Travelling Australia - Journal 2009
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7 May 2009 - Burra to Flinders Ranges (Rawnsley Park)
The morning was cloudy; not like the previous few days which had given us blue-skies and little cloud.

We left Burra on the road to Hallett as the first destination. The cloud cleared and the weather was good for travelling. This section of road was a bit bumpy but roads beyond Hallett were good, especially at 85 kph which proved to be comfortable. Traffic was generally light; caravans were the most popular vehicle on the road.

The terrain was open, devoted to sheep and wheat mainly with few trees or shrubs. Off to the east and west were ranges of north-south running hills. The road crossed one of these ranges reaching 615 metres as it did so enroute to Peterborough.

Shortly before Peterborough, while we were travelling along a low ridge at a steady 85 kph under cruise control (speed measured by both GPS), we were passed on the left by a small (about 12) flock of pink galahs flying close together; I watched them draw level then move ahead of us with at least 5 kph overtaking speed, meaning they were doing a minimum of 90 kph during normal flight. I was surprised to see birds flying at that speed.

Since leaving Morgan a few days ago we had frequently passed abandoned stone buildings in various stages of disrepair including walls pretty well intact but roofs gone; one or two with intact corrugated iron roofs; but most were a few low walls surrounded by stone left when the upper wall had collapsed. The story behind these abandoned farm would be interesting; there are a lot of them to have been the result of unwise expansion into areas of inadequate rainfall in the nineteenth century.

At Oororoo we did not take the signed road to Hawker and Flinders Ranges; on my NRMA map this is marked as gravel for about 70 kilometres (I later found that the road is now sealed). Instead we took a longer (about 50 km so) route known to be sealed. This road was particularly pleasant to drive along at 85 kph; good bitumen, mostly straight, and comfortably wide. We had been descending since Peterborough and this stretch of road was a gentle downhill ride to about 300 metres. Fuel consumption had been remarkably good today; the long downhill run from Peterborough would have helped.

The road from Hawker to Wilpena was good bitumen. About 20 kilometres before Wilpena we turned into Rawnsley Park following signs to the caravan park. This is a working sheep station which diversified into tourism several years ago and is now one of the main accommodation facilities in the Flinders Ranges. Getting the van into our site took careful reversing because of the approach slope but the caravan went into the site as planned and the awning was extended.
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