Now that the interruption to your scheduled viewing/reading has been dealt with…we can get on with the actual blogging stuff. And although it now seems yonks ago, I have so much to share with you about our camping trip and adventures through the Flinders Ranges, the Strzelecki Track, Innamincka and home through western NSW.
After Matt dealt with a work conference in Naracoorte and we stayed with some old work friends near Tintinara, tootling on up through Adelaide to meet our #instabesties (and dopplegangers!) Elli and Savannah…we eventually made it to the Flinders – via a night in the quaint hamlet of Burra. We had camped previously and spontaneously at Burra on our epic around-Australia honeymoon. It’s lovely there, even with a teething baby and minus 2 degrees overnight! I wish I were joking…aaaaanywho…
Now, we always knew this wouldn’t be a trip of any great detail – it was our first time to the area, so we always planned it to be a ‘brief summary/overview’ of sorts. We were also a bit time limited, compared to our honeymoon trip where we had all the time in the world and no real plan on when we were (if ever) coming ‘home’. We based ourselves at the Wilpena Pound campground, initially our rough itinerary had us penciled in for three nights…this quickly turned to four, as I knew would happen. There was just too much to see and do! The campground, in our opinion, wasn’t anything to write home about. Nice, convenient, central, all those things though. It was a good base to do day trips out of, but as we explored the National Park and surrounds we saw all the beautiful campsites which we will definitely be making use of next time. There was a lot of ‘next time’ talk, which is fine (you hear that Matt?!) It was great to do a ‘getting to know the area’ trip like this, to find our feet and get our bearings.
The Flinders Ranges were breathtakingly beautiful, as I knew they would be. It’s a very raw and quiet type of beauty though, a beauty which Matt has taught me to appreciate over the years in our travels. It’s such a cliche as it’s said constantly – but the Australian landscape is just so diverse, so ever changing, and so vast. We moseyed our way around the original homestead and outbuildings one morning, with Eleanor on Matt’s back in the Ergo, promptly falling straight to sleep. We conquered ‘Skytrek’ (a four wheel drive track through a private station, up there on Matt’s bucket list), which took us a whole day. We meandered our way along the dry creek beds and gorges, with their grand old river red gums standing guard over them, and we had a cold beer at the trendiest pub in the absolute middle of bloody nowhere I’ve ever seen…
On our last morning at Wilpena we conquered Mount Ohlssen Bagh, the second highest peak in the Flinders. I had no idea of this before we started though, as husband dearest just said we’d ‘go for a walk’. There was much muttering under his breath and averted gazes when I asked if it was ‘a steep walk’. Hmph. It just so happened that this morning was the warmest we’d had too, after freezing mornings I was actually looking forward to the sunshine on my face…until I thought I was dying climbing this mountain. (Have I mentioned I can be a tad dramatic?!) In my defense I am not a good hiker at the best of times, and have done absolutely zero exercise since having a baby. We made it though! Again with Eleanor safely on Daddy’s back – she slept the whole way up! …and screamed the whole way down. Perhaps another story for another day too.
We left Wilpena Pound and headed for the northern Flinders, to Arkaroola and beyond – into the vastness of nothingness that is Simpson’s Great Stony Desert. The second half of our adventures probably deserves it’s own blog installment, as we closed in on our main intended landmark: The Dig Tree near Innamincka.
But the Flinders? Goodness me, stunning! We already can’t wait to go back, to explore more, to follow our noses down goat tracks (as my husband is wont to do) but most of all create memories as our little family, now we are three. The greatest thing I took away from our trip was the time Matt go to spend with Eleanor, that’s what I wanted this to be about. It would have been the longest time they’ve spent together, all three of us really, and it was brilliant. We’re a team. Our first real family holiday with just us, the first of so many more though as our blossom grows.