Mannum, Murray River, South Australia

Good morning Mannum.

This is the sunrise that greeted us on our last morning in Mannum, glorious. 

There were lots of birds around including a pair of black swans with their white chick, a pair of Purple Swamp hens (aka Pukeko in NZ) with their chick, ducks, pelicans, birds of prey in the distance. Hundreds of Welcome Swallows came in at dusk to roost in the reeds.

Note I had to boost the colour in this photo as it was a rather dull morning, so the grass in the photo is a vivid green. In real life it is just ordinary dull green.

Below are the Welcome Swallows leaving in the morning. We think they were Welcome Swallows, Steve had to get his zoom camera out to take a photo and blow it up to see the birds clearly as they were too small to see clearly at dusk and dawn.

The ducks and the Purple Swamp hens pooped everywhere, we were forever sweeping away the mess from the matting.

When we arrived in Mannum it was the begining of a long weekend in South Australia, Cup day. We stayed at the Mannum Riverside Caravan Park. The camping ground was full and when we booked the only available site was from a cancellation. The site was very ordinary, no view, down a dead end street so we had to back the caravan down the road to get onto the site, and over 200 steps to the amenities.

Very popular camping ground as it is not that far from Adelaide, lots of jet skis, mini river boats, pergola shades along the river at the camping ground.


Jet ski central on the river on the weekend.

On the Monday when the hordes left we were able to move sites to beside the river where I took that glourious sunrise view. We were very happy with our new location. So happy we didn’t even explore the local area apart from the township as it was just so pleasant and peaceful next to the quiet section of the river. Could have stayed here longer than 6 nights.

The township of Mannum was small, quaint shops, pubs, clubs, small supermarket medical centre next to the hospital who did my INR blood test for me. The town had a Mechanic who was able to weld the handbrake guides  back on after we sheared them off moving the caravan from one site to the other, oops. The kerb was viscious.  The town is on the Murray River and is only 84km from Adelaide so a popular weekend spot. Over the river, via a car ferry, is a couple of free camping areas.

On the weekend they had a hot rod car show and the paddle boats were also out and about.

There are houseboats on the river here, one couple in the camping ground I talked to were hiring a houseboat with some friends and going cruising for three nights.

We left Mannum yesterday morning and headed further inland up the Murray River.







Goolwa, Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia

Goolwa a small town at the mouth of the Murray River. There is a beautiful looking surf beach about a 10 minute drive from the camping ground.

The photo below is the wharf in Goolwa.

We went on a 3.5 hour cruise to the mouth of the mighty Murray River. The Murray River spans across several states, and is the longest river in Australia.

The cruise was fantastic, and included a walk over the sand dunes at Younghusband Peninsula to a surf beach where commercial cockle gathers operate from. There were cockles lying on the surface of the sand, no recreational harvesting of the cockles is allowed on this beach.

The boat we went on for our cruise, we are all getting off the boat to go on a walk over the sand dune, it was hard work as the sand dune was steep and the day was hot. The sea breeze was welcomed once we got to the ocean.

Below is the actual mouth of the river, it was much smaller than I expected.

They are dreging sand from the mouth to keep it open.

On the way to the mouth of the river we went through a lock at the Goolwa barrage. The barrages keep the seawater out of the lake and river. There were seals sunning themselves around the lock, apparently NZ seals like it over here.

This is the barrage:

During our 7 day stay at Goolwa we visited Victor Harbour, a much larger township than Goolwa. The walk over to and around Granite Island in Victor Harbour was well worth it. Lots of interesting sculptures along the walk, apparently there are penguins here and they do night tours. The most interesting part was the horse drawn carriage that travels across the causeway bridge to the island.

Looking back towards Victor Harbour from the island:

We stayed at the Goolwa Camping Tourist Park, an easy 15 minute walk to the township. The sites were spacious with plenty of room to park the car out the front or beside the van.

The only negative aspect of the site was when they cleaned out the septic tank behind us, what a stink! We fled to the local beach while they were there as the smell was overpowering. The stench lingered on during the evening.  By morning all was back to normal.

The weather here has varied from cold and windy to hot 30C plus on our last two days here.

It is a long weekend here in South Australia, Cup Day apparenlty, makes things more difficult in finding a caravan park that is not booked out over the weekend.

