Category Archives: South Australia

The road to Broken Hill

We departed Port Augusta this morning and saw our first road sign mentioning Sydney for a couple of months. After driving south for a bit we turned east and crossed the Flinders Ranges. As we crossed, so did a cloud system.


As we go close, we were struck by the greenness of the land after several weeks of red.


Over the ranges we found a lot of amazingly rich looking farm land, growing wheat (we think) canola and some livestock.

The old and new farmhouse. There were many abandoned stone houses on the road.
The old and new farmhouse. There were many abandoned stone houses on the road.

As we headed east, we were overtaken by the Indian Pacific. (Carmel and I did this trip 20 years ago and loved it.) It should reach Sydney tomorrow morning.

Indian Pacific heading to Sydney
Indian Pacific heading to Sydney

In a few hours we left SA. Carmel and I do intend to come back when we are less encumbered!

Farewell to South Australia
Farewell to South Australia

Port Augusta

After Coober Pedy, we drove to Port Augusta in a day. It was 540 km, longer than we normally would drive, but when we stopped at a likely rest area, and quite scenic, but the wind was howling – there were no trees to stop it, so we drove on.


Although not part of the Nullarbor, this place would comply with the name.


Unfortunately, this meant that we hit Port Augusta pretty tired at around 7pm, and did not feel up to touring the next day. I also think we are a bit tired of the tour at this point. The day after, we decided the sights of Port Augusta would keep, and headed off to Broken Hill.


Fossicking at Coober Pedy

Coober Pedy is one strange town. As you approach you are travelling through arid, treeless country. (Oddly, it had rained recently, so it was quite green.) Then suddenly when you are about 10 KM out of town you run into all these piles of white mine tailings. Within the town itself, the piles join up into almost continuous tailings. Miners often start on a hill side and then turn their initial excavations into a home and keep adding tunnels.

CooberPedyThe Serbs went as far as to excavate a church from an old mine.

SerbianChurchWe tried our hand a fossicking – called noodling when you re-examine tailings.

Ash is "noodling"
Ash is “noodling”

I mostly found ochre, but we all bagged some interesting silca crystals.

OchreTo the north of the town are the stunning “breakaways”. I think I could dedicate a blog to that one. Here is a panorama I took – click for more detail.

The Breakawys, north of Coober Pedy
The Breakawys, north of Coober Pedy