Travels Downunder – A Reminiscence – Part 9

After traversing The Great Ocean Road, our travellers have just caught a ferry across Australia's longest river, The Murray

After stopping for a couple of nights in Victor Harbour it was just a short trip up to Adelaide. A lot of people seem to regard Adelaide as the cultural capital of Australia. It certainly has a lot of really nice buildings which to us seemed to be very European in appearance, especially the University buildings. We were lucky, again, to be in the right place at the right time as the Adelaide Festival was on whilst we were there. It is similar to the Edinburgh Festival with lots of cultural events happening, and like Edinburgh it also has a Fringe, which we took advantage of. Adelaide has a very Mediterranean climate but can get quite cold in winter, but we were there in March so it was the tail end of summer and very pleasant.

From Adelaide we continued to follow the coast north to Port Augusta, very industrialised, where we took a diversion and headed inland up towards the Flinders Ranges. Just north of the town of Hawker there is a geographic feature called Wilpena Pound which is an area encircled by mountains with only one way in or out. It is very scenic and has some great walking tracks and climbs.

Returning to Port Augusta we again followed the coast via Port Lincoln and Ceduna before embarking upon what we were advised would be the most boring part of our trip, crossing the Nullarbor Plain. The Nullarbor, Latin for no trees, is, as its name implies, a massive featureless area, totally flat and with only scrub vegetation. It takes two full days of hard driving to cross it and includes Australia’s longest stretch of straight road, the aptly named “90 mile straight”. There really is not even a hint of a bend for the whole 90 miles, and with no scenery to look at drivers need to take care not to nod off! Across the length of the Nullarbor there are a few roadhouses along the way where you can get essential supplies and fuel, and at the aptly named Border Village, you cross over from South Australia into Western Australia, the country’s largest state.

…….to be continued……