Leisurely morning until 9am when we had the shuttle bus booked to take us up just short of Wangara Lookout out across Wilpena Pound. While loading the car the male kangaroo who had been grazing on the front lawn outside reception ambled on over to our car. He was very interested in what was in there. Obviously he could smell Paul’s packet of cornflakes in the back. He used his front claws to drag a plastic bag of dirty washing out onto the ground and put his head in to further investigate.
Not having any luck he hopped on over to the door of our room and then back to the shrubs and tree. He stood up on his back legs and showed his chest to him as I took his photo and then hopped over to smell the camera. Then he stood on his back legs again and tried to place his paws on my shoulders and I realized he was preparing to rear on his tail and kick me with his back paws. I have seen hunting dogs almost disemboweled by kangaroos in this fashion and I quickly backed away from him.
At this point the shuttle driver had arrived and said that we were way too close to him for comfort as it is breeding season and the males can be aggressive. He also told us of a visitor to the resort who had ended up with 30 stitches in his chest and stomach. People think that Australian animals are so cute and cuddly but their looks are very deceiving. After I backed away the kangaroo hopped back over onto the lawn and was rearing up near an older gentleman with a walking stick. The roo was a little daunted by the walking stick in the end.
Onto the shuttle bus, we wended our way through the resort grounds and camping area and started the drive up towards Wangara Lookout. We passed through some beautiful and typical Australian bushland including massive red river gum trees and a meandering natural spring and billabong.
We were dropped off near an old homestead called “Glenallen” which was built in the 1880s. There was a storyboard nearby which gave some history of the Pound from the perspective of a woman who was one of 9 children who lived at the homestead.
Made up way up the bush path to the Wangara Lookout. Before us was beautiful bushland with the greenish grey of the eucalyptus tree leaves, their young red stems, golden coloured flower buds and the greyish silver of their trunks and branches. Wilpena Pound is so named from aboriginal word Wilpena meaning open cupped hand and Pound because the area is surrounded by mountains like an animal pound enclosure. The whole resort and pound area are teeming with wildlife including feral goats which once a week they manage to corral and then sell them for pet food.
Decided to save some time by walking back down to the resort rather than waiting for the shuttle driver again at 11.15. It was the most beautiful walk back through the bushland again and by now the kangaroos had finished their morning grazing and some were laying in the sun ready for a day of snoozing.
We had checked out earlier so it was a quick visit to the general store for a coffee for the road and we were on our way again – headed towards Broken Hill, 5 or so hours away. Made a pitstop at a town called Peterborough. It was like stepping back into a time machine of Australia 50 years ago with all the old municipal buildings, verandah shopfronts and trees dedicated to fallen war heroes of the town.
Service in the little café was abysmally slow and we stopped for well over an hour just for a quick meal. Cancelled the take away coffee order as we would have waited another hour.
No further stops of any significance so it was all steam ahead as I drove into Broken Hill, our final destination of the day. Bit of a drive around to locate the motel before I suggested John retrieve the GPS from the rear and make use of that as the fuel light had been on for the last 116km!!! Few more turns and we were there, booked in, rested a little and off to the local Musicians' Club for dinner on the recommendation of the guy at motel reception. Have to agree with his recommendation.
Back to the motel to read up on the attractions of Broken Hill (?) to plan tomorrow.
Another big day with 700km+ drive to reach Dubbo for our second last night of the trip.
Sorry folks, no more photos uploaded because of camera problem. Took photos today on my phone so have to upload them at home. Will try a new card tomorrow to see if camera will accept that. Grrrrrr!!!!!