The entry to the Southern Grampians is Dunkeld. Not as spectacular as Halls Gap but well worth a visit. We stayed two nights in the local caravan park where the manager Garry was a font of knowledge giving sight seeing tips and places to eat. It’s been a while since we only paid $25 a night to park the van so a bonus. Tackled Mount Sturgeon (difficult) and the Piccaninny (easy) on the two days. Food outlets in such a small town as Dunkeld – don’t worry Dunkeld Delights and Izzys Pies – remarkable. We also walked to the Arborteum (more than once) and the Great Wall of Dunkeld – property rather large (owned we believe by a QC) – worth anything. The fence alone is a million plus! Would recommend this spot to any traveller.
A bit of a rough road trip from Dunkeld to Casterton in high winds, a little rain and a few narrow roads didn’t spoil the Casterton street drags. The only remaining street drag strip I believe in Australia. There’s quite an art to drag racing whereby when the elimination starts cars breaking their qualifying time are eliminated. So we sat in the sunshine out in a sheep paddock and watched cars dragging each other and then a large number of rev heads engaged in a burnout competition. Not sure if Julie enjoyed, she definitely tolerated the day. Another fact about Casterton is that it is the home of the Kelpie.
We slipped into South Australia early Sunday morning under the cover of a rolling fog. The short drive from Casterton to attend Mass at St Joseph’s early in the morning, where Saint Mary MacKillop founded her first school was complicated by a few kangaroos and poor visibility. Someone was looking after us and we attended mass and then dropped into the Blok winery in the Coonawarra region – forwarding a dozen bottles home and enjoying a great ploughman’s lunch. Clare Valley, Barossa Valley, Coonawarra Region – all ticked, we headed today for the McClaren Vale. Our philosophy has been if we are going to do something – we might as well do it as best we can – we may never be back. So we will come back knowing where the South Australian wineries are – Im not sure what else will be clear.