Day 2 – Peterborough to Rawnsley on Wilpena Pound
Peterborough was a significant railway town thru the 1900’s . It was a major rail junction point with three different rail gauges meeting here. Has this incredible turntable that still survives in working order . Was the centre of a round table ” turntable ” that serviced steam engines of all types. Barb and I went to a nighttime film ” sound and light show ” that highlights this wonderful age recently relegated to history. Is an emotional time for many older Aussy grey nomads who still retain memories of these magnificent machines.
I did the tour day today with another group of real oldies. I saw men with tears in their eyes as they surveyed and recalled these pages from yesteryear. Rail was a labour intensive industry and when diesel finally took over there was a huge shedding of labour.
Stopped for 2 nights at a nice campsite at Rawnsley Station , it has magnificent views out to the escarpments of Wilpena Pound. Had a great walk 12 km that climbs to a high point overlooking Wilpena – about 400 metres of climbing.
When we packed up and headed off next morning the owners asked where we were heading ,
” going North – all the way cobber ”
“Any chance of dropping a off little something at Copley Caravan park – only about 120 Kms away ?”
” Sure mate ” I replied in my best Australian
I waited a while for owner to return with this small box at the bottom of which was a little black rabbit – unlikely name of “Mixamatosis”- Mixi for short. This point I was wondering if we might be duped into something illegal – like naive drug mules. Could see the headlines , Kiwi Couple deny running rabbits into the Northern Territory.
Was a lovely drive north with many Emu to be seen along the way. Arrived with our precious cargo and handed Mixi over to her new owner. We received a small gift for our effort , a Quandong Pie . A fruit pie made from a small wild peach type fruit — considered a local delicacy in this corner of AU. Enjoyed for desert.
Camped here for 2 nights with a bunch of other grey nomads. The camp is at the site of an old , now ruined , Australian town that was built way back in the 1870’s Has been picked up by community groups who are preserving and restoring some parts for something of an enduring tourist attraction for outback travelers. Was on the old Ghan rail line north to Alice. Volunteers spend a week or 2 here working on the project. Has a working underground bakery that produces a fine selection of baked goods daily to the hungry 4×4 travelers who drop by. Only negative is Coffee is instant weasel water – but all in all a pretty good spot. The camp boats a “Donkey ” a hot water system for taking a shower of sorts. Not much water here and not of the drinking type.