Venus Bay Caravan Park

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Venus Bay is small town with lots of holiday shacks. The caravan park is located on absolute beach front. The spaces are wide and the park is flat. So backing in is relatively easy. The van park has a nice shop which also serves the township and is a takeaway shop. There is no pub in town but there is a bus that runs between Venus bay and Port Kenny where there is a pub.

There is a sandbank just off the beach where lots of Pelicans, Pacific gulls and the more common Seagulls or Silver Gulls hangout . They are probably watching the jetty where the local fishing boats have moorings.

It’s a really nice spot to stop.

Organ Pipes Gawler Ranges

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This is another interesting geological formation in the Gawler Ranges and a bit more remote than Wave Rock. Access is mostly by dirt roads but they are no too treacherous. Our Kia Sportage managed this quite easily.

The roads are quite well signposted so as long as you an eye out you wont get lost. Mobile phone reception is a bit variable so relying on Google Maps or similar maybe a little tricky. It always good to have a physical map when travelling in remote areas.

Once you get to the carpark which isn’t huge there is a walk to the organ pipes. The carpark has a nice little gazebo and an toilet. The walk will take about 20 minutes and is for the most part easy. There are a few rocks to walk over or around toward the end. If you are a little unsteady a walking stick or pole would be well advised.

The walk is definitely worth it. The rock formations are really spectacular. I imagine if it was raining the would be a nice waterfall.

I was warned to be careful as there is some slime on the rocks. Despite this I managed to slip and fall quite heavily. Lucky not to break my arm, only denting my pride.

We did see some local kangaroos on the way back. We managed the organ pipes and wave rock from Wudinna in about half a day.

Wave Rock and Beyond

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We travelled to wave rock from Wudinna via Minnipa. The road to Wave rock (Pildappa Rock) is through Minnipa. This is a small service town with a population of less 200 people. Sadly there are a lot of empty stores in town.

Wave rock (Pildappa) is a remarkable rock formation that really does look like a giant wave. The rock is quite large and appears across on the horizon. As interesting as Uluru but a lot smaller.

There is an excellent picking ground featuring the a rather windy long-drop toilet. There is a one way road that circles the rock. Along the way there are many campsites nestled amongst bushes. Other than the toilets its strictly free camping so you need to be self-sufficient.

The site forms part of the Gawler Ranges National Park so you will require the necessary permits to enter and camp. We drive an all-wheel drive KIA Sportage and managed the drive quite easily.

Wudinna , Waves and Rocks

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The second stop on our Eyre Peninsula Adventure was Wudinna. This is another service town in the region. Our crew stopped at the Gawler Ranges Motel and Caravan Park in Wudinna. The caravan park is on the highway so you can hear trucks passing through the night. That’s to be expected as this is the main highway between Adelaide and Perth.

The caravan park is clean and tidy but the facilities are dated. The camp kitchen which has an electric barbeque but is basic. The toilets and showers are clean and tidy but showing their age. We were able to have a fire in the caravan park so we had an enjoyable couple of nights.

There is a nice pub in Wudinna the Wudinna Hotel Motel . We had a great meal one night and lunch the following day. Serves were generous and the food well cooked. The staff are friendly a nice place to eat.

We managed a visit to the local opshop as I needed an emergency pair of pants after I had a slip on some rocks. I can also report that the Wudinna Bakery is worth a visit when you are in town.

The other site of note in the town was the Australian Farmer a huge statue on the main road.

We also visited some geological sites in the region of Wudinna

Kimba a Big Galah and a Silo

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Our recent caravan holiday across the Eyre Peninsula started in Kimba. An overview of the trip can be found here. We arrived late because we left late from home. Various late minute disasters including me losing my phone . We eventually got going and were hampered by lots of road workers. I firmly believe if roadworks were an olympic sport Australia would be a gold medal contender. We arrived after dark and our travel companions were already well settled.

The drive took nearly six hours for the 279 kilometre drive. our only stops were toilet breaks and to have a coffee. I suppose a side effect of the late arrival was that we saw a spectacular sunset. We camped at the Kimba Free camping site . A great site with a camp kitchen , showers and toilets. There is a nominal charge of $10 per night and $2 to use the showers. The sites are unpowered but as we have two deep cycle batteries in our van so this wasn’t a problem.

We did a very brief tour of Kimba which mainly resulted in us looking at the Big Galah and the very interesting mural on the grain silo. Kimba is essentially a service town so there is really a lot to see. Diesel way a good price which surprised us so we filled up. The next stop on our trek was Wudinna and a caravan park. This was a relatively short drive a little over an hour away from Kimba.

Touring the Eyre Peninsula

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We had a brief trip to the Eyre Peninsula with three other couples in their caravans. This was first for us as we have never really travelled across this part of South Australia. We stayed in Kimba, Wudinna, Venus Bay and Fitzgerald Bay.

In between we visited places in the Gawler Ranges and in and around Streaky Bay. There are lots of really interesting geological features in the Eyre Peninsula. The coastline is absolutely amazing in particular the limestone cliffs.

It’s my intention to create a series of post which will be more specific to particular sites we visited.

Alpacas at Dawesley

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We stayed at an AirBnB in Dawesley in the Adelaide Hills. As it turned out this was our last holiday before the Covid 19 pandemic. We stayed at the Carlisle Alpaca Farm Stay B&B which was booked through AirBnB. Set on acreage it’s a lovely location. The accommodation was very comfortable and relaxing. Lots of Alpacas to see and they were very friendly and curious. Dawesley itself is a collection of houses and has no services. However there are many towns quite close. We enjoyed some lovely weather as well.

Hahndorf on a Sunday

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Hahndorf is a small town located in the Adelaide hills which has interesting German history. The original settlers Lutherans from Prussia name their town after the Captain of the ship that brought them to South Australia Dirk Meinerts Hahn,  hence Hahndorf. Hahndorf is the oldest surviving German settlement in Australia being founded in 1839.

Today its a thriving town which is relies heavily on tourism. Sundays are particularly busy with lots of day trippers from Adelaide. Lots of food of German style is available. If its Wurst you are after Hahndorf is the place.

Two Days in Cairns

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Our cruise in January 2020 departed from Brisbane and took us to Cairns via Airlie Beach. The P&O Aria docked overnight. We have been to Cairns before so took the opportunity to just relax. Cairns is a reasonably large city with about 120,000 people. There are lots of tourist attractions which we have seen. I’m sure that a ship with 1700 passengers injects something to the local economy.

There is a dedicated cruise terminal which luckily has a craft brewery called Hemingways right on the wharf. I can report that the beer is good. Ships dock right in town and its only a ten minute walk to town and the main shopping areas.

Having been to Cairns before there is not much to do. We walked around town a couple of times. Amusingly there were bats in residence near the town hall quite a large colony. Surprisingly noisy and active in the daytime. I thought that bats were exclusively nocturnal. We did have a beer at the Grand Hotel which has a carved crocodile head in the front bar. Full of local drinking XXXX beer in very dirty stubby holders. Local colour I guess. According to the pub’s website it was founded in 1926 so its part of the fabric of Cairns.

Something amusing were the bats hanging around the town hall. I’m not sure is this is a cryptic metaphor for what goes on in the town hall. Initially it sounded like colony of birds. I was surprised how noisy the bats were in the daytime.

Then it was back on the ship and onwards to Willis Island. A small island far enough of the coast to make the cruise eligible for duty free shopping. Just a small speck in the ocean. Then south toward Brisbane.