I’ll preface this week’s blog with some news that we are absolutely delighted to share ( with those that don’t already know ) – we are going to be grandparents in mid- August ! Our daughter and her husband are expecting and we will take some time out of our travels this northern summer to be home for the much anticipated arrival of the baby. Very exciting stuff for us all. Our daughter is doing well and busy preparing for big day. It does, of course, move things around for us a bit – essentially we’ll now be very focused on the desert part of our trip and the weather dependent regions of Australia in the north between now and August. We’ll then return and focus on the southern part of the country ( as the Aussie summer approaches ). Hence, especially after our long delay in Melbourne, a bit of a “push” now to get to the Outback ! Fortunately it’s already the direction we were heading.
There is of course a more direct route from the Great Ocean Road ( where we left off last blog ) to Adelaide ( our next major destination ) but based on the advice of several folks who’d gone before it was decided that the coastal route offered some better vistas. There were indeed some memorable highlights – the stunning Blue Lake in Mount Gambier, as well as the sunken garden, along with the popular coastal towns of Robe and Victor Harbor ( two on our route that really stood out for us). The coastal route ends up crossing Australia’s mighty Murray River ( in our case via the punt at Wellington ). Much of the first part of the coast ( the “Coorong”as it’s called) is fairly monotonous- low scrub, some really tidal swampy areas and for us, some less than ideal weather to see it in. That said, we did enjoy great wild camping by the ocean in Port McDonnell and again just outside Robe and Kingston SE; nothing like going to sleep with a cool sea breeze, the distinct smell of salt air, and then waking up to the sound of crashing waves..!
At one point the diversion to Kangaroo Island was considered ( being so close on the Fleurieu Peninsula ) but on arrival at Cape Jervis the weather was very gloomy – on sober second consideration it seemed to make more sense to delay Kangaroo Island until we come this way again ( and we likely will ) when the weather is better – it’s also a very expensive short ferry ride so we’d like to see the place at its best. Onwards then, to Adelaide ( and the Barossa Valley ) just an hour away, some great sights and a long overdue rendezvous with a cousin I’d not seen in over 40 years.
From the Barossa region it was an easy drive to the Yorke Peninsula where we had a couple of days exploring before driving on up to Port Pirie, for us basically the stepping stone to adventures further north – there’d be some van work to do ( minor repairs ), a little WW2 nostalgia to investigate, some serious stocking up on supplies and the purchase of a two-way radio ( an essential item, we’re told) for life on the long desert roads ahead.
From Port Pirie we’ll head to Maree, the end of paved roads in South Australia, then the desert tracks beyond. We haven’t even gotten to the part of South Australia yet that we are most anticipating ( the “Outback” ) but have already been amazed by the beauty, scenic variety and fascinating history of the state- it’s delivered us some very pleasant surprises.
Till next week….
Jeff + Lois
We are Lois and Jeff, of Kelowna, BC, Canada. Recently retired with a serious overlanding travel bug, we hit the road in our truck camper in May 2019, initially tackling the Pan American highway. The PanAm completed in April 2022, and truck camper sold, we plan to continue exploring again later in 2022 in our Sprinter 4×4!
Amazing!!!! Here comes the outback!
You’d love it with that Gray Gladiator of yours, and so well equipped for the terrain 😊
Great report Jeff. There are certainly some varied landscapes in this big country of ours.
I’ll bet Lois liked the Adelaide Central Markets!
Good job on the repair work – there is always something that needs attention.
Annie and I are hoping to head off towards the end of April.
Indeed she did. Choices were many and varied !
We are just looking at the weeks ahead – good chance our paths will cross in WA !
We much prefer the outback in all the states, rather than the coast roads. I can see beauty everywhere & the history of our pioneers is amazing. Enjoy Oodnadatta – don’t miss having a hamburger at the Pink Roadhouse!
I’m still astonished about the ‘croc food’!!
Yea, it’s the real McCoy !
Oodnadatta was cool ! Definitely worth the bumps !
Another great read.
Congratulations to all on the new baby and the new role you’ll be taking on! Wonderful news!
Safe travels and enjoy.
Thanks guys…..we can’t wait for the day !
Looks like the both of you are really enjoying yourselves!! Never seen Croc kabobs before. How do they taste?? Jeff I’m impressed with your mechanical skills with the van! Congratulations to Jackie and Barrett, and the new grandparents in August. Looking forward to seeing you guys in the summer. Until then, safe travels ahead.
Yes, it’s pretty easy to enjoy Oz. I took a pic of the croc kebabs but have not tried them yet, perhaps further north ( they’ll be fresher ) lol !!!!
We are excited for August as well- lots to catch up when we get back. Tell Andy all his van work is holding up ok ( none of his has failed yet !!).
Lois says hi – we’ll FaceTime soon ( wifi is weak out here ).
Great pictures!! Congratulations on the grand baby news!
Thanks Katie, can’t keep Lois out of baby clothes stores now 😊
Welcome to the Grandma and Grandpa club!!! It’s the best!!!
So we keep hearing. Can’t wait to officially join !
Congratulations on your upcoming Grandchild Lois and Jeff!
Thanks guys ! Very excited about it!
Absolutely love reading about your world adventures! And a big congratulations to the grandparents to be!!
Thanks Tami ! We are very excited, too !