Travelling Australia - Journal 2009
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14 May 2009 - Flinders Ranges to Port Augusta
We packed up and connected the caravan in pleasant weather. Getting the caravan from the site needed a bit of backing and filling to move the caravan into the middle of the site so it wouldn't scrape against a tree lining the site as it turned out of the site.

We made our way along the Rawnsley Park gravel roads onto the sealed Wilpena Road and turned south towards Hawker. We stopped at a ruined house for photographs then continued on to Hawker for a cup of coffee.

Near the house ruin there are several signs indicating communities had been established once but later abandoned leaving nothing but a sign beside the road. These communities were established in the 1860s and 1870s as part of a South Australian government programme of developing agriculture, especially wheat-growing, in the region. The Surveyor-General (George Goyer) recommended against the project because records indicated that rainfall was insufficient and unreliable. He believed those parts of the state were suitable only for pastoral activity, particularly sheep grazing, but politicians chose to encourage closer settlement for wheat-growing based on wishful thinking. Several wetter years in the 1870s seemed to prove the developers correct but rainfall reverted to normal in the early 1880s and the optimistic new farmers were ruined; farms, houses and communities were abandoned and sheep grazed on their former properties.
Ruin Ruins of one of the many houses built by optimistic farmers who were deceived by several high rainfall years then ruined when the rainfall reverted to normal.

Car and van Pathfinder and EuroStar enroute to Port Augusta.

From Hawker we continued to Quorn. The weather was good and traffic very light. Beyond Quorn the road climbed over and through one of the numerous north-south ridges making up the Flinders Ranges but this one wasn't particularly high. We soon joined the Adelaide to Port Augusta Highway and proceeded into Port Augusta making our way to the caravan park we had stayed at previously.

We booked in for a week and set up under a gum tree on a sandy site with a concrete slab. The rest of the afternoon was devoted to shopping for food and to bringing the blog up to date now that we had reliable, full-speed, wireless Internet access.
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