Darwin or bust - a short drive up the road travel blog

Dan chillin near an actual salt lake

Spring is in the air -hayfever anyone?

Sturt Desert Pea

Red cliffs of Spencer Gulf from the Botanic Gardens

The Southern Ocean

Canola fields

The first road sign that mentions Sydney


This is a bit of a worry, lead dust

We stopped the car to let this little fellow cross the road

The lone jogger on the Port Germain jetty is....Dan

A horizontal tree growing in the gorge

At Glendambo we encountered bikers who were heading up for the 20th anniversary of Fish's Run from Alice Springs to Ross River Resort. They weren't very quiet in the morning when they set off!

Since we'd already followed the Pacific Ocean all the way up to Cooktown and dipped our toes in the Indian Ocean at Darwin we thought it only fitting we should also head down south to the Spencer Gulf to see the Southern Ocean especially as we'd traveled across Australia from top to bottom along the Stuart Hwy following the exploration's of John McDouall Stuart.

We spent a night in Port Augusta which is situated on the quiet waterways at the head of the Spencer Gulf, in close proximity to the spectacular Flinders Ranges. I dragged Grae to the stunning Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens at Port Augusta. It is located on the shores of the Upper Spencer Gulf with spectacular views to the ancient Flinders Ranges, the Garden showcases a diverse collection of arid zone habitats in a picturesque setting of more than 250 hectares. They actually had flowering Sturt Desert Peas, the flora emblem of South Australia. I was so excited I bought a packet of seeds to plant back home.

We spent a night at Port Pirie which has a huge very old (since 1889) metal refinery located next to the grain loading dock. The skyline is dominated by the smelter's chimney. What was really worrying was that many of the shops had mats at the entrance asking that you wipe your feet to remove the lead dust before entering....

Rather than linger in town we decided to get some fresh air and did some walks in the Southern Flinders Ranges including Alligator Gorge and Telowie Gorge. At Telowie we were looking for the yellow footed rock wallabies, didn't see any but saw lots of wallaby poo.

It was a big day as we'd already walked the 1.5 km jetty at Port Germain earlier in the day!

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