Adelaide to Sydney highlights continued

Broken Hill to Mildura

Before leaving Broken Hill we did a quick tour of the Pro Hart Gallery which was fascinating and we wished we had more time to spend there but we had to press on. We were going to lose half an hour when we crossed into Victoria later that day.

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We stopped by the river in Pooncarie for lunch.

Then it was on to Mildura where we appreciated the airconditioning of the Information Centre while they found us accommodation – it was 44ºC outside. The only cabin was a fair bit out of town, expensive and we had to make the bed ourselves. Not impressed!

It was too hot for us to even go for our walk so we just drove back into town, had a drive down by the river, then shopped for dinner before heading back to the airconditioning.

Mildura to Echuca

We drove to Swan Hill on the Murray River and ate lunch there before heading to Echuca where the only available accommodation was even more expensive but it was a beautiful fully equipped apartment with a spa and laundry.

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We had a look at the waterfront area where we were going to go on a river cruise the next morning and did the usual drive around town before shopping for dinner then heading home.

The lamb chops with baked potatoes and green beans went down a treat.

After dinner I decided to take advantage of having a laundry and did a load of washing, but when I went to get the clothes out of the dryer before going to bed I realised that the dryer had just been turning but not drying! I rang the host first thing the next morning and she offered me the use of the dryer nextdoor as there was nobody staying there that day. Needless to say, I took her up on that offer but it put our departure back by about an hour. We would have missed the river cruise but, as it turned out, the cruise wasn’t running that day and in any case it was raining  so we just got back on the road.

Echuca to Bairnsdale

Our first stop was Glenrowan, the site of Ned Kelly’s last stand.

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Myrtleford was our lunch stop when there was a break in the drizzling rain.

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Then we headed to Bairnsdale via the Great Alpine Way, a long twisting climb through the mountains and some astounding scenery.

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When we checked in at the tourist park in Bairnsdale,  I thought Brian had found religion because he asked if the local Catholic church was open. Then he reminded me that it was no ordinary church and we had visited it with our girls and my mother years earlier.

We visited St Mary’s the next morning. Its reason for fame is its frescoes painted by an Italian artist with a sense of humour, for example he painted some cherubs with their heads on back to front and modelled some of his subjects on locals.

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Adelaide to Sydney highlights

Yorke Peninsula was our first destination. The landscape on the way was vast, beige and pretty barren, with only stubble left where the crops had already been harvested.

However Coobowie, where we spent our first night, is a bird haven especially popular with pelicans and quite pretty.

Next day, not far from Coobowie, we passed through Wattle Point Wind Farm, the largest one we’ve ever come across.

At Innes National Park we walked to the lighthouse at Stenhouse Bay and around Inneston Historic Township.


That night we stayed in Wallaroo at a lovely heritage-style motel, the Sonbern Lodge, opposite the old train station.

Next day we stopped to eat lunch by the river at Jamestown.


Later we got to Broken Hill, checked into a tourist park, then did enough shopping for three days before having a drive around town. It was too hot to do anything outside, with the temperature around 40 degrees and forecast to get even hotter. Back at the cabin, trying to deal with a black ant invasion, we got a text message informing us the power company was cutting off supply from 8.00 am to 4.00 pm the next day. Not good.

True to their word, the power went off at 8.08 am before we had time to cook the big breakfast we’d bought the ingredients for. Brian had to put them and the rest of the food that had to be kept refrigerated into the car fridge and take them all with us for the day.

First we went to Silverton, another historic town, and had a look around the remaining buildings, the John Dynon Gallery and the Mad Max Museum before having a refreshing beer at the Silverton Hotel.

The power was still out when we got back to Broken Hill so we went to see the Broken Hill Sculptures and the Miners Memorial lookout.

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Like chaff in the wind

Inevitably the time came for us to go our separate ways. A day of bitter-sweet feelings. A mixture of sadness at parting whilst anticipating the next leg of our various adventures.

It’s on occasions like this that I am extremely grateful for the way my parents brought me up to love travel and that passion has been picked up by our children who are passing it on to our grandchildren. The fact that I managed to find a likeminded husband helped a bit too!
For our part, Coobarrie eased the pain of separation.


