Home again – what an adventure!

What a glorious day we woke to on our final day of this epic journey to The Red Centre and Back. There wasn’t a cloud in the blue sky and the sun was shining brightly.

At the request of the kids I cooked scrambled eggs & bacon for breakfast and we enjoyed it seated at the dinette in the motorhome. It’s a bit squashy but we manage to fit all six of us in.

There was lots of happy chatter over breakfast about our recent adventures and what we enjoyed about the trip. Everyone had mixed feelings about going home. I usually feel the same at the end of a trip. One part of me just wants to keep travelling and the other can’t wait to get home.

9 degrees and sunny, what a lovely day it was to be travelling. The Sturt Highway is a very busy one with lots of B Doubles and road trains. It is the major road connecting Sydney with Adelaide and Brisbane via the Newell Highway. Some sections of the road were in a shocking condition with huge holes on the edges that have been temporarily repaired. Clumps of cotton lined the sides of the road. Cotton harvest must have been recent. All the paddocks were lush and green. It was great to see the countryside looking so good.

After an uneventful trip we arrived at the riverside town of Darlington Point where we crossed the Murrumbidgee River. The river was very full and town beach was fully submerged. Darlington Point has a Public Dump Point and we often make use of it coming home from a trip. There are also rubbish bins and a toilet block in the park. We both pulled up to use the dump point. That’s one less thing to do when we arrive home.

Darlington Point is only 29km from our house and, in no time at all, we were pulling into our driveway. It was good to see that the council had added some gravel to our atrocious road while we’d been away. Mind you it still had some rather big potholes!

What an adventure we’d had. 6 weeks, 4 states, 6,239 kilometres, so many amazing places we’d visited. Now it was back to school for Katie and the children and back to retired life for us. Better get the motorhome cleaned and ready for our next journey, wherever that may be.

Wow, just wow!

Balranald & Yanga National Park

To make departure a simpler process we’d packed up all our tables, chairs, awnings etc before we went to bed. We left Renmark nice and early and headed east towards home. After crossing the old lift bridge across the Murray River into Paringa we stopped for a quick look at the silo art and the Big Stump.

Of course we had to stop at the border to get a photo!

We arrived in Mildura at lunchtime and drove down to a lovely park on the riverside where the kids could make use of the playground and we could have something to eat.

It’s a lovely park along the river and every time we stop there it looks like further improvements have been made. We love the coffee shop in a shipping container called ‘Shippy’s’. After our lunch break we crossed the Murray River again and were finally back in New South Wales.

Our destination for the night was Balranald and I found a great camp spot on WikiCmps at the Balranald Weir. What a lovely spot to camp. I have added it to Our Favourite Aussie Campsites page. The Murrumbidgee River was in flood though and the weir was completely submerged. Surrounding paddocks were full of water however the camp site was high and dry.

There was a fire pit and picnic table and we made good use of those. I love a good campfire. We had a funny evening listening to music. Everyone took a turn to choose a song to listen to and I enjoyed listening to the music that the kids like to listen to.

After a great sleep at our very quiet camp spot at Balranald Weir we set off again and drove the remaining 5km into Balranald where we topped up with fuel and did a little grocery shop at Foodworks.

My mission for the day was to explore Yanga National Park. It has been on the list for a long time. I don’t know how many times over the years we have driven past the signs and have never had the time to call in. This time I was determined to check it out.

Our first stop in the National Park was Regatta Beach. The turnoff to Regatta Beach is not far out of Balranald and leads to a 4km good gravel road. Regatta Beach is fabulous. There is a good concrete boat ramp, toilets, a large picnic shelter with gas BBQ’s, and the fabulous expanse of lake. I had no idea that huge lake was there. Usually there is a sandy beach however it was all under water during our visit.

Our next stop was further along the Sturt Highway to Yanga Homestead. Just off the highway at the entrance to the National Park is a free Rest Area where we have overnighted previously. It’s a good spot for an overnighter but is close to the road so you do get road noise.

The drive into Yanga Homestead is a good gravel road and the Rangers Office is also located there. The office remained closed due to COVID though and I was very disappointed to find out when we arrived at the homestead that to view the interior with the audio guide you have to pay at the Visitors Centre in town before you come out. Oh well. We weren’t going to go back in to town so we’d just have to explore the outside.

Wow. I loved it. If you’ve been reading my blogs over the years you will know I love history and Yanga Homestead is a historical marvel. The story of Yanga is similar to many historic properties in rural Australia and it is good to see that at Yanga NP both the pastoral and Aboriginal heritage are being preserved.

