We left again at lunchtime to make our way back to South Australia. Currently we are camped at another great community site at Serviceton, with the luxury of power, showers and even a pool table! This location is about half way between Melbourne and Adelaide and is an ideal stopover for a night or two. In the morning we were greeted with the most beautiful sunrise over the misty plains, with the full moon setting in the west.
Serviceton is a tiny community on the border of SA and Victoria, about 4km off the highway. It was named after James Service who was the premier of Victoria in the 1880’s. The town used to be quite busy as it was the changeover point for train crews between Adelaide and Melbourne as well as the customs station that used to exist between states. The town is in fact about 2km from the border due to a surveying error placed the border markers in the wrong spot. There were disputes between the two states about who owned the land with Victoria eventually winning the claims.
The abandoned railway building is leased by the local council and the committee of management are doing a good job maintaining the building to preserve the history. The upper level was closed off other than the platform but many of the rooms in the basement can be accessed.
The lunch stop today was at Murray Bridge where we stopped at the lovely park along the river. It is quite a busy spot, but I have to confess we never really bothered to explore the rest of the town.
We turned off the freeway to avoid the Adelaide Metro area. The road goes past the Murray river flats up an escarpment where the roadside is covered with huge boulders that unfortunately seem to attract a lot of attention from graffiti vandals. The road then heads through the outer parts of the lovely Barossa Valley and the large town of Gawler.
Gawler was founded in 1836 and was the first country town in South Australia. We saw some beautiful old buildings on our way through, but Gawler and the Barossa will need to wait for another trip.
We stopped overnight at Mallala as it was the Sunday of the Anzac day weekend and the beach sites would have been packed. This is yet another free community camp located at the recreation reserve. There are clean facilities but quite a few of the people here are staying a lot longer than a day or two and we are parked next to a tribe of bogans living in tents and a broken down bus who are using a generator and making a racket. Tomorrow there will be a football match with a couple of thousand people expected so we will need to pull our fingers out in the morning and leave early before the crowds arrive.
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