When we were kids, whenever my sisters and I were bundled into the car, invariably one of us would ask "Dad...where are we going"? The usual response from Dad was "There and back to see how far it is". Within these pages Sharon and I have tried to capture our experiences and impressions of the places and people we've come across whilst trying to find out for ourselves "..how far it is".
Rapid Bay, Myponga, Hindmarsh Valley, Deep Creek Conservation Park. 9th Oct 2012
After a comfortable night's rest, we woke to a bright and cloudless day.
Di and Dave hopped into the car with us and and guided us to a few locations they'd visited over the previous couple of days.
Old unused jetty behind the new.
The first stop was a little down the road at Rapid Bay, which has a large, open campgroud, no power or showers, an uninterupted view of the beach, and handy to the old derelict jetty which is popular with divers hoping to catch a sighting of the elusive leafy sea dragon.
Another short hop to the HMAS Hobart Memorial overlooking Lady Bay. The Hobart was a Destroyer that served Australia for 35 years before being de-commissioned and subsequently scuttled in 2002, now providing a habitat for local marine life. The ship's anchor has been situated at the memorial such that it points to the ship's final resting place.
The view back towards Rapid Bay.
Looking North to Yankalilla Bay
A bit more driving and it was time for a coffee break so we hit the local Bakery at Myponga. Back in the car and after a few wrong directions coming from the back seat (Dave had the map) we continued to follow the Tourist Trail and stopped off to take a couple of short walks to some waterfalls.
The Trail brought us out on the edge of the Deep Creek Conservation Reserve, and a chance for us to test out the new Prado on some dirt road. After a few K's we pulled up at a diversion off the main track that we had to purchase a pass to use and was open to 4wd vehicles only. We all agreed that it might be interesting to take a look so Dave filled out the paperwork and paid the fee and we were in. Not far down the track we came upon a couple of Parks Officers busy with a chainsaw clearing a reasonable sized tree that had fallen across the track. It turns out they'd only opened the trail 5 minutes earlier after being closed for the Winter., but assured us the way was clear from there on. So, we pushed on and found ourselves looking out over a spectacular landscape towards a brilliant blue sea and spotless sky. The "road" at this point was almost two lanes wide, dry, lightly gravelled but to our inexperienced eyes, quite steep with a number of switchbacks. Being a novice offroader, I turned on the Descent Assist Control (DAC), took my feet away from the break and accelerator, and let the "smarts" do all the work. It was a reasonably slow trip down the hillside, but the DAC did such a great job, I don't think the tyres broke traction once.
Road to Boat Harbor Beach
Anyway, the view was well worth it and was a perfect reminder of why we decided to get a 4x4.
Funny, but it didn't look so steep going back up and we made it back onto the main Tourist Trail again and back "home" in no time.
We dropped Di and Dave back at the 'vans then Sharon and I drove the last couple of kilometers to the end of the Cape to watch the Kangaroo Island ferry load up and cast off. The weather had started to turn by this time with the wind gusting up a bit and showers passing over, but the stretch of water between the mainland and the island was surprisingly calm. The crew were very efficient at cramming as many vehicles as possible onto the deck.
When we got back to the 'van we were surprised to see how many caravans, motorhomes and campers had moved in whilst we were away. Being the closest camping area to the Kangaroo Island ferry it seems that most people stop here overnight ready to jump aboard the ferry next day.
Anyway, despite there being quite a few campers, the place was still quiet and peaceful and a great place to kick back for a while.
Cape Jervis via Bordertown, Wellington, Strathalbyn, Victor Harbor. 8th Oct 2012
Monday morning and it's time to set off on another caravanning holiday with Di and Dave. We said goodbye to Laura, as she left for work, and shortly after we hit the Highway, bound for Cape Jervis, South Australia.
It was a pretty quick trip across the border and down the Fleurieu Peninsular to the Sheep Station at Jervis Bay. The most interesting part of the drive over was the short ferry ride across the Murray River to Wellington. The ferry operates 24 hours per day, every day of the year, and is free of charge. Something a bit different to break up the driving.
From Wellington, it was on to Strathalbyn and out to the coast at Middleton, followed by a welcome pit-stop and a break for a very nice coffee at Victor Harbor.
Cape Jervis is only 50 minutes or so further on from Victor Habor and is a very picturesque drive through some green rolling hills, not unlike the area around Leongatha, Gippsland. After climbing yet another hill and rounding a long right hand bend, you're met with an unobstructed view from a high elevation of the tiny village of Cape Jervis, the Backstairs Passage, Kangaroo Island and the Southern Ocean. It was a good test of the brakes on the way back down to something closer to sea level with the well signposted entrance to the Sheep Station at the foot of the hill.
View looking South towards he Backstairs Passage
Di and Dave had arrived two nights earlier and were sitting outside their van looking pretty settled and relaxed, talking with some fellow travellers, when we rolled in.
It didn't take us long to set things up, have a quick and easy meal, then settle down for the night.