Yanga Homestead is built on a hill next to Yanga Lake. When full Yanga Lake is 1,246 hectares with a maximum depth of 5 metres. It can hold up to 55,000 megalitres of water. That’s about 22,000 Olympic swimming pools. The lake is shaped like pair of spectacles formed by two connected basins. The lake has been an oasis for Aboriginal people for over 40,000 years and there is lots of evidence of Aboriginal use of the area. Yanga Lake is linked to the Murrumbidgee River by Yanga Creek which allows flows into and out of the lake back to the river. In 1913 a concrete regulator was built to help retain water in the lake.

Yanga Station was established in the 1830’s by explorer William Charles Wentworth. Most Aussies have heard of him! At the time it was the largest privately owned station in the southern hemisphere at 240,0000 acres. A slab homestead was built on the peninsular overlooking Yanga Lake during the 1850’s by Augustus and Eliza Morris. Eliza established the garden at Yanga. The simple slab homestead was enlarged over time to become the grand residence you can still see. Sir Arthur Sims purchased Yanga in 1919 and along with his other properties in the Riverina, Wyvern, Old Cobran and Cobran Stations he became the largest landholder in Australia at the time. Yanga was passed down through the generations until it was eventually sold to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service in 2005.

The homestead comprises two ‘wings’, the ‘kitchen’ wing and the ‘main’ wing surrounding a central tennis court that was once the centre of social life in the district. There are numerous outbuildings including stables, gardeners shed and station store. The formal gardens commenced by Eliza stretch down towards the lake. The gardens are lovingly kept by a team of dedicated volunteers.

The Cook’s Cottage houses an excellent exhibition of station life including historic photos and artifacts.

Lovely gardens at Yanga Homestead

After dragging me away from Yanga Homestead we set off again along the highway. We all decided it was worth a look at The Willows Campground, Yanga National Park and what a lovely place it is. There are multiple camp sites, most with a fire pit and picnic table. There is a separate Willows Picnic Area near the historic Wilga Woolshed for day visitors. Willows Campground gets its name from the Weeping Myall trees in the area.

Next time we go that way a visit to the historic Yanga Station Woolshed is now on the list. You can camp on the Murrumbidgee River at Mamanga Campground which is close to the 100 year old woolshed. The last shearing was done at Yanga in 2005 prior to the sale to NPWS. Definitely want to see that one!

We continued our journey across the very flat Hay Plains and found lots of cotton scraps on the sides of the road. It looked like clumps of snow. In the distance we could see huge bales of cotton, wrapped in colourful plastic, in paddocks waiting to be taken to the gin for processing. Millions of dollars of the valuable resource is grown in the area.

Stopped for a lunch break at a Rest Area on the highway. It was so funny watching the kids using their arms to indicate to the truckies they want them to toot at them. Then they jumped up and down with excitement when the truckies responded.

We arrived in Hay late in the afternoon and headed directly to Sandy Point Reserve. This is a wonderful free camp provided by the Hay Council ands we have stayed there many times. It has also been added to Our Favourite Aussie Campsites page. After setting up camp I set off to check out the amazing silo art that was painted by well known artist Adnate in 2020. The paintings celebrate Hay’s connection to war (that’s a whole other blog post). Ben and Maddie checked out the skate park and we had a great little fire to cook our chicken steaks for dinner. We spent the evening singing songs around the campfire and talking about the wonderful things we’ve seen and done on this fantastic trip over the last 6 weeks. All of us were looking forward to getting home but were also a little sad that our travels would finish the next day.

Sandy Point Reserve, Hay NSW

Sandy Point Primitive Camping Reserve is situated on a large bend in the Murrumbidgee River on the southern end of the lovely NSW town of Hay. Sandy Point is a large area and up to 74 campers can stay for up to 72 hours for free.

We’ve camped there many times. You can have a fire but you must bring your own wood as wood collection is not permitted.

There are lots of rubbish bins, picnic tables and shelters with BBQ’s.

A toilet block is located near the beautiful sandy beach. The beach is very popular in summer with swimmers ad water skiers.

A boat ramp gives access to the river and a walking/cycling track can take you along the river or into town.

Water is available at the Visitors Centre and Hay has a Public Dump Point in town.

The Hay Skate Park is located on the corner as you enter Sandy Point from Brunker Street. It has a number of a bowl and a number of ramps. The skate park is surrounded by a large grass area with picnic tables and chairs so you can sit and watch the skaters.

