2350 km down...
Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
32Trip End Dec 08, 2005
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Where I stayed
The drive wasn't quite as enjoyable as the first big stage - started to get a big 'old' this driving thing! After passing through more entertainingly named places like Yalata, Poochera, Wudinna and of course Iron Knob (made famous by Mr Billy Connolly), I had a slightly unfortunate run in with a kangaroo (unfortunate for me because my car took a bit of a dent, and unfortunate for the 'roo because he didn't get back up...)
Minor damage luckily as the wee kamikaze only 'winged' the car - driving faster, or a direct hit would have left me with not much car to drive!
It was getting a bit late so I decided to stop and get myself some good accommodation. The Best Western Standpipe Hotel was the first one I came across and was a pretty good deal. I did a quick wander around the area, settled in, enjoyed a few beers at the bar and then relaxed in my room watching the movie channel - luxury
Port Augusta is a fairly boring place to be honest - real small town kind of place but it did have two really good attractions that I managed to go to - Wadlata Outback Centre and the Arid Lands Botanic Gardens.
The gardens were beautiful and full of bush flora and fauna, unfortunately it was also full of bloody flies and after about 30 minutes of wandering and swatting, I had to call it quits! The Wadlata cantre was indoors though and much more entertaining...
It 'takes you back in time' through the formation of Australia and the arrival of animals, Aboriginals and finally Europeans.
Apart from learning more about Australia and also how to cook a kangaroo (could have done with knowing that a day ago on the road!) it was also a mine of information on the bush ecology.
The bush fire is something that the plants have had to adapt to and have done in really amazing ways... The Hakea Tree retains its seeds on it's branches year after year and only releases them after a major disturbance, like fire. The Eucalyptus can grow again in only a few weeks because underground they have swollen tubers or roots with dormant buds that'll regenerate after fire. There are even plants like the Fire Orchid that'll only actually grow after fire
After all that knowledge being soaked into my brain, it was time to hit a major metropolis - on to Adelaide!
Best Western Hotel
Corner Highway 1
(08) 8642 4033
Wadlata Outback Centre
41 Flinders Terrace
(08) 8642 4511