Friday 1st April 2011
Day 1 - Melbourne to Swan Hill, Vic - 372 kms.

We left home at approx 9:30am and went via Nepean Hwy to South Rd to Beach Rd over West Gate Bridge and then onto the Western Ring Rd.
Stopped at Service Centre for a drink and quick check of the rig. Turned left onto Calder Hwy then headed towards Bendigo, stopped for another rest at the Ravenswood Rest Area, where we met a group of cyclists doing the Murray to Moyne ride - 24 hour - 520km - Team Cycle Relay Event. I think one of riders was a guy from the Bike Vic forum. What a small world.
Next stop was at Kerang and decided not to have lunch until Swan Hill. We arrived at Swan Hill Riverside CP, which I had previously booked, about 3pm. We were shown to the 5th Wheeler area, it is great having a small 5th wheeler, because they put you in a special area which has a bit of room.

We setup camp (plugged in the power and water and wound the Wingard up), Marg had a rest and I walked along the Murray taking pictures, believe it or not, the water is higher than this time last year. Also last year there were locusts everywhere, this year, there was only ONE locust attached to our grille.

Tomorrow, we head for Morgan, SA. This is where we turned around last year and headed home, after Mum rang to said that Dad has fallen over and broken a few bones. We have wrapped him in bubble wrap for this year's trip.

Our camp at Swan Hill.

The mighty Murray.

The silo over the road from the Riverside Caravan Park.

Saturday 2nd April 2011
Day 2 - Swan Hill to Morgan, SA - 473 kms.

Woke to a balmy 3.3° and got up about 6:45am still dark. Having breakky and about to pack up and leave.

Well, we left at 9:00am and stopped at Robinvale to change into shorts and t shirts, then drove through NSW to Mildura, stopped there for fuel, then stopped at Lake Culluleraine for lunch. It was beautiful, parked beside the lake and eating cold hot cross buns. We continued onto Renmark, where we topped up with fuel and then onto Morgan where we topped up with again. Two years ago when we drove from Broken Hill to Port Augusta on a Saturday, we nearly ran out of fuel, because South Australia, well Wilmington anyway, closes up shop for Saturday afternoon, so we always top up with fuel on the weekends, when we can. The traffic today was identical to yesterday, very, very light.

Tomorrow we head for Port Augusta - a lazy 285kms.

Lunch at lake Culla.

Vic/SA check point.

Marg at Morgan.

The Morgan ferry.

Our camp at Morgan.

The mighty Murray is high.

Sunday 3rd April 2011
Day 3 - Morgan to Port Augusta , SA - 285 kms.

Woke to a balmy 3.3° again, second morning in a row and got up about 7am, now light as daylight saving has ended. We were in no hurry to leave as we only have 285kms to Port Augusta. So I had a shower and while Marg was relaxing on her laptop, I walked along the Murray and took some more photos. It is such a lovely place.

I was planning to leave about 10am, but Marg was ready earlier, so we left about 9:30am. Our first stop was at Spalding at 10:55am for 10 minutes to change into shorts, then we stopped on the outskirts of Port Augusta for fuel at 12:51pm for 9 minutes 50 seconds arriving at our campsite at 1:13pm.

These accurate timings are brought to us by our Harry Hema. We have a Hema Navigator 5 given to me for my last birthday, Father's day, Xmas etc. We use the track log option in the Ozi Explorer section and it records all our routes to a file about every 10 seconds showing latitude, longitude, Altitude, Date, Time, Distance, KPH and Heading. It is bloody brilliant.

Today is my last booked caravan park until Sapphire in July, from tomorrow, we are just going to front up and lob, this is totally against my 'religion', I like to book a CP site so I know that I have somewhere to stay at the end of the day. I like being organised.
We will wait and see how long this lasts.

I always thought that this trip would officially start once we left Port Augusta, as we have been here before, so our trip doesn't start until we visit a new place. I know that you will think that I am mad. I am.