Hay has received a grant to revitalise the Historic Treatment Plant Works which are located opposite the Skate Park at Sandy Point Reserve. The treatment works were only the second town sewerage plant to be built in NSW and the grant will enable the preservation of the ruins.

Sandy Point is a fabulous spot and we recommend it for self-contained campers. Beware of wet weather though. The black soil can become like glue in the wet. Stay on the gravel if it looks like rain.

Balranald Weir

What a magic spot but I guess we stayed at the right time. It was July 2022 after there’d been lots of rain and everywhere was green, lush grass. The river was in flood with the weir completely under water. Some of the nearby paddocks were also under water however the camp sites next to the weir were high and dry.

There is a 4km dirt road that leads off the Sturt Highway 5km west of the town of Balranald. The road is a good quality dirt road with a few minor corrugations. There were a couple of spots that looked like they might be boggy if it’s wet or raining.

There are multiple spots to camp near the weir but the main camp is to the right of the weir. There is a picnic table and fireplace. You need to bring your own wood as there was not much lying around. The camp site is flat and you can park without being under one of those huge River Red Gums.

There is room for all types of campers. Even a big rig would fit.

Last day in Renmark, SA

It was a relaxing, reading day on our last day at Renmark staying at the Big4 Caravan Park. Our daughter, Katie, had a uni day and spent the day working in the motorhome where she could connect to the RV Wifi. Education has certainly changed since we left school in the 70’s. Fancy being able to go to uni online AND be away on holidays! The kids spent the day reading, scooting and playing with other kids in the park.

Renmark is large town situated in the eastern Riverland district of South Australia. It has a population of around 7,490, however if you also count the population in Paringa, on the other side of the river, it jumps up to over 10,000. Renmark has quite a good shopping district and a good selection of cafes, wineries, a distillery and a brewery.

Renmark has one of the most beautiful river frontages of all the towns along the Murray and the town has made good use of it with extensive parklands and walking/cycling trails. You can walk/cycle from the Big4 along the river to reach the town centre. You can hire boats and houseboats to explore the river or take a cruise on the historic paddle steamer PS Industry. The river is popular for fishing, kayaking, water skiing and other water sports.

Renmark is only some 250km from South Australia’s capital, Adelaide, and that makes it poplar for weekend getaways. We met a young family staying in the park who make frequent trips from Adelaide to Renmark throughout the year.

The Riverland plays an important role in the agricultural industry for fruits such as citrus, grapes, olives, stone fruit as well as some 20% of Australia’s almond trees. There are over 900 wine grape growers in The Riverland and 323 citrus orchards. Because of this The Riverland is a Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone and no fruit or fruiting vegetables can be brought in to the Riverland. There are quarantine bins where you can dispose of your produce and hefty fines can be dealt out for those that bring in the banned products. The Fruit Fly exclusion zone continues into the Victorian and NSW Riverland as well. Outbreaks of Fruit Fly can have millions of dollars of impact on farmers so it is up to everyone to do the right thing and either eat your fruit before entering the exclusion zone or dispose of it in the bins.

We’ve been through Paringa and Renmark many times over the years as the Sturt Highway runs through them. The Sturt Highway is the main route from Sydney to Adelaide. Although we’ve passed that way many times we’ve never stayed in Renmark before and we did enjoy our 3 day stay at the Big4, although we would probably not have chosen the Big4 if we were travelling on our own. However for traveling with children it’s a great place to camp.

It was my turn to cook and for our evening meal I packed up a basket and we headed to the riverside to make use of one of the free gas BBQ’s scattered around the park. Right next to the BBQ was a large picnic table and we set the table with a tablecloth (doesn’t everyone?) and put out all the makings for hamburgers. Everyone could make their own burger with the fillings they liked. Pa cooked up burgers, bacon & eggs on the BBQ.

What a lovely dinner it was. The family of swans paid a visit too.

Sunset on the Murray River, Renmark

Celebrating grandson Ben’s 9th birthday

Wow, what a way to spend your 9th birthday. Staying in the Big4 at Renmark. Big4 Parks target market is families and they cater for them very well. The park in Renmark is situated right on the Murray River and the park has a long river frontage.

We gave Ben his presents in the morning and it was lovely to see his face light up when opening them. I asked what he would like for his birthday breakfast and he promptly replied ‘your scrambled eggs & bacon Gran’. So another batch of scrambled eggs & bacon was cooked in my large SmartSpace saucepan (see my post ‘What are our most useful items’ under Random Stuff). We set the table outside and we all enjoyed our breakfast under the motorhome awning in the warm sun.