I taught myself a valuable lesson here: Just because you are forced to pay extra for a spa unit, doesn’t mean you have to use the spa bath. But I tried. Initially I was just annoyed at the amount of water it took to fill the tub above the spouts, but then I found it impossible to adjust the taps without standing up and then discovered there was nothing to hold onto in the tub. Even if I wasn’t technically disabled, I would not have been comfortable in this spa unit. As a result, I exited the supposedly relaxing spa bath in an agitated state!

The rest of our stay in Adelaide continued

It was great spending time with family and friends, especially observing the interactions between our grandchildren and between them and various adults. We went strawberry picking, visited playgrounds, parks, botanic gardens and had a trip to the Big Rocking Horse and its animal park. Unfortunately  I lost some photos of those events but I think you’ll get the gist from the following pics.





The rest of our stay in Adelaide 

Boxing Day, also known as St Stephen’s Day in Ireland

A lovely trip to the park with David, Brian, Alannah and Joshua with their scooters which ended up substituting for cricket wickets, except Allanah kept putting them the right way up and I ended up ‘standing in’ with my walking stick. Needless to say that didn’t last long!


Later we maintained the family tradition of attending the latest Star Wars movie,  The Last Jedi.

Our stay in Adelaide continued

Christmas Day 2017


Everyone enjoyed opening their presents from under the Tree.


Lunch at Linley and Clive’s 

Kris Kringle made his annual appearance after a sumptuous lunch lovingly prepared by Linley and enhanced by Bree’s delectable treats.


This is just some of the dessert table!


The obligatory family photos had to happen but without Alannah who was having a well-earned nap.

Oh the fun of camera timers!


All good!

Our stay in Adelaide

Christmas Shopping with a difference

Top of the list was a Christmas tree

Not only was the stress of food shopping relieved by staff handing out chocolates and food samples, but the Foodland Flashmob certainly improved everyone’s mood with their sudden rendition of popular opera classics.

Tara’s 30th Birthday

First we collected most of the guests on a bus with David as our driver and Joshua as his awesome offsider.


Mini golf was next on the agenda.


Our first wine tasting was at Penfolds

We had food-wine matching followed by lunch and birthday cake at the SA Company Kitchen.

From there we proceeded to Seppeltsfield for another wine tasting including a special tasting for Tara of 1987 vintage Para port bottled the year she was born.


I think it’s fair to say that a good time was had by all. I certainly had a great time.

A huge Thank You to Aisling for arranging it all and David for being an excellent driver getting us all safely there and back.

Christmas lights at Lobethal

We took advantage of having the bus overnight and visited Lobethal to see the town’s famous Christmas lights display.

Unfortunately my photography skills don’t extend to taking pictures of lights at night from inside a moving vehicle!



Darwin to Adelaide Roadtrip – December 2017

Day 10 – Laura to Adelaide

‘Departed Laura 9.40 am’ is the last entry in my notebook and sadly the last time I’ll feel the freedom of the road for a while. From here on, the open road gets shorter as does the distance between small towns; the volume of traffic increases, as does the tension in the vehicle, until we are in the thick of outer city traffic. We detour/escape briefly to have a look at Tara’s investment property, but too soon re-enter the game of dodgem cars. We’re all hungry, we haven’t stopped for lunch yet but we’re in the wrong lane whenever we spot a potential lunch stop so keep going, negotiating a combination of Brian’s hard-copy map book with my feeble attempts at navigating with Google. But then somehow we get there. We’re outside the property we’ve rented. I have the codes to the locked box and the electronic gate in my notebook. We’re all busting for a pee. Brian parks across the street. I suck in my bladder, I get out, notebook in hand, I key in the locked box number, the box door falls open revealing the door key.  I grab it. Now all I have to do is open the gate, open the door, find the loo and pee! But that is not to be. The electronic gate won’t open, so I have to go back to the vehicle, look up the contact details, then, legs crossed, phone the  ‘owner’ to get the correct access code! One essential digit had been omitted. I enter it and we gain access find the toilets and take up residence. The rest, as they say, is history. But not one I want to relate here.