Tomorrow we were going to Ceduna, but that is 466kms away, now that we have started our trip, that is too far, so we are stopping somewhere in between tomorrow night and then arrive in Ceduna the following day.

The Murray at Morgan looking Up river.

The Murray at Morgan looking Down river.

Heading towards the South Flinders Ranges.

Beautiful scenery.

More beautiful scenery.

Our camp at Big 4 Port Augusta.

Monday 4th April 2011
Day 4 - Port Augusta to Wudinna - 255 kms.

Woke to a real balmy 6°, and got up about 7am. Again, we were in no hurry to leave as we only have 255kms to Wudinna. So I had a shower and while Marg was relaxing on her laptop, I spoke to our neighbours, both neighbours had driven from Ceduna and are heading East.

Did I tell you how great Harry Hema is, he records our route onto a file and I then load that into my mapping software called OziExplorer. Very good mapping software. Harry tells me that we left camp at 8:48am and stopped at Iron Knob at 9:43am for 5 minutes, then we headed off to Kimba arriving at 11:01am and stopped for the photos in front of the Halfway across Oz sign. A couple with their 3 kids arrived at the sign when we did, so Marg asked if they would take our photo. see below when I load the photo. We then visited the Big Galah about 100 meters from the sign and checked out the gems. They had a beautiful chunk of Zebra Rock, not for sale, bugger. I want to get some Zebra Rock when we get to Kununurra. We arrived at Wudinna at 12:48pm topped up with fuel and booked into the Gawler Range CP, we didn't book, I will try and NOT stress about things like booking a site, and we managed to get a site without any hassle.

After setting up camp, we went into downtown Wudinna for some shopping, they had an IGA and a bakery, both were used. On the way back to camp, we went to a geocache site, we couldn't find the cache. We found the one in Kimba and saw the possible site of another from the road, but it is a tad hard to stop on the side of the road with the van on the back and go looking for caches.

An Update, about 30 minutes ago aka 5:20pm, we walked back to the geocache site, with Harry Hema and a compass and we found the cache. Yippee

Tomorrow we were going to Ceduna. Again, I haven't booked and would like to stay at the Foreshore CP, we will wait and see and I will try to stress less.

A view of Iron Knob.

An undulating road.

The Halfway across Oz sign at Kimba.

The Big galah at Kimba.

Our camp at Gawler Range CP, Wudinna.

The monstrous Granite Sculpture at Wudinna.

Tuesday 5th April 2011
Day 5 - Wudinna to Ceduna - 211 kms.

Woke to a foggy and cold morning, and got up about 7am. Again, we were in no hurry to leave as we only had 211kms to Ceduna. So I had a shower in the CP's amenities block, there were 2 showers and each shower consisted of a shower, wash basin and a toilet. They were great.

Harry Hema says that we left Wudinna at 8:44am, and stopped at a road works site for 5 minutes, then stopped at Wirrulla for an 8 minute break and a smoko. Now bear in mind, that today was the first time that I did not book a CP site, so we arrived at the Ceduna Foreshore CP at 11:26am and I wandered into the office and asked for a powered site, if possible on the foreshore. I was told that the only site available is a small site, suitable for a campervan.
I was in shock. Marg and I headed over to the Big 4 CP, there, I was told that they had only one site available and it was an ensuite site at $41 per night, so we took it, for 3 nights. So my first day of NOT booking ahead did not go down well. I won't give up just yet, crossing the Nullarbor shouldn't be a problem, we will just lob at Norseman and Kalgoorlie and see how we go. If I strike out, then I may reconsider my strategy.

After setting up camp, we went into downtown Ceduna, there is a beautiful hotel overlooking the foreshore, we may go there for tomorrow night's dinner.

Tomorrow we are sightseeing in and around Ceduna.

Our camp at Big 4 - Ceduna.

Our camp at Big 4 - Ceduna.

Ceduna Foreshore Pub.

Wednesday 6th April 2011
Day 6 - Sightseeing around Ceduna.

