Posted on November 21, 2016
Kimba is a small farming community on the Eyre Peninsular in South Australia. By small I mean less than 1000 people make up the population. It is said to be geographically located halfway between Perth and Sydney.
We had been made aware of the Grey Nomads volunteer programme in Kimba a couple of years ago and decided that next time we were in the area we would stay a while and participate. The way it works is for at least two days of volunteering work you get in return seven nights’ accommodation at the Recreation Reserve with a powered site.
After making contact with the Visitors Information Outlet we were met by a couple of very friendly locals, and taken down to the Kimba and Gawler Ranges Historical Museum. Formed in 1971 and run by its own volunteers the museum gives an amazing insight into the incredible resourcefulness, spirit and determination of the pioneering farming and grazing families who settled in this area at the end of the 19th century. Pastoral leases were first granted in 1872 and the area has gone on to be one of South Australia’s major grain belts.
There is a huge variety of farm machinery, old trucks and tractors, Clancy the old fire engine, and a great display of tools used to build and maintain the properties during those pioneering years. Buildings include a one teacher school, the Haskett Brothers pioneer house built around 1908, the old store and an old telephone exchange. During the early years of white settlement water was a big issue. To help with this Government funds were available to build sheds so that rain water could be collected and stored in tanks. Ever resourceful the settlers would build under the sheds and for many this was home for quite a few years.
We had so much fun working at the museum that we stayed for three months.
We also did heaps of stuff outside the museum as well, mostly thanks to the amazing people we met there. For example we went on a crop inspection that involved driving around huge paddocks and checking the wheat and barley crops. The inspection included a great BBQ lunch in bushland adjacent one of the huge paddocks.
We visited an egg producer who keeps his chickens in purpose built caravans that are located out in the bush.The chickens are free to roam the pasture and bush and are guarded by dogs; everything is automated and runs off solar energy. The dogs live with the chickens and never leave them.
We also visited a farmer whose true passion is rocks and minerals. He has the most amazing collection of rocks gems and minerals and could probably retire on the proceeds if he sold the lot. But like a lot of collectors he just loves the stuff and wouldn’t part with it.
I chose a rainy day to visit The Gawler Ranges NP. I managed to get some nice photos despite the inclement weather. Coming across a small mob of Emus that were quite a distance off the side I decided to stop and see what happened. It wasn’t long before they wandered over my way to see what I was up to.
There is plenty to see and do around Kimba and we both had a fantastic time there.
Posted on August 19, 2016
Decres Bay camp is inside the Wittelbee Conservation Park near Ceduna in South Australia. There are no facilities there so you need to be self-sufficient. We spent three days camped right next to the ocean which was beautiful. The spring flowers although not abundant where still quite lovely. We spent a lot of time just beach combing and wandering around the tracks and bush walks.
The sunsets and sunrise are beautiful and the quiet of the bush is fantastic. We were close enough to the waters edge that at night we could hear the small waves lapping on the beach.
In the late afternoon dolphins would come into the bay feeding on the bait fish and a small seal worked the bay as well. We are so lucky to be able to enjoy this country and travel it as we do.
I experimented with a technique called Focus Stacking with the flower pics and a couple of the landscapes.
Posted on July 25, 2016
We had a week in Broken Hill before making our way into South Australia along the Barrier Highway. We had decided to head for Peterborough where we would base ourselves for a week and use that time to explore this part of SA.
Peterborough is a great little town, still thriving unlike many of Australia’s country towns. It has a long rail history; in fact the Indian Pacific still goes through the town.
Nearby is Terowie, it also has a long history with the railways, but unlike Peterborough the town has died. There does not appear to be a single business still operating in the main street. Terowie was the little town where General Douglas MacArthur made his well-known speech which included the phrase “I came out of Bataan, and I shall return” in March of 1942.
We enjoyed our time in the area and after a week we moved on staying a couple of days in Port Augusta, then onto Haslam which is a tiny coastal village, and then finally through Ceduna onto Fowlers Bay where we wanted to go and to see the whales. Whales do come into Fowlers Bay where it is possible to take a charter boat out to see them, but for us we wanted to go to the Head of Bight. There is an observation platform out on the edge of the cliffs which gives a fantastic opportunity to watch the whales do what they do. This area is a breeding ground and nursery for the whales and there can be well over a hundred whales in the vicinity at any time. It’s also possible to take a scenic flight out over the Bunda Cliffs and coastline to observe the whales from a great height.
