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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Our recent European holiday ended with a week long stay in Sliema which is just over the water from Valetta in Malta . The picture attached was taken at dusk and show the harbour entrance. Malta is indeed a very nice place and the capital abounds with history.
Our first night in England the owner of our B&B suggested this pub up the road. The Lydden Bell is a delightful country pub in the Kent countryside. We had just arrived from Adelaide via Doha with about 26 of travel time. My heart’s desire was an English pub meal.
Local beer cod and chips what more could you ask for. Lovely whitebait for entree. The only disappointment was an Eton Mess for dessert which really was a tasteless mess. Three pints of local ale i forgot the name A lovely sunny evening then it was a quick cab ride to our accommodation Crabble Hill Guest House and then off to bed.
A beautiful spot in the Pacific with something of a tragic past. This island is part of the Loyalty Islands which are part of the French territory of New Caledonia. We were there om 15th July 2016 as you can see by the photo it was a glorious day.
Today the Isle of Pines is about pristine waters snorkeling and tourism. We arrived on a cruise ship which anchored of the coast and we’re ferried in on the ship’s lifeboats.
The locals were friendly and didn’t really tout for business making for a relaxed day on the beach.
The history of the Isle of Pines is darker. It was a French penal colony from 1872 until 1913. Besides criminals there were also political prisoners banished to the Isle of Pines. These political prisoners were from the Paris Commune. I have linked to the Wikipedia article on this period of French History.
According to plaques near the ruins of the old penal colony the indigenous people the Kanaks, the link is to a Wikipedia article on theses people. In short the French annexure of these Islands did meet with resistance from the indigenous people.