This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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2004 Travels April 16


After breakfast, drove into town and mailed daughter’s birthday card, cheque, and a Crossing the Nullarbor polo shirt.

Earlier in the week, when looking at information and maps of the area, had noticed Googs Lake, roughly to the north. This seemed an interesting destination for a day trip. I was able to buy a Westprint map that we could navigate, reasonably accurately, from.

The skies over Ceduna were overcast and rather threatening, but we didn’t want to keep hanging around Ceduna waiting for better, so decided to do this expedition today, hoping the day might improve a bit.

So, after the Post Office visit, set out, taking a packed picnic lunch with us.

The main Quarantine check point was just on the western edge of town, as we’d found the day we went out to Denial Bay. We had some fruit with us, for lunch and snacks, so stopped at the checkpoint and mentioned to the man that we would be returning in the afternoon and might have some leftover fruit with us. He was very pleasant.

Just past the checkpoint, we took a road to the north, towards Lone Oak Farm. Googs Track was built by the Denton family, from this farm, between 1973 and 76, working mostly at weekends. “Goog” was the dad. His idea was to link his farm to the Trans-Australian Railway, to the north, hence giving him access to wider markets than he had through Ceduna.

Lone Oak Farm was about 30kms from Ceduna. It was just a bit before we went through the new electrified Dog Fence – 6000 volts! I had to open and close the access gate, and was cautious about what I touched.

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After the gate, we were soon into the proper Mallee scrub of the Yumbarra Conservation Park. Very interesting – scrub on red desert sand – just the sort of country we love.

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There was much variation in colour and texture along the track. We saw no-one else.

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In places, there were sections of red sand dunes – up to 25 metres high. Most of these were quite straightforward driving and nowhere near as tricky as, say, the Simpson Desert. It would have been a challenge for truck to have pulled the van out here though.

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We stopped to look at some small pools of water that had collected in hollows in large rock slabs. These were water “holes” for aboriginals. Good believed that he was the first white man to have seen them.

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Rock pools by Googs Track

At one point, there was a diversion in the track, to take it around a large mallee fowl nest area.

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Detour around Mallee Fowl nesting area

About 50kms from Lone Oak we came to the track junction where Googs Track continued north, but the side track from there to the Lake branched east. At this point, there was a memorial to Goog and his son. The latter died in an accident in 1993, and Goog died in 1996.

The lake was about 5kms from the memorial corner. There was a little water in the lake, which was salt. It was a fair size – about 1km wide and stretching off into the distance for about 15kms.

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Googs Lake

Surrounding the lake were scrub covered red dunes – very photogenic.

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It would have been a great place to camp for a few days.

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We ate our lunch at the lake, and wandered about on foot, exploring around the edge and taking photos.

The solitude was superb.

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All too soon it was time to commence the fairly slow trip back to camp, retracing our route of this morning.

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The Dog Fence stretching into the distance

The man at the Quarantine Station let us keep our leftover lunch fruit.

It was a great day’s outing – I loved it.

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2004 Travels April 15


It continued to rain all through the night and into the morning.

We went for a drive, following the road past the caravan park and on, roughly southwards. This turned to a firm, unsealed road, and took us through the usual sort of low SA coastal scrub country, to the Wittelbee Conservation Park, by a lovely little bay.

We walked on the beach there. John dug up a few small cockles – possible bait.

That only took us about an hour. Apart from that, it was a quiet day.

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2004 Travels April 14


Another cloudy day.

We still had things we wanted to do, so booked to stay on for another three nights. These cost $19 a night.

After an early lunch, went fishing off the main jetty at Thevenard – the port part of town. It was rather industrial around there – naturally, given that there was a major grain shipping facility, amongst other things. But the jetty gave us access to deep water.

We caught some fish – 3 salmon trout, 3 whiting, 4 Tommy Ruffs. I caught one of the salmon – quite a big one. I had another big one get away off the line.

At one stage, I was leaning over the edge of the jetty, not far from the water surface, to check my line, when a big seal suddenly surfaced, right under me – with a loud snorting noise and spray of water. We almost rubbed noses! It scared the hell out of me. I had fishy nightmares during the night!

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It started to rain, at tea time – light, but steady.

We ate some of our catch for tea – very nice.

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2004 Travels April 13


The day was cloudy.

It was a day to rest from bowling, and to go for a little drive.

Filled with diesel – 96cpl.

I posted a parcel of books that I wanted to keep, home. Sent a knitted vest for the baby, to daughter, and a postcard off to grand daughter.

We then drove out along the coast to the west of here – through Denial Bay village, to Davenport Creek. Although the country was flat and dry, it was an interesting and varied trip.

Denial Bay was a cluster of houses, and a jetty.

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Denial Bay

Davenport Creek was a sort of swampy, tidal inlet, creating an arm of land between it and the ocean and beach.  We did a little driving on the Ocean Beach, and a bit of harder, scarier (for me) track driving through the scrubby dunes.

That little outing was enough, and after that it was back to camp.

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2004 Travels April 12


It was a hot day.

We all played in the Mixed Fours bowls. Won three games and lost one. I think we came in fourth for the day.

I was not happy with my game – I was very tense and worried about letting the others down, so played erratically. John played somewhat inconsistently too.

I won a cocktail shaker in the raffle! Definitely not something we were likely to use.

Long day again and very tiring.

And that ended the Easter Bowls tournament at Ceduna. John was really happy to have been involved in a proper, serious tournament. He now “owed” me some serious bushwalking!

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2004 Travels April 11


John and B bowled in the Mens Pairs. They were runners up, too!

John won a fishing rod and $40. He also won the raffle – two bottles of red wine. He gave one bottle to B for thanks for teaming up with him.

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G bowled with a couple of others in the Ladies Triples.

I had a lovely, solo, day. I sewed, knitted, walked on the beach.

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2004 Travels April 10


We bowled all day – 9.30am till 5pm. So we had to be up relatively early to get breakfast and get into uniforms.

GH and I competed in the Ladies Pairs – and came second! We won three games and drew one. We received a crystal vase each (of limited use in a caravan!), $40 cash, and a $20 voucher for a local jewellery shop. We were very pleased with ourselves.

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The men were not placed in the Mens Fours. They were teamed up with another visitor, and a last minute fill in by a local high school boy. He was a very nice lad. They won two games and lost two.

It was a very long day.

I was out of the habit of such concentrated  activity and felt very weary. A long shower was most welcome.