A freelance writer and traveller who likes to explore the spiritual, literary and hidden gems of Adelaide and beyond.
Published October 6th 2014
An oasis for the weary traveller
Driving holidays can be refreshing and a real tonic in finding the open road. They can also be tedious and mind numbing. While I have ventured on the Western Highway many, many times to Melbourne or places along the way, I am always searching for the perfect wayside stop.
Signs proliferate about stopping and reviving on the journey. But so often there is little to stop for. A lonely picnic table beside a noisy highway, usually with an overflowing rubbish bin and flies for company.
The road winds on, as the signs whizz by, cars line up behind slow vehicles, the motorist tries to stay focussed while running out of CDs to put on. It can make one very travel weary. Some towns do have a café or bakery, some even have decent coffee. But sometimes all that is need is a stretch of the legs and a chance to unwind from the road.
Recently the time had come on the journey for a pit stop and it seemed that Bordertown was on the horizon. This stop in the past had been a barren square patch of grass with an aged playground. But driving up, much to my surprise a new area has been developed by a watercourse.
The new area has a shaded parking area. A bridge leads over to a grassed playground area, modern toilets, an information centre, café and paths around the watercourse. In short it was like a little oasis.
There was time to take a walk, have provisions and relax in the moment. Many others were doing the same, with mini buses and land rovers on the trail here. There was also signage about the history of Bordertown and its significance.
The Bordertown area is known by the Aboriginal name of Tatiara, which means 'Good Country'. Bordertown gained significance during the gold rush era. There was concern that all the wealth from the Victorian goldfields was not making its way back to South Australia. South Australia feared bankruptcy. So a direct route was established in 1852 across the 90 mile desert. Escorts were given to get gold from Victoria to Adelaide. Police Inspector Alexander Tolmer was instructed to create a town as close as practical to the border.
This small town lying near the border with Victoria is now a worthy rest stop for weary, modern day travellers.