Holiday in South Oz
Woohoo, time for a real chill out holiday! My man comes from South Australia, where they are called ‘crow eaters’ – I have no idea why. We have travelled over by road (he always has to take his surfboard and I like to be able to take my art gear) to have Christmas with his family. There are small children again and a new nephew to meet as well as catching up with my very ‘arty crafty’ sisters-in-law. The road trip is one of my special favourite things to do, I love travelling through country towns and checking the coffee shops, arts and crafts and learning just a bit more history and geography about this amazing, vast country!
First day of the holiday was Lennox to Gunnedah – where it really rained – amazing to get wet in central NSW in summer! We came through the Great Dividing Range via the Waterfall Way, just south of Coffs Harbour; beautiful country and spectacular views from the mountains.
Day two took us through West Wyalong and the flat open spaces of the Hay plains to Hay and then Balranald. I love this town, it has the real country Oz feel about it and the magnificent Murrumbidgee River with it’s enormous River gums. Hot, hot, hot but thankfully unlike the days of yore we have air conditioning in the trusty van. I love to walk by he river on dusk – cooler and the light is fabulous. One day I would like to stay a while to paint.
Day three via Mildura and a lunch stop in Truro for the best Cornish pasties and another stop at Wolf Blass winery where my sweet man bought me half a case of a favourite wine.
Adelaide, you really turned it on for us – the temperature over 40 degrees Celsius and the dry heat that sucks the moisture right out of human beings. Fortunately, although I love Adelaide, we were off to the beach to stay in a lovely stone cottage at Victor Harbor where I can paint and draw, walk and just ‘be’, while Richard can try to find a wave in the ‘colder than we are used to’ Southern Ocean.
The coastline is stark, somewhat treeless, the grass is brown and the wind blows so that the trees that do survive are twisted into curious shapes. Victor Harbor was originally a whaling station and in Victorian times became Adelaide’s summer holiday place.
Along the coast are the villages of Port Eliot, Middleton and Goolwa. Port Eliot and Goolwa have pretty stone cottages and some lovely shops. I have done serious damage at ‘Coast’ and ‘All that Jazz’ in Port Eliot in the past! They are situated on Encounter Bay, named because Mathew Flinders, on his circumnavigation of Australia in 1802, met a Frenchman, Boudin, also mapping the coast in this bay. Apparently the meeting was cordial and they swapped information in spite of their respective countries being at war.