In Fowlers Bay we stayed at the Fowlers Bay Eco Park. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the park and have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone. There is no power or water supplied to this little town. The park electricity is from its own solar plant and is supplemented by diesel generator backup. Water comes from a soak. That is the fresh water is filtered through the nearby sand dunes where it is collected from the small lake of water close to the town.
The Fowlers Bay Conservation Park has beaches accessible by 2wd vehicles as well as some good off road and sand dune driving options as well.
Posted on July 24, 2016
After our time in Jandowae we continued on our journey west staying overnight at St George and then onto Bollon. We had intended on staying in the Bollon area for a few days to explore the area, however a quick check on the weather site told us that plenty of rain was forecast. So rather than risk getting caught by flooding in the area we left and headed for Broken Hill.
At Broken Hill it’s possible to stay at the local racecourse which is what we did. There is a lot to see and do around Broken Hill one of which is a drive out to Silverton which is the area where the first Mad Max films were made. On the day we visited the museum was closed, but we did get to look in a couple of art galleries and check out the goal museum.
Another attraction outside Broken Hill is the Living Desert and Sculptures Park, which is absolutely and definitely worth a visit. In town there are galleries and Art centres all worth having a look at. Now an interesting thing about Broken Hill, apart from being the town where BHP began, is that the entire city has been heritage listed. This is because of the many old buildings and remnants from the good old mining boom days. I am really bad at architectural photography so there is no
t much in the way of historical buildings represented in the portfolio for this posting.
Posted on June 21, 2016
After quite a while not being on the road, Annie and I are back being Nomads again, lots of medical stuff done on the ageing body, and some much needed repairs and maintenance completed on our mobile penthouse.
After getting the truck serviced in Gympie we were set free to travel. Now the way we like to go is to have a general idea on an area where we will travel through the rest is reliant on serendipity. This is how we came across Jandowae in Queensland. Not too far from Kingaroy or Dalby, nice and small and very friendly.
We had intended on staying 2 or 3 days only but as luck would have it we had arrived just prior the biennial Jandowae Timbertown Festival, so a few days in Jandowae turned into a week.
Nearby Jandowae is Jimbour. Not a lot to this little town but there is an old homestead there that has quite a history and well worth a visit.
These links will give you plenty of information about both locations and the festival as it happened in 2016.
My advice, if you are ever in the area and looking for somewhere to stay then check out the Showground at Jandowae.
Hope you like the photos of Jandowae and Jimbour.
Posted on March 18, 2016
Todays theme is mystery and lighting effects. I have been lucky enough to get to Fraser Island this week. It rained all day which gave me an opportunity to stretch myself a bit photography wise. Being mindful not to get my gear wet I tried a couple of different effects.
This photo is of some navigational markers at the barge landing. I have used intentional camera movement to create the effect. I managed to get the shot off in between showers of rain.
Posted on March 14, 2016
Photo101 Day 6 theme is Connection. Here I am showing my take on the idea of connection for the course.
Sheepdog trials and cattle work are a big part of Australian country life. Sheepdog trials involve a handler and dog mustering a small mob of sheep over a course and into pens. The dog handler cannot assist the dog to do this other than open and shut gates to the pens. He or she communicates with the dog through whistles or other various commands. If you ever get an opportunity to watch one of these trials then do so. They way the handler and dogs connect is simply amazing.
Mustering cattle from horseback still plays a huge role in stock handling in Australia. Campdrafting is a sport that draws big crowds in country areas. I was lucky enough to attend a sales yard where horses bred for this sport were being auctioned. I saw one horse sell for $60,000. That’s how serious this sport can get. There is an amazing connection between horse and rider in this sport. The action happens at a break neck speed and the reaction times of horse and rider must be seen to be believed. The way the sport works is this, first the rider selects a cow from a small mob (around ten cattle) that are in a small yard. This is the camp. The rider must then indicate to the judge which caw he/she has selected. The clock starts and there is now a time limit for horse and rider to muster the cow up to the gate of the camp. The gate is opened and then horse and rider has to guide the cow around a figure 8 type course as quickly as possible. Another amazing display of skill and connection between man and animal.
Indigenous Australians have a significant connection to country. It is spiritual in ways that most non indigenous peoples will never understand. A Welcome To Country ceremony is performed at many community and other events. This photo is from one such ceremony in Pomona Qld by a member of the Gubbi Gubbi people.