Monday, April 28, 2014

Southern Flinders Ranges, S.A.

We have turned a corner in our travels, we are now heading towards home, although we won't reach there anytime soon! Mainly we are biding or time waiting for the School Holiday patrons to clear out of The Flinders Ranges before heading there ourselves. We pulled into the small caravan park at Crystal Brook to fill in a couple of days and found ourselves camped beside a couple from Bundaberg. Australia truly is a small Country. A little piece of Trivia, apparently Crystal Brook has the most train movements of any country town in Australia.  ANZAC Day came about while at Crystal Brook, so we rugged up to attend The Dawn Service with about 300 others. The local RSL was astounded at the turnout, the largest for many years. The previous ANZAC Day, 2013, there were only 4 remaining RSL members and 3 of those passed away during the ensuing twelve months. The local community rallied around to support their RSL Club and the organisation now boasts 70 Members!

Made a few more kilometres north along Spencer Gulf and pulled into another small town, Port Germein. This port is potentially great for fishing and especially for Blue Swimmer Crabs. One distinctive feature is the 1.5 kilometre long timber jetty. Officially, 1532 metres as it stands currently. There was another 150 metres to the jetty until it was storm damaged. The Jetty was originally constructed to load sailing ships with bagged wheat grown in the area.

Moved another 170 kilometres closer to The Flinders Ranges to make camp at Hawker. We can now see our destination. Hawker is a small town now totally geared up for the tourist traffic heading to The Flinders Ranges but it was once a railway station on the Old Ghan Line between Port Augusta and Alice Springs. Jeff Morgan, an artist in the town, has painted an awesome Panorama of Wilpena Pound in The Flinders Ranges. It took 4000 hours to complete the art work in The Panorama. If you are ever in Hawker this Panorama is a MUST see attraction. If the weather is kind to us we plan a 30 minute aerial tour of Wilpena Pound. Hopefully you will see photographs of this in the next Blog Post.

The pretty shopping centre at Crystal Brook.

The gardens and Memorial Pavillion in Crystal Brook, the venue of the ANZAC Dawn Service.

It is only a short walk from the caravan park to this historic railway bridge at Crystal Brook.

The old bridge makes way for the new!

A commemorative sculpture depicting the shipping history of Port Germein.

At 1532 metres, the Port Germein jetty seems to stretch out of sight. It is great exercise, over 3 kilometres out and return.

Arrived at the end of the jetty to find this large fellow waiting for scraps from the fishermen on the jetty.

The final 150 metres of the jetty is storm damaged and little remains. These piles wobble around in the swell so I guess they will disappear in due course.

Looking back towards Port Germein from the seaward end of the jetty with The Southern Flinders Ranges in the background.

The old Original Lighthouse was once positioned on the end of the jetty. After the storm it was rescued and is now secure on dry land.

The Hawker Hotel.

The Booking Office for Bush Pilots Australia aerial flights over Wilpena Pound. Hopefully, weather permitting, we will get to use their services.

The Flinders Ranges from the fringes of Hawker.

The Old Ghan Railway Station at Hawker.

The water tower that was used to refill the tanks on the Old Ghan Steam Engine.

One of the Murals that is also on display at The Jeff Morgan Panorama of Wilpena Pound. This outstanding mural is 15 metres across. I hope they didn't mind me snapping this copy.


  1. We stayed at Port Germein in 2009. Great little town. Enjoy the Flinders Ranges, it is still on our list to visit. We are on the road again, spent the weekend in the Ipswich show grounds while visiting family. Going to Warwick tomorrow to catch up with some friends, then on the road for a couple of weeks.

  2. Hi
    We are currently in Mannum SA and then moving on to Port Broughton on Thursday pick up up an auction powered site for $18 pn will stay 5 nights this time and the other 5 next year. pity we could not catch you up.

    We then head up the middle to Alice and Darwin

    Be safe

    Cheers Jim and Lee