Dec 7, 2011

Streaky Bay - Nullabour - Dec 2011

Ceduna was a planned shop stop with the girls heading off to Food land whilst Geoff and I went to the bottle shop to get supplies for the drive West. It was also where we had lunch at the Bakery, whilst certainly not up to Stone Hut standards it was good tucker.

We stopped at Penong Cemetery and introduced Geoff and Vickie to the the head stones that we have visited many times before - [See Here] We then decided to drive out to Point Sinclair and the Penong Town Beach in the hope that no one would be there and we could stay a night. Unfortunately that wasn't the case with some local ladies telling us that 50 Aboriginal children were due to arrive any moment for an overnight camp, hearing that we decided to move on and found a rest area along the highway far enough away from the road and the night truckers.

BBQ Lizard anyone?

Happy Hour

The next couple of days were to be very interesting, Geoff had mentioned to us about going in and checking out some of the caves and old sites along the old Eyre Highway. I first drove across from Victoria to WA in a Holden Station Wagon back in 1973 and most of the Nullabour was a dirt road. I don't recall the names of all the small servo's but there is a good chance i stopped at Koonalda for fuel, on this trip we still had to take to the dirt road's but it was far more comfortable with 4WD and Van in tow.

Before getting to Koonalda we left the Highway to visit Wigunda Cave, here Geoff and i got adventurous and climbed down the rocky shale slopes to the base before venturing into the cave itself, equipped with torches and rope we manged to get so far in before walls became to tight for large guys like ourselves. Back safely up top we continued on to the turn off for Koonalda, the access road taking us down to the Old Eyre Highway is quite good, some rough limestone sections but overall better than i remember back in 73'

Wigunda Cave

Clay Dam Soak

Getting to the Old Homestead at Koonalda was for us a very enjoyable experience, with the old house still intact and with a new roof, another smaller building in good condition and shearing shed though not in as good condition it was still standing and very interesting to walk around and have a look inside them all. The best part for me was checking out all the old cars scattered around the property, majority were Holdens with a mix of Ford, Valient, Vauxhall & Zephyr's along with one lonely Mini. It would have been a brave person to attempt the Nullabour in a Mini back then.

Old Sheep Yards Koonalda

Knocked off for Smoko

Geoff & Vickie surprised us with a Christmas Dinner of Turkey & Cranberry sauce and plum pudding and custard for desert

Geoff did some exploring on his Mountain Bike and found a small cave a kilometre from the homestead, we all went and checked it out and i wasn't that disappointed it's opening was too small for us to squeeze in though Geoff did try. That afternoon we drove a further 6klm's to check out the Koonalda Cave, this cave is fenced off and permit required to explore it, the base was a long way down and interesting to see a forest of fruit tree's down the bottom.

Geoff the 'Caveman' sink hole

Koonalda Cave

It was just as well we decided to explore that afternoon because later that night the rain started and it did not stop. As we lay in bed listening to the thunder and crack of lightening i was thinking about how muddy the drive out would be. The next morning we awoke to small lakes of water around us and the track looking like a river in parts. A small tour vehicle had left earlier and i half expected to find them stuck along the track. We stopped to take some photo's of each other forging through the mud and water but in the end it was an easy drive out, thankfully the rain continued and we got to wash the majority of the mud off the vehicles driving along the bitumen. We are now camped 15klms from the Border Village, overlooking the Great Australian Bight, the rain has stopped but the wind has picked up. With phone and Internet signal it has given me the opportunity to catch up with the blog.

Geoff & Vickie's Rig in the wet

Our Rig - photo taken by Geoff

Not the best weather for a walk but the view is lovely, our 'home' for the night.


Nikki said...

I love those red water roads. That photo with the water splashing around is classic. What a great place and such a change with the rain. I loved the caves too. One more place to put on my to do list...

Mick said...

Hi, I have the knack of taking photo's of mates going through mud or bulldust but rarely get any of our own rig .... I prefer the dust its easier to wash the rig than hard dried on mud :-)