Our batteries were recharged in Adelaide. We were looking forward to it; back 'on the road', camping and exploring Australia. We drove to Mount Remarkable with Melrose as our first stop. A god forsaken village, but the road to it was very beautiful. Little traffic and the scenery changed beautifully. We had a fairly long drive and decided to take the first free campground. All alone at a sheep pasture at the foot of Mount Remarkable. Every now and then a 'dead sheep' smell came to meet us. There was one lying in the middle of the pasture. The view was, again, phenomenal. We could still catch a beautiful sunset. We immediately tested our new acquisition (the fly net) and that was not a moment too late.

After a nice fresh coffee and a shower we were ready for it. It would be pretty warm today, so we decided to go for a walk in time. We did the 'Melrose Nature Hike'. The trail was not very well marked, but that made it all the more adventurous. Our hike started at a footbridge and then went up quite steeply. We saw vast landscapes and the top of Mount Remarkable. On and off our hiking trail we encountered mostly kangaroos and sheep.
On the way to Mount Remarkable National Park, I was fortunate enough to stop just in time for a monitor lizard sunbathing in the middle of the road. To enter the park, you have to buy a day pass for ten dollars and you also have to pay for the campground. It seemed more logical to drive a little further and visit the park the day after. So said, so done we arrived in Port Germein. This innie minnie village is located on the coast and has the longest pier in South Australia. I was finally able to hang out my hammock, what a blissful feeling!

It was time to stretch our legs once more the next day. We packed everything up and would quickly tie the tarp over our rooftop tent. I was scared half to death when a spider of a large caliber suddenly appeared from the sail. A local was kind enough to put the spider away. The spider, Huntsman, is fortunately not poisonous to humans, but it still gave me quite a scare. We do put the tarp in our car every night, but not always right away. So we learned that again. When we arrived at the National Park we parked and saw emus walking around. I was no longer comfortable 😀 These are mainly found in the Outback. We chose a 'moderate hike'; the Sugar Gum Lookout (A Eucalyptus tree that grows mainly in South Australia). I was happy with the wide walking path. Along the way we saw (no exaggeration) lots of wildlife. Huge numbers of kangaroos, but also emus, an eagle and monitor lizards. I have to convince myself every time that these animals don't do anything, but I still regularly break out in a cold sweat 😀 It was a beautiful walk in the middle of the forest. Seeing these animals in their natural habitat is also nice. I'll take the scare then, right? About two hours later and ten kilometers in our legs we arrived back at our car. It was time to continue our route to Flinders Ranges. We made a short pit stop in Quorn. It looked like a setting that came from a movie set. Our final stop for the day became Hawker. Along the way we saw a nice change in scenery. The beautiful green hills and mountains of Adelaide, to the red and vast Outback. Because of the vast landscapes in the Outback, there are often windstorms here. We also had to stop in the middle of the road to film a movie. We noticed that on this highway there are an awful lot of dead kangaroos. One with less skin and bones than the other. Pretty impressive. Fortunately Ely wasn't driving too fast, because he had to make a 'coup de frein' for an emu crossing on the way. Fortunately the animal quickly ran over, but we were quite shocked. The campground in Hawker was very pleasant. We opened everything up, which takes quite a while too, and enjoyed the warm weather. We didn't turn down a splash in the pool to cool off.

No kangaroos were hit by us 😉 Hope not too shocking for you guys.

It was going to be even warmer the next day, so we decided (I reluctantly) to get up a little earlier. We set off in the direction of Wilpena Pound. The heart of the Flinders Ranges. We decided to be a bit rebellious and took a 'scenic drive'. Quite adventurous, because these roads are only '4WD recommended' and GSM coverage is definitely not available. It was really ABSOLUTELY worthwhile to do. We saw a lot of big kangaroos. Quickly jumping away or looking up at us. We were amazed from one beautiful view to another. We were speechless. When we arrived in the center we decided to do something else than 'yet' another walk of several kilometers. This does not mean that it is not beautiful or fun, but the possibilities are limited. Via our Lonely Planet we came across an 'Off Road' route of 110 kilometers through Flinders Ranges. We took the plunge and chose this route. We left with a small heart. Again we fell from one beautiful landscape into another. Words are inadequate, apologies 😀 We did not see much wildlife, apart from the hundreds of dead kangaroo''s, because during the day all animals seek shade. We were all alone on our route and had no coverage. Fortunately our car held out. We did hear a loud bang at one point, but that turned out to be a stone hitting the underside of the car. Our car will need a good wash after all that red dust. The last stop on our itinerary was a 360° view of the Flinders. We had to make a serious climb with our car for this. During our drive up, we encountered a steep section. It looked like our car was not going to make it. Pretty exciting after all those 4WD routes. But the clammy hands on the wheel were more than worth it when we got to the top. About three hours later, because you can't drive fast on these sandy roads, we arrived back in civilization. The temperatures quickly climbed to 35 degrees. Far too hot to stick anything out. Quickly to our campsite. We relaxed, took a refreshing dip and enjoyed the warm temperatures outside into the late hours. We had a real vacation feeling.

We still felt slightly guilty that we hadn't done a hike, so the next morning we drove to Wilpena Pound. From there we made the 'Wanngarra Lookout Hike' of about ten kilometers. It was bloody hot, about 38 degrees. At the start of the hike there was a guest book. The intention is that you fill in which hike you will do and what time you leave. A good idea we thought, because you hear all kinds of horror stories of people who get lost and die of the heat. Everyone advises us to wear a hat from the start to be better protected against the sun. A bit contrary as we are, we refused to buy a hat. Imagine our hair getting messed up! 😀 But here in the Outback it is swarming with flies. Almost untenable. So we just bought two birds with one stone; a hat and a fly net. Pretty idiotic sight, but ideal for here. After a nice hike between the mountains we got as icing on the cake another beautiful panoramic view of the Flinders. A nice ending. Along the way we saw some kangaroos, iguanas and wild goats. Back at our car we started planning our next trip; Coober Pedy. This town is even more in the Outback. You can either go via the highway or via 'unsealed roads'. These are roads without asphalt and not always in good condition. Unfortunately, the road conditions are not good at the moment (you can look it up online and it's also on display in every information center) and we would need a heavier car. Too bad, but we decide to take the highway. After all, we'd like to cover quite a few miles in the coming months. We made a short overnight stop in Port Augusta to leave for Coober Pedy the next morning.

About the Author


Ely Fornoville is a no-nonsense traveler and writer. He loves to write about all the things he's seen and done, while also sharing his opinion on anything that catches his eye. Ely has been lucky enough to travel through Australia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, Sweden, France, Germany Belgium, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain and many more.

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