Thursday 12th March 2020
Driving distance approximately 245 klm / 150 miles
We are only a three hour drive to Adelaide, headed for the (pre social isolation) welcome of my friends of 45 years, yet still we find distractions along the way. Again on the road early, we stop half an hour after leaving Keith, at the small agricultural town of Tintinara – population around 500.
The now disused railway station has been converted into tourist information and a craft shop – both of which were closed at this early hour. There is an impressive mural on one side, which was too much in shadow for my photos. I found this photo on the internet:
Here is a close-up of one section that I was able to capture:
Hopefully you spotted the kangaroo metal sculpture. Nearby, is an emu family:
And, out the front, a farmer with his dog, sheep and a calf:
All under the shadow of an
epynomous ubiquitous (that word is for ex-crossword writer Derrick Knight – who failed my first attempt 🙂 ) bore-water windmill and water tank:
Some readers will remember we were disappointed to be forced to abandon the silo trail on account of accommodation shortages. So we were delighted to learn that we would pass another just a short drive down the road at Coonalpyn. The big difference with this mural is that it is on a fully operational silo and right beside the main road.
The murals depict a magnificent tribute to five Coonalpyn Primary School children, whose images will now live on in the history of the town forever. The lucky five were six-year-olds Kiarah Leske and Blake Thompson, five-year-olds Macey Jacobs and Reef Gregor and nine-year-old Ciara Johnson. The children are in various poses with two children looking to be actually drawing onto the face of two of the silos. Source: https://www.australiansiloarttrail.com/coonalpyn
This mural is by Guido van Helten who also painted the one at Brim, Victoria, which I featured in an earlier post.
On a more prosaic note, ever since my early days as a young backpacker, I never “let a chance go by”, but it is always nice when a town has gone to great lengths to make their public convenience an artistic stop, such as this mural, created by 27 volunteers over 3000 hours:
If you are reading this post as a driving guide, then once you reach Murray Bridge, you will find yourself on the highway which has been built since the days I lived in Adelaide in the 1970s. Unless you wish to take an exit to one of the scenic townships in the Adelaide Hills, then you will follow this route right into the city.
I lived in Adelaide from 1974 – 1978, and remain in contact with many of the friends I made in that time. We plan to stay several days with one couple who live close to the beach on the western side of Adelaide.
Adelaide has a compact, well-planned city centre. I have written about it before, but repeat some fast facts here:
- Adelaide is the capital of South Australia.
- South Australia is unique in that it shares a border with every state and territory on mainland Australia. The South Australian border is 3,185 km long (appx 2000 mi).
- The population of South Australia was 1.743 million (in 2018). Adelaide is home to about 1.4 million of them. (It was about 500,000 when I lived there).
- European settlement of South Australia began in 1836 at a place called Glenelg (and also Kingscote on Kangaroo Island).
- South Australia was purposely established as a colony for free settlers, and Adelaide is the only capital to be inhabited by free settlers from its inception.
- It was nick-named the City of Churches. In fact, when I lived there, we had an in-joke that the only serious drinking we could manage on a Sunday was if we went communion-hopping from one church to another.
- In fact, it did have, and still has, many pubs (but they were closed on Sundays when I lived there). I think the City of Churches tag may have grown out of its reputation for religious tolerance. German Lutherans, for example, found a haven here. . . . and you could get a drink at the airport bar on a Sunday . . . trust me, I know.
- It is located on the River Torrens, and one of the few cities in Australia to have a planned layout. Thanks to the foresight of one of its founding fathers, Colonel William Light, Adelaide is comprised of a grid system, demarcated with wide boulevards and public squares, all enclosed within four large thoroughfares called North, South, East and West Terrace, and beyond each of those is a belt of parkland.
We arrived in time for a tasty home lunch, and then later in the afternoon took a leisurely drive north, from Henley Beach along the coast of Gulf St Vincent, up to Port Adelaide about 10klm (6 mi) away. This is where I began my life-long career in shipping and logistics as a young waterfront clerk for a customs agent. No longer a working port – because container ships berth further north at Outer Harbour (at the tip of the peninsula on the below map) – Port Adelaide has waxed and waned in development. Now modern new apartments with private boat moorings line one section that I knew as a vereeee working-class part of the harbour. We’ll get the chance to have a close up look during this stay, as former neighbours of ours when we lived in inner-Sydney have recently bought one of them!
Much eating, drinking and talking ensued for the rest of the evening 🙂