Central Australia Trip report #2

Day 2

Our cabin was on the edge of the Murray River. We woke up, had breakfast, then went on our way. We were ambitiously aiming for Wilpena Pound in the Flinders Ranges – and there was plenty to see along the way.

Sunrise….

And some local birdlife. I found out from the “bird book” later that this was not an unusually large moorhen but a native swamp-hen instead.

Swamp hen on river bank as sun begins to rise behind trees on far bankSomeone holding the book "Field Guide to Australian Birds" by Michael Morcombe - front cover shown

We got some delicious fruit at a roadside stop near the town of Morgan, close to the turnoff to Monash.

Sign by the side of the road saying "Fruit Stall: Fresh Seasonal Local Produce". Parked car casts a shadow on dry ground beside it.

The latter town name caused some discussion, as we wondered if the namesake was Sir John Monash or not. Apparently, it is!

Roadside direction signs at a turn-off, with a car shadow at the bottom of frame and blue sky at the top.

There were also plenty of fruit trees in the area…

Rows of fruit trees

We stopped after crossing the river (at least, I think so?).

Two cars - 1 4WD and one large other - are parked in the shade of a tree. Womble sits under the bullbar of the 4WD

We looked at it and the flood marker. In September 1956, floodwaters peaked at 11.3 metres above sea level! Wow.

The other interesting object near the river was an old building which apparently was once the town morgue. According to the plaque I read, a man who helped build it – and speculated about who would be the first to be laid out there – was the first to be laid out there.

Morgue building - sandstone - in background, in front of the river. Before it is sandy ground with a tree overhanging

They’d got a mock person laid out inside, which gave Womble and I a bit of a shock when we looked through the grille.

We drove on, seeing our first examples of “old man saltbush”, a native species of hardy plant that became quite common as we drove further into the outback.

Old man saltbush - a field of greenish silver plant

We then stopped for a look at an old mine that had been turned into a lake.

The rusted barrier between the road and mine fence is in the foreground. The old mine has water in it and rocky "cliffs"

And, moving on, saw our first (of many) old rail bridges.

Green grass leads to a

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