That’s the end of the roadtrip. Almost our entire Australian family is in one city at one time, we just have to get us all in one house at one time, hopefully Chrisatmas Day.

Thank you for joining me on this roadtrip. As time permits I’ll post brief updates and photos of the rest of our trip but this is a time for family, so from my family to you and yours may I wish you the happiest of Christmases and everything you wish for and deserve in the new year. And you do deserve it!

I love youse all!

Joyce xoxo

Darwin to Adelaide Roadtrip – December 2017

Day 9 Port Augusta to Laura

As usual we checked out, fuelled up and got back on the road.

Today was a leisurely scenic drive to Wilmington and Alligator Gorge where we walked to two lookouts. It was such a change from the open landscapes we’d been through up to now. The tree-lined winding road felt like Nature giving us a big welcoming hug.

After eating lunch and trying out the swing bridge in the picturesque town of Melrose, we drove to Port Germein where the longest wooden jetty in Australia can be found.



The Council caravan park at Laura didn’t disappoint. We’d stayed there a few years ago when we were camping on our way back from Kangaroo Island. The camp kitchen was the best equipped we’d encountered before or since and it still is. I had to borrow a grater from there to grate cheese for our Mexican meal Brian was cooking. It’s probably the only thing our cabin didn’t have. It even had a microwave-safe casserole dish with a lid. This was a first so far on this trip!

We had a walk around town before dinner. It was obvious from the decorations that the people of Laura knew how to get into the spirit of Christmas.


CJ Dennis, author of The Sentimental Bloke is commerated in the main streeet.

This was our last night on the road.  Adelaide beckons tomorrow and we must exchange the tranquility of the bush for the hustle and bustle of the city which will be even more overwhelming due to Christmas being just days away. But we have Tara’s 30th celebrations to look forward to and many reunions of family and friends along the way.

Darwin to Adelaide Roadtrip – December 2017

Day 7 – Erldunda to Coober Pedy



No toaster meant bread and Vegemite for breakfast and the bread wrapper served as a plate to make the lunches on again. Drove past the cages before we left, to see Chook Norris, the chicken that thinks it’s a kangaroo, actual roos and a camel.

Then it was on to Kulgara with the tyre and beer can Christmas tree.

Fuelled up and headed for the border where Joshua enjoyed practising his tradition of standing in two States/Territories at the same time, the Northern Territory and South Australia on this occasion.


We lost an hour moving to SA time so it was about one o’clock when we stopped for lunch at Marla, but it was so windy and dusty we had to eat inside the vehicle.

Saw another goods train after we left there – still a novelty especially as it was about 100 units long. Other than that there were a few lakes and some cattle with calves but nothing of any great interest between there and Coober Pedy.

Joshua was delighted with our ‘cave’ at the Underground Motel in Coober Pedy. This is a gorgeous place. We received a very warm welcome and were taken to our room and shown the kitchen which we were free to use and where breakfast would be available next morning free of charge.

We went for a drive to the Serbian church of St Elijah but it was closed so we returned to the cool comfort of our underground room. It was about 44 degrees outside.

We had dinner at John’s Pizza Shop and Restaurant. The food was delicious but the flies we very annoying.


Darwin to Adelaide Roadtrip – December 2017

Day 8 – Coober Pedy to Port Augusta

Before we left we went for a tour of the Old Timer’s Mine which combines the mine, a museum and an example of an underground home.


We tried to visit the Serbian Church again but Elijah must have gone home for Christmas because it was still closed.

We fuelled up at Shell where the diesel was 2c a litre cheaper than Brian expected, then headed for Port Augusta.

We had a pitstop at Bon Bon which was pretty basic to say the least.

Our lunch stop was at Glendambo, a large roadside stop with two petrol stations and a hotel but very little in the way of facilities otherwise. We managed to find a rickety old shaded table and made the best of it.

We passed Lake Hart which Joshua said looked like ice – the sky was overcast and grey.

We stayed at the Shoreline in Port Augusta. We were hoping to catch up with a friend there but she was out of town so we just shopped and Brian and Joshua had a swim while I tried to pay the recharge for my iPad with help from Aisling on the phone from Wagga. Why does it always have to be so complicated!?!

The water was a bit colder than expected!