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Victoria, Australia
Well here I am now 60 years old and I am really loving my life. I have had some challenges in the past but they all have contributed to the person I am today. I am currently living the biggest adventure of my life on a 12 month trip around Australia. Please join me on my Aussie Adventure updates on the many wonders this amazing country has to offer. I have many interests such as photography, travel, jewellery design and construction and all sorts of different crafts.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Robe, South Australia

Robe is a charming seaside township with a population of around 1500. But due to it's popularity between South Australians and Victorians alike this number increases immensely during the holiday season. Located on Guichen Bay, Robe was first discovered by the french explorer Nicolas Baudin way back in 1802. With over 84 historic buildings and sites it's not hard to get a feel of what Robe was like in days gone by.
Just one of the 84 historic buildings/sights
The restored walls of the Old Goal which held prisoners from 1860 - 1881
 The Obelisk was erected in 1852 and was used to assist ships navigate the entrance to Guichen Bay. It was also used to store rocket lifesaving equipment. The firing of rockets, carrying baskets to distressed ships to bring passengers ashore, saved many lives. It later assisted passing ships with navigation because its height of 12m (40 ft) makes it visible 20km (12mles) out to sea
The Obelisk - The erosion of the land surrounding the
obelisk will mean it will eventually
fall away.
Even the Lakeside Tourist Park where we are staying has an interesting history. Both the Lakeside House and Stables are State Heritage Listed. The stables which is the tourist park office and owners residence have the original timbers which were once used as ballast in a ship which bought over other building materials from England. By far the most interesting aspect of the building is the "Pug and Post" floor. This unique floor is made from local hardwood timbers which apparently go down one metre into the ground. The floor is purposely built to wear unevenly, which encouraged the horses to move around preventing poor circulation. (Doesn't work on humans!)

Historic Lakeside House

The amazing "Pug and Post" floor

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Kingston SE

We arrived in the pretty little village of Robe late yesterday, but more about Robe tomorrow. Today we went for a drive to Kingston SE which is about 44kms from where we are staying. Kingston SE has a population of around 1500. The extension of SE on it's name is to distinguish Kingston in the South East (of South Australia) from another Kingston in the state which has also changed it's name to Kingston on Murray.
Kingston SE is another location in Australia that has one of our iconic "Big Things". The "Big Lobster" was originally conceived in the mid 1970's by a local lobster fisherman. It is said that the final size of the structure was the result of an accident. The plans for the Big Lobster were provided to the builder in feet, but he misread the measurements and used metres instead, resulting in a three-fold increase in size. The Big Lobster is 17 metres high, 15.2 metres long and 13.7 metres wide, with an approximate weight of 4 tonnes.
The Big Lobster
 Then it was across the road to the "Sundial of Human Involvement". The Human Sundial is only one of a few in the world that are truly interactive with people. By reading the directions and standing in the correct place, the time of day can be determined. Each piece of granite represents an hour marker.
The Human Sundial
From time to time Kingston SE has the pleasure of a visit from sea lions. It is believed they come ashore to rest up after being involved in a storm. These amazing granite sculptures were created by the world renowned artist Silvio Apponyi.

Seal Lion and her baby
The Cape Jaffa lighthouse was built in 1868-1872 on Margaret Brock Reef, 8 km from shore and 19 km south from it's current location.  The lighthouse, which has an unusual steel frame, also included an eight bedroom house. One of the magnifying lens weighs 2 tonnes. It was the first lighthouse on the Australian coast to be dismantled and brought to the mainland.
Cape Jaffa Lighthouse

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Victoria Fossil Cave

Today I took myself off on a tour of the World Heritage listed Victoria Fossil Cave. The tour started with a 30 step journey down below the earths surface into a beautifully decorated chamber and then wound through about 250 metres of passages and chambers to a large fossil bed display area.
I find there's something spiritual when you enter a cave....

the lights help....

but Mother Nature sure can put on a good show.

It was hard to get a clear photo, but the amount of fossils blew my mind a bit.
See the ribcage in the foreground of the shot.

This guy once roamed the earth until the cave claimed him
In 1994, the significance of Naracoorte's Caves 500,000 year old fossil record was recognised by UNESCO and co-listed with Riversleigh in North Queensland as the Australian Fossil Mammals Sites. Together they tell the story of Australia's ancient animal heritage.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Naracoorte, South Australia

From Berri we headed to the tiny settlement of Wellington, located on the Murray River just upstream to where it empties into Lake Alexandrina. 

