Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Only 75kms to go again today, so we didn’t have to rush this morning….

We are getting a little used to short trips after the many long trips we did when we first started this adventure….  Since the Nullabor, we have barely done more than 100km between stops.  That is about to change once we leave Port Augusta.

We had a pretty uneventful trip to Port Augusta, in fact it went really quickly and before we knew it we were driving into the caravan park on the river in Port Augusta.     

Another nice caravan park right on the water.  Well not quite, we can see the beach and water, but we have a 8ft wire fence with rows of bared wire across the top.  We are almost in a compound as the front gates are closed and locked after 9.30pm at night.  Just wondering what this says about Port Augusta, as the groundsman at the park here hinted at the locals walking off with anything left unlocked or unattached….

It didn’t take us long to set up the vans.  We all had a quick cuppa together and then decided to go and do a little exploring up in the Flinders’ Ranges. 
Scenery driving up into the Flinders Ranges

We were given a tourist brochure on Port Augusta when we booked into the caravan park so upon looking through it we decided to do a scenic drive following the Pichi Richi Rail line up through Stirling North to the historical town of Quorn where we stopped and took some photos of some of the lovely old buildings in town…. It is quite a pretty place and as we have to pass back through here on our way home thought we would leave afternoon tea till then….
 The drive up was interesting with the hills covering in a small silver shrub like bush.  It almost looked like it was planted  as it seemed so uniform in places.  We followed the rail line and felt a little disappointed that the Pichi Richi train trip to Quorn is not operating presently as I am sure it would be a great tourist attraction and we would have loved to have done it.  

 From Quorn we drove along the Yarrah Vale Gorge road out to the Dutchman’s Stern Conservation Park.  Most of the walks out here were 5kms or more, so rather than do them, we take a couple of photos of the ranges.  There were quite a few historical ruins along this road also.

Warren Gorge
Camping grounds at Warren Gorge
From here we drove to Warren Gorge.  This is a lovely area in the Flinder’s Ranges and there is a huge camping ground in here. It is a popular haunt for self-sufficient travellers touring the Flinders Ranges, and the  area has some eye-catching rock formations and classic groves of native pines to wander through It also abounds with wildlife.   For those camping the only facilities are drop toilets.  You really do need to be self sufficient to camp here though for any length of time.  

There were lots of tracks all over the camping ground, some rougher than others, but Steve enjoyed driving down quite a few and exploring….
From Warren Gorge we continued along Mt Arden road until we came across Proby’s Grave.  Hugh Provy was the third son of the Earl of Carysfort and he had brought a sizeable amount of wealth with him from Scotland. He had come to purchase land and run sheep and cattle in the new lands to the north of Quorn.  He  established a cattle station called Kanyaka Station in 1852. He was born at Stamford in Lincolnshire, England.  At 24 he emigrated on the ship Wellington, which arrived on 30 May 1851 at Port Adelaide, South Australia.

 The Flinders Ranges is very dry country, so it is both tragic and ironic that on 30 August 1852, Proby drowned when he was swept from his horse crossing the raging torrent of Willochra Creek while trying to herd a mob of cattle during a thunderstorm. He was buried the following day.

Proby was buried the next day and some six years later his family had a gravestone shipped out from London on the Ballarat to Port Adelaide. From there the granite slab was hauled by bullock wagon to the site and placed on his grave where it remains today; it was said to weigh one and a half tons and posed a significant challenge to transport it to the grave site.

We left Proby’s Grave to drive the Buckaringa Scenic Drive and Lookout.  All these roads are gravel but in good condition.  We actually thought the Buckaringa Scenic Drive was a loop drive, and had we have known that it wasn’t we probably wouldn’t have driven the 10kms or so along it, as the view wasn’t that special in comparison to the drive we had already done through the ranges, still we did make it to the lookout and we did take some photos…
The creek is teaming with lots of little fish

The real surprise to us though was Willochra Creek.  We didn’t realize there was a creek up here and to find it with flowing in this arid part of the country was unexpected, even more so because it was teaming with small fish and dragonflies.  As a base to the creek it had a solid conglomerate of rock which would have helped in storing the water in the worn gouged out gullies.  More photos…

 Our last stop before we got back to the highway was a place the Simmonston Ruins.  There really is not much left of the Simmonston ruins however the history is interesting. Simmonston was surveyed in 1872 on one of the six major routes proposed for the railway line north of Quorn .
 Two buildings were commenced in 1880, one a two story hotel and the other a general store. Unfortunately, before construction was competed it was announced that the railway line would go to the East of the ranges so Simmonston became ‘the town that never was.’

In all this scenic drive was over 100kms, and very different to most of the drives we have done on the Eyre Peninsula, but we still enjoyed it.   

We came back to Quorn where we stopped for a cuppa before heading back into Port Augusta…


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