Woke to a foggy and cool morning after sleepingin till 7am. Put on my old trakky dacks and top, until it warmed up. I did 3 loads of washing in our lemair washer, it works very well. I also had to setup our clothes line and gently hammered a peg into it, to stop it being blown over. Marg and I buggered around camp until the washing was finished and then headed into downtown Ceduna for a look, see.

First stop was the dump point that Tom reckons is here, we drove there, it wasn't there. Bad Tom. Next stop was the Ceduna Golf Club to organise how to play the Nullarbor Links.

The procedure is:
  • Holes 1 and 2 are at Ceduna GC, so go to the Ceduna Tourist Centre, pay $60 for a Nullarbor Links Score Card, go back to the golf club, play holes (number 1 is a par 5 485m and 18 is a par 4 370m). Your scorecard must be stamped at each hole, mine was stamped at the Tourist Centre, so I can write any score in for the first 2 holes. I think that I should at least play some holes, even though I haven't hit a golf ball for over 35 years.
  • Hole 3 now drive or walk 73kms to Penong roadhouse. More details to ccome, when I actually get here.
So that should fun. Next stop was back to the Tourist Centre to pay my $60 and get my scorecard plus a few travel brochures. It appears that I may have drama at Kalgoorlie GC, they have dress standards of NO denim, that could be a problem as I ONLY have denim.

so it looks like I maybe playing Kalgoorlie GC in my jocks, we will just have to wait and see. We aren't expected into Kalgoorlie for another 8 days.

Next stop was Foodland, a very new supermarket, so we restocked our food supplies for crossing the Nullarbor. Continued over to Thevenard to buy some crabs and prawns from Baldy's fresh fish. Marg was hanging out for crabs, I wasn't greatly fussed with crabs, but I LOVE prawns. Anyway, Baldy's haven't had any crabs for 2 weeks, unlucky marg, so we bought a kilo of prawns, and tonight we have Marg's world famous Prawn Cocktail, mine is served up on a dinner plate. I will try and take a photo, 'cause it is bloody yumma.
Back at camp for lunch, I had tomato and cheese sangas, Marg had something, I can't remember what. While I am writing this, Marg is having a nanna nap and I have the air con on, as it is warm to hot. One good thing about this beautiful weather is, that all our washing has dried. I nearly forgot, we have new neighbours, they have a 33 foot US 5th wheeler, it is bloody HUGE. wait to your see the photo of it against our little 5th wheeler.

I think that it is beer o'clock somewhere, so bye for now.

Tomorrow, I rip the Ceduna GC apart and we do more sightseeing in and around Ceduna.

View over Murat Bay.

Ross and Karen's big Fiver.

Marg's World Famous Prawn cocktail.

Thursday 7th April 2011
Day 7 - Ceduna GC is tamed. Yeah, right!!

Woke to a fine, warm sunny morning. Only did 1 load of washing and then headed to the Royal and Ancient Ceduna GC where it was D day, me against the Nullarbor Links.

I arrived all fresh and relaxed to tame the wilds of the Ceduna GC, I believe that holes 1 and 18 are there most difficult. You wouldn't believe it but they are the 2 holes picked for the Nullarbor Links.

The following is today's hole by hole description of how I tamed the world famous Nullarbor Links Golf Course(s).
  • Hole 1 is called Oyster Beds and it is a monster par 5 485 meters. With my bag of clubs, well actually only 2 clubs, a 3 iron and a putter and a snap tight plastic bag of used golf balls, that Bazza my neighbour gave me, I walked over to the tee, which just happened to be the ladies. No big deal, everyone has butterflies at facing this monster hole. The scene is set, I am encouraged by the roar of the crowd, well Marg was the only person there and was taking photos of me. I pull out me tee, now this is no ordinary tee, I was told by the lady at the Tourist Centre to cut the top off a coke bottle and use that as a tee, and also tee up on the fairway.

