Well I had a great day out today.

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    Drove my son and his friend out of town. Left early in the morning, drove up through Riverton and all small towns to Burra. Here there is a great big copper mine. You can go up to the look out and see the site which is filled with green water. Few museums around too about the miners etc most of whom came from Cornwall. Then it was back on the freeway to Terowie, now a bit of a ghost town with only 150 people but back when it was a bustling railway town it had 2000 up. This town used to be a major change of gauge and General McCarthur stood on the station , said something important when he had escaped from Bataan. Some great examples of country town and old houses here. There is a historic walk through the town where a lot of the original buildings remain. Onwards to Peterborough where there is a train museum. This place used to be important in the rail industry. Had a guided tour round the place, through the old carriages. It's very pretty out there at the mo cos the Canola fields are all in yellow bloom and it was sunny so all those stone ruined cottages in the middle of fields looked very picturesque.. We drove through the ranges from Orroroo through Pekina and onto a dirt track that took us to Magnetic Hill. Here you stop your car at a certain point, put it in neutral, brakes off and the car rolls backwards up the hill. The boys tested it by trying to push the car(with me in it )back down hill, should have been easy but they struggled to move it. 20 years ago this place had a sign up that said Bulls*** Hill which has now been removed lol.

    After this bit of entertainment we drove on to Black Rock where the sealed road starts again. Boys spotted some railway bridge in the distance so I parked up near the line and sat on the car and waited while they tramped off down the line.....the sun was shining, it was warm and the only sound was the wind in the grass and a wide open vista to look at. Once you get out of Adelaide you really experience the space here. Finished off in Port Pirie for food and barrelled down the highway stopping at the really bad roadhouse in Port Wakefield(old tradition to be upheld).


    My son is a died in the wool rail enthusiast and driving him along the old rail lines has shown me a large part of the state. You really get the feeling of what the country life was about, there are some great little towns out there some being just the pub and the church. The old railway buildings are interesting because some of them are very grand for the small places they served. A lot have been removed, and most are falling down, a roost for pigeons.


    If you want to see something different get in your car and drive North into the farming belt. You'll see space as far as the eye can see, a landscape of reds and greens or browns if you go in summer. You'll see clouds over the Flinders Ranges, rocky outcrops. Tiny houses crumbling by the roadside. Make a day of it.

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    Hi Rachael,

    Your son sounds like my husband. He spent a lot of his youth chasing old trains and still regularly buys South Australian railway books from the museum in Port Adelaide (who post them over here). Whenever we visited anywhere we always used to have to make a detour to see some old bit of railway track !! I believe his grandfather worked at Riverton railway station and his great grandfather was station master at Port Lincoln. His Mum remembers living in Riverton as a child, it's really out in the middle of nowhere.


    We visited magnetic hill and couldn't really figure it out. We've even got video footage of the car rolling up the hill backwards !!!. It must be some kind of optical illusion. You are right that it's good to get out of Adelaide sometimes and visit the rest of the state.

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    I just had to reply as we love Burra! (In fairness the kids think it's boring as but :pto them!)


    I particularly loved the houses that were cut into the banks of the creek. I found it very strange/interesting/inspiring to think that so many families could manage to carry out their lives in these strange homes, but apparently the creekbank dwellings extended some 5k along the banks. Some dwellings included carpets, wallpaper and glazed windows, whilst others just dug out caves with recesses for sleeping in. Well worth a visit IMHO!



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