Last night (Friday night) many happy campers pulled in filling up the camping ground with families, groups and dogs. Some groups stayed up until the early hours of the morning chatting and laughing, grump. Hard to get to sleep with the dogs yapping and all the activity going on.

We left this morning to head inland and make our way to our next spot on the Murray River, busy as, jet skis everywhere, a hot 37C!! When we booked several days ago we only got a site because someone had cancelled that day.

Ps I get grumpy when I get too hot














Port Willunga, Near McLaren Vale, Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia

After Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills we headed to Port Willunga, on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Just under an hours drive from Hahndorf.

These jetty pylons is all that remains of Port Willunga, along with the caves dug into the cliffs  where the fishermen once stored their boats and nets.

We stayed at the Big4 in Port Willunga. The place was ok apart from the really chunky woodchip as our front porch! Some of the wood chips were as big as my fist.

Nothing withing walking distance from the camping ground expect for Maslin Beach, on the map it is described as an “unclad beach” aka nudist beach. The beach was very popular, when we went for as stroll to check out the local area we stumbled across the beach,  there was lots of foot traffic up and down the many steps down to the beach.  See the photo below.


The land above the beach is rather stark.

Most of the land around here looks very dry, apart from the many vineyards in McLaren Vale.

We didn’t visit many vineyards, just two. There is only so much time we can spend wine tasting before it becomes a bit much.

The most interesting one was Tintara, which is part of Hardy’ wines in McLaren Vale.  They had a viewing gallery of the open fermenting tanks which were being plunged at the time. Ideal time of year to visit as it it harvesting season.

There were a three craft breweys to visit. The one with the beer I liked the most was the Smiling Samoyed Brewey. They had a dark ale that tasted of chocolate and coffee, yum. The brewery is in Myponga, overlooking the lower part of the Myponga reservoir. 

We drove up to the Myponga Reservoir lookout afterwards, boy was it windy up there that day.

We left Port Willunga yesterday and drove to the other side of the peninsula, on the way we stopped at this rather spectacular lookout looking back over the area we were leaving.





Hahndorf, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

After the Barossa we drove just over an hour to the Adelaide Hills. We stayed at the Hahndorf Tourist Park

A fantastic views of bush clad hills from our site.

We had very large drive through site near the top of the hill. Green grass, ducks and geese wandering around. All very pleasant. The amenities were sparkling, but a bit of a hike up the hill to them. The camping ground was part of a conference centre complex which appeared to be quite busy. There was also a bistro on site that does great pub style food.

The township of Hahndorf was an easy 20 minute walk from the camping ground lovely, bustling with people, with lots of interesting places to eat, a few german style pubs, clothing shops, knife shop, cheese shop, smokehouse, even hand made shoes shop. There was a very good fruit and veggie market over the road from the camping ground. I found these mini Maggie Beer ice-creams. Yum

On the day we chose to wander through the town the Queens message that was being carried around Australia for the Commonwealth Games arrived in town.

Hahndorf was created as a settlement for German immigrants in 1838, and is one of the oldest surviving german settlements in Australia.

We stopped at the wine shop in the middle of town where we had a very informative wine tasting. He advised us to go to Barristers Block vineyard in Woodside to find a nice Gewürztraminer. And he was spot on, their wine was great and Steve ended up being persuaded to buy a 6 pack of the Gewürztraminer, now Steve just had to drink it all before we head back to NZ in mid May.

We visited a few craft Breweries, Prancing Pony in Totness, Gulf Brewery in Hahndorf, and Lobethal Bierhaus in Lobethal. They all had very good beer. I particullarly like the stouts at Lobethal, the liquorice stout was just divine,  the creme brûlée one interesting.

Below is the Lobethal Bierhaus:

Photo below is Steve being shown around The Prancing Pony:

We extended our stay here from 4 nights to 7 because one of the breweries was not open till the weekend and we enjoyed the outlook so much that we wanted to linger.

The day we left the temperature had dropped to a chilly 8C overnight! Colder than what we have been used to for a while, I found my possum yarn hat while I was looking for some socks to wear.

The blue searchlight icon dot on the map is where Hahndorf is, I think it is about a 35 to 40 minute drive into Adelaide.




Barossa Valley, South Australia

There are many vineyards in the Barossa Valley, it is well known as being a grape growing region. Mostly red grapes grown here, they are know for their shiraz.

There are some big name vineyards there like, Penfolds, Wolfblass, Jacobs Creek, Peter Lehmann, Saltram. Every road was lined with grapes vines and some very dry harvested grain fields scattered between them.

View of the valley from the Mengler Hill Sculpture Park lookout:

We only went to a few vineyards and a couple of craft breweries. 

Seppelsfield Estate Winery had castle like buildings, large grounds to wander around and a family crypt on a hill in memory of the founder of the winery.

 Another vineyard that we went to that castle like buildings and grounds to match was Chateau Tanunda Estate

I particularly like this sculpture of a bull at this little vineyard that did a very nice Shiraz.

I made Steve stop at the Maggie Beer Farm shop and we had a wander, they had some nice looking chutneys and stuff but unfortunately we didn’t need any. She had an interesting collection of pheasants on the property.

We stayed in the town of Nuriootpa, a reasonable sized town that even had an Aldi shop that pleased Steve. There were several towns in the region that had quaint old stone buildings. I liked Tanunda as it had lots of nice looking places to eat, and Angaston looked quite quaint as well. If we ever came here again I think I would stay at Tanunda instead of Nuriootpa.

The Barossa Park in Nuriootpa was ok, but their drive through sites were not really long enough to be called a drive through site. The sites were so narrow that by the time we put out the awning we were border to border. Very little room to park the car, most people just parked their car on the site next to them. The size of the sites were more suited to campervans. In my effort to have Steve park the caravan as far back as possible so we could have room to park the ute on the site I didn’t realise that once we put the awning out the corner of it would be sticking out over the road as the site was angled from the road. We also hugged a few trees on the way into the site, Steve had to jockey around a bit to get us close enough to the border, trees on 3 of the corners. Just painful.

Some of the grassed sites looked very nice and perhaps a little bit more roomy? The grass is always greener over the road!

The caravan park had this old motor home know as the House on Wheels on display. It was built in 1931 and the family used it to travel around in. It looked like a mini house.

The caravan park was next to a sports oval and had a lot of trees and bird life around. This kookaburra didn’t like me taking its photo and it swooped at me a few times to scare me away. Usually it is the other way around and we scare the wildlife away.

The day we left to head off the Adelaide Hills didn’t start well. Half way through packing up Steve realised one of his sandals was missing. We always leave our sandals outside the caravan overnight, and have never had a problem with them being taken or anything, so we were baffled by the loss of just one of the sandals. We searched high and low for it, I even looked in the rubbish bins. We asked our neighbour if perhaps one of his dogs may have taken it, but they said no, and helped us look around for it. In the end we left without finding it. I suggested that perhaps if a dog or a prankster had taken it they may have left it on the sports oval, but we didn’t search there. We should have.

The second problem was getting out of the site, I suggested to Steve that perhaps he should back out as a low hanging tree branch looked like it may be a problem. He thought it would be find and proceeded to pull forward. We kissed the low hanging tree branch a few times, eventually we got out without any damage to the roof of the caravan.

After driving for 40 minutes we got a call from the camping ground that our neighbour had found the missing sandal while out walking his dogs on the sports oval. Thank goodness for that. The following day we drove the hour and a bit back to the Barossa to retrieve the sandal. We drove a more scenic route and through few interesting towns.











Clare Valley, one of the Vineyards regions around Adelaide

Clare Valley

Our first stop around the great vineyard loop surround Adelaide was in Clare. We stayed at the Discovery Clare Valley Caravan Park

The caravan park is a few kms just out of the township of Clare. Nice little town with old buildings and a good little shopping strip,  they even had a shop that sold yarn!

The caravan park had gravel sites that were a little on the narrow side, but we were able to park the ute along side the caravan, just.

The camping ground looked almost empty the day we arrived but by the following day we were surrounded by a group that were travelling together.

The information centre next door to the park had Friday nights wine tasting and gave us an opportunity to mingle with fellow campers.

The weather was a bit too hot for my liking, 38 to 40C days, and a grass fire nearby which was a bit of a worry. We were told to pack up and be ready to leave if the wind direction changed suddenly. So we hooked up and backed the caravan back a little so we were straddling two sites all ready to flee if needed. Luckily we didn’t have to, thank goodness. The caravan park let us remain straddling the two sites for the rest of our stay there.