We needed some groceries so piled in the car to head to the local Woolies. Groceries and fresh bread purchased we were quickly back at camp. We decided to make some good use of the facilities at the park and went to reception to hire tennis racquets and balls. There is no fee for these but you do have to fill in an equipment hire form. Probably to ensure you bring them back!

We spent the next couple of hours playing tennis. What a hoot and so much fun. Benny is a natural at tennis. Never had a lesson and he was whacking those balls across the net. Pa even put his book down to join in.

After becoming hot and sweaty from playing tennis the kids all wanted a swim so Katie took them to the pool and the water park. While the pool is solar heated , the water park is not. I dont’ know how they go in the cold water but they seemed to love it.

Pa and I needed a rest!

I went for another long walk around the park and it truly is a lovely spot. The grounds are very well maintained and the gardens are lovely. There seem to be a lot of staff and they ride around the park silently in their golf buggies.

The park was fairly empty, and becoming more empty each day, but I could imagine how busy it would get in the warmer months. All the school holidays are over so it’s only us grey nomads left in the park with a few families that are full-time on the road.

Ben was asked what he would like to do for his birthday dinner and to everyone’s surprise he said ‘let’s have Chinese’. I can tell you that Pa was very happy about that. He loves Chinese!

So we all got dolled up in our finest camping gear and set off to the Riverland Golden Palace Chinese Restaurant only to discover when we arrived that they are closed on a Monday. Oh well!

Ben’s next choice was the Renmark Club where we enjoyed a lovely meal and the kids enjoyed a play in their Kids Room. When you check in at the Big4 you are given a 10% discount card for the Renmark Club. A great idea so that park patrons support the club. The Renmark Club is perfectly situated right on the banks of the river and we’ve eaten there a few times before. They have a large deck on the river side that makes a perfect spot for lunch. You can enjoy your meal and a cold beverage watching the river and boats going by. Lovely!

Back at camp Katie organised birthday cake for dessert with strawberries and cream. I found some sparklers, Katie had candles and we all sang an enthusiastic, if not harmonious, happy birthday to Ben.

He’d had a lovely birthday.

Park was slowly becoming empty of campers

On to Renmark

We departed from our terrific free camp at Hogwash Bend around 10am and headed further east towards Waikerie. There we stopped to check out their fabulous silo art.

We continued on through the Riverland and took a turnoff to visit the little town of Barmera situated right on Lake Bonney. We’d never called in there before in spite of traveling past many times. What a lovely spot it turned out to be with the town built around the fabulous Lake Bonney.

There is a lovely park all along the foreshore with green grass, picnic tables, playgrounds, the Yacht Club, a walking path and a long jetty. I imagine it would be a busy place in warmer months. It looked like a great lake for water skiing.

We arrived in Renmark around 1.30pm and stopped for a lunch break at a park right on the river. There were houseboats moored up on both sides of the river. It was a lovely sunny day and Riley and I had a long game of GripBall while Ben and Maddie kicked a footy.

We checked in to the Big4 Renmark at 2.30pm and, wow, what a park. It’s a fabulous family park. There are so many activities to do. There’s a pump track, and outdoor theatre, tennis court, jumping pillow, multiple playgrounds, a swimming pool & spa with a fabulous water park next door (and the pool is solar heated), a games room, big screen TV room, and, of course, the whole park is right on the river.

There is all types of accomodation as well. There are large and small cabins, lots of powered sites, most with large concrete slabs, and even four large glamping safari tents. It is a very well maintained park.

While Ben & Maddie scooted around the fabulous pump track I went for a walk around the park and found a swan family with their 6 fluffy grey cygnets. They were just beautiful to watch as they searched for food on the riverbank.

Sunset on the Murray River, Renmark SA

Hogwash Bend and a visit from old friends

Gotta love a good free camp! Hogwash Bend is a lovely big spot right on the Murray River. It is located between Morgan and Waikerie. There’s lots of space for lots of campers.

I spent most of the day sorting photos and updating this blog. It can be quite time consuming but I do enjoy it. Richard spent the day with his nose in a book.

Katie spent most of the day doing uni work online as we had reasonable reception. She had a very productive day.

The kids played, read books and coloured in. Later in the day I gave them a couple of sets of Grip Ball games I’d bought for them to keep in their van. The next hour or so was spent paying GripBall.

