Travelling Australia
Wayne & Pam BENTLEY
12 January 2004 to 14 January 2004

Monday 12 January 2004

Today was a quiet day that was spent around the caravan park, a bit of washing was done and the web site needed some attention and changes to make it more user friendly and efficient.

There was the need to drive down the street later in the day to purchase a block of West End Draught Beer, and while going past, dropped in to see the memorial to Captain Butler who came from Minlaton and was a 'Flying Ace' during the First World War.

The memorial is a building with glass walls on three sides and it houses a little monoplane that he brought back from Europe when he returned after the end of the war. The mono plane was restored after it was discovered hanging in the roof of a hanger in Guildford, Western Australia and was donated to Minlaton by it's owner, MacMiller of the Robertson MacMiller Airlines (MMA) later to become Ansett Airlines.

Unfortunately Butler was badly injured in an air display in 1922 but survived when his plane rolled over and crashed from a height of about 1400 feet. He died very quickly and peacefully 1924 from a brain tumor that was most likely caused by the injuries he had received in the crash.

Now it's time for a haircut and to pack up the few things we won't be using tonight, making it easier to get away in the morning for wherever we go, most likely to Clare in the Clare Valley where 'one of us' can sample some fermented grape juice.

Captain Butler's small mono plane

Tuesday 13th January 2004

'On The Road Again' today, moving from Minlaton up through Maitland where we passed the old house of Gran & Pop Bentley for the last time on this trip, then on through Arthurton, Melton, Kulpara and stopped briefly in Bute as 'one of us' was getting hungry.

Bute was just that, it appeared to be a 'bute' little town that was clean, neat and tidy and their local deli made some fairly good sandwiches.

From Bute we went to the infamous Snowtown which was a different story, although the sporting ground looked to be well kept and their caravan park is within the sporting ground. We parked in the main street and took a few photographs before moving on.

The journey from Snowtown to Clare was through dry rolling farming land and as we came closer to Clare, were wondering if we would find any grape vines at all. Then we had a steep climb up a fairly long hill and as we came over the top of the hill the scenery changed dramatically. We found ourselves in a very hilly valley that had numerous green fields filled with grape vines and we were only a few km from Clare.

On arrival in Clare we set up in the Clare Caravan Park, then went into town to do a little food shopping. On the way back to the caravan, 'one of us' couldn't go passed the turn off to a winery so we went in to 'Tim Adams Winery' and sampled a small drop of the local produce, leaving with a bottle of white and one of Shiraz.

Tomorrow we may head up toward Petersborough for the day and leave our Clare Valley exploring until Thursday.

Parked in the infamous Snowtown

'One of use' couldn't wait to sample the local produce - 'Tim Adams' winery, '1999 Botrytis Affected Riesling'

Wednesday 14th january 2004

We had a really had a good day, returning to the caravan at about 4:20pm after traveling 274 km and visiting Geralka, Spalding, Jamestown, Yongala, Peterborough, Terowie, Whyte Yarcowie, Hallett, Mt Bryan, Burra and then back to Clare.

Leaving Clare was quite a sight traveling through all the vineyards with row upon row of very healthy looking grape vines, but it wasn't long before we came out of the valley and were back in the rolling hills of the farmlands. Gerelka was a small place but Spalding was quite a bit larger with a hospital, retirement village and most things anyone would need.

Jamestown was next on the list and we would recommend a visit to this town to anyone traveling in this area. It had extremely wide streets that were flanked by old well restored buildings. There were four hotels, three banks, two supermarkets (IGA & Foodland) and a host of other old quaint shops, including one called 'Shear Magic Shearing Supplies'. We walked around the main street of Jamestown for about half an hour and took numerous photographs before moving on.

Yongala was a small one street town that we have been told does not have any occupied buildings other than the hotel, which had a sign out saying 'Opening at 3pm everyday' All the other building and houses in the town looked like they had been vacant for some time, it really did look like a 'ghost town'.

The main aim of the day was to visit the Peterborough cemetery and find the grave of the father of Max and Peter (Hately) and Pam. Peter had done quite a lot of research into this and discovered their father had lived, worked and was buried here in 1978. We located the grave in this well kept cemetery and after tidying up a few leaves and twigs from the grave, we took a number of photographs to remember it by.

Peterborough was a fairly large town and had signs of a lack of water, but having said that, it was quite interesting and although we were there for about two hours, we didn't see anything like all we could have. It is considered a historic rail town and there is a large rail museum, along with many other attractions we did not get to see. As it in on the highway to Broken Hill, we may visit it again one say when passing through.

We returned via Terowie, which is another historic town where there are no houses or buildings that are less than 104 years old. It really looked like it could have been used for a movie set if it wasn't for the overhead power lines running along the street. It was quite fascinating.

After Terowie we traveled through Whyte Yarcowie, Hallett and Mt Bryan, all of which were fairly small and did not have anything of significance compared to where we had been earlier today.

Burra was our last town to visit before returning to Clare. Burra was the town that the movie Breaker Morant was filmed in and we believe there are certain times that tours can be taken over the movie set that is still there.

It was back to Clare then to prepare the web site upload, e-mail messages and then maybe a quiet refreshing drink before a tasty lamb stew dinner.

Rolling hills north of Jamestown


Steam train in the centre of Peterborough


Restored century old shops in Terowie