Land of Ragged Mountain Ranges
No matter how many stories I’ve had printed, it’s always a thrill to see another one in a magazine. I have a number of stories in the pipeline at the moment with a few different magazines, but they’re in the lap of the gods (or should I say editors) as to when they get printed. Happily I can say though, that the current edition of On The Road magazine (September / October) has a story I’ve written on Port Augusta, known as the crossroads of Australia and the gateway to the southern Flinders Ranges.
If you live in South Australia, Port Augusta is often seen as a stopping point on the road to somewhere else. It takes a little over 3 hours to get to Port Augusta from Adelaide and it’s a big enough town to get all you need to refuel the car and occupants before heading off further north towards the Northern Territory or west to the Eyre Peninsula, Nullarbor or beyond. Once you’ve passed through Port Augusta you really get the feeling that you’re on your way to the next big adventure. But having said that you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t decide to make Port Augusta one of the destinations to stay a few days on a planned trip.
Apart from anything else the town is on the doorstep of the Flinders Ranges and mountains serve as a backdrop, always in sight and tempting travellers to come on in and explore more. To stay in the Flinders is of course a whole other holiday but you can make day trips from Port Augusta to certain spots like Mambray Creek for instance, which is in the Mount Remarkable National Park. Here you can go bush walking and get a taste of the gorges and type of scenery you will encounter in the Flinders Ranges.
Port Augusta’s other drawcard is that it’s on the water at the top of Spencer Gulf. The Eastside foreshore is a good spot to try your hand at fishing from the jetty and it also has swimming pontoons and BBQ’s in green surroundings. Somewhere to watch the sunset and dolphins swimming by.
As I mention in the magazine article there are a couple of must see attractions in Port Augusta those being the Wadlata Outback Centre and the other the Arid Lands Botanic Garden. Wadlata is definitely worth visiting to get an appreciation of the local indigenous stories and then see how the countryside was opened up by early explorers. You can spend hours here taking in this brilliantly set up wander through history and the good thing is they give you a pass out to use another day if you need more time to take it all in.
The Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden is another whole day attraction to visit. It offers so much to see and gives you an appreciation for our diverse native plants. You can explore the garden following the walking paths at your leisure using the map provided or if you prefer you can take a guided tour run by volunteers of the park. The Botanic Garden also shows practical ideas on how to landscape your home garden to get the best look for your garden style using Australian plants.
Then you can round off the day by dining in the onsite café which has some native plant inspired dishes on the menu. All the time with views of the mountains in the background.
There’s more to this town than just being a crossroad. Stay a few days to see why for yourself, but first buy the magazine and read all about it. 😉
Cheers & happy reading,