We visited a few vineyards, Riesling grapes mostly here, and a couple of breweries. One of the older historic wineries, Sevenhills had cool cellars that we were allowed to explore, and their video about the winery was worthwhile watching.

 Neat little market in Clare on Saturday, I found this brilliant dress for $25.

We extended our stay for another night so we could visit the township of Burra on a cooler day. Burra is a historic copper mining town and is a good 40 minute drive from Clare.

The town has done a great job of turning the town into a historic tourist place to visit. Stop at the information centre and buy a passport key, $30 pp to gain access to all the historic sites. You can keep the key for 2 days, note a $50 deposit for the key.

The most interesting place we visited was the old brewery cellars, a rabbit warren.

 Spotted this lace making machine in one of the old houses.

 The old copper mine pit and related sites

Map showing where Clare Valley is in relation to Adelaide:

 My outrage on the weather forecast:



Adelaide to Auckland to Adelaide

We arrived in Adelaide a few days before we were due to fly out to NZ for the xmas period. We stayed at a small caravan park called Levi Park, about 4km out of the CBD. Apparently the homestead at the park was one of the earliest colonial buildings in Adelaide owned by the Levi family. The heritgage house has been turned into luxuary apartments. The grounds were lovely, lots of large trees. The downside was the gravel sites, now gravel can be ok with a mat on top of it, but this was large chunky gravel,  very uncomfotable to walk on bare feet. The sites were very tight, but it is in the city. I was greatful for the shade the trees provided when we had a 40C day. 

The park was next to a river that had a brilliant walkway and cycle way into the city. We wandered down the river for a little bit, but the heat drove me back to the shade at the caravan park.The little blue dot on the map is where the park is.

We got the bus into the city one day and had a wander around the city and the riverfront. They are doing great things along the river in Adelaide. We stopped for a beer overlooking the river.

We put the caravan into storage the day before we flew to Auckland. The whole process was seamless, we had undercover storage, and the guy started the car every week to make sure it would start when we got back, he even gave us a lift back into the city to our hotel. May have been expensive but totally worth it, (Caravan Storage Adelaide). When we got back a month and a half later he met us at the storage place and the car started like a dream. So much better than our experience last year where we had to catch a train from Brisbane, travel for over an hour on the train, and then find that we needed a new battery and wait for hours for it to be delivered to be able to hit the road.


It was great being with my family over the xmas period. I had a great time. I even taught my neice how to crochet, the blind leading the blind, but we managed and I am delighted to say that my neice is now fully into learning how to crochet, thanks to YouTube.

While I was there I crocheted myself this scarf using a Patons Summer Swirl Yarn.

I was without my iPad for several days so I crocheted in my idle moments when I would otherwise be surfing the internet or playing games. I have had the iPad Air for just under two years and the battery was failing. It was down to less than 20% life left in it and I had to have it charging when I wanted to use it. Apple replaced the whole iPad for $250. Expensive battery, but cheaper than buying an equilivant iPad.

Time flew by while we were in NZ, and passed way too quickly.


We flew back to Adelaide the end of January, an early morning flight, so we were back in Adelaide mid morning and settled into the camping ground before lunch. So easy. 

We decided to stay at the Big4 Adelaide Shores Caravan Park. Great place on West Beach, on the beach, near Glenelg, has large sites, lots and lots  of sites, grassy, playgrounds for the kids, fantastic resort style pool, ticks all my boxes, apart from the wimpy showers. Downside is that it smells like it is near a sewage treatment plant when the wind blows a certain direction, and noisy mufflers on motorsbikes that cruise around after dark.  Close to the airport but the flights seem to be during the day and not in the middle of the night as far as I can tell.

Loving Adelaide, loving their beaches. We wandered down to Glenelg one day, a 40 minute easy walk along the waterfront. A very nice little shopping strip with lots of eating places and shopping, a tram from there runs into the city.

We visited one of the other beaches south of here, Brighton, another great little shopping strip, and a camping ground nearby in Kingston. 

We spent just over 10 days in Adelaide, I wish it had been longer, especially now that we are having a hot spell of temps up to 39C for the rest of the week,  a sea breeze would be good right now. But Steve was keen to explore the wine and craft beer regions around Adelaide. So we left this morning to head inland. I am hiding in the caravan with the aircon on! 

40C under our awning.