Museums, murals & mud!

Crossed another border into NSW (enemy territory….yes I mean State of Origin)….detoured a bit, away from those awful Highways!

In Lockhart I loved the shop fronts especially, the old style leadlight which they’ve kept in good shape. We once went to a Tractor Pull in Lockhart! That’s something to tell the world about!

I had read a bit about Coolamon, so another detour. Beautiful town! Wide, open streets with well kept gardens and shop fronts. We parked at top of town and spent the best part of the day visiting the private collection Coolamon Fire Museum (wow) and The Up-To-Date Store with the original working Lamson Cash Railway System and all original counters and storage (double wow). We hadn’t even walked the street yet – too busy chatting to the locals! So booked into the beautifully green and lush Coolamon Caravan Park. Highly recommend it for $20 per night, brilliant.

Another highlight of Coolamon was the Coolamon Cheese Factory and Little Rustic Pantry Cafe next to the Up-To-Date Store. LOVED IT! Only recently completed is the painted water tower at Narrandera which we did think was well done. The signs aren’t up yet but it’s well worth a trip up to take a look.

As the long weekend approached we ‘hid out’ in the small town of Barellan (55klms east of Griffith). The showgrounds offered power & water for $10 per night, plus Jeda has heaps of space to ‘be a dog’. Worked out great as only 3 others came in the whole weekend, probably due to the rain we had, thank goodness the ground is covered in sawdust (less mud). Barellan is known for the Working Clydesdales weekend each year (this year its 5 & 6 of October) and also for Yvonne Goolagong (& the Big Tennis Racquet).

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Border crossing, Coopers Crossing and Spanner Art

Across the border to Victoria pushed by an Arctic wind all the way! Rain or shine we decided we’d follow the Silo Trail. Must mention the town of Minyip where we stopped overnight.  No silo art but it was the setting for “The Flying Doctors” TV series. It was converted to “Coopers Crossing”. The garage is still there, now a cafe along with the petrol bowsers & sign. The buildings used as the Pub, The Majestic Hotel & Flying Doctors headquarters still there. Minyip has maintained some of the buildings very well, even though a lot are now closed.

Don’t know what’s in the water in Victoria, but there are a lot of very talented people! At Lascelles (yes there’s a painted silo there) The Drovers Hut is worth a visit (closed for maintenance when we were there 😦 ) For a small fee you get to see corrugated iron art to the extreme.  Also at Wycheproof, Yo-Yo’s Iron work collection is magnificent. Using all farm or machinery in general to create huge works of art.

We stopped at Boort for a few nights as we’d heard of The Spanner Man.  Just walking around the town you see some of his works. Lovely town, and on the weekend the Kerang Car Club were there so we (husband) got to drool over some classic cars! My fav was a Ford Customline as my folks had one in the 50’s they drove around Australia towing Dad’s home made caravan!!

We made a booking to view The Spanner Man’s art in the afternoon. John Piccoli’s Spanner Sculptures, 1314 Boort-Quambatook Rd, Barraport VIC (look him up on Google) is worth a visit definitely. He is in a wheelchair, but manages to do these huge sculptures with aid of a block & tackle. See my photo of his spanner collection. He did tell us how much he’s spent but beyond remembering! He doesn’t sell his artwork, he does them for pleasure. Donations from visitors helps with acquiring more. He has sculptures all around his property along with a menagerie of peacocks, pheasants, peahens and Macaws.

We also visited Simply Tomatoes, 479 Parkers Rd, Yando VIC to see their wool & tomato products. They offer free camping on their property too. Also a must see if in this area. The Lanyon’s are a lovely couple and their products are top class.

We did a quick zip through Victoria as it was just too cold, might come back when it’s a bit warmer!! Will set up a Silo page showing the ones we’ve visited.

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Sinkholes to Cottages to Wineries…all in SA!

Just thought I’d mention the Kingston-SE RV Park; as far as I know it may be the only RV park in SA with a ticket machine. For $10 you can camp for $10. Toilets are close, the town a short walk, the jetty straight out in front, dump point front of park & potable water nearby, no power.

Whilst we were held up in Naracoorte, we did a few day trips. We headed south through Coonawarra, Penola, Mt Gambier and Port MacDonnell. Just HAD to stop at Wynn’s Coonawarra Estate for a tasting and a sample to take home. Highly recommended!

The little town of Penola (on the hwy) has a Historic Precinct with the original cottages from the area open to view. A market garden in the back is available to locals to help work and use what they grow. Also, the park next door has some interesting ‘sculptures’ including a bearded Marilyn Monroe!

Only had enough time for a quick visit to The Blue Lake and The Umpherstone Sinkhole. Wrong time of day/year for good photos. Onwards to Port MacDonnell. We were hoping to visit Feast’s Private Classic Car Collection & Memorabilia, Lower North East Road, Port MacDonnell, but the owner was away that day, so only have pics through the gate.  Shame, cause B loves the Valiants (he had one ‘in the day’) Don’t let the blue sky in the photos fool you, it was deadly cold!!! And as we made it to Port MacDonnell the skies opened – so rain AND cold! 😦  So we drove around the seaside town and ate lunch in the car!

‘Doyaselfafava’ and visit these areas in the spring or summer!!!

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Cornish pasties to Mettwurst to Big Lobster

On the Road Again…..

South Australia turned on some lovely weather as we departed Da Block. A bit of rain the week before saw the paddocks take on a tinge of green which we haven’t seen for SO long!

