Tuesday, December 12, 2017


On the move again today moving closer to the departure time of Ian and Kathy who plan to leave us at Port Augusta as they head back to Qld to spend Christmas with their families..
Meanwhile, we will head to Adelaide for a few days before making our way east across to Melbourne where we will spend Christmas with our youngest daughter Chloe and her husband Dan…

It was quite wet when we got up this morning and so pack up took a little longer as we tried to pack a little more in between each shower of rain. 

Fortunately we didn’t have too far to go as Whyalla was just a little over 100kms down the road and we really couldn’t get access to the park before 11am anyway.

We had rung ahead and booked into one of the Top Tourist Parks, which was right on the waterfront in Whyalla…. I don’t think we realized how close to the water our site would be… this meant that being so close to the water’s edge would also mean we were pretty exposed to wind….

It pretty much rained on and off all the way to Whyalla and we arrived around 11am.  It was still pretty wet when we got there, and there was no wind for a change….

It took us a while to set up properly due to the weather, and then by the time we had lunch it was 1pm.  As the weather was so poor, Ian and Kathy decided to go to the movies for the afternoon, Steve and I decided to go do a little shopping as we needed to get fuel and do a grocery shop.  

Whilst we were at the shopping centre we discovered a shop called “Cheap as Chips” and didn’t we have some fun there.  It was similar to the “Reject Shop” but larger and with more variety.  We did a little bit of damage there buying a few items for our Pakkeleg Game on Christmas Day.  Pakkeleg is a Danish game played at Christmas time, and since it is a tradition of our Danish family we have no adopted it here as well….

After doing our shopping, we thought we would check out a couple of the lookouts around Whyalla, so we headed up to the Flinder’s & Freycinet Lookout which overlooked the coast, and where you get a great view of the enormity of the sand flats that are around Whyalla when the tide is out.

Until 2002  it was named Flinders Lookout  and was a memorial to Matthew Flinders (1774-1814), Commander of HMS Investigator, who surveyed and named Spencer Gulf. The memorial was unveiled on Pioneers Day in 1950.

In 1802 Matthew Flinders was the first European to navigate and chart this unknown coast of SA, solving the centuries old mystery as to whether Australia was one continent or two. Ten months later, in January 1803, Louis-Claude de Freycinet (1779 – 1842) navigated and charted the isolated coast for the Baudin expedition. He and his crew spent a night at False Bay, off what was to become Whyalla, and were impressed by the local scenery.

As part of the Encounter 2002 project to recognise French exploration, the two explorers were commemorated at the lookout by contemporary sculptures, whilst the area was renamed the ‘Flinders & Freycinet Lookout’.

From here we headed back down to the foreshore.  There were masses of Galahs feeding on the grass at the Rotary Park.  Hundreds and hundreds of them, and they were such a pretty sight.  I can sure understand that they would be a real pest to the wheat farmers on this Peninsula, but to us tourists, they look wonderful. 

After photographing them all, we  then went for a drive up the Hummock Hill Lookout which offers exceptional 360 degree views. It was developed by BHP as a gift to the city to commemorate the company's centenary year, and opened during the 1986 SA Jubilee Royal Visit. 
 Hummock Hill was the site of first settlement at the turn of the century. Development of the lookout utilized the old gun emplacements which can still be seen today.  Along with a picnic area, Hummock Hill Lookout also  included as restored wartime gun, heritage interpretive signage and a sheltered viewing.

During World War II Hummock Hill saw service as a gun battery with four guns and command and signals posts. Early stages of the fortifications were built by BHP workmen, but the majority of the work was carried out by gunners of the 26th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery under the supervision of the 65th Deputy Commander Royal Engineers who arrived in Whyalla on February 14, 1942.

Hummock Hill afforded us unequaled view of Whyalla and the vast OneSteel operations.  It also had amazing views of the Whyalla Foreshore and Marina; across Spencer Gulf to the Southern Flinders Ranges.   Whilst we were up here we noticed that the wind had really sprung up…. Something we didn’t need as we had our awning half up to shelter us getting in and out of our caravan in the rain….  Time to head back down and check it out and secure it before any damage is done, as we are right on the beach front which is bearing the full force of the wind….

When we got back to the van, our worst fears were realized. There was indeed a tear in our awning, so so disappointing.  Fortunately for us our neighbour had come over and pulled it in for us and secured it otherwise it could have been a lot worse.  Still we have been through so much wind on this trip and have been so careful, it was disappointing to find that we now have to find somewhere to get it repaired.  

After securing it all, Steve went for a walk out on the beach in front of our van to see if anyone was catching anything worthwhile.  We hear so much about the amazing fishing on this coast, but we see little evidence of it as we have traveled around… I think you definitely need a boat if you are going to catch anything…


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