"The Narrows" where Lake Alexandrina meets Lake Albert
After a few relaxing days there, we set off for our little home now - Naracoorte. Along the journey we stopped off at the township of "Keith". There is nothing really special about Keith, some nice little shops, but it tugs at my heart strings a bit when I drive through as Keith was my Dad's name. My Dad never travelled much and never visited this township. I remember when I first visited here I took a photo of the town sign to show him and he was pretty chuffed to have a town with his name. Once again I took a photo of the town sign and I could just feel that
Dad was at last visiting the town with me.
Keith - this town tugs at my heart strings xx
Now we are in Naracoorte for a while. We are actually staying in the local showgrounds. It's pretty good here, clean toilets and showers, cheaper than the caravan park, nice people, and best of all beautiful green grass surrounding us.
 
Nature gave us a beautiful welcome on our first night
 Naracoorte with a population of approx. 5000 people is situated on the beginning of the Limestone Coast. and was formed from the merger of two towns, Kincraig, founded in 1845 by Scottish explorer William Macintosh, and Naracoorte, established as a government settlement in 1847. The name has gone through a number of spellings, and is believed to be derived from the Aboriginal words for "place of running water" or "large waterhole". It grew during the 1950's as a survive town for people going to and from the Victorian Gold rush.
This is definitely the most colourful Police Station and Courthouse I have ever seen
 
This area was also built on the sheep's back -
if only this shearing shed could talk, imagine the stories!!
Probably the main tourist attraction in the area are the Naracoorte Caves. Yesterday we visited the Wonambi Fossil Centre and delved into the history of Australia's mega-fauna. We also visited one of the caves "Wet Cave". This wasn't the best cave I have ever been in but still interesting. Next week we are intending on visiting the "Victoria Fossil Cave" that has the privilege of being classed as a World Heritage Area.
The entrance of "Wet Cave"

I don't think I would have liked to run into this guy back then!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Where I'd Rather Be.....

Yesterday the prompt for "FatMumSlim" Photo a Day was "Where I'd rather be...." and it got me thinking about where I have been. So I thought I would share my feelings with you.


April Day 7 – Where I’d Rather Be…….As we are now into our final month of our 12 month Aussie Adventure I find myself reflecting back on some of the most memorable places we have visited. Just a couple that come to mind as I sit here are:
Devils Marbles, Northern Territory - Camping the night surrounded by the huge boulders of Devils Marbles was quite an experience I will never forget. There was such a spiritual feeling in this part of the world. Walking around the rocks at sunset and especially sunrise was one of the most peaceful experiences I have ever felt.

Devils Marbles
Pemberton, Western Australia – Driving amongst the huge trees of the Great South West Forest was amazing. These huge trees were like something out of “Lord of the Rings”. I could just imagine them coming to life each night and having a meeting of the ages.
I felt very small amongst these huge trees
Horizontal Waterfalls, Western Australia – As I wrote after this most amazing day, it has definitely been one of the highlights of this adventure. It is something I have wanted to do since I was 19 and at 60 I finally did it. I can’t really put into words the feelings I felt during this spectacular tour.
One of the most amazing days of my life
In my life so far I have travelled to a lot of amazing places outside Australia and loved each and every one of them and there are still some I really want to visit. But right now – Where would I rather be? Nowhere other than where I am, in the most amazing country on this planet, Australia.

 
Our Aussie Adventure so far

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Berri on the River Murray

We have just left our lovely stay in Berri. We stayed at a free camp called "Martins Bend" right on the River Murray. Seeing we didn't have electricity it wasn't possible to update my blog so now I will do a bit of a catch up.
Our Martins Bend campsite
The area is known as "The Riverland" probably because it's where the cool waters of the Murray feed the wetlands and floodplain forest. The result being some very productive land that consists of vineyards and citrus and almond groves. The town of "Berri" was a really nice little river township. The name Berri is taken from the Aboriginal word "Beri Beri", meaning "bend in the river". It is the commercial hub of the Riverland, with lots of fresh produce stalls on the outskirts of town.
Our first visit was out to Loxton to have a look at the "Tree of Knowledge". The Tree of Knowledge is a weather chart with a difference. This magnificent old river red gum provides historical dates of the high river levels over the years.

The Tree of Knowledge - get a look at the 1956 flood level!!
Then it was off to the historic pub the "Overland Corner Hotel" built in 1859.
Due to it's historic significance it is now owned by the South Australian National Trust.

Historic Overland Corner Hotel
We have done quite a bit of fishing in this beautiful river and I was lucky enough to catch a good size "Yellow Belly". We were also treated to some beautiful skies at sunset.

Sunset in the bush
One morning we woke up to an amazing sunrise over the river.
Good Morning beautiful Murray
Under the bridge in Berri is a mural that depicts the Aboriginal heritage of the area and is a tribute to Australia's famous Aboriginal tracker, Jimmy James.

Berri's Mural

One of the totems surrounding the mural
Today we drove through the tiny township of Karoonda, which is an important cereal and sheep farming district, hence the big Merino ram that sits in the towns railway reserve.

Yep he's a RAM!!