  • I place my used golf ball on my plastic coke tee, have a few warm up swings and then unleash my awesome power on that little white bastard. My backswing was awesome and follow through just oozed brute force, so much so, that as my 3 iron came through, it sent the plastic coke tee a good 20ft in front of me and missed the little bastard all together, which was still at my feet. Stroke 1. Not to be put off by this slight mistiming, I wander over and picked up my plastic coke tee and placed the white bastard on top. This time there was contact with the little white bastard and it went at least 20 to 30 meters and finished on the gravel of the carpark. Stroke 2. Again not to be deferred I picked up the ball and placed it on the fairway. You will be glad to know that I did make contact with the ball and eventually was on the green for 10 and after some excellent putting, I picked the ball up from the cup after 3 lovely putts.
    1st Hole - 13 off the stick. Not a bad effort, I was looking at breaking 200 for 18 holes. Marg and I were quite impressed with my skill and agreed that I really haven't lost any of my previous golf skill. You again may find this extremely hard to believe, but in my lifetime of 58 years, I think that I have played maybe 10 games of golf. In a rather happy state, we walked about 150 meters over to the 18th hole aka Hole 2 Denial Bay.

  • Hole 2 is called Denial Bay and it is a par 4 370 meters. As we approached the tee, I was a little taken aback, as the first 100 meters was rough as in very bloody rough, I thought that I might have trouble clearing the rough with my drive and I was in two minds, whether to start from the mowed part of the fairwway or go for it and risk losing a couple of balls. I went for it. My plastic coke tee was worst for wear. As it was that buggered, I couldn't use it, so I just rested my ball on a very nice tuff of green stuff. Another warm up/practice swing, and I was ready, this time I didn't stuff it, as such. I did hit it, so that is better than my 1st tee, but I must have winged it as it stopped on the ladies tee, good shot, as I am not in the rough and have nice grass to hit from. My next shot just made it onto the mowed fairway, Marg was that impressed, that she was telling me where to hit it, yeah right. After some unbelieveable great shots that would make even Tiger jealous, I was just off the green, not close enough to use my putter, so I was still using my 3 iron. Anyway, I managed to connect and went straight over the green and finally scrambled home for an 8

  • After 2 holes I am 21 or 12 over par with 16 holes to play.

  • Hole 3 is at the Penong Roadhouse and we should be there sometime tomorrow morning.
  • After our great day of golf, we went geocaching ( and found a cache near the golf course, then headed out to Denial Bay looking for another cache, but couldn't find it. So we drove into Denial Bay and took some photo of Ceduna across the bay. Back in town we did some more shopping in readiness of our crossing the Nullarbor tomorrow. Called into the pub and bought Marg a slab of West Coast cooler, I thought that they had stopped making it, but I was wrong. Called into the pub's bistro to suss out dinner tonight. It looks good.

    Back at camp, we are booked in at Norseman (to do some fossicking), then booked in at Kalgoorlie, then booked in at Southern Cross and now it got tricky, as we planned to goto Esperance, but the whole bloody town is fully booked out (powered and non-powered sites) for Easter, so we are booked in again at Kalgoorlie and also booked in at Esperance from Easter Monday onwards. That's a lot of booking.

    It is currently 32.9° and we are in the van with the Air Con on, about 5:15pm, we will head down to the pub for a chilled refresher and a meal, probably a parma.

    Tomorrow, we will probably loose Internet reception, while we head on to Penong-Hole 3, Nundroo-Hole 4, Nullarbor-Hole 5 staying overnight at Nullarbor Roadhouse.
    Saturday, Border Village-Hole 6, Eucla Beach-Hole 7, Mundrabilia-Hole 8, Madura-Hole 9 staying overnight at Madura Roadhouse
    Sunday, Cocklebiddy-Hole 10, Caiguna-Hole 11, Balladonia Hole 12, Fraser Range-Hole 13 staying overnight at Fraser Range
    Monday should have Internet reception again.

Hole 1 Stroke 1 - a fresh air shot. Damn.

My chilled refresher. Very nice.

Another chilled refresher.

Marg in action.

A beautiful sunset in Ceduna.

Marg's beef parma. I had to help her eat it.

*2011 - Index page*

Heading to Nullarbor Roadhouse.