My Office

My Office

Mt Barker – Laratinga Wetlands

I’ve decided to dedicate a page entirely to these wetlands because I was so impressed with them.  The walking paths around the waterways and the little nooks and crannies for bird watching are very well used.  This is a community area and there are people running, walking, bird watching, picnicing and exercising at all times of the day.  They arrive early in the morning, and some groups after work in the evening.  It is well serviced with barbecue tables and barbecues and conveniences.  I set up my computer on two different days and sat and worked and people watched – It is so relaxing.

The wetlands is entirely run on reclaimed water and there is heaps of birdlife. The walking paths are very well constructed and wheelchair access would be easy even on the unpaved paths.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Reclaimed Water Sign

Reclaimed Water Sign

Fence Feature

Fence Feature

Bird Species Sign

Bird Species Sign

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Laratinga Wetlands

Laratinga Wetlands

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Ferry at Sunset

Ferry at Sunset

Murray Bridge

Murray Bridge

Hahndorf –Mt Barker – Nairne – Mt Torrens – Mannum (Bolto Reserve)

I’m setting off for Mannum via Mt Barker, Nairne and Mt Torrens via the Onkaparinga Scenic Route this morning.

As I’m coming back to Mt Barker on Friday to get the bus serviced, I do a quick tour and find where I have to go then head off through the hills to Nairne.  The murals at Nairne are fabulous – a real feature of this small village. I stopped and walked around enjoying the artwork and taking photos before heading to Mt Torrens – a crossroads on my Onkaparinga Scenic Drive to Mannum.

The water pipes in the golden fields are such a contrast as is the type of country this drive includes.  Forested hills, vineyards, wheat fields the rugged rocky outcrops, sandhills on the riverbank, then riverlands and swamps.  Amazing diversity and in such a short drive really.

A ferry ride across the Murray takes me to Bolto Reserve and my campsite for a couple of days to catch up on the diary, photos, letters and blog which have all been sadly neglected.

Mannum – Murray Bridge – Mt Barker

I left Mannum reasonably early as I wanted to set up at Mt Barker early enough to do some more on the blog which is well behind now, as I have had no coverage for internet.  The drive to Murray Bridge is very hilly but quite beautiful – large rolling cleared hills as opposed to the treed one in the Adelaide Hills – much more open and they are not as windy.

On the way into Murray Bridge I find some wetlands – the Rocky Gully Wetlands right near the information board. Murray Bridge has this great waterfront area with a Paddle steamer named Captain Proud and many plaques denoting sunken vessels along the shore line.

There are a couple of magnificent bridges, one is the railway bridge which was built in 1925 (before the rail bridge was built trains crossed the Old Bridge and went through a cutting at this spot.  The other bridge is the oldest Bridge over the Murray River, built between 1873 and 1879.There is great green-space along the waterfront.  The cockatoos were enjoying the greenery in their hundreds.  I enjoyed the drive around as walking was out due to the heat – very hot and steamy.  Off to Cash Converters as I need to buy some Golf Clubs so that I can golf the Nullabour then off to Mt Barker – another hilly scenic drive.  Parked up at the wetlands car park for the night and am using the computer in a great wetland park – an office with a view.  When it cools down I’ll head for my walk and more photos.

Before Mt Barker

Before Mt Barker

Nairne Murals

Nairne Murals

Nairne Murals

Nairne Murals

Nairne Murals

Nairne Murals

Nairne to Mt Torrens

Nairne to Mt Torrens

Onkaparinga Scenic Drive

Onkaparinga Scenic Drive

Before Mannum

Before Mannum

Palmer Bear Rock

Palmer Bear Rock

Palmer to Mannum

Palmer to Mannum

Mannum Streetscape

Mannum Streetscape

Mannum Building

Mannum Building

Mannum Murals

Mannum Murals

Before Palmer

Before Palmer

Murray Bridge
Murray Bridge

Murray Bridge Wetlands

Murray Bridge Wetlands

Cockies at Murray Bridge

Cockies at Murray Bridge

Adelaide Day Trip with Maree

We left Hahndorf after breakfast in the bus, and caught the bus into Adelaide with the express purpose of seeing as many Churches as possible within the city precinct.  It took about an hour through little hills villages – quite a pretty drive – to get to the City Centre and Rundell Mall where the Information Centre is located. Rundell Mall is a hive of activity as it is the Adelaide Fringe Festival and there are many entertainers and buskers adding to the atmosphere. After arming ourselves with maps and some good oil about where the best coffee was, we headed off.

