26/10/15 After months of being in areas of drought, dust, flies, red sand, more dust, gibber rocks, and even more flies, it was a nice change to see proper GREEN again. We loved the desert areas of Australia, but were both looking forward to once again seeing the ocean and green countryside.
The drive from Beltana Station in the northern Flinders Ranges to Melrose near Port Pirie took us from parched mountain settings, through flat sheep country and broad plains of wheat to the little showground at Melrose, where we camped among the five hundred year old River Gums in the shadow of Mount Remarkable.
Melrose is a quaint little town, the oldest in the Flinders Ranges, with lots of green grass, very little dust…and very few flies. Di enjoyed browsing through the homewares and gift shops, I picked up the latest Lee Child novel, and we had a beverage at the rustic North Star Inn. After the long drive to Melrose, we were quickly into counted sheep that night, only to be woken early the next morning by several hundred of them grazing around our van and calling for their wayward lambs. Undeniably, we were now in sheep country. The rest of the day was spent doing very little and just relaxing.
The following day was freezing. We’d just come out of temperatures in the 40’s and now it was like a winter’s day and 14C. Gusty and cold westerly winds had come up during the night and persisted for most of the day. It had been some time since we’d worn our coats and had to dig around to find them. With the van unhitched, we took a drive to Port Pirie for lunch, via the small coastal town of Port Germein that boasted the longest wooden jetty in the southern hemisphere at 1,532 metres. I can say that we walked all the way to the end of it, but I’m not saying which end.
After a look around Port Pirie, we continued south to Port Broughton for a look, mainly because it was another “Port” and rounded off the day nicely. The return route to Melrose was through the wheat growing area back from the coast. They sure do grow a lot of wheat around here.
“Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen.” – Louis L’Amour