Bye bye SA – Hello NT


We arrived in South Australia on the 25th February. Little did we know then that we wouldn’t be leaving until mid July! We’ve really enjoyed our time in SA, as we’ve seen so much more than we realised was here, and still have reasons to come back for some places we missed – but not many!

On our way back north, we visited the Clare Valley and went to the Good Catholic Girl winery, meeting the owner Julie. With our motorhome Katya already acting like a wine cellar with the mixed dozen we bought in the Riverlands, we could only buy one bottle of wine.

Wanting to avoid Port Augusta this time, there are many small towns on the way up north, including Georgetown where we stayed one night in the great free camp the town provides, and Wirrabarra (silo art). We stayed at the showground in Melrose for 4 nights walking the short distance into town each day. There is so much to do there with hiking and bike riding as well as a couple of nice cafes. We did the nature walk and the summit walk on Mt Remarkable, where you had to fit through a slim opening in the gate stopping bikes from entering the track. Mark must have put on weight. There are the remains of a plane crash that occurred in 1980, on one of the rocky slopes. We also cycled halfway to Wilmington, 19km away. My bum was so sore I couldn’t sit down afterwards.

We were disappointed to find that the Prairie Hotel at Parachilna, west of the Ikara Flinders Ranges had still not opened. They normally have great meals with kangaroo, emu and camel on the menu, but we stayed in the Parachilna Gorge free camp for a couple of nights which was quiet and relaxing.

Further north, we had lunch at Copley with quandong pies, then soaked in the hot natural spa at Coward Springs. Not bad desert camp there but at $15 per person per night, it’s too expensive for more than one night. We stopped in at the William Creek hotel, and stayed the night at the free camp at Lake Cadibarrawirracanna. It took me several times to get that right! The wild budgies twittered around us, and the night sky was amazing!

We decided to treat ourselves to a night in a hotel in Coober Pedy and stayed in an underground room at the Desert Cave. We had a great sleep, as it was so dark. The rest of our stay in Coober Pedy was made more colourful when we met a guy called Tony and his girlfriend Zhiling. He is an opal miner and dealer and showed us his opal and stone collection which was overwhelming. After spending about 2 hours sifting through many hundreds of opals I found two matching solids which Tony set into earrings for me. We also spent time helping them match loose stones into ring settings.

The finale of our time there was when Tony showed us the underground property he bought, which he is slowly cleaning and fixing up. It is basically an underground mansion with so many rooms and a large area for entertaining. He’s not sure what he wants to do with it, but thinks it will be an event space, and B&B for his friends and family. I’d love to help him finish it, as I could see the potential, but I wouldn’t want to be around in summer!

As we left Coober Pedy, we stopped at the Serbian Orthodox church which has been dug out of a hill – truly beautiful.

We had one final night in SA in a free camp as close to the border as we could get. There were people who’d been there for 3 days waiting for the border opening on the 17th. We had a campfire, Mark made his now infamous bread, and went to bed early, as many of them were planning on getting up before dawn to beat the queue. We got up at about 6:30am, and by the time we got to the border it was 8am, but the queue was only about a dozen cars. Thankfully the grumpy policeman had no issue with our forms and let us through. We’re in the Northern Territory finally!

Despite being told Uluru was closed, we had already booked at the campground so took a chance. Many things are still closed, but the walks around Uluru and Kata Tjuta (Mt Olga) were open. We have so many photos of these rocks, you wouldn’t believe. But here are a select few.

The news of COVID 19 spreading again in Australia is extremely concerning, and we are thinking of our family and friends in Sydney and Melbourne and elsewhere where the numbers are not looking good. Stay safe everyone.

9 thoughts on “Bye bye SA – Hello NT

  1. Loved it! Wish I was back in the NT.

    If you make it to Jabiru in Kakadu (and you should!) be sure to visit the Westpac branch where I was the manager during the late 1990. There’s still a photo of me with my then-team on the wall.


  2. Michelle and Mark! We’re fine here in Melbourne! So happy for you that you’re finally in NT! We took almost identical fotos of Uluru! So cool! Alway looking forward to read your next post!


  3. Have been looking forward to your next blog, as usual a great read, giving us itchy feet to head to NT. 🤔
    Enjoy you onward journey & safe travels. Xx


  4. Congratulations on getting over the border 🎉🥂. You are definately in the right place. Social distancing is getting tighter again here in NSW – not a fun place to be at all! 🙏🏼 Thankful I’m working though. Take care and look forward to hearing more of your adventures. Heather


  5. Read in Alice Springs, great pics and report! L&S

    On Sun, 19 Jul 2020 at 9:13 pm, Travelling Old Farts wrote:

    > wwtofs posted: ” 19/07/2020 We arrived in South Australia on the 25th > February. Little did we know then that we wouldn’t be leaving until mid > July! We’ve really enjoyed our time in SA, as we’ve seen so much more than > we realised was here, and still have reasons to com” >


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: