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Australia 2001

We traveled to Australia (South Australia, more particularly) in August (that's the middle of winter there, and a good thing too, considering part of our plan was a 4 day camel trek in the outback). The itinerary ran like this:

  • Adelaide
  • Barossa Valley (wine country north of Adelaide, where we stayed in Eileen's Cottage, a century old bluestone cottage in Marananga (a town/hamlet of maybe a dozen people?) (Those stone floors are cold in the morning!))
  • Kangaroo Island ( A fairly large island just south of Adelaide noted for wildlife (like koalas, kangaroos, penguins(!), and so forth, read the tourist info at the KI web site. We got there by ferry and stayed at the Wanderer's Rest.)
  • The Outback ( The highlight of which was a 4 day camel trek with Explore the Outback, although Coober Pedy was pretty nifty as well. In Coober Pedy we stayed at the Mud Hut Motel.)
  • Back to Adelaide, where we stayed at the Stamford Grand, a pretty nice place on the beach (although, being midwinter, it's not like we spent our time soaking up rays)

When one travels in Australia, particularly in the Outback, one needs a suitable vehicle.. Preferably with "roo-bars". Here's our rental 4WD, roof rack, snorkel, and roo bars at the ready. Sure was nice on those hundreds of miles of "unsealed track" (dirt road here in the US).

Barossa Valley - Bluestone cottage, vineyards, wine

Kangaroo Island - Wildlife! Koalas, Wallabies, Sea lions, Penguins, Sand Dunes, Sheep, Rocks, and lots of wind

The Outback

What did we DO in the outback? Why, we went on camel safari for 4 days .

Coober Pedy - Opal mining, gateway to even more desolate areas.

We leave the "sealed road" (good thing we have that 4WD).. Actually, the unsealed roads are pretty good (although, if it rains, everything changes....). Eventually, we reach the famous "dog fence" that theoretically keeps the dingos out of sheep raising areas.

A few hundred km of dirt track later, we get to the jumping off place for why we're here...


Every morning, you go out and round up the camels. Hopefully, they haven't wandered too far.

Don't let the green look fool you, it's the camera and sun angle, and the results of a freak rain storm the previous week.

Then, Phil and Kath "hoosh" them down, and we put on the saddles. The saddles get loaded with swags, saddle bags, jerry cans of water, and everything else.
"Up,up, up..." and the string is up.. The camels carrying the heavier loads and no riders are in the front of the string, the camels we might ride (with their loads) go at the back. The lead camel is usually a more experienced one, and in our case, Mattie generally thinks that she is a more superior camel than the rest.

Camels look like they think they are superior because they actually are.


travel/aus/index.htm - 26 May 2002

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