Puppets and a Gorgeous Gorge

Trip Start Aug 09, 2011
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Where I stayed
Mambray Creek Campground Mt Remarkable National Park
What I did
Sansouci Puppet Museum and Gallery
Alligator Gorge
Hancocks Lookout
Horrocks Pass

Flag of Australia  , South Australia,
Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Today we drove to Wilmington which is at the northern end of the Mount Remarkable National Park.  We drove up the Princes Highway towards Port Augusta and then turned east and drove through Horrocks Pass which is an impressive old road through the Flinders Ranges.  On the way we saw a sign to Hancocks Lookout.  You actually then drive on 7km of dirt road almost back in the direction we just came but up to the top of the ranges where there is a great lookout.  You can see across to Wyalla and to Port Augusta.



We then continued on to Wilmington which is a really old little town.  We had heard that there was an interesting puppet shop there so we looked along the main street.  We first spotted a toy museum but that wasn't it so we looked further up the street and found Sancouci Puppet Museum and Gallery.  It was a tiny shop filled with lots of old puppets and ventriloquist dummies, dream catchers and a lot of other bric a brac for sale.  But for a gold coin donation the owner, Brian, takes you into the back room where he has seemingly amassed a collection of every puppet, marionette and ventriloquist dummy ever made.  He even has the original punch and judy puppets from Brighton, England.  He is a very interesting character and spent a long time showing us all the puppets and demonstrating many of them to the kids.  The kids loved it as did Carl and I as we relived out childhood looking at puppets from all the old TV shows we used to watch as kids.  He even had an old sooty glove puppet which Carl said he had the exact same one when he was a kid.

After spending about an hour at the puppet shop we then drove on to Alligator Gorge in the Mt Remarkable National Park.  We parked at the top car park where we did two short walks to two different lookouts.  Then we drove down to the bottom car park and did the walk through "The Narrows" which is a spectacular narrow section of the gorge.  It was the best gorge walk I have done so far.  Carnarvon Gorge was good, but you had to walk a very long way to see a small spectacular section.  This was a short walk of about an hour where you are walking through the narrow spectacular gorge for most of the way.  I really enjoyed it. 
At the end of the walk you go a bit further up to see "The Terraces" and then come back to a fairly steep set of stairs back up to the top car park.  You then walk back down the dirt road to the car.   Unfortunately Chloe hurt her ankle jumping off a log half way along the gorge, so she and I waited at the top car park for Carl and the boys to walk back to the car.  It was supposed to take them 30mins according to the sign but it only took them 12 mins



We drove back to the campsite and got the fire going again.  Today was a beautiful sunny day so no trouble with the rain tonight.  Unfortunately because the sky was so clear it got increadibly cold as soon as the sun dropped below the horizon.  We all rugged up and ate our dinner outside and then sat around the campfire until bedtime.
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