Spectacular Wilpena

Trip Start Sep 21, 2012
Trip End Oct 27, 2012

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Flag of Australia  , South Australia,
Saturday, September 29, 2012

Last night was blowing a gale shaking the van all around. Then early hours of the morning it was raining. One side of the car is now clean but the other side is muddy. We all woke up at 6am showered & packed the van for another early start. We have this routine down pack now. We were on the road again at 7.30am. Dads Sally (navman) took us straight past the turn off but as a result we got to see the other train sign at the other end of town. A black steam train. A retired blacksmith went to alot of effort making these Petersborough train signs. Apparently there are 4, one at every entry to town, each different. After a quick photo "Sally" took as down a dirt road which ended at the other road we should of turned on. Jay has now taken over the lead.

Heading towards Wilpena there is alot of farmland & abandoned homesteads everywhere. These were once beautiful stone Homes. All that's now left  is a few remaining stone walls & usually the fire place.

It must be sheep country as farm after farm have sheep, a few cows but not many.

We went through a couple of old towns with classic architecture with the usual pub & stone churches. All very tidy looking towns.

We spotted a few emus & 2 foxes along the way. The scenery has changed from flat dry lands from the last couple of days to spectacular hilly country. Still only low lying scrub covers the mountain side.  We are getting closer to the Flinders Rangers & the hills are turning into spectacular mountains which have the blue appearance in the distance. It looked so fantastic I didn't know which way to point the camera. The last main town we came to before Wilpena Pound was Hawker another cute small town with old buildings. We stopped at a park just at the turnoff & waited for the other 2 vans to catch up. (They stopped at the other towns for photos). We bought some breakfast in the small cafe across the road $30.50 & had a bite to eat in the park. Eventually ma & pa arrived & told us to continue.

The rangers were now in spectacular view jutted rocks were up the top, patterns of angled rocks of red down the side in different shades. We came across to the 1st viewing area & stopped for some photos. We found another couple of look outs that we also stopped off along the way.

We found the Flinders Rangers sign & I dragged everyone out of the car once again for some family photos near the sign. We got a few beeps from passing cars. It is windy & very cold here so it was a very quick photo stop.

We finally arrived at Wilpena Pound at 11.30am. There was a line up waiting to book in. It's a very busy place finally booked in for 3 nights ($103 including National Parks fee) When we were about to head off to find a camping spot mum & dad arrived so they followed us down. We drove around the camp area for awhile before we found the perfect spot near the amenities with our vans backing onto the bush, under some shady trees, although its quite cool, we don't really need the shade. In no time we had the vans set up & I put another load of washing on. ($3.60).

The kids walked up to the shop & bought some bread for lunch, we ate then hung out the washing. After lunch we went back to the shop for souvenirs then made a decision of what to do next.

We decided to head to Brachina Gorge to try & spot the rare Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby. On the way out of the park I spotted a group (or flock) of emus with the fantastic red rock cliffs behind them. Heaps more photos. We got to a dirt side track with Brachina Gorge pointing down it so decided to turn off here. We spotted a Wedged Tailed Eagle high in the sky in the thermal wind being chased by another bird. Around a few more bends another Wedged Tail Eagle this one was a little more closer to take photos but still only small looking in the photo. Another car came flying behind us so we moved over to the side to let him past,took off & bang, pop, sizzle, we all looked at each other, that didn't sound good. Looked outside the car & OH NO some sharp shale had popped a very large hole in the side wall of our tyre. Parked a little bit up the road away from the bend & Jay changed the tyre. George stood up the road a bit just near the curve in the road to warn other cars of Jay on the road  changing the tyre. I wondered around & found a great view of the Range & took some photos. In no time at all we were on the road again. This road was about 36km of dirt rocks. Lovely scenery. Just up the road we came to the most breathtaking sight I have ever seen a lookout of Wilpena Pound called "Razorback lookout" it was awesome. We were up high & the Mountains180o around us. We took heaps of photos but it just doesn't look so grand in a photograph. We came around another bend to some huge rocks jutting out of cliffs with huge Gums growing out the side. We stopped the car took some photos & found some wild bees buzzing near the rock they must drink from the surface.

Around a few more lovely scenic bends we found the turn off to Brachina Gorge. Some more rock cliff faces. I spotted a Wallaby high on the cliff face Jay stopped as I jumped out rather excited thinking I had spotted the Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby but it turned out to be a plain normal one. We spotted another Kangaroo up high with just his head poking up watching us watching him. Back in the car around a small corner & that all so familiar sound happened again. Oh no it couldn't be happening again back out & alot of f#*^ coming out of Jays mouth another flat. Oh shit what will we do 40km from Wilpena Pound no spare. Jay pulled up off the road & pulled another tyre off. This one looked like a branch had gone thru it. But relief not too bad & we had a tyre repair kit which he used to plug the hole. He had to use 2 lots to fill in the hole.

While we waited for Jay to fix the next tyre we went for a wonder around. I spotted a beautiful parrot in a tree up the road. When I got back they all laughed at me & said I missed a mother emu with 5 white stripped chicks which just headed up the hillside so I went for a little walk, luckily they were slowly moving off & I got a few photos. Then we spotted another wallaby jumping down the jagged cliff side so quickly headed off & took its photo.

An executive decision was made not to continue further & risk another flat tyre, so we didn't get to spot the Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby. But we saw some amazing other things.
On the way back we headed a different way, alot quicker to the tar road & not as much sharp shale.   On the way back to camp we spotted our 1st Big Red Kangaroo. Lots of wallabies everywhere also. A couple more emus. The were alot more lookouts scattered all the way back we will explore another day.

When we got back to camp there were some Kangaroos on a hill near our caravans having a lovely boxing match it was fun to watch for a while. In the night we bought some firewood & made a lovely fire where we could sit & relax after the eventful day. Its freezing cold again tonight.

The word wallaby
is from an aboriginal name given to this animal by the Eora tribe that lived
around the Sydney area in the past. This Australian marsupial has to be the
prettiest wallaby. It can be recognized by its gray-brown fur, lighter colored
chest, orange to yellow limbs and tail, a long dark stripe from the ears to the
shoulders and white stripes on its cheeks and yellow behind the ears. It lives
on rocky terrain near vegetation in South Australia, parts of New South Wales
and Queensland. It has great camouflage ability so as not to be seen by its
predators. It can also stand very still or hop extremely fast to run away from
danger. When it feels danger around it will stomp the ground with its hind legs
as to warn others of the possibility of a predator nearby. Its predators are
the Wedge tail eagle and the introduced fox.

The yellow-footed
rock wallaby has a diet that consists of grass, plants and shrubs that it eats
at dusk and dawn when the sun is down and the temperature is cooler. It
measures about 60 centimeters, (24 inches), in height and weighs between 6 and
12 kilograms, (13 to 26.5 pounds). After they mate the baby is born without fur
and blind one month later. The mother licks a path on her belly that the baby
must follow to the pouch. After a bit more than 6 months the young wallaby is
old enough to stay outside of his mother's pouch. The female wallaby can become
pregnant while she has a baby in her pouch. The embryo will then stay dormant
until the pouch is free. Their life expectancy is between 12 and 18 years.

They are now
considered vulnerable because of the decline in population due to other animals
eating their source of food. If they have to travel further from their homes
for food they have better chances of getting eaten by predators

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Nan on

Looks like your all having a great time, love the updates.

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