Tag Archives: Birdsville

Da Block!

Christmas and New Year came and went in a blink of an eye. We are now settled on our block in the Clare Valley of SA! Yes, we have our own block!

It’s been a long process but some land we first saw in June last year finally became available….so now it’s ours!! After 12 1/2 years on the road we now can use this as a base….that’s all, as we still wish to travel Australia as much as we can…before we can’t!!

We moved the van onto the ‘house site’ area next to the shed. The rest of the block is pasture for sheep. B feels right at home, but I’m having more trouble….keep thinking we’re doing another house sit for someone!! Jeda loves it. She’s used to sheep, but these big dogs called Alpacas that make a weird noise when she comes too close are crazy!

Over the next few months we hope to do some improvements: a septic, solar and some plantings. So travel is on hold for just a short while, but we have big plans for winter this year…..hint: BRB & Races….Birdsville, Qld…….wanna come???!!!


Eyre Peninsula….again!

I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last blog! Time just flies when you’re enjoying the road. Haven’t been doing a lot of photography this year (must be having a block) just ‘happy snapping’ our travels.

I left off when we were in Whyalla SA getting repairs done after doing ‘the tracks’ and Birdsville. We then went to Arno Bay on the Eyre Peninsula for a week of fishing. Met up with some friends and enjoyed a week of squiding and fishing off the jetty. Then on to a free camp we’ve been to before, Cowley’s Beach with our friends. Only October but it got so cold, happy hour started early and finished late in front of a warming fire. Enjoyed Calamari in panko crumbs for lunch a few days (life can be tough!) and too soon it was time for us to return to Whyalla as ‘B’ was to have an op at the local hospital. I must say South Australia has brilliant medical services compared to Queensland. Within 2 weeks of fronting up to Whyalla Hospital ‘B’ had seen a specialist and was booked in for a non-major operation. In Queensland he’s still on the waiting list!!

After two weeks of recovery in Whyalla we were chomping at the bit to head off. We decided to meet same friends for a week at Haslam, on the west coast of Eyre Peninsula. We had already agreed to return to Clare Valley for ‘B’ to work Harvest for the same farm as he did seeding, so we had time to fill in. Only took 5 hours drive straight across and we arrived, set up and ready for Happy Hour!

We enjoyed big seafood cook ups in that week. Our friends had some Redclaw they shared, then we had calamari in garlic butter then flathead crumbed.  Whilst at Haslam we heard from a lead for a house sitting job near Ceduna and because we weren’t that far away we decided to drive up to meet the prospective home owners. They live at Laura Bay, 20klms south of Ceduna. We met and loved the place as soon as we drove up the dirt track. It is in a Conservation Park, which was my only hesitation. But this will test our training with our Bluey, to keep her from wandering or eating baits.

Melbourne Cup fell whilst we were in Haslam and we had a BIG day. We invited surrounding caravanner’s for a BYO beverage and snacks lunch whilst watching the big race. The days got hot so we found the best place to cool off was under the jetty with a bev and good friends! Too soon it was time to head east back to the Clare Valley for that four letter word…. ‘work’!

Birdsville Races, the tracks and Coober Pedy

Last post we were on our way to Birdsville….all done and dusted now along with the Birdsville Track, Oodnadatta Track and Coober Pedy.

We had a great time in Birdsville, got there a couple of weeks early and volunteered to help the Race Club with preparations. Met some great locals and new visitors and had a once off experience we recommend everyone do before they turn their toes up!  You don’t have to be big drinkers or punters to have fun, there are lots of things to do and see that will keep you entertained. We do recommend you arrive the week before though as there are pre-race things to see, such as the talk and short movie on history of the races held at the Community Centre. Also this year Fred Brophy (Boxing Troupe) had his book launch & signing, it’s a great read and seeing his spruiking in action is a once off you’ll not see anywhere else in Australia.

The races were like a large country race meet, only with 6000+ people!  The ladies dressed up for Fashions on the Field, the blokes made attempts at some interesting apparel and all in all the two days were a hit. At night the Birdsville Hotel, Fred Brophy’s Boxing Troupe, and the sideshow stalls and food stalls took over the town. Lots of fun.

We stayed on and headed up to Bedourie the next weekend for their race meeting. A lot smaller but just as great. They put on a Rodeo on the Friday night, a Ute Muster & Travellers Muster on Saturday as well as the races. You can camp in the showgrounds or at caravan parks.

From there we headed back to Birdsville to collect mail, then down the Birdsville Track to Marree then the Oodnadatta Track to Oodnadatta. We spent 2-3 nights on each track. The roads were good, in places very rough but manageable. We did have a slow leak on a tyre on the van but that was a screw we picked up in a campground we think. We came across some people with tyres shreaded from the gibbers.

There are heaps of things to see along the way. On the Oodnadatta track there are lots of rail siding ruins, rail bridges, a sculpture park called ‘Plane Henge’ created at Alberrie Creek along with plains of open gibbers, not a lot of wildlife except cattle but beautiful sunsets.

We headed from Oodnadatta down to Coober Pedy via Arkaringa Station and the Painted Desert. Another must see area. Beautiful hills that seem to just pop up in the middle of nowhere. We stopped at Arkaringa Station overnight – a short drive away. Bush camping available and welcoming hot showers. Once we it Coober Pedy we decided to stop in a caravan park in town so we could walk to most places. We absolutely loved this town. We’re not into mining but the idea of living underground at 21-25 degrees all year round does appeal. They cater to tourists well and explain about their way of life at the Umoona Mine Tour, and we also loved Faye’s Underground Mine & Home, the current owners let you see their home for a small fee, how Faye Naylor and 2 female friends dug her home back in the 70’s. She was a driving force in the tourism industry in Coober Pedy and we recommend you put it on your to see list.

After Coober Pedy we headed to the ‘big smoke’ Whyalla to get some minor repairs done. We are here now, being battered by 50klm/hr winds so it’s a bit boring for our fur-kid and ourselves really being cooped up inside the van. Will continue our SA journey this week….somewhere down the road…..


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On the road to the Birdsville Races!

Once again we are ‘on the road’! We are doing the scenic route directly west from Brisbane to Birdsville – nearly 1600klms. We have been on all the major roads out this way so have taken a couple of detours to spice it up! One road was a mistake – it was a mining road so full of wide loads and not much to see really.
We stopped at Mitchell once the ‘Liquid Gold’ poured last weekend. Much needed and beautiful rain. I must recommend a caravan park at Mitchell that we stayed in many years ago when it first opened and it is just as good if not better now. Major Mitchell Caravan Park – it is well laid out, has clean amenities and friendly owners. Oh and it won’t break the bank.
We are currently in a small town called Morven, halfway between Mitchell and Charleville. We are continuing on tomorrow so we can be in Birdsville early hopefully before too many of the 6000 plus people arrive. Morven Recreation Grounds is another gem. Not many powered sites but everything you want for only $5 per night! Try it for an overnighter.
Will post some photos of our trip once we get to Birdsville.