Road trip across Australia – Day 4 Port Augusta

Our second day in South Australia, and I am delighted to discover that South Australia is quite gorgeous.
The day started with my first opportunity to see Ceduna in daylight when I took Tyson for a walk along the foreshore. I had taken him for a walk the night before, but could really only see the lights around the bay and the jetty, which was well lit and which had a couple of anglers on it hoping for to catch some fish.
The jetty and bay looked even better in daylight; the water here is very clean and would have looked inviting if it hadn’t been so cold. There is a really nice foreshore walk which follows the bay area and which has playgrounds and launching ramps for boats.
It turned out that it was a public holiday in SA (and the rest of the country except for Western Australia), so no shops were open in town, except for the Ceduna Visitor’s Centre, where the staff were very helpful.
Ceduna township is quite pretty as it is lined with trees and flower beds. We drove around the town, through some of the older parts, and it is a well-maintained town with quite a few historic buildings. Ceduna even has a railway line going down the middle of one of the streets, which I quite liked, and I guess that if you were a resident of that street you’d probably get used to the noise of goods trains at all hours.
From Ceduna we headed south to Streaky Bay, stopping in the hamlet of Smoky Bay on the way. Smoky Bay Oysters are well known is Australia, and it is obvious that oysters and car and tractor wrecking are the two main industries.
Oysters must be good business because there are some lovely houses fronting the beach. It must have been a whaling station at some point in its past as the have an enormous whaling pot on display.
From Smoky Bay it was about a 45-minute drive down to Streaky Bay, which is an unbelievably scenic town. The weather was perfect as it was a warm, sunny day and the water in the many bays and beaches which surround Streak Bay glistened in the sun.
There is the obligatory jetty, and many of the shops in the main street actually back onto the water. No matter in which direction you looked, there was always something magnificent to look at. We thought we would drop into the Visitor’s Information Centre to find out more about the area, and were amazed to find that it was closed. Streaky Bay is clearly a town which depends on tourism for much of its income, but we discovered that the Visitor’s Centre is only open during normal office hours and is not open on weekends or public holidays. A bit ludicrous when you consider that they depend on tourism but don’t really cater for tourists in an official sense outside of normal hours.
Streaky Bay could take a lesson from Ceduna, which offers tourists a great service.
We headed to Poochera to join Highway No.1 again, passing through the town of Kimba, which claims to be the halfway point between the East and West coasts. This momentous achievement has been celebrated by building a giant pink and grey galah, although its significance was lost on me. I was far more impressed with my encounter with a tiny marsupial mouse which hopped along almost kangaroo-like. Although tiny, it wasn’t in the least fazed by my presence, and it was interesting to see it hopping along, minding its own business.
Kimba is the gateway to the Gawler Ranges, and from here to Port Augusta the country changes considerably as you see more and more mountains rise up out of the plains. One of the most interesting is Iron Knob, a mountain full of iron ore which has been carved into a giant sculpture by the mining activity that has gone on here for many years.
Just after leaving Iron Knob you start to see the Flinders Ranges, which are geologically younger than the Gawler Ranges and so much higher and more rugged. As you head towards the Flinders Ranges you become aware of the Spencer Gulf, which has the large town of Port Augusta at its head.
We decided to stay at Port Augusta for the night before heading off the Adelaide the next day.

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