old gypsum mining town. I took my portable BBQ and set it up and cooked a couple of sausages from the local butcher for lunch, a very peaceful spot in a campground.

Russ Tending the BBQ

I visited the Cape Spencer Lighthouse which guards a reef where a ship the Ethel came to grief, you can see a few spars of the Ethel on the beach. The first ship to see the Ethel in distress was the Ferret which alerted authorities, and then 16 years later it was wrecked on the same reef.

Cape Spencer Lighthouse & Althorpe island

Innes National park takes its name from Inneston a town set up by a gypsum mining company that operated from 1914 to 1930. We all will remember Bellco chalk at school when we were kids and the boxes that contained the precious stuff. This chalk was made at Innestown for many years. It was named after a Mr Bell a director of the gypsum mining company, this photo is of the buildings where the chalk was made.

Bellco Chalk Buildings at Old Innestown

Some of the buildings at inneston have been restored and can be hired for accommodation, this photo shows a couple of ruined buildings and a restored building.

Old Inneston

From West Cape there are wonderful views over the park and up and down the coast.

View from West Cape Innes National park

I enjoyed my visit to Innes national park and would come back and stay here. On the way home I checked the Stansbury water tower and we now have dolphins on the tank part of the tower.

Dolphins on Stansbury Water Tower Day 6

Just nearby I was able to buy a dozen oysters so I had half of them mornay (read grated cheese) for tea, they were yummy, so fresh and tasted of the sea.

Tomorrow will be the last day here, sadly, I have enjoyed my stay at Stansbury, it has been very relaxing. I debated staying on a couple of days but decided against it so my next blog may be a few days away.

Posted in 2021 | Leave a comment