but you can just call me Ray.
My life is full of great experiences, made better for sharing.
Published December 27th 2018
How the west was won
The author and Mrs. Jones (you know, we've got a thing goin' on) venture from Adelaide across the continent and then back by the Indian Pacific. This series of articles is intended as a guide to Crossing the Nullabour from Adelaide. I found nothing on Google that suited an Adelaide start to the journey. The benefit of driving west, and training back, is that assuming you drive as recommended in the mornings, the sun is behind you all the way. We make some trip rules to start. No longer than 1.5 hours for either of us behind the wheel. Happy hour commences at 5 pm only and we are going to eat healthy snacks during the day (we pack crudites and home-made hummus). The final rules are that the driver gets to choose the music and that we will refuel every afternoon, ready for a quick getaway, if we need or want to, the next morning.
Adelaide to Port Wakefield to Wudina to Streaky Bay
Accommodation: Streaky Bay Discovery Park 2-bedroom unit $119
Brand new unit on the shorefront, very nice new facilities, including a balcony overlooking the cockle strewn tidal flats.
We sidle out to the car (Mrs. Jones Mazda CX-5) and hit the road at 6:30 am head for our first stop, 102 Km's from Adelaide to Port Wakefield. First stop is at the Port Wakefield "Tucker Time" Café. Of all the possibilities this was the most run down and unappealing. I suspect the owner doesn't quite enjoy the custom of the other points of call, especially the shiny new fuel stops across the road. However, credit where credit is due. We enjoyed a very well-made coffee and a perfectly executed Bacon and Egg Sandwich. Freshly made. And peacefully consumed with no rush.
Our first leg was uneventful, and after the next section, Port Wakefield to Port Augusta West (212 KM) where we refuelled at the OTR Roadhouse. On through Kimba and Iron Knob where we make the decision to do ('mainy's), that is the main street review of every town. This is because many towns nowadays have established bypasses endowed with fueling and fried food roadhouses, leaving the small and often ghostly remnants of a bygone era, for the diminishing numbers of locals. By doing a "mainy" we get to see what once was and what is now. Our next "mainy" at 1 pm at Wudinna this leg 255 Km), led us to a beautifully maintained main street with a vibrant crew of locals and a very pleasant picnic spot next to the community hall and clean toilets.
Then onward through Kyancutta and Minnipa to Streaky Bay (Wudinna to Streaky Bay 133Km). What a beautiful town, Streaky Bay where the many locals have bleached surfer long hair like they are straight from Coogee in the '70s.
Streaky Bay and its surrounding beaches and scenery are just stunning, for me the pick of the West Coast so far. Tomorrow its south to Baird Bay before venturing North for our next stop, Ceduna. Even just in front of our cabin was a tidal flat, with emergent mangroves, samphire, and cockles everywhere.
Dinner at the Streaky Bay Community Hotel deserves a special mention. Really nice local oysters and whiting for two. Reasonably priced food, a really good wine list and very well patronised by locals of all ages. The front deck has a view worthy of the conclusion of any first day of a holiday.