‘Go west young man…..! and so we did.
We left Port August’s with few regrets at just before 8:00am. A lovely morning. Fetching and carrying in and out of the unit to the bike it actually felt quite warm. Sensibly we decided we’d put on the thermal long johns and tops, plus T shirt, plus jacket and in my case the rain jacket on top of that. We needed them as although it was sunny the air was cold.
Leaving Port Augusta we headed into very barren country with knee high scrub and a range of imposing hills with the morning sun on them.
Scrub and hills in the morning sun
We turned right and rode For about another 50km to Iron Knob through similar low scrub, dessert country. Iron Knob is so called for the high yielding iron ore deposits in the hill behind the town. Originally owned by BHP there were two mines, Monarch and Iron Duke. The ore was exported and used locally with 21% of the steel in the Sydney Harbour bridge coming from ore from Iron Knob smelted at Port Kembla.
The mines closed a number of years ago but are now owned by OneSteel and have been reopened.
A long way from Kirribilli
From Iron Knob we headed to Kimba for our first petrol stop. The countryside changed to chest high scrub and the low woodland with some farming as we came close to the town. Kimba is well known for three things: silo art, the Big Galah and being half way across Australia. Looking at the map I’m not so sure about the last thing but the lady in the appropriately named cafe who served us pretty average coffee assured us that it is ‘as the crow flies’. I think that crow needs a new GPS.
We met a couple of grey nomads at the Silo Art and talked to them for a while. They’d come from Queensland and were going across the Nullarbor, up to Kalgoorlie then back home through Alice. We asked how long this would take and got the dry response: ‘as long as it takes.’ Aahhhh retirement!
The Big Galah
Coffee not so good
From Kimba we broke out into massive wheat farms and were pretty much in agricultural country the rest of the day. You know they grow a lot of wheat when each little township you pass through has a battery of large grain silos owned by Viterra
We stopped at Widunna for lunch and more petrol and then went to Poochera for a final fill before going off the A1 and down to the Coast at Streaky Bay. Not a bad little town but we only stayed long enough for a quick photo.
Happy snap in Streaky Bay
From Streaky Bay it was only another 100km to Ceduna. The road runs along the coast but you only get glimpses of it. We called in to Smokey Bay and had a cup of tea at the local, petrol station, restaurant, general store, bottle shop and Post Office all in the one building. We met a few characters there. One couple from Brisbane who no longer go to the Territory to fish for Barrumundi as ‘they’re not shooting the crocs anymore and they’re getting as long as our 12ft tinnie’. So they drive 5 days from Brisbane to Smokey Bay instead. A local boy told us the driving record from Smokey Bay to Ceduna was 10 minutes. Given its 42kms this was hard to believe but having now driven it and found only 2 gentle corners maybe it is possible?
We however took a more sedate pace, getting to Ceduna and finding the Ceduna Foreshore with no problems.
And that was Day 6