To Alice and back, what a trip, such an experience Part 4, the final segment.......

Wednesday, Jan 12, 2011 at 20:22

Martyn (WA)

This is the second half and final part of the trip. So from Yulara we proceeded to Alice Springs, for some reason we had in our minds that Alice was basically a back drop for Uluru, just around the corner, how wrong you can be.Alice Springs is a further five hours from Yulara, quite a hike. I did consider the side road to Kings Canyon; considering my experience with the Coopers on gravel I decided to give this one a miss this time round I'd had enough of punctures, after all it is Xmas.
I forgot to mention earlier the price of fuel on the GCR was around the $2.45 mark, this is where the long range tank came into it's own. I managed to get from Laverton to Yulara with the fuel I had on board.
Between Yulara and Alice is when the brake pad sensor decided to start playing up, By Alice I was ready to strangle someone……….. The alarm was driving me nuts!!
We got to Alice Springs and filled up at the BP servo, whilst I was filling up a Police car came alongside also to fill up. Whilst the officer was filling the vehicle the other officer in the vehicle was summons by one of the locals to attend to something, we know not what, anyway whatever it was a younger local was arrested and placed in the back of the van. The officer wished us a pleasant stay in Alice, then promptly wrote down my vehicle and camper trailer rego numbers on the palm of his hand, got in the police car and drove off.

We camped at the McDonnell range caravan park; we were one of maybe half a dozen camped at the park. Lovely grassed sites, pool and a high standard of amenities, very impressed. We visited the town centre; this was an experience, not what I would call a comfortable experience, bought some supplies and returned to the caravan park.

Following day we visited the Ghan museum, this was well worth a visit, very interesting, the transport museum also at the same venue has an outstanding display of memorabilia. Lost my sunglasses in the transport museum if anybody finds them could they let me know, thanks.
Went to infamous Bojangles in Alice Town centre for lunch, we had been told it was a worth visiting, yes it was, food was excellent and the decor is something straight out of a Crocodile Dundee movie. We had a walk around the main town centre shopping malls and picked up a few gifts and souvenirs.

Left Alice Springs for Coober Pedy Christmas Eve, stopped off at the Marla Roadhouse on the way, the start of the Oodnadatta Track, had a coffee and a chat with the owner. The owner used to work at the Oodnadatta hotel, interesting to talk to.
The approach to Coober Pedy is something quite different, the mounds of dirt and the machinery they use is quite different, I was trying to find a better word. When we arrived in Coober Pedy we booked into a Caravan Park just out of town. This time we’re on gravel and under shade cloth (thank goodness). Great pool and amenities.
We took a bit of a trip into town, I had underestimated Coober Pedy, so much to see and do, we could have easily spent more time here.
We went to the midnight Christmas service in the underground church, there were about ten of us in the congregation, the priest was “entertaining”, another great experience, a very special Christmas. We awoke Christmas Day and had champagne, bacon and eggs for breakfast, classic.
We left Coober Pedy and headed to our next stop which happened to be in Adelaide, great camp site on the Torrens river, in the city, funny place to have a caravan park but it works.

Left Adelaide and headed to the in-laws in Melbourne, left there and headed off down the Great Ocean Road (GOR). We were planning to try to stop around Lorne but there was a large music festival going on the place was packed, we queued up for two hours to get into Lorne, it was crazy.
We eventually pulled up at Apollo Bay managed to fine a camping spot that turned out to be the recreational oval, we were placed on an elevated camp spot on an angle, not a good start…… things went down hill from here, there was an awful lot of “stuff” going on. The camping area was very busy. We decided to pull stumps and head off around 20:00 hrs that night.
We found a great caravan park in the Otway National park, Bimbi Park caravan park about 30 minutes from Apollo Bay, great find, secluded, good facilities and friendly owners, a lot going on, well organised.
Left Bimbi park in the morning the 12 Apostles being the next stop. We decided to take one of the helicopter flights, the cost initially seems quite high, as soon as we got airborne the cost was justified, worth every cent, $290 for a 20 minute flight to London bridge and back. Spectacular views, a very competent pilot who knew all the relevant information. A well organised outfit, very professional, both my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed this. I’ve attached a couple of photos.
Made it to Mt Gambier in the afternoon, stayed at the caravan park in the town, we stayed here for three nights. Visited the Blue lake just out of Town, spectacular vision, so blue, picture attached. Took a trip out to Port Mac visited the Dingley Dell Cottage and had the tour, the tour lasted two hours…….. Plenty of detail if this sort of thing “floats your boat”.
New Years Eve an excellent firework display at the local park, two actually, one at 21:00 and one at midnight. We left Mt Gambier on News Years day and headed for Kadina in the Yorke Peninsula, we had two nights here, we couldn't do the Yorke Peninsula justice in this short period of time so we have vowed to return here again at a later date.
We set off then for Streaky Bay a favourite destination for us, we spent a couple of days here at the caravan park on the beach. Just a nice place to relax and unwind, good fishing if that’s what you want to do, lots of nice seafood available locally.
From here we headed back to Perth via the Nullarbor, stayed at the Balladonia Roadhouse to break the trip up. We then spent a couple of days at Hopetoun another favourite resting point for us.
From Hopetoun we headed back to home in Perth.

So that’s it, first blog in four parts completed, enjoy the read.
Keep the shiny side up

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