Leaving the charming Morgan motel, the Gawler Ranges beckoned. Granite hills, millions of years old. A manageable side adventure on the route west that I hadn’t visited before. Gantt charts and spreadsheets allowed a good three days for exploration. I pored over forums warning of flood and pestilence. I packed the compressor (for tyre management). Chrissie filled a bin with rations should we be waylaid. Perishing was not on our agenda.
Immersing ourselves in the weighty bag of brochures and promises Chrissie had sourced pre-trip, it became apparent we could base ourselves in one of the small highway towns and run day trips into the Ranges. We settled on a motel in Wudinna, a town we couldn’t help but call Wooden-eye.
I am somewhat embarrassed to admit our three day intrepid adventure was compressed to a handful of hours. The radiant heat from the 1500 million year old granite mounds meant our dashes from the car were briefer than the wonderful landscape deserved, and the time of year delivered an arid and dusty scene; photos drained of colour and plant life doing its best to conserve energy. Uninspired, I whispered my apologies and promised to return in a future spring. I swear I heard the granite reply on the wind, in understanding tones, that it wasn’t going anywhere.
Visit the most excellent Wudinna District Council website for decent info about the Gawler Ranges.
Tomorrow, the Coast!