Katie's Live and Unleashed 05/06 Worldwide Tour travel blog

Kanyaka homestead


Wilpena Pound

Me with ABC Ranges behind

First up - Angelique, Anna, Alex, Denise and Richard

All there


And real ones were everywhere



An 8-day / 7-night trip from Adelaide to Alice Springs via lots was about to begin with the Wayward Bus. This overland journey from the Southern Ocean to the Centre follows the trails of Aboriginal culture, European exploration, camel caravans led by Afghan traders, miners gambling their lives with picks and shovels and the original Ghan Railway. I was one of the first to be picked up from my accommodation which had the advantage of being an even earlier start, but the advantage of getting a good seat!

From Adelaide, our way north weaved through the hillside vineyards of the Clare Valley, which produces 2.5% of all Australian wine and is particularly renowned for its Riesling. Couldn't possibly just pass through without tasting, so even before lunch we sampled 7 different wines and were ready to fall asleep in the bus....but no! Jasmine, our driver and tour guide had other plans of games and getting to know each other, which made the time pass quickly, and I even knew everyone's name by lunch! Lunch was much the same principle as the S American truck - pull over off the road and prepare sandwiches, all mucking in to make it a quick stop. Driving along we could see many remains of stone buildings and went to take a closer look at the Kanyaka Homestead which used to house 70 families. Now all that remains are some building skeletons and grave-stones.

Our first night was to be camping out at Wilpena Pound, so you can imagine how pleased we were when it started to rain!! Wilpena Pound is located within the Flinders Range, which at 800M years old is the second oldest range in the world! It used to stretch all the way from Kangaroo Island, although now it is 800Km at max. due to erosion. Now the Flinders Range National Park is located 450Km north of Adelaide and comprises approx. 100 000hectares. Kangaroo mince in the spag bol was surprisingly tasty and apparently very good for you, being much lower in fat than beef (also cheaper).

Waking in a slightly leaking tent, I learnt I was a lucky one as some people had slept on saturated mattresses!!

So we all set off on a morning walk up Mt Ohlsen Bagge climbing to a height of 948m. From the top there was a spectacular 360 degree view of ABC Ranges and Wilpena Pound which was beautiful. The rain continued all afternoon, so when the trailer threw a flat tyre we were all very happy to go and wait in the Blinman coffee-shop! Hot chocolate with marshmallows - yum! An evening bar-b-q and lots of wine later I slept very well in the bunk-house.

The rain didn't let off all night, and from reports we were getting of flooded tracks, Jas decided that we wouldn't venture to the scheduled William Creek so we backtracked a little, passing Lake Hart; the salt plain where they perform missile testing, spotting a Shingle Back (looks like its head could be on either end of its body as disguise) and a Wedge-tailed eagle; Oz's largest bird of prey and spent a second night in Coober Pedy.

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