First stop was the beautiful Adelaide Arcade and coffee to plan our day.  The arcade has a balcony floor and is quite stunning.  Lots of boutique type shops – a hat shop which is quaint – has bobby hats, soldiers caps, bowlers and top hats as well as other specialty hats lining the back wall.  The usual souvenir shops abound as well. There is a shop called the “Button Bar” which is wall to wall buttons – quite incredible!!  The watch makers shop had a buzzer which you had to use to access the shop (must be some expensive merchandise there).

Parliament House and the Post Office buildings are spectacular – I was fascinated again at the architecture – very well preserved thankfully and the wonderful stonework in these two magnificent buildings.

Our first Church was the St Francis Xavier Cathedral Church – Adelaide’s Catholic Cathedral.  Work began on the church in 1851 and was designed so that it could be built in stages, because catholics of South Australia at the time were not wealthy.

Some features of this cathedral are the large Murphy bell of 1867 which hangs in the tower with 12 other bells.  One of the characteristics of the interior of the cathedral is the use of the number 7 – a symbol of natural and religious perfection.  There are 7 arches, 7 pairs of windows on each side and seven external doors.  The church was quite busy with parishioners as well.

The next find was the Pilgrim Uniting Church whose history goes back to early European settlement.  It is a “Revival Gothic” architectural style and has the most magnificent stained glass – some from the original church, some re-sited from the Pirie Street Methodist and some from a demolished church in the north of England – all are spectacular.

The remarkable organ was transferred from Pirie Street and has been rebuilt and enlarged – touted as one of the finest instruments in the state, it is outstanding – with the Choir Gallery and Organ Console placed in the South Porch. The organ was built in 1855 and was the largest in the colony. The church office is at the rear and it caters for anyone who wanders in off the street and has music in the lane on Mondays.

We caught the tram up to the Railway Station and Casino for lunch – the lighting features are spectacular – particularly the bubble chandelier over the bar.  No luck on the pokies with my $5 so off we trundled to find St Peter’s Cathedral.  We had quite a trek in the heat – over the Torrens River, on  Adelaide Bridge, with its Bandstand and fountain – lots of work going on to prepare for fringe activity.  We walked past the Adelaide Oval but it is being renovated so we couldn’t enter – that’s another trip. I did get a workman to photograph the Don Bradman Statue as I wasn’t allowed on the worksite.

The Lady Chapel Organ

The Lady Chapel Organ

St Peter’s stands majestically overlooking parkland dedicated to the fallen soldiers.  Once inside I was overawed by the majesty of this amazing building. The stained glass panels all have names and a story – too many to document but know they’re spectacular – I hope the photos do them justice. The Magdalene Window was my favourite (if one had to choose) because it celebrates the role of women in the Scriptures and the Church. One of the windows is dedicated to Australia’s first air disaster in which Charles Hawker MA died when the plane crashed into the Dandenong Ranges near Melbourne in 1938.

The Lady Chapel is behind the High Altar and is open for private prayer and Communion every day – a quaint little chapel with a Copper Statue of Our Lady – most unusual and an organ which was donated in 1969.  The rear of the Altar is unlike anything I’ve ever seen – very unusual.

On the pews are Coats of Arms and engraved into the seats are memorials to previous ministers and bishops. Building began in 1869 and the cathedral was consecrated on 1 January 1878.  It too was built in stages.

On our way back to Rundell Mall we explored the Memorial Cross and Eternal Flame in the park opposite – then slowly made our way back into the city to catch the bus home.  We had take-away from Hahndorf Inn for dinner after a few beers in town to celebrate Maree & Vince’s last night.

