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South Australian holiday


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I've had emails from folk in South Africa who are extremely interested in knowing more about Australia but are starved in the R.S.A. of information of any depth on this big country other than what they can glean from mates, family and glossy travel brochures selling all the usual bits to tourists.

My wife, a primary school teacher part-time, had two weeks' holidays off between terms 3 and 4.

This trip is an "insiders" view of Australia, its people and how they see themselves and the rest of the world. It can be a trip into Australia's history (if I get time) and what makes Australians today.

We hit the highway in our Nissan Patrol and caravan in tow on a 3,000 km trip across to the west of South Australia, up into the Outback, to horse races in the Outback, and a new township being opened up in the bush by BHP-Billiton, among other things.

My brother-in-law, about 20 years ago, came and visited me and my wife, living in Tasmania at the time. His trip was to check out the oyster industry in that part of Australia. A couple of years earlier, a friend passing by had thrown in an oyster to get my brother-in-law to check on its growth and possible potential on the west coast of South Australia. My brother-in-law's time, persistence and ability led him to take out the first oyster lease in South Australia. Nowadays, the oyster industry is an industry in this State worth millions of dollars each year, exporting to Japan, London and California.

I take my hat off to my brother-in-law for giving others the opportunity to create wealth where there was none beforehand and show them it could be done.

That is what Australia is all about.

Now, each year, his home town of Ceduna, where he still lives and where my wife grew up, holds a yearly event . . . the Oyster-Fest with a street parade and fair on the foreshore every first weekend in October.

I went to check out the event this year.

This is my wife and her family, waiting on the median strip in the middle of Ceduna to watch the Oyster-fest parade take about 15 minutes to go by


No parade is without its brass band. This band travelled 850 kms / 520 miles to reach Ceduna.


There were old Australian motor cars, so I couldn't resist taking a picture of an old Holden. Perhaps they even made it as far as South Africa in their day?


Businesses in the town put their own floats in the parade


Some floats had a comical theme, such as this one bandaged up to be the Royal Flying Doctor float. Started in 1925 by Dr. Flynn a medical minister in the Presbyterian Church, he flew the first "flying doctor" to treat patients in Australia's Outback who were hundreds of miles away from any medical attention. It has saved countless lives in Australia's bush and is one of Australia's icons known to all Aussies living in city, town or bush today.


After the parade, a fair is held on the foreshore of the town with rides, stalls of all kinds and treats . . . . eating Oysters, of course . . . .


Check out these kites on the town's beach


More shots of South Australia, its Outback and lifestyle during the week, but this was one of my favourites just to whet your whistle . . . .

An Outback sunset . . . . .



Edited by Hendie
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the pictures are great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :ilikeit:

Thanks for sharing them.

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. . . . . leaving Ceduna we headed north east thro' the bush to come across a "wave" rock, similar to the wave rock in Western Australia. This is only 25 kms north of a town called Minnipa on the main Perth to Adelaide highway.


We pulled up for night (uitspan) and all the facilities . . . . barbeque, shelter, toilet which we set up to shower in . . . were all free. We gave a $5 "donation" in the charity box and signed the visitor book in appreciation.


heading north we went into the Gawler Ranges National Park, the newest nat. park in South Oz.

Here we are looking at the curious rock formation called the "Organ Pipes"


later setting up camp for the evening. Here is an Australian "Camp Oven" being put on hot coals with coals scooped out of the fire and put to one side and also coals placed on top of the camp oven. A lip keeps the coals from falling over the side of the oven and cooks the roast to perfection!


. . . . . . . do we look as if we are doing it tough??


Next day we hit the track and set off thro the bush with the Gawler Ranges in the distance. . . .


you may live all your lives in Australia and never get to see one of these in the wild . . . . a Wombat


Wombats live in a series of holes in the ground, usually a sandy rise. . . .


Eventually, after a couple of hours, we came across the shearing sheds at Yardea. Once upon a time the economy of Australia virtually ran off the sheeps' back. Wool and mutton was an important industry in the early C20th. Now it lies pretty much quiet and isolated, many miles from anywhere else . . .


The shearing "stands" where the shearers would have shorn hundreds of sheep each day. Australia only ever had White labour and all the work in Australia on the sheep and cattle "stations" (ranches) was done by Australians . . . no non-White labour who were feared would bring the cost of labour done and jeopardise the living standards of Australians overall.

It was bloody hard "yakka" (work) in the heat of the day!


the sheep pens where the shearers grabbed the sheep to shear . . .


the finished product in bales, ready to load up for shipment . .


the quarters where all the shearers stayed for the while it took to shear the station's sheep . . . .


Later we headed east and reached the abandoned homestead, now in ruins of Pondanna Station. One can only ever marvel and the tenacity, especially of the women, many of whom came straight from the British Isles where they had all they had known around them, to this isolation. The loneliness must have been crushing, except for the spirit of the Australians living in the Outback who are always there for each other in times of hardship . . .


Heading north all the time for the day, we struck Lake Gairdner, a large inland lake below sea level, hence the salt once the heat of the interior is so great that the water has dried up out of it leaving an enormous salt lake. The crust is definitely salty to taste.


Climbing the bank of the salt lake, I noticed this bush so tentatively cling to survival in the red Outback soil. the further north one goes in Australia the redder the soil appears because of oxides in the soil.


We met "Station" people on the way, here at Moonarie Station, where the wife was alone at the time, her husband out working somewhere on the Station miles away. The homestead was over 100 years old. Outback people are always helpful to strangers and willing to pass the time of day. Time is not important in the bush, and we chatted over the garden fence for a good 15 minutes gleaning all the information on the area that we needed. . . .


We headed north, some 25 miles/ 40 kms to "Kangaroo Wells" Station homestead where we came across a Quandong tree, a variety of Acacia, that bears a bright red fruit and has the most Vitamin C of any "bush tucker" in the Outback. The Aborigines prize these fruits which Aussies have called "wild peaches" . . .




Also, alongside the homestead were beautiful Red Flowering Gums, a variety of Eucalyptus tree. Aussies call Eucalypus trees "gum" trees.


We constantly kept heading north all day, covering many miles . . . .


Just before sunset, we pulled up at a spot called "Skull Tanks", miles from anywhere and just camped out in the bush about 100 yards / 100 metres off the dirt road in the bush


Sunset . . . .


10 minutes later . . . .


"Happy Hour" later in the evening . . .



Edited by Hendie
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Wonderful photo journal Bob! I changed the web links to IMG links, that way we can see the piccies without having to go to the links. I also moved it to the Journals forum, which is more where this sort of thing goes.

:) Hendie

for those interested; I am busy writing up our August 2006 tour on SACanada. You can follow it here.

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Thanks, mate!

I was wondering when you'd come and rescue this labour of love from how I'd set it up, making it easier for all to see.

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Wow, thanks very much Bob. This is all so interesting. Thank you for going to the trouble of putting all the photo's on and doing your write-up :)

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