Travelling Australia
Wayne & Pam BENTLEY
05 to 07 January 2004

Monday 5 January 2004

Packed up and on our way from Port Lincoln by 8.30 am and headed north. Called in on Tumby Bay which is a small town about 47 km north of Pt Lincoln and had a holiday feel to it. The hotel was quite an impressive sight and the beach was a better swimming beach that many we have seen in South Australia so far. Had a look at the Caravan Park and it appeared to be quite full. There did not appear to be a lot to do around the town but the swimming and fishing appeared to be pretty good. Pam discovered a bakery that she had to visit and she made sure we sampled some of their produce. It was very tasty.

Next we called in to Arno which was quite a small town on the bay and there were some children having their swimming lessons in the water off the jetty. We decided they could do the swimming because the water looked a bit cool for us and there was a fairly strong breeze blowing in from the ocean. This little place would make a good stop over if you really wanted to get away from it all and just relax.

Next port of call was Cowell, another reasonable size town that has a very wide main street with a couple of hotels, caravan park right on the beach, the usual shops and most things you could want when on holiday. It appears the town caters for the local farming community as well as holiday makers, particularly those with an interest in fishing.

The drive from Cowell up to Whyalla was quite good, with a fairly flat road most of the way and the Patrol was just cruising with ease. We did quite a lot of driving around Whyalla with the caravan in tow and had a good look around, but decided that although there was the normal 'bigger city' attractions, (including a TAFE and University) we couldn't see any real reason to stay the night and pushed on to Port Augusta.

Getting closer to Port Augusta we came in sight of the Flinders Ranges and they are fairly impressive after some of the flat rolling hills we had been through over the last few days. On arrival in Augusta we booked in to the Port Augusta Holiday Park which is a 'Big 4. park that has a 4 star rating. We chose to live it up here and took an en suite site for the night. It is a large park that is very clean and the en suites appear to be fairly new. Upon saying that, the price for an en suite site is more expensive than we have paid for a while, $32.00 (down to $28.80 with Big 4 membership).

After setting up and unhooking we drove into the town centre, did a little more food shopping and then had a quite extensive drive around the rest of the town. It is a fairly large town with good facilities and again, has the usual attractions one could expect. We believe we have seen the main sights about the town and will move on again in the morning, heading down the coast to the Yorke Peninsula.

Tumby Bay Hotel

Pam with Flinders & Freycenet at Whyalla

Pt Augusta Rail Station

Tuesday 06 January 2004 ( 29th Birthday of our son Travis)

After a sleep in, we left Port Augusta at 9.40 am, filled up with fuel at a Shell Service Station (64.5 lts @ 90.9 cpl) on the southern outskirts of town then headed for Port Pirie.

Called in to a quaint Fruit & Verge store (Harry's Market) about 10 km north of Port Pirie and bought some (expensive) olive oil and quandong Chutney. From there we drove into to Port Pirie and received a very pleasant surprise at the size of the place, along with the cleanliness and number of old and historic buildings.

We drove around Port Pirie and then spent some time in the main street of the city before visiting the museum which is housed in the old rail station. At $3.50 each, the museum proved to be an interesting place, particularly the information on the old rail station itself and the early days of Port Pirie. This brought back memories of getting off the train in Port Pirie after a journey from Western Australia when I was only about five or six years old.

Our next stop was at Port Broughton where we parked near the foreshore and bought Chicken and Salad rolls for lunch from a little old cafe in the main street. It was well filled with all the types of salad you could think of and was very tasty! Port Broughton appeared to be a very nice little town that could deserve another visit for a bit longer next time we pass this way.

After leaving Port Broughton we only had a short drive down to Wallaroo, however a slow moving small truck carrying a large load of wool, combined with some quite winding roadway extended the time we had to observe the countryside. We arrived at Wallaroo at 2.10 pm and booked into the North Beach Caravan Park for the next two nights so we can drive around this area tomorrow. The Caravan Park was well packed with holiday makers and we have been told it is one of the safes swimming beaches in South Australia. I think the water is ok for swimming, however when we went to the beach to have a look, the tide was out and there was at least 200 metres of shore to walk over to get to the water. We will have to have a look when the tide comes in...

The last time I visited the Yorke Peninsula I think I would have only been about 6 or 7 years old, so am really looking forward to the next few days of touring this region and sharing with Pam.


Port Pirie Post office & Old Rail Station

Port Broughton Foreshore & Jetty

The tide is out at Wallaroo Beach

Wednesday 7th January 2004

Today was a day of sight seeing in the surrounding area and visiting old family memories.

First we went on a scenic drive along the coast to the north of Wallaroo. This was a picturesque drive around a number of bays that had waves crashing in on the rocks and beaches. The road was reasonably narrow and very corrugated, but quite ok for any standard vehicle to use.

We then went to Alford and took a photo of the old pub before moving on to Kadina which is the largest town on the Yorke Peninsula. We were suitably impressed by Kadina and believe it would be worthy of a longer visit sometime in the future. While in Kadina we visited the 'Dry Land Farming' museum and at $8.00 per adult, was well worth every cent of it to spend time there. Other than information about the pioneers of the Kadina and surrounding areas, there was a display of old machinery as large as I have ever seen before, and all under cover. There was also a beautifully restored miners cottage, a school room and much more. We spent an hour and a half there and would have spent more time if it hadn't been for the hunger pangs that 'one of us' was feeling.

Due to the 'Need For Feed' (and my safety) we sped off down to 'Little Cornwall' (Moonta) and were lucky enough to find some Cornish Pasties remaining in the third food shop we tried. They were so good the one of us that was hungry had to go back for seconds. Moonta is a medium size town that spreads two km to the coast where it becomes Moonta Bay and also Port Hughes.

From Moonta we went down to Maitland, the centre of the Yorke Peninsula and after some searching, talking to my brother on the mobile phone and then knocking on the door of the house, we had discovered the old house that Edgar Henry & Beatrice May Bentley (My Grandparents) used to own and which I had visited last in about 1954. The lady of the house was extremely helpful and gracious in inviting us to see through it and take some photographs around it. At here invitation I even climbed into the almond tree that I can remember doing way back in about 1954, and Pam took a photograph for old times sake. We also went to the Maitland cemetery and found the headstones of both Jane and Elizabeth Bentley which were dually photographed.

Maitland itself appears to be a typical rural town that was is, clean and tidy but time was getting on so we didn't have an extensive drive throughout the town.

We then found ourselves on our way to Balgowan which was the closest seaside resort to Maitland. On arrival at Balgowan it was obvious the town site had increased in size, but the drive down an earth ramp cut into the side of the reasonably high dirt cliffs was still there and was just like I remember it being almost 50 years ago. The beaches at Balgowan were the best sand beaches we have seen since we arrived in South Australia, although the water was very dirty due to the high winds and rough seas we are currently experiencing.

From Balgowan it was back to the caravan at Wallaroo via a couple of back roads through typical, high productive farming areas.

Tomorrow we move on further south into the Yorke Peninsula, destination unknown just yet.

Just a small sample of the machinery at the Dry Land Farming museum, Kadina.

That old almond tree and me!

The drive down onto the beach at Balgowan