Rundell Mall Fountain

Rundell Mall Fountain

Pigs on Rundell

Pigs on Rundell

Adelaide Arcade
Adelaide Arcade

Parliment

Parliment

Post Office

Post Office

Button Bar in Adelaide mall

Button Bar in Adelaide mall

Saint Mary of the Cross Mackillop

Saint Mary of the Cross Mackillop

St Francis Xavier Stained Glass

St Francis Xavier Stained Glass

St Francis Xavier Cathedral

St Francis Xavier Cathedral

Pilgrim Stained Glass

Pilgrim Stained Glass

Pilgrim Aisle, Organ and Choir seating

Pilgrim Aisle, Organ and Choir seating

Fringe on Torrens

Fringe on Torrens

Fireman Gardner Memorial Drinking Fountain

Fireman Gardner Memorial Drinking Fountain

Maree and Paula on Torrens

Maree and Paula on Torrens

Torrens River

Torrens River

Adelaide Bridge Plaque

Adelaide Bridge Plaque

Adelaide Oval

Adelaide Oval

Don Bradman Statue

Don Bradman Statue

St Peter's Cathedral

St Peter’s Cathedral

St Peter's Stained Glass

St Peter’s Stained Glass

St Peter's Rose Window

St Peter’s Rose Window

St Peter's High Altar Carvings

St Peter’s High Altar Carvings

St Peter's Nurses Dedication

St Peter’s Nurses Dedication

Lady Chapel Wall Hanging

Lady Chapel Wall Hanging

Memorial Cross Gardens

Memorial Cross Gardens

Memorial Cross

Memorial Cross

Ataturk's Tribute

Ataturk’s Tribute

Eternal Flame

Eternal Flame

Fruit Tingle

Fruit Tingle

Hahndorf –Oakbank – Woodside – Gumeracha -Chain of Ponds – Adelaide – Glenelg (with Vince & Maree)

I cooked Bacon and eggs for breakfast before we headed off to explore the Adelaide Hills to the north of Hahndorf. We found Oakbank Race Course – an amazing complex – which claims to have Australia’s greatest picnic race meeting.  The hedges for steeplechase races are in place and the grass track is in magnificent order.

Melba’s Chocolate Shop was just down the road from Oakbank, at Woodside,and had an amazing array of chocolates and lollies – housed in an old co-op building – sweets are made on the premises. There are so many choices – I had to be really strong!! They had a display of old grocery items which were around when I was a child – even tin icecream containers, and butter boxes.

The toy factory with Big Rocking Horse was at Gumeracha – quite a spectacular structure which is unique in the world – made entirely of steel and stands 60 feet high. The Toy Factory is the largest wooden toy factory in Australia. I found a semi-trailer which is a CD holder, so beautifully crafted.

We headed to Chain of Ponds (a reservoir north of Adelaide), but it was difficult to photograph as there are no vantage points – we arrived at Inglewood Inn for morning tea – lovely building – National Trust listed and has an incredible view from the rear deck. Just down the road we came across a farm selling fresh raspberries – I’d never seen the actual bushes so it was interesting to see that. Of course, we had to buy some to sample – delicious!!

On our way to Glenelg Beach we drove through the suburbs of Adelaide and arrived at the gorgeous seaside suburb in time for lunch.  We walked along the Marina Pier and found a great tavern with an outside eating area – right on the beach – fantastic views of the ocean, the pier and the swimmers.  It was such a relaxing way to have a shared lunch and a couple of drinks (great Fruit Tingles!!) before walking on the beach back towards the pier and the shopping precinct. There are lots of boutique stores and the streets are very busy.  We head back to the car and to Hahndorf where we call in at Grumpy’s Brewhaus (I needed to photograph this for Grump next door!!), and of course, sample the beer. We decide to have pizza  from Grumpy’s, nibblies and drinks at the bus again tonight.

Oakbank Racecourse

Oakbank Racecourse

Oakbank Stands

Oakbank Stands

Oakbank Hedges

Oakbank Hedges

Melba's Factory

Melba’s Factory

Melba's

Melba’s

Melba's Sheep Nuts - Uniquely Australian!!

Melba’s Sheep Nuts – Uniquely Australian!!

Ice Cream Tins

Ice Cream Tins

The Big Rocking Horse

The Big Rocking Horse

Semi CD Holder

Semi CD Holder

Adelaide Hills Map

Adelaide Hills Map

Raspberry Bush

Raspberry Bush

Spire in Adelaide

Spire in Adelaide

Glenelg Clock Tower

Glenelg Clock Tower

Glenelg Marina Pier

Glenelg Marina Pier

Glenelg Streetscape

Glenelg Streetscape

St Andrew's by the Sea

St Andrew’s by the Sea

Glenelg Pier

Glenelg Pier

Maree and Vince at Glenelg Beach

Maree and Vince at Glenelg Beach

Paula at Glenelg Beach

Paula at Glenelg Beach

Glenelg Ferris Wheel

Glenelg Ferris Wheel

Ferris Wheel

Ferris Wheel

Grumpy's Brewhaus Hahndorf

Grumpy’s Brewhaus Hahndorf

Hahndorf – Strathalbyn – Goolwa – Victor Harbor – Mclaren Vale Wineries – Hahndorf (with Vince & Maree)

