Across the top of the Eyre – Port Pirie to Streaky Bay

First leg: Port Pirie to Kimba

 

Due to the Easter long weekend we decided to go anti clockwise and headed off across the top of the Eyre rather than going down to the more popular East Coast. The drive took us to Port Augusta which looked better than its reputation. Here we got our first glimpse of the peninsula across the top of the Spencer Gulf. We did not stop here and headed onto the highway and the long stretches of straight road. The drive is pretty boring and nearly everyone waves at each other, even the cars and the odd truckie. There were a number of cyclists as well, not sure I would want to tackle this road!

Port Augusta

Iron Knob

The next town past Port el Augusta is Iron Knob which had a big role in the early development of BHP and the Australian steel industry. There were several mines that supplied the steel industry in Whyalla. The mines closed in the 1990's but a couple re-opened. We did not stop here, but apparently there are campgrounds and some tourist activities including mine tours.

Kimba Silo Art

Our stop for the night was the small township of Kimba in the middle of the Eyre Peninsula and apparently in the middle of Australia. Unlike Port Pirie it had a great vibe and was extremely clean with no rubbish or graffiti to be found.

For a small town of 1050 people with only 360mm pa rainfall, this town is extremely well serviced and looked after. There is beautiful silo art to look at, I am not usually into painting but this is brilliant and designed to give a three dimensional effect by taking advantage of the curves of the silos.

 

The highway shop sports the “Big Galah” and there are statues on the lookout over the town. We did not stay out of the car for long on the lookout due to persistent and blood thirsty march flies around the lookout. In spite of the low rainfall, Kimba even has a golf course complete with fake grass tees and black sand as “greens”.

 

Camping Facilities:

Kimba has a whopping three free camp area, we headed for the recreation reserve as we were in need of a decent shower...  The recreation reserve itself is brilliant with a fitness centre, cricket and football oval, tennis, bowls club and the pony club at the back. Some of the buildings are adorned by beautiful murals.

The camp would have to be one of the most deluxe free site we have encountered, with a huge gravel area for parking the vans, toilets, a single shower (hot if you feed it $1 coins to get two minutes of hot water.

 

Accommodation:

Kimba Recreation Reserve

Accommodation Rating – 4.5/5

Location

Next to the recreation reserve enter through the archway

Facilities

Flush toilets and single shower. Town water

Dog Walks

Lots of room, a big mown area across the road plus the pony club grounds and ovals.

Local Services

There are two supermarkets, fuel and medical facilities. Apparently the pub does a nice dinner but we could not sample it as it was closed on Good Friday

Cost

Free – Please leave a donation at the toilet block!

Comment

5 day limit but provision to stay longer if approved by the council.

Do not park near the sewage recycling pump, in the front of the shower, the smell is not the best.

Part Two: Kimba to Streaky Bay

In the morning we reluctantly left Kimba and tackled the last run over to the west coast of the Eyre Peninsula. The area near Kimba is dry but arable and used for grain and sheep farming.

Further west the soils deteriorate and the landscape is dominated by granite rocks which are everywhere. It appears that the early settlers cleared the land and picked up most of the larger rocks which were dumped in higher ground and in piles around the sparse remnant vegetation. Farms are very large and there are occasional letter boxes on the side of the road varying from the functional, the decorative and the quirky – the actual houses must be a long way from the road and are not generally visible. We struggled to imagine how anyone could make a living out of this land as even the ploughed paddocks were full of rocks.

We passed through some small townships and made a quick stop at Wudinna to look at the granite sculpture of the Australian Farmer. The statue is located next to the information centre and has an interesting "radio" to inform about the local area. You have to turn the handle a few times to create enough power to run the display.

The March flies were out in force so I took some quick photos and we were glad to be back in the car to escape the little blighters. Before we knew it we arrived at the West coast of the Eyre in the township of Streaky Bay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted in SA - Eyre Peninsula, Tales of a Blonde Nomad.

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