Our final stop at the top of the Eyre Peninsula was Port Augusta which we carefully skirted as best we could and continued to head down the coast, this time on the Fleurieu Peninsula. We still had a few days before the rally began and I was keen to stop in one spot for a while when we got closer to Penola. Setting up and packing up my van every day is not my idea of my travelling lifestyle!
Our first overnighter we planned to stay at one of the National Park camp sites but when we arrived we found that you had to book a site on line. Well, that was a bit hard to do as there was no mobile or internet reception until we had driven the 5kms back to the gate so we thought we’d keep going. We ended up at Baroota Rodeo and Campground. It was dusty but the welcome made up for that, and the showers were great. After a lazy start the next day we continued along the coast road, stopping to photograph yet another jetty at Port Germein. The signs claim it is the longest timber jetty in the Southern Hemisphere at 1.5kms long, but I think Busselton, in Western Australia, beats it at 1.8kms, so they can justifiably claim the title!
We continued to hug the coast until we got to Two Wells, where we headed east to Gawler to avoid going through Adelaide, our aim being to make it to Mannum and a caravan park to catch up on washing clothes, hair, etc. The caravan park at Mannum was a great find – right on the river – and our camp site was looking out over the water. I also bumped in to a lovely couple I had met at Pinjarra, in Western Australia, Peter and Ann, who were also staying there. We couldn’t wish for anything nicer. The water hens were pesky, though, and one ducked in and stole my toast off my breakfast plate – cheeky thing!
Margaret decided to head to Penola the next day and I decided to cross the river to Haythorpe Reserve and have a couple of days by myself before tackling the last leg to Penola. Both Haythorpe Reserve and Bolto Reserve are directly over the river from the Mannum township and the ferry runs 24 hours a day on demand. They both have flush toilets and there is an honesty box for the overnight fee of $10. It is free to use the ferry and it carries both vehicles and pedestrians. I love these ferries, having first used one at Cadell on my way across to the west 12 months ago.
I just had to take a photo of the Paddle Steamer Marion, as that is my sister’s name – although my sister was built a little later than 1897!! The PS Marion is a fully restored, operational, wood fired, steam driven Paddle Steamer and was totally restored for its 100th birthday in 1997. Mannum lays claim as the birthplace of the Australian paddle steamer with the launch of the Mary Ann in 1853. Both the links I have included above give some great information about The Marion, its specifications, and its history – fascinating stuff! And you can find out more about the Maritime Museum at Mannum here.
But the most spectacular sight was the Murray Princess as it cruised by my campsite! What a great trip on the mighty Murray River that would be!
With a stopover at the Naracoorte Showgrounds for one night I finally caught up with my fellow Solos at Greenrise Lake as we camped up to enter the Solos Rally tomorrow. It has been only 14 days since I left Western Australia and I have travelled over 3200kms……so much to see ….. so little time!