With no agenda planned we decided to head across to Port Augusta which right at the top of the Spencer Gulf in South Australia and is where major road, rail and port transport systems cross. We had a lovely couple of days (again with plague fly populations) exploring this interesting city. Port Augusta is right on the edge of the desert and the Flinders Ranges is a beautiful backdrop to the city. We managed to find a place to camp which was idyllic as far as location and offering a peaceful haven but the facilities were well past their use by date and didn’t really hit the mark. At Spear Creek Caravan Park we found the showers were cold, shower cubicle that was very small and dingy, the toilets were dirty and just all looked a bit tired and in need of some lovin’. It would have to be up the top though as far as a pretty spot to prop.
A private ensuite loo with a view at Spear Creek Caravan Park
One of the attractions we visited whilst in Port Augusta was the Pichi Richi Railroad, a steam train that leaves Port Augusta and travels through the mountains to Quorn. This was a lovely way to see the entire contrast of the landscape in a relaxed way. A stop for lunch in Quorn of a quandong pie before the return journey. Quondongs are a native food and are also referred to as a native peach. The pie was nice but I must say of all the pies and pastries we tasted while in South Australia, not one had decent pastry!
Afghan Express leaving Port Augusta.
Pink Salt lake with reflections.
The Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden was another interesting place to visit. This beautifully designed garden which is located in a stunning position that offers great views and a feel of the desert is worth a visit. The gardens are designed for different conditions and the detailed information at each point offers great scope for people to apply water smart principles and sustainability in their own back yard.
The beautiful Sturt desert Pea, I had always wanted to see one and wasn’t disappointed.
The entry garden demonstrates a great use of drought tolerant planting that appears soft but when you touch the plants they are quite prickly and dry.
Time to decide where to head from here. We decided on Broken Hill, more about that tomorrow!