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.
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.
In a few hours we left SA. Carmel and I do intend to come back when we are less encumbered!
On the road from Port Augusta to Broken Hill we stopped off at Peterborough (or perhaps Petersburg) for lunch. We chose the 228 on Main Cafe, and found it was a huge (and frigid) old theatre, and they filled the interior with the most amazing paraphernalia.
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.
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.
The Serbs went as far as to excavate a church from an old mine.
We tried our hand a fossicking – called noodling when you re-examine tailings.
I mostly found ochre, but we all bagged some interesting silca crystals.
To 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.