We went to breakfast in Hahndorf  and then headed for Strathalbyn via a scenic drive through the Adelaide Hills.  We did a quick trip through Strathalbyn on our way to Goolwa.  We checked out the Goolwa Wharf, the paddle-steamer and the Steam Exchange Brewery where we checked out their beer – not really to my liking (I’m not a beer connoisseur) but it is a very popular place.

On our way into Victor Harbor, we found Kleinig’s Lookout – it is a great spot with a magic view over the Bay – totally done in mosaic – complete with a whale and tail – very well done – photo opportunity for the three of us.  We headed into the town – found the Bowls Club and checked it out.  Afterwards we headed to the causeway to check out the causeway and the Horse Drawn Tram. The camels and ponies were on the beach for rides today.  The murals on the toilet block depicting the history of the district are really well done.

The Replica Long Tan Cross is located in the Memorial park and is a really great tribute to such an horrific battle. The hotel buildings in this town are quite spectacular and the streetscape near the pier with its green-space is fantastic.

We head to McLaren Vale Winery areas and have three in mind – Serafino has an amazing vista and is used for weddings and conferences – magical setting with dam and gum trees.  The stained glass window entrance to the cellar door is beautiful. We found Rosemount winery late in the afternoon, much to Vince’s delight and the cellar master was very good at his job – I learnt lots about wine- I am very naïve in this field.

We spent the afternoon driving around wineries – finding some with great wines, others with amazing vistas, and just having a very relaxing afternoon.  We brought cheeses and biscuits to have with our wines and set up outside the bus at Hahndorf Caravan Park and enjoyed a relaxing evening after a very full day.

PS Oscar - Goolwa

PS Oscar – Goolwa

River Murray - Goolwa Hindmarsh Island Bridge

River Murray – Goolwa Hindmarsh Island Bridge

Maree and Paula at Kleinig's Hill Lookout

Maree and Paula at Kleinig’s Hill Lookout

Kleinig's Hill Mosiacs

Kleinig’s Hill Mosiacs

Vince, Maree and Paula at Kleinig's Hill Lookout

Vince, Maree and Paula at Kleinig’s Hill Lookout

Victor Harbour from Lookout

Victor Harbor from Lookout

Victor Harbour Murals

Victor Harbor Murals

Camels at Victor Harbour

Camels at Victor Harbor

Steam Exchange Brewery - Goolwa

Steam Exchange Brewery – Goolwa

Horse Drawn Tram

Horse Drawn Tram

Long Tan Cross Information

Long Tan Cross Information

Long Tan Memorial Cross

Long Tan Memorial Cross

Hotel at Victor Harbour

Hotel at Victor Harbor

Victor Harbor Bar

Victor Harbor Bar

Serafino Stained Glass Cellar Door
Serafino Stained Glass Cellar Door

Serafino Lake

Serafino Lake

McLaren Vale Winery View

McLaren Vale Winery View

Rosemount Winery Inform

Rosemount Winery Inform

Rosemount Vat Gallery

Rosemount Vat Gallery

Rosemount Vats

Rosemount Vats

Winery Buildings and Mill

Winery Buildings and Mill

Winery View

Winery View

Woolshed Flat Rest Area – Stirling North – Port Germaine – Tin Man Roadhouse Port Pirie – Crystal Brook – Snowtown – Port Wakefield – Virginia – Adelaide – Hahndorf

I left Woolshed Flat this morning with the intention of heading straight for Hahndorf so that I could spend more time with Maree and Vince – the hills through the pass are bathed in gorgeous early morning light – not many  photographs or unnecessary stops today as I have a lot of kilometres to travel. To my untrained eye the country around Stirling North is a combination of desert plants and coastal vegetation – quite unusual, but lasts for a long way – even along the highway towards Port Pirie.  I bypassed Port Germaine and Port Pirie on this trip as I have to return to catch up with family after the Barossa so will do them then. The countryside has changed dramatically and now there are grazing sheep and grain fields – such a contrasting area. The trains out here are hauling huge numbers of wagons and several I’ve seen have 3 locomotives.

