Austin Healey Owners Club of Qld. Inc.

Port Augusta, Ceduna and on to Madura Pass

April 1st to Port Augusta 623 km

Depart 08:00 am to be able to take a break in Broken Hill to visit the Pro Hart Art Gallery. Wash the cars. Yesterday we had passed a road work a few kilometers with watered the gravel road so all the cars got dirty. Pro Hart, a miner, had very good touch with paint and brush made himself very famous for his natural landscapes and socially critical paintings. Pro Hart's home is now a permanent exhibition of his life and many of his paintings. Interesting and educational. He liked Rolls Royce cars and painted one of his RRs at the turn of the millennium. It is on display in the gallery. In the tourist information, a man told us that the number of inhabitants in Broken Hill is now about 18,000 but was previously about 35,000. He also told us that the flowing Darling River is currently completely dehydrated. Normal rainfall at this time is usually 100mm. They've have received 19mm.

Pro Hart Rolls Royce A intersection in Broken Hill. Empty
Pro Hart's Rolls Royce. An intersection in Broken Hill- Empty.

Very much roadkill on the road before Broken Hill. After Broken Hill less roadkill. We drove on after washing the cars towards Peterborough where we had some tea in the park that Noel and Helen offered. The route down the mountains to the lowlands below was fantastic. We filmed Helen and Noel in their Healey. The destination of the day was Port Augusta and a hotel in the city. Despite 623 km, there was time to buy beer and other goodies. We picked up Indian food and ate in an outdoor room of the hotel. 11 degrees in the morning and 21 in the evening.

Burnt and brown, flat and wide views. Down hill and winding highway with Noel driving his Healey.

Port Augusta is at the far end of Spencer Bay. The city also has a declining population as its importance as a hub is disappearing. In addition to the railways in the north-south direction and west-east direction meet here, so do the main roads. The only paved road to Darwin east of Perth begins here.

April 2nd to Ceduna 468 km

After breakfast and moving out of the room, we decided to have a coffee downtown. Pam and Trevor, the older couple, have managed to lose their car key, so they would go to the locksmiths to get their luggage lid open. After coffee we went back to the hotel to see how things were going. The boot lid was fixed, although cannot be locked.

Iron ore mine in SA Wheat fields forever
Iron ore mine in SA. Wheat fields forever

We headed off on the next stage out on the plains west of Port Augusta. Passed a couple of old iron ore mines and saw our first "Roadtrain". In South Australia clearly marked that the truck is loooong. Top speed 80 km/h. Of all the cars we have overtaken, only a few are trucks. Today we overtook our first highwaytrain. It had a wide load of 5 tyres for mining sites. The cargo was at least 3.5 meters wide and drove slower than other trucks. Cars with caravans is common. 4wd UT and a caravan with high clearance. UT = utility vehicle. SUV with flatbed we would call it in Sweden. Two or 4 doors.

The first stop was Kimba where we refuelled and bought ice cream. We were told that Wayne and Lyn who were driving a station wagon with their Healey in tow, had run out of diesel. Wayne rolled the Healey off their trailer started it and drove to the garage and bought diesel. Lyn had to sit in the station wagon and wait. During a couple of hours we pass huge fields where the grain has been harvested. At regular intervals about 100 km, we passed huge grain silos. Always at the railroad. All of them we saw was painted white and belonged to Viterra. A Canadian company dealing in grain.

The landscape has changed and the earth is not so red anymore. Arrived as early as 3:30 pm at the hotel in Ceduna. Few hours in the car today. We were given the opportunity to supplement our camping equipment which was, to say the least, inadequate. Now we have equipment and have storage so we can make some kind of breakfast. Wine glasses we have borrowed already. No wineglass. No wine at Sundowner. We learnt that the hard way.

Sun sets in the Antarctic Ocean in Ceduna SA. The Jetty in Ceduna.
Sun sets in the Antarctic Ocean in Ceduna SA. The Jetty in Ceduna.

The hotel is nicely located on the beach. After checking in, we took a walk out on the jetty together with Neil and Judy. There was a net enclosure for swimming. Sharks and jellyfish is common in the area. However, there were some boys who jumped from the pier and they jumped in the water outside the net enclosure. Then Noel and Helen and we went out to the oyster place where we had dinner. Cecilia ate 6 oysters with different accessories, 2 pairs had different flavour an one pair had no flavour. Everyone else ate fish and chips on whiting, a white fish. After that, a little Sundowner at Fay and Ray's with wine and nuts. It has been very hot again, so those who drive Healey have had a sweaty day. The sun sets beautifully in the southern Antarctic Ocean.

April 3rd to Madura Pass 668 km

Breakfast 07:00 am and start 08:00 am. Noels and Helen's car did not start, so Peter and Jan and David and Di stayed to help them with troubleshooting and repair. Shortly after Ceduna we went through a community with a school where a lamp flashed and a sign showed that the speed was 25 km/h. Adrian did not see the sign and was stopped by the police and was fined $280 for speeding. We passed him and waited down the road. It was apparently not the first time on this trip, he had been fined for speeding in previous days.

We saw a tree full of frying pans dangling. Someone starts and hangs an old frying pan. Then others filling up. Not much roadkill in the morning.

Straight road in flat countryside.
Look out for animals the next 340 km- That's 3 hours!

After 300 km we came to the village of Nullarbor which is really just a motel with restaurant, petrol and airstrip. The gasoline price was at least 50 cents more than Ceduna. On the other hand, it is there. We had probably done the whole day trip on a tank of fuel, but in the outback you do not take any chances. The temperature was 20 degrees in the morning and rose to 30 at most before it went down to 25 in the evening. Nullarbor mean no trees. It was treeless and is one of many National Parks. It extends 1100 km along the coast and some distance inland. A rain-poor area along the southern Arctic Ocean.

The last 50 km there was plenty of roadkill. Fairly monotonous road and special nature. The signs show that you should watch out for camels, wombats and kangaroos along the way.

We stopped at a lookout where you look out over the Antarctic Ocean called in this spot the Great Australia Bight and the coastline. At this point the road was less than one km from the Ocean.

Noel and Helen and the other two cars came about 1.5 hours after us to Madura Pass. It was the ignition coil that didn't work. They had a spare one. Nice that it was possible to fix. We and Neil went up to a lookout point just above the motel. Great views of a fantastic landscape.

We met a cyclist from UK who had cycled to Singapore from England. However, he had flown over China. From Singapore he had flown to Perth and was now on his way to Sydney. wow! He was accompanied by two cyclists he had previously met in Malaysia. A local man in Madura Pass told us that the kangaroos smell that the rain is on the way and is they head towards the Antarctic Ocean. As they are heading south many kangaroos are hit crossing the highway.

We had Sundowners in the carpark and dinner at the restaurant at the hotel very nice food. Pam and Trevor found their car key. It was in Pam's purse in another small purse...When we went to bed, there were some raindrops.

Austin Healey Owners Club of Qld. Inc.
1376 Old Cleveland Road Carindale QLD 4152
Phone 0405 150 859
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