Our big excitement for the day was seeing a large Perentie trying to find bird eggs. Katie was alerted by birds screeching and flying around a tree. She wondered what they were screeching at. Turns out it was a large lizard looking for feed of bird eggs. Isn’t it a beautiful creature?

Late in the afternoon we had a visit from old friends Kathy & George who live in Waikerie. We hadn’t seen them since we came through on our Murray River Run in 2020.

George brought his home made Duck soup for us to try and we had that for our entree. Ben loved it so much he had three bowls and didn’t want any dinner! The soup was so good we declared it good enough for any fine French restaurant. A big thank you to George for his duck soup.

We use our Biji-Barbi to cook some delicious marinated in mint and rosemary lamb chops and had boiled potato and corn on the cob to go with it.

We sat around the campfire until all the children went to bed and eventually had to say farewell to George and Kathy. We had all enjoyed seeing them very much.

Free camping on the Murray

The CMCA RV Park at Port Pirie has a dump point and multiple potable water taps so before we left we emptied our cassettes and filled our fresh water tanks. This means we can free camp for a couple of nights. We left Port Pirie after a stop at the Mitre10, which is conveniently located around the corner from the CMCA RV Park. We both needed a gas bottle and we needed wood for our planned free camp on the Murray River.

Most hardware stores and some service stations sell 15kg bags of wood. The usual price is $15 per bag. You can also buy bags of kindling however we already had enough kindling. We store our wood in a couple of the outside bins of the motorhome. One of the bins is meant to be for a generator but as we’ve never had one, nor felt the need to have one, we use that bin to store our wood, our flat pack fire pit and our Biji-BBQ. Also on this trip I took out my inflatable kayak and we’ve been able to use that bin for extra wood storage.

We made a short visit to KMart for some new books and Coles and Bakers Delight to stock up on supplies and fresh bread then headed southwards.

Stopped for a lunch break in Jamestown next to a large park with a playground. Jamestown is the home of the very famous Australian, RM Williams. Reginald Murray Williams was born in Jamestown on 24 May 1908. Once RM made his first pair of boots he honed his skills and eventually he and his young family moved back to Adelaide where he started his famous store, the ‘Bushmen’s Outfitters’. The RM Williams brand is known throughout the world today. Reg died in 2003 aged 95 and was survived by his nine children. What a legend!

Continuing our journey we stopped for a photo in front of the huge 44m long wind turbine propeller blade at Mount Bryan. This area is home to AGL’s Hallett Hill Wind Farm. This is one of four AGL wind farm clusters in the mid north of South Australia. The Hallett Hill Wind Farm produces enough energy to power 40,000 homes. Wind power supplies more than 20% of South Australia’s power needs.

We passed through the historic town of Burra without stopping. Richard and I had been there last year on our Murray River Run and we were all keen to get to a camp. We finally reached the Murray River at Morgan. First stop was for fuel and then we headed down the hill to the car ferry. Katie hadn’t towed her van on a car ferry so this was quite exciting.

It’s a very quick and easy process except we have to be very careful getting on and off with our motorhome. We have a long overhang at the rear and sometimes we have to go at an angle so we don’t scrape our rear end. Fortunately we have a tow bar and it’s usually only the tow bar that scrapes a little.

After crossing the river we pulled up for the night at Hogwash Bend Conservation Park right on the river. There is a good gravel road that leads to the camp area next to the river. There is lots of room for many camps and we found a good spot. There was only one other camp with a couple of caravans camped 200m away. The river was huge and very full.

We set up camp for a couple of nights. What a lovely spot.

At sunset the corellas and kookaburras made a raucous noise but we love it. Being camped in the bush with water views…..how good is life?

Wadlata Centre, Port Augusta & on to Port Pirie

As Ben’s birthday was coming up Katie and I took the opportunity to do some shopping in a reasonable sized shopping centre. We set off on our own while Pa stayed back at camp to supervise the packing up of our camps. Shopping done, we returned to the caravan park to find Richard and the kids had the swags all packed up, water tanks full, cassettes emptied, motorhome ready to go and the van ready to be hitched up.

We headed directly to the Wadlata Visitor Information Centre so we could take the kids to the award winning ‘Tunnel of Time’ exhibition. We’d done this before and felt the kids would all enjoy this one.

You enter the Tunnel of Time through the open mouth of Max, a prehistoric Ripper Lizard. What a fearsome creature they were!

