Black Tiger Snake and Cape Barren Geese on Kangaroo Island.
The massive Remarkable Rocks in the Flinders Chase National Park on Kangaroo Island remind us of Sardiny and Corsica.
Swabian-baviarian camp with Karin, Uwe, Noëlle und Josefine on Kangaroo Island.
Where there's only a few drops of water, everything is in full blossom. With 600mm of rain Kangaroo Island is one of the wettest places in South Australia.
Good gravel roads lead to remote inlets in the north of KI, like here at the West River Bay.
Large Pelicans are inhabiting the remote south eastern corner of Kangaroo Island.
Kyte festival in Semaphore near Adelaide. The Orca is only $2000, while the "purple people eater" is five grand.
Autumn in Barossa Valley, time of the wine festivals, like here in Lyndoch. Early in the afternoon, the locals test this years Merlot and Chardonnay. The eye of the law is observing the situation carefully of course.
In Nuriootpa we visit the largest private Lego collection on earth. A bit quirky, the collecting kid has easily 80 years old, but very likable. Even the Queen already visited it!
Emus have the right of way in Wilpena Pound.
Diverse flora and fauna in the Flinders Ranges.
Wilpena Pound is like a large fruit bowl with 13km length and 4km width. Good gravel roads are leading north to Brachina Gorge.
At 40°C we are looking for shade under the big River Red Gums. You shouldn't camp under them, because they use to drop even large, healthy looking branches without any warning. The tempting Paddy Melons (or Camel Melons) are growing in the driest bush, but of course they are inedible. We love this country!
Leaving Lyndhurst in the northern direction means no bitumen for quite a while. We are heading towards Maree on the Oodnadata Track.
The famous Maree Hotel.
Start of the Oodnadata Tracks. The next settlement is William Creek 207km from here.
Only once or twice the monotony is disrupted like here by art in the desert.
Lake Eyre is the fifth largest lake on earth. What a pity, there's only salt. Only once or twice a century it's filled with water, even though the precipitation or 1.3 million km² (about 4 times the size of Germany!) are supposed to run into the lake.
The driest area of Australia is also one of the biggest ground water sources in the world. The Great Artesian Basin holds 2/3 of the water of the Mediterranean. It covers an area of over 1.7 million km² and it has an estimated total water storage of 64 900 million megalitres. At some places water reaches the surface like here at Mound Springs. The Oodnadata Track is following the old Ghan railway line from Adelaide to Darwin. It was build along those mounds, because the water was needed or the trains. "Ghan" is an abbreviation for "Afghan" after the camels and their drivers who helped building the railway line. This is obvious, because most of them came from India.
Australian recycling. On the Coward Springs campground, the amenities are all built of railway sleepers of the old Ghan. The door knobs are made from telegraph pole insulators. This oasis is the only real green spot between Maree and William Creek. Accordingly, it's quit busy here with Cockatoos and other birds surrounding us.
Seemingly endless hot desert. The first day on the Oodnadata track someone in the north
must have turned on a the giant hot air unit. The weather forecast predicts cooler
air coming to the region from WA. It arrives during the night with strong winds.
The William Creek Hotel is an important landmark of the South Australian outback. At times it has only been inhabited by the pub owner and his wife, nowadays it's a vibrant place with 12 people calling it home!
Space crap in William Creek.
Here we leave the track to Oodnadata and take the less frequented road to Coober Pedy. This crosses the Anna Creek Station, with the size of Belgium, it's the largest cattle farm on earth. Because there's not much vegetation one square km of pasture land per animal is needed to keep them alive. The corrugations are bad, but our dentist did a good job, the fillings stay where there are.
A couple of kilometers before we reach Coober Pedy, we are crossing the dog fence. This longest fence on earth measures 9600km from Queensland to WA and was build to keep the Dingoes away from the farms in Victoria and NSW.
We are coming closer to Coober Pedy, "Opal capital of the world".
More than 250.000 deep holes are a real threat in Coober Pedy. Some of them can be up to 30m deep, so walking around carelessly can be deadly.
The "Blowers" can be seen everywhere in Coober Pedy. These vehicles are working like a large vacuum cleaner and are used to get the debris to the surface.
An old bus converted to a noodling vehicle. Noodling is the process of searching the debris for opals. A conveyor belt transports the small rooks to a dark coop with black light that makes the the opals shine.
Some of the underground buildings in Coober Pedy can be visited, like the Serbian Church on this picture.
Bev's blower in action. She shows us Tom's working opal mine. The big barrel on the back is the "dust bag" so to speak. The debris is collected in it and once it's full, the lid at the bottom is opened and the rocks fall out.
Sightseeing Tour through "cone country".
Many movies have been shot at the breakaways about 25kms north east of Coober Pedy, like "Mad Max" or "Priscilla Queen of the desert".
"Pepper and Salt" in the evening light.
Cosy living room at Bev's dugout. Whatever the temperature outside may be, here inside it's 24°C the whole year long neither with air conditioning nor heating.
Sixty percent of Coober Pedy's inhabitants live underground. Only a few of them have windows and such a lovely veranda as Bev.
The golf course has recently been extended to 18 holes. Golfers mainly play at night with illuminated balls. As you can see, the locals are very proud of their lawn.
At such a place, a visit of the cemetery is something special of course. Some extremely thirsty adventurers rest in peace here.
A last view of Coober Pedy, before we have to move on. We embrace Bev, she has been so incredibly kind to us. We take her to our hearts and hope to come back to see her one day.
A road train and a little bus on the way to Alice Springs.