Tin Man Roadhouse at Port Pirie is a busy spot – stopped for fuel  and headed to Snowtown – I decided I should visit here as it has had so much media coverage re murders – a lovely well- kept park in the centre of town near the hall and clean amenities made it a worthwhile stop. I needed to get out of the bus and walk a bit as my back is hurting something fierce today.

Port Wakefield was inundated with tourists and the streets were clogged – the roadhouse was doing a roaring trade.  Boats and caravans everywhere you looked.  I stopped just outside Virginia for lunch at a truck park – thankfully as it was the last I was to see – TomTom took me straight through Adelaide – even the V8 track and detour – so much for skirting the traffic.  The road from Adelaide to Hahndorf is great road but very challenging for Livin’ as it is very mountainous.  Got to Hahndorf by 230 p.m. and surprised Maree as she got out of the car back from shopping and lunch in Hahndorf.

Set up camp down in the Caravan Park – very basic facilities and bush park (for $38.50 per night very poor!)   We walked into Hahndorf for dinner at the German Arms Hotel – tried another German beer.  The decor is really well done.

Woolshed FLat Campsite

Woolshed FLat Campsite

Port Augusta Country
Port Augusta Country

Port Augusta View

Port Augusta View

Lake Lookout

Lake Lookout

Salt Lake

Salt Lake

Salt Pan

Salt Pan

Snowton Sign

Snowton Sign

Pichi Richi Pass

Pichi Richi Pass

Pichi Richi

Pichi Richi

Snowton Park

Snowton Park

Saltbush

Saltbush

Tin Man Protest Statue

Tin Man Protest Statue

Port Pirie Ned Kelly Protest Statue

Port Pirie Ned Kelly Protest Statue

Farming Country

Farming Country

Lake

Lake

Freeway Tunnels

Freeway Tunnels

Hahndorf Freeway

Hahndorf Freeway

Leigh Creek Caravan Park

Leigh Creek Caravan Park

Leigh Creek –Beltana Roadhouse – Parachilna – Hawker – Quorn – Pichi Richi Pass – Woolshed Flat

I stayed overnight in the Leigh Creek Caravan Park whose facilities are really good – nice tidy surrounds and far enough from town to be quiet. This morning I walked into Leigh Creek to do some shopping after washing and talking to Donna on the phone.  The cemetery is quite beautiful, a circular arrangement with white gums.  This is a new cemetery as the town was moved in the 1980’s. I headed for Hawker on the highway for a lunch stop and fuel – the mountains are as majestic as ever and traffic is light.  There is a lot of debris over the road from the floods last night – silt and rocks and some trees are remnants of the rushing water, extreme care is needed on the floodways between Leigh Creek and Parachilna.

I called in to check out Parachilna – the Prarie Hotel was established in the 1860’s and the town is a railway town, consisting of one street.  Lunch at Hawker then set TomTom for Hahndorf – it’s taken me via Quorn (I bypassed the town as I’m coming to visit family later) and through the Pichi Richi Pass(this is very beautiful country, which I’ll photograph on my next visit when I have more time)– I’ve decided to camp at Woolshed Flat Rest Area as I’m wrecked – washing done – diary & fuel journal done – now for supper. Early to bed tonight so I can make an early start tomorrow.

Leigh Creek Cemetry

Leigh Creek Cemetry

Leigh Creek Path in Town

Leigh Creek Path in Town

Pathway to town

Pathway to town

Rail Bridge at Leigh Creek

Rail Bridge at Leigh Creek

Silt over road

Silt over road

Flood residue

Flood residue

Flood damage before Parachilna

Flood damage before Parachilna

Parachilna Sign

Parachilna Sign

Prarie Hotel Parachilna

Prarie Hotel Parachilna

RM Williams Way

RM Williams Way

Hawker General Store

Hawker General Store

Hawker Sculpture

Hawker Sculpture

Wilpena Panorama -Tourist Attraction at Hawker

Wilpena Panorama -Tourist Attraction at Hawker

Heading South

Heading South

Ruins

Ruins

Flood damaged road

Flood damaged road

Changing country

Changing country

Sandy soil

Sandy soil

Blue Hills

Blue Hills

Pichi Richi Railway

Pichi Richi Railway

Campsite at Woolshed Flat

Campsite at Woolshed Flat