Smithsdownunder
Our journeys around Australia

26-Nov-2004
   

After leaving Coober Pedy, we drove southeast to a lovely campsite at Spear Creek near Port Augusta. The camping area was set amongst 400 year old River Red Gums.

This one is not that old but it does show some of the colours that the trunk displays.

River Red Gums
Wilpena Range We spent a couple of nights at Spear Creek before heading northeast up to the Flinders Ranges. We came to the Flinders three years ago and liked it so much that we decided to come back. On our previous visit, it was October and the creeks still had water in them. This time it was very dry, nearly all the creeks were empty and so were the campsites! The temperatures have been in the high 30's so it's the end of the tourist season. We are staying at the Rawnsley Station campsite, which is next door to Wilpena Pound. The campsite has a swimming pool so it was quite refreshing to be able to cool off for a while after getting back from a tour around. We have managed to get to some places that we missed on our previous visit. The countryside is arid and mountainous with numerous creeks.
There is a lot of wildlife around; today we saw a family of emus, mum and nine youngsters. Emu
Emu faily I thought that this was mum and the kids but we were told that the males kidnap the teenagers so this could be a dirty old man and his harem.
We also saw quite a few kangaroos and euros. Euros are small wallaby's but with hair instead of fur Euro
Yello Throated Miner Bird The campsite is full of birds, (the feathered typed chaps!) and I think they must all be females because you should hear the din they make. They wake up before the sun rises and go quiet when it gets dark. Most of them are galahs with a few ring neck parrots and miner birds. (I know, we call them 'mynah birds' but my resident ornithologist has referred to the enormous great bird book we have been carrying around with us and this bird is called a 'Yellow throated miner bird'). They are quite friendly and always turn up for breakfast.

If you are ever out this way, we can recommend that you include a drive through Bunnyeroo Canyon. It's a dirt road that winds its way through very scenic countryside with great views around every bend and lots of creeks to cross. It can be done in a 2WD car if you take it easy. Here is a view of one of the creeks lined with old gum trees.

The temperatures referred to by the web man are in the shade and at 8 pm yesterday it was still 35. It was a very hot night. But it is worth it to see the great scenery up here again. Just a week ago I was complaining of the cold, as it was 15. It would be quite nice to feel that cool right now. Still a girl can't have it good all the time!

Flinders Creek
Now, about the Germans, or perhaps to be more correct, about the German speaking people! The campsite was very quiet being the end of the season. There were two caravans on the site including ours; one tent and two of the cabins were occupied. It was a large site and could probably accommodate about 150 caravans with ease. Not for the first time on this trip, a bus turned up towing a trailer and out jumped about 18 or so bleary eyed German-speaking people and they each set up their little brown tents right alongside us. A couple were within 2 metres from us. The ground was very hard so tap tap tap as they banged their pegs in. In the evening they had their meals cooked for them but their cook took over both of the cookers in the camp kitchen. About half past five in the morning, we were awoken by zips being undone and people crunching their way across the gravel to the loos. Then the bus started up and off some of them went for a hike. The next morning at half past four, zip zip zip, tap tap tap, rattle crash, peeep peeep peeep as the bus reversed, lots of loud German speak and off they went. In case you happen to be a German speaker and are thinking about taking a trip with Xtrail or a similar company, think twice because these people looked just about done in. They must have been doing the complete tour of Australia in 14 days or something. I think what we will have to do in future is to put a chair on the empty sites either side of us with a towel on them!