You are taken back in time and learn about the creation of the Flinders Ranges and the Outback. The displays tell Dreamtime stories and showcase the changing flora and fauna over time. There are short video presentations throughout the exhibition.

You can learn about the explorers and early white settlers and there is even an Outback Theatre showing a 15 minute film. One display is the legendary Tea and Sugar Train that holds displays of how the railways were built.

You can pedal a radio and listen to a School of the Air class, find out about the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the importance of Morse code and the overland telegraph. You can even listen in to conversations on an old ‘party line’ switchboard.

There’s a mining display where you can ‘drive’ a big dump truck and read all about the coal mining process and experience an ‘undergound blast’.

There is so much to see, listen and read that you need to allocate at least a couple of hours to see this fabulous exhibition. There’s the usual tourist information and souvenirs for sale as well.

By the time we got through the excellent exhibition everyone was a bit peckish so we had a delicious morning tea at the Wadlata Centre Cafe. They make great coffee and great scones.

Back in the RV’s we headed further south to our destination for the day, Port Pirie. Last time Rich and I were in Port Pirie was in 2016 when we did our trip across the Nullarbor with our lovely friends, Kathy & Ed. We were keen to see if it had changed much.

As we drove in down the Main Street we noticed a lovely park on our right including a newish Skate Park. Further along was a huge children’s playground. It looked like a good one. The shops all looked busy and we noticed there weren’t too many empty buildings. A sign that the town is prospering.

We’d chosen the CMCA RV Park Port Pirie as our camp for the night and found the RV Park behind the Port Pirie Football Club. It is basically a large paddock with some grass, a dump point, multiple potable water taps, a happy hour shed with BBQ and fire pit and we were greeted by the current volunteer custodians at the gate. Here you have to give your CMCA member details and pay the extraordinary price of $3 per vehicle and $2 per person, $7 in total for us! As Katie is a non-member she had to pay $15. You do have to be self-contained but there was no problem with the boys sleeping in their swags.

Right behind the RV Park is a large shopping centre that includes KMart, Coles and some specialty stores. There’s a gate that allows access to the shopping centre from the RV Park. How convenient is that? You can also go across to the Football Club for a cold one or a meal. We didn’t do that but quite a few staying in the park did.

Once we had camp set up Richard and I took the kids for a drive to give Katie some time on her own. We set off back to the CBD and our first stop was the Vistors Centre where we purchased tickets to visit Shakka, the Great White Shark.

Shakka was a 5.5m Great White Shark who was caught by local fisherman, David Fletcher (how funny is that? The same name as my brother-in-law!)

After an autopsy it was found that Shakka was a 22 year old female who had given birth in the past year. I wonder how many of her offsprings are still out there? White Sharks give birth to 4 – 12 pups so there could be quite a few of Shakka’s babies still swimming in the Southern Ocean.

The exhibition features a life-sized model of Shakka, displays of the newspapers when she was caught, and one of her actual pectoral fins and her incredible jaws full of fearsome triangular teeth.

Around the walls was lots of information about Great White Sharks and sharks in general. Did you know that more people get killed by falling coconuts each year than by sharks. 150 people a year die from falling coconuts. 3-4 people die in Australia each year from bee stings! Sharks do not really deserve their bad reputation.

Back in the car we drove out across narrow one-lane bridge so we could view the working port on the other side of the harbour. The bridge has traffic lights at each end.

Back in the CBD we stopped at the playground so the kids could have a long play. They had fun playing ‘tag’.

We had the bright idea of getting fish & chips for dinner and taking it down to eat ‘al fresco’ by the waterside so we drove by the skate park and beach area where we found multiple picnic shelters and a lovely park next to a sandy man-made beach. This is the town beach called Solomantown Beach and would be very popular in warmer months. It offers a safe place for swimming. The park looked like a good spot to have dinner.

After asking one of the custodians at the RV Park which was the best fish & chips in town we headed to The Church of Fish & Chips. This truly was a church and was the first church built in Port Pirie in 1879. The church ceased being used in 1991 and was falling into disrepair when, in 1998, it was turned into a fish & chip shop by Kevin & Kim Spirou. They saved this wonderful building from demolition and the family still have the shop today.

We took our seafood feast to the beach and found a picnic shelter right near the skate park and enjoyed our dinner. What a feast! We had fish, prawns, calamari, spring rolls and chips with a variety of sauces and lemon. Delicious.

After dinner the kids had a long play on their scooters while we watched them do their tricks. Where do they get their energy?