Thursday, November 27, 2014

Nov 2014: From Perth heading east along the Nullarbor to the east coast

Stratford on Avon (Vic, Aus) tourist park.  This is where we stayed for several weeks over Xmas back in 1982 when Dad (RB) got some 'chippy' work putting an outdoor dining extension onto the kitchen block.

The outdoor dining extension still stands

The park

 The Stratford corner store where we used to get paddle pops on hot days

Silver lady statue-person in central Melbourne mall.  
There were loads of buskers and street performers around here that were very good so we left quite a few gold coins behind throughout our day of wandering through Melbourne centre.

Flinders Street Station - central Melbourne

Hosiers lane in Melbourne which is famous for it's (mostly very good) grafitti/wall art.  They were having a bit of an expo when we went through and gave kids a chance to do some stencil spraying.

Melbourne Chinatown

Great Ocean Road in southern Victoria.  They call this group the 12 Apostles

They call this the Bay of Islands (Great Ocean Rd, Victoria)

Port Fairy Lighthouse (SW Victoria).  This is on a small island linked to mainland by a port wall-walkway.  There is a pleasant 1hr walking track around the island going past this lighthouse.  We also got to see a little local black wallaby

Dartmoor (Vic) near the SA-Vic border.  Nice little one pub town and lots of  life-sized wooden carvings dotted around the town.

 We spent a couple of days in Adelaide looking around and spent one afternoon catching up with an old friend Mihoko from Auckland (right of Keiko) who now lives in Adelaide.  Hadn't seen her for about 7 years.  She was having Sunday afternoon park outing with a bunch of her local friends.

Minnipa (SA) loo

Pildappa rock, 15kms north of Minnipa town.   A massive lump of granite that has eroded to the shape of a wave, mostly through water erosion as the land level has dropped away over the aeons.

Nullarbor lookout over the Southern Ocean.  Pretty spectacular limestone cliffs when you see them in the flesh

Spencer wanted to take a photo so he did, he just forgot to include the cliffs

We stayed the night near here and came back in the morning for this photo in different light.

The Nullarbor is a looong road with plenty of rest stops but not many toilets.  We were self-contained with a loo in the motorhome, but many travellers are not so there is a lot of toilet paper flapping around the bushes near rest areas and some surprises when you walk around the edges of the areas.   Near this area we were a bit unfortunate to see a big black crow making a meal of some traveller's 'deposit'.

A high section of the Eyre highway creating a bit of a Nullarbor lookout.

The Nullarbor ground is apprently the world's largest slab of limestone.  In some places water has accumulated and dissolved its way through the stone like in this photo.  Big caverns exist in some places under the limestone

Where the Eyre highway meets the coast near the border of WA-SA

Day two of our trip into the Nullarbor region: the first heavy rain we had seen for months made the ground a bit unfamiliar.  We turned off the highway to go into a rest stop one afternoon....bloody red porridge.  We had a go at jacking up and putting branches under wheels but couldn't get the wheels high enough.  Could have jacked directly under the diff which might have worked but that would have meant slithering in the mud. So, we decided to overnight like this and flagged down a friendly 4WD'er in the morning who tugged us out.
I had a feeling the ground might be soft before driving over it and took a wee chance (as you do).  The missus knew this though so I got stick from the family pretty much until bedtime, then again in the morning.

This Eyre highway has some really exciting sections

Heading south from Perth we went through Bridgetown which just happened to be holding its annual blues festival.  This is the (approx 200m long)  main street of Bridgetown that got closed off to vehicles during the 3-day event.  At night there were blues bands playing all over the place as buskers in the street, big outdoor concerts at each end of town and every pub hosting live bands. 

Main street of Albany (WA) gently sloping southward to the harbour

Wild emus in southern WA...we finally managed to get a photo.  This was our fourth sighting of wild emus during our Oz trip, at each other sighting the emus wandered off before we could get the camera out.
Farmland around here is pretty lush with rolling hills, at the time there were chilly southerly winds, made us a bit homesick.