One More Stop Before Home

On our final day we had one more stop before heading home. We pulled up in Crystal Brook after overnighting in Fitzgerald Bay. The stop was for lunch and then afternoon tea. We found a nice bakery which is usually the case in country towns

Crystal Brook is a regional service town with a population of about 1500. The main street is wide and there are lots of old shops. Some are curio shops and we found and OP shops. We bought some plants and then headed off to afternoon tea.

My wife found an amazing place called Vault 35 in Crystal Brook. It a dessert only cafe and has amazing products. It is located in an old bank building hence the name. The old bank vault inside the building is a gift shop. The couple who run it are absolutely charming . We over ordered and I’m sure my blood sugars went through the roof. Then on to home.

Main Street Crystal Brook

Fitzgerald Bay Campsite Number 2

Following on from my last post we camped overnight in Fitzgerald Bay campsite number 2. This is a free campsite near Point Lowly just North of Whyalla on the East coast of Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. We set up camp relying on the little onboard power that we had because our deep cycle battery was dying.

There is very little at Fitzgerald bay other than a few comping spots. There was a flushing toilet which of course is a luxury when you dont have an ensuite bathroom in your caravan. We never saw anyone else despite the presence of two other caravans an a campervan.

The following morning after breakfast we and a quick look around we headed off . We stopped briefly at Point Lowly to look at the lighthouse. Point Lowly has a few holiday shacks/houses and a lighthouse. Port Lowly is well know as a breeding ground for giant cuttlefish .There is also a large natural gas port there which we won’t mention.

Venus Bay to Fitzgerald Bay

The last leg of our trip took is from Venus Bay across to the east coast of Eyre Peninsula via Cleve. We eventually ended up at Fitzgerald Bay just north of Whyalla at a free camping site.

Cleve has lovely wide streets and and a local radio station was blaring out from speakers on the streetlights. It was a very blustery day and we were nearly blown down the street. We managed to find an OP shop which is what you do in small towns

There is a fabulous sculpture of a draughthorse in the main street. It made entirely of engine parts, chains and assorted metal. It’s very imposing and some nice detail like a metal lizard.

Continuing our journey east we stopped in Arno Bay. A quick visit largely dictated by the stormy and blustery weather. We couldn’t even find a café open! We headed north along the east coast of the Eyre Peninsula from Arno bay towards Fitzgerald bay. A quick stop in Cowell to buy some oysters. Cash only but no complaints $30 for three dozen. Another town with not much open.

Scooting past Whyalla we headed to our campsite at Fitzgerald Bay. It’s a free campsite and it was dark when we got there. So dinner and to bed and ready for the trip home.

Streaky Bay

Heading away from Venus Bay we travelled to Streaky Bay . This is another nice little town on the Eyre Peninsula. We arrived latish for lunch finding some shops already closed. We had fish and chips in a a café attached to a caravan park. Not the best fish and chips but certainly not the worst we have had on our travels. The worst fish and chips we have had were in Tasmania in a small town with the lovely name of Primrose Sands.

There is a fabulous clifftop drive in just out of Streaky Bay with lots of great lookouts. The coastline is quite spectacular. All the good spots are well signposted and have information boards.

Whistling rock was particularly interesting. There is a large cavern under the cliffs where the waves crash in. The top of the cavern is a quite porous limestone. The crashing waves push air up through the holes creating a distinctive whistling sound.

There are a succession of lookouts where you get a great view of the limestone coast. Every bit as impressive the great ocean road. The coast line is slowly being eroded by the crashing waves. There is an array of great walkways and raised platforms. Theses afford plenty of opportunities for great photos.

Venus Bay Caravan Park

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

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

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

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

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

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.