Wandering towards the coast we arrived in time to sample the Copper Coast Cornish Festival – Kernewek Lowender. Kadina, Moonta & Wallaroo share activities over a week in May.  We sampled the cornish pasties (best we’ve had) and watched the street parade in Moonta. All the locals dress up in traditional costume and put on displays such as Maypole dancing, Furry Dance (oldest traditional Cornish custom), street parties, brass band concerts, dressing the graves (a re-enactment of a funeral procession of the era), art exhibitions, road tram tours and classic cars & motorcycles.

Onward to another ‘wine region’ – the Barossa Valley. Greenock supplied our camp spot (cricket oval) so we recipricated by visiting the local Hotel, brewery and winery! Schulter Wines near the Hotel, have some lovely vinos and a jovial host! Greenock Brewers in the old Wheat Store is also a beaut stop to taste their ales & sample a platter.  And every Saturday Morning the Barossa Farmers Market south of Angaston is a great way to sample the regions fresh produce.

Down towards the great Murray River to cross at the ferry at Mannum and overnight at Tailem Bend Footy grounds. Jeda especially enjoyed Tailem Bend’s Dog Park meeting new ‘stiff’ friends and lots of new smells. The ocean beckoned so on to Meningie (lovely Lake Albert & wonderful foreshore) then to Kingston SE. Very clever shire council as they offer a 48hr RV stop that has everything a Traveller needs (except power). The seaweed was a bit high (in smell that is) but it was g8 to be lulled to sleep with the sounds of the ocean rolling in.

Kingston SE has the Big Lobster, some good fish n chips shops and it’s a good base to explore the region. We did a day trip to Cape Jaffa and Robe. We found a business called Transmutation – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle who had some brilliant products recycled to make other products.

Due to bad weather rolling in Naracoorte turned out to be our base till it passed by. One thing I will say about southern SA, they have FANTASTIC grass!!! When we arrived at the Narracoorte Showgrounds Jeda rolled on the lush, green grass and I nearly did too!!! 🙂

Nosh Houses: The Olive Bus

This week (just before the heavens opened and we had some much needed rain 🙂 ) I finally made the effort to visit The Olive Bus, 216 Spring Farm Road, Clare.

Being a weekday it wasn’t as busy as it probably is on weekends. The Olive Bus location is lovely – overlooking vineyards and rolling hills, and only 10 minutes from Clare.  The Olive Bus is the cellar door and cafe for the award winning Stone Ridge Olive Grove, a small family run olive grove. They have turned a 1969 British Leyland Bus into a modern cafe / kitchen serving locally made food and drink.

We had a lovely lunch with local wine. It extended a bit longer than normal (which you do in ‘The Valley’) and afternoon tea ensued!! I highly recommend The Olive Bus for morning/afternoon tea or lunch as it has lovely food and great scenery. The staff were very friendly and they offer local produce and gifts.

Cellar Doors: Pikes Wines, Simpson Rices Crk, Matriarch & Rogue, Sevenhill Cellars

Some more Cellar Doors with Nosh Houses….

Pikes Wines,  on the road to Mintaro @ Sevenhill, is a must do when in the Clare Valley. They have a new restaurant called Slate, which is also wine tasting. Just take a look at their website and you’ll see the selection of wine on offer. 1885, Pikes Dorset Brewery to 1940’s soft drinks, cordial & tonic water.

Simpson Rices Creek, Auburn – offers tastings, coffee, a licensed cafe, a gift store & mini golf 18 hole. We did all the above!

Matriarch & Rogue, in the main street of Clare (next to Mitre10). Open Friday, Sat & Sun 12-6. Grab lunch in Clare & do a tasting, all within walking distance!

Sevenhill Cellars, the first winery established in the Clare Valley. Settled by the Society of Jesus (Austrian Jesuits in 1851) and it continues today.  St Aloysius’s Church started in 1864, completed in 1875. The church has the only crypt below a parish church in Australia. After tastings you can wander through the Winery Museum & underground cellars, the church & the vineyards. Also a cheese platter can be supplied to enjoy in the green lush grounds along with your favourite wine selection.

We have spent the past year visiting many of The Clare Valley’s cellar doors, cafes & restaurants. Lots more to see….lots more to taste!

Clare Cellar Doors: Stone Bridge, Shut the Gate, Kirrihill, Taylors, Mr Mick

Some more Cellar Doors we’ve visited over the past few months….

Stone Bridge Wines off Spring Gully Road, Sevenhill is a casual, dog  & people friendly cellar door and family owned winery. Between September & May they offer wood oven pizzas….and DESSERT pizzas! SOOO YUMMM! Their wines are easy drinking & well priced. We often take visitors there for a casual lunch.

Shut the Gate Wines on Main North Road, just south of Clare before the Info Centre, is easy to access, has a lovely area to eat lunch (you can make up your own picnic from their selection of local produce) & the wines aren’t bad too!

Kirrihill Wines, next to Kirrihill Bakery (handy for a cake & coffee after) on Main North Rd south of Clare, is a friendly cellar door with easy drinking wines.

Taylors Wines,  in Auburn is another winery offering tastings with option of cheese platters, pizzas on some weekends and tours. Three generations of winemakers have successfully produced some lovely wines catering to many tastes. We enjoy the ‘Taylor Made’ Malbec.

Mr Mick Wines,  located in Clare, offers cellar door tastings and tapas style dining. We also take visitors there for tastings & lunches. The staff are always friendly and helpful. Our favourite wines are the Vermentino, Tempranillo and the Tawny.

Images of Australia on our Nomadic Journey