From Arkaroola, we backtracked along the same dirt road to Copley and Leigh Creek, with a quick lunch stop in Copley. We rolled down beside the Flinders Ranges, enjoying the spectacular view for another time. Although it was only slightly out of our way, we decided to return to Warren Gorge, not really feeling like doing an overnight stop in a caravan park.
Driving back into Warren was full justification. It was very familiar this time and just as beautiful. We slipped straight back into our old spot and it felt like putting on an old glove. After dinner, we decided to go for a walk along the gorge wall. As we walked along, Amy ‘eagle eye’ started spotting some yellow footed rock wallabies. These are pretty rare in general, but they obviously called this area their home. After our 20 minute walk, Amy had pointed out more than half a dozen of them. Very lucky to see! Warren Gorge had definitely developed into one of our favourite little pockets of the country.
From Warren Gorge, we drove through the central countryside of South Australia. The little towns seem to have such character and vibe. We wondered if it would feel like that if you were to live there. We made for Morgan, a little town on the Murray River we’d stayed at previously. A promised icypole at the kiosk was devoured by the kids (and us of course), before heading to the ferry. The kids really enjoyed driving on the ferry and being taken across the Murray.
|Off we go - Morgan Ferry!|
Just over the river is a reserve with bush camping. We found a spot with the river at our back door. We even managed to squeeze in a quick swim. The girls couldn’t have enjoyed it more!!! This was the first of many stops to come along the Murray, bit of a river theme in our final weeks.
|A great bush camp in Morgan - and we even had a swim|
From Morgan, we finalised the crossing of South Australia and finally hit the Victorian border. This was significant and we shuddered a little as we entered our home state. It was made even worse when we arrived in Mildura. We turned onto the ‘Calder Hwy’ (a road that goes straight into Melbourne) and saw signs telling us how far Melbourne was. It all got a bit much and felt we needed some counselling. We realised though that not too many people would sympathise, understandably.
We stayed the night in another little favourite spot of our ‘backyard’, Hattah National Park. The countryside looked fantastic and we enjoyed a look around, dinner and a good sleep.
|Hattah National Park - a great overnight spot|
We had found out that the funeral was on Thursday, but decided to do the final push and arrive on the Tuesday night. This would push the girls a little more, travelling so many days in a row and such long distances, but we figured we’d then have a full day on Wednesday to relax, do a few jobs and get ourselves ready.
We piled the girls into Slim one more time, with promises of playgrounds and jumping pillows and drove off to Echuca. The surroundings were all starting to feel a little familiar by now..... hmmm.. guess that had to happen eventually.