Innes National Park – stunning coastal scenery on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula

Stunning coastline on Stenhouse Bay lookout walk

We had never previously visited South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula.  We had always driven past the peninsula– heading either north or south, on our way to somewhere else.  This time, we decided to bite the bullet and see what it had to offer.

From Mount Remarkable National Park, we headed south-west, stocking up in Port Pirie before our drive onto the Yorke Peninsula proper.  Our destination was the Innes National Park, at the southern tip of the peninsula.  We knew virtually northing about the park, other than the availability of bush-camping, our preferred accommodation.


The miniature world of Mount Remarkable

Close-up of forest floor

Our first stop after the wildlife survey at Dakalanta Sanctuary was Port Lincoln, where we had some long-overdue work done on our camper trailer’s solar system.  Where to now?  We were heading in the general direction of Kangaroo Island, but decided to explore the Yorke Peninsula on our way.  It just so happened that Mount Remarkable National Park was a solid day’s travel from Port Lincoln, a good stopping off point.  Now, let us just state for the record that we don’t have shares in Mt Remarkable, it’s just that we love the place and find something new there every time we visit.  We stayed for many days, as usual, but the capabilities of our revamped solar system were tested to the maximum, as it rained pretty well the duration of our stay.

Think of rain in the Australian bush, and images of running creeks and flooding rivers, wildlife drinking from pools, and trees sucking up the moisture all come to mind.  But Mount Remarkable, in its own special way, gave us a different look at rain; showing us its influence on the miniature world…the world of fungi, moss, lichen and raindrops.  It was beautiful, totally unexpected, and somehow quite magical.  


Dakalanta Wildlife Sanctuary on the Eyre Peninsula – wildlife survey

Australia's wildlife is in safe hands with the AWC. A juvenile Western Pygmy Possum, beautiful, irresistable and fragile.Nirbeeja and I were recently privileged to be involved, as volunteers, in the first ever survey of wildlife undertaken on the Dakalanta Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the properties owned by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC).  As many of you would know, we are passionate about our wildlife, but have no relevant academic training and limited experience in ecological field-work.  As a result, our involvement in the survey not only gave the AWC an extra couple of helpers, it also gave us some invaluable experience.


Lincoln National Park & Memory Cove Wilderness Area – beautiful places on the Eyre Peninsula

Memory Cove - a little piece of perfection

We left Buckaringa sanctuary, with a couple of weeks to spare before our next commitment to assist as volunteers at the first wildlife survey at the Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s Dakalanta sanctuary on the Eyre Peninsula.  For us, the choice was obvious; we’d head to the southern tip of the peninsula to re-visit the Lincoln National Park and a special region within it called the Memory Cove Wilderness Protection Area.  We’d visited those areas early in 2008 and loved them.


More Adventures in the Flinders Ranges – Wallabies and Native Lilies – February 2011

A field of Garland Lilies

Our first stop after Scotia was Broken Hill – a rather gentle way to re-enter civilization.  After a couple of months in the remote Scotia sanctuary we certainly appreciated the cafes, galleries and interesting streets and old buildings of the silver city.  We intended a short stay but Mother Nature had other ideas, turning on the rainfall in a big way.  120mm or so in one afternoon and our short stay suddenly stretched to many days longer with highways cut in all directions.  We had planned to head up the Darling River to re-explore that area and re-visit Louth, but could cross that off the agenda for now.  We also planned to spend a week at Buckaringa Wildlife Sanctuary in the Flinders Ranges, but Katja, whom we met at Scotia and now planned to meet at Buckaringa, was stranded at Scotia after flooding there.  Okay – postpone that as well.


Mt Remarkable National Park – we return to the Flinders Ranges

Nirbeeja, dwarfed by the River Red Gums, walks up the Mambray Creek track.

As we returned to the Mt Remarkable National Park, in the southern Flinders Ranges of South Australia, we realized that it was nearly three years to the day since our first visit.  We had loved it then, and wondered now how it would seem after so much travel in the interim.


A brief return to South Australia

The rig, gibber plain country, South Australia

There were several things we really wanted to do after hitting the road from Alice Springs. 

The first was to see the centre of Australia in rare bloom.  Tick.
We wanted to visit Uluru again. Tick.
We hoped to see rain on Uluru.  A big tick.
And we hoped to do some volunteer work for the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC), Birds Australia, or Bush Heritage Australia. 


Cave Hill & the Seven Sisters Creation Story

A 'bonsai' White Cedar on the top of Cave Hill

The day after our trip to Mt Conner we were booked with the same company (SEIT in partnership with the indigenous owned Desert Tracks), for a trip to Cave Hill.

Cave Hill is in the Musgrave Ranges, around 100km south of Uluru, but the country remains within Pitjantjatjara lands.  When we learned that Cave Hill had the most significant art site within central Australia, we were sold on the tour, especially given that the tour provided the only way for us to visit.


Blog 5 – Westward Ho! – March 2008

The Nullarbor Cliffs - a spectacular sight.

Our journey across the Great Australian Bight to the Nullarbor Plain and beyond commenced on Australia Day, which seemed to us a very appropriate time to visit such landmarks.

The Nullarbor Plain – plain sailing ahead!                                       Warning signs – an interesting line-up.

Our first stop was at Cactus Beach, a surf beach famous for its point break (whatever that means).  Yes, it did look like a great place for surfing but we were keen to see the Nullarbor cliffs, so we continued on our way.  We reached the Great Australian Bight Marine Park which stretches along the coastline of South Australia across the Bight.  The cliffs vary from between 60 to 90 metres in height, and rather disconcertingly are often undercut by erosion.  The views from the sheer cliffs into the surging Southern Ocean far below were breathtaking. 


Blog 4 – “Bound for South Australia” – January 2008

Example of scenery from Flinder Ranges, en-route to Hawker for supplies

Happy New Year everyone!
Our previous blog finished as we left Louth, on the Darling River in New South Wales.  From there we followed the Darling downstream as it meandered past Tilpa to Wilcannia, then departed the river, heading west to Broken Hill for a few days.

At last, and with a sense of relief, because we, and no doubt some of our family and friends, were starting to wonder whether we would ever leave NSW, we headed further west and crossed the border into South Australia. (more…)