January 10 Port Lincoln – Port Augusta
As we headed out of Port Lincoln a quick fuel stop turned into a photo op for the kids in the jaws of Jaws, then it was off up the coast to Port Augusta.
With Chelle at the wheel so I could track down a campsite for the night on Wikicamps (Chelle doesn’t do so well with the reading and the moving and the bumping and the cornering) we headed up the coast with the kids watching another movie (Thanks for the quiet Colin & Jeanette!). Chelle and I were entertained by the comic stylings of The Goon Show. I drifted off after the first episode and left Chelle in the company of Eccles, Seagoon and Bluebottle until we paused in Whyalla to construct lunch.
We ate on the road so that we would make it to Port Augusta in time to enjoy the experience of the Wadlata Outback Centre.
At Wadlata, entering through the jaws of a giant serpent, we were taken back to the early days of life in the outback. From the Aboriginal dreamtime stories through the early explorers and farmers who battled the bush and the drought and were left broke and broken, right through to current day life in the outback. It was an amazing interactive look through the history of the area and the hardships that were (and to some extent still are) endured by those who live in the outback. The kids had an absolute blast with all the interactive exhibits and Chelle and I enjoyed the history of the explorers and the quality of the presentations. Highly recommended!
We camped for the night 30kms south of Port Augusta at a free camp in the Chinaman’s Creek Conservation Park. Before pitching the tent we decided to explore the area on our bikes. It was great fun riding through the dunes that were completely covered in millions of tiny shells. Chelle completed her first ever water crossing on a push bike…not deep or wide but a water crossing nonetheless.
Setting up camp was a mission due to the howling wind that was coming up the coast and resulted in the top hook of a tent peg viciously attacking my thumb (You have to watch out for those tent pegs…they have a nasty bite!). Fortunately the coating of shells covered much firmer ground than the sand at Eucla so the tent showed no signs of taking flight.
While I was recovering from my argument with the peg and Chelle was cooking dinner, we were greeted by the parks builder and only resident Doug and his extremely friendly Border Collie. He regaled us with stories of his adventures in times gone by and of the many and varied guests who have traveled through the park.
A restless windy night was followed by the most beautiful sunrise that held the promise of another amazing day of adventures!