Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thu 18 Oct - Peterborough SA


We headed out from Mutiwinji National Park back towards Broken Hill and onwards to Peterborough.

Along the way we stopped to photograph "artistic skeletal remains".

These are 2 schweins... One on each side.
Broken Hill was merely a stop for LPG gas refills, an early lunch at Burger King and to pick up the eggs and bacon we had left in the fridge at Broken Hill Tourist Park a couple of days ago (still there)
Now on to lots of nothingness...
Of course we had to stop at the border of NSW / South Australia at Cockburn (hmmm not sure what the name implied but it was pretty hot!). We cannot imagine what it would be like here in January.
This guy is not so hot though...
More nothingness... we just drive.
Another break at MannaHill for ice cream and drink in a tin pot town. Not very photogenic.
At Oodla Wirra, we drove into "Checkpoint Charlie", South Australian style. You have to stop, the Inspection Officer pops out of his little hut and asks you questions about bringing fruit and vegies into SA (verboten!). He even demanded to look into our van and eskies.

We arrive at Peterborough around 3.30pm and go to the info centre to ask about hotel. A temporary idea was to have a "spa" but at $60 per night extra we quickly changed our minds.

The Visitor Centre is in an old railway carriage and a lady with a great sense of humor tried to charge us a booking fee - $5 for a phone call. So deadpan that Hans pulled out his wallet. We chose to stay at Peterborough Motel - immaculately clean and only 7 rooms.

P/Boro is the old train crossroads south to north and east to west. The Indian Pacific still rolls through here. It was a major steam train town until 1970 and connected Silverton, Quorn, Port Pirie and Adelaide. It was the head of the SA steam train division and had alll 3 rail line guages. For a while nearly 7000 people worked and lived here so lots of history and nice buildings.

Great story of "Bob the railway dog" who in the late 1800's caught the trains for 13 years to all sorts of destinations from Peterbrough - including Sydney and Melbourne. He would ride on the engine roof top and they have a photo and statue dedicated to him. A typical mutt who was loved by many!


We chose the Junction Hotel for dinner, one of several hotels in town. Excellent choice - best value meal ever at $14 for huge Chicken Schnitzel, Gravy (or other toppings), chips, salad bar, vegetable choices and bread roll. Delicious.

Many old stately buildings in town, even a quite imposing YMCA, with most buildings nicely renovated.

You know you're in the outback when you see a road train carrying camels (sorry too quick for us to photograph).

A few rough necks outside the pub and on the street. We notice in country towns older people seem to work and younger people seem to have nothing to do and lope around doing nothing. We figure if the young people are smart and enterprising they leave town, so what you have left are not.

We were recommended to check out the Steamtown Heritage Train Centre light and sound show, where you sit in a railway carriage on a carousel (Roundhouse). We booked in.
About 20 people there to watch a large screen movie, with the history of rail in SA, see the trains and carriages lit up and learn more than we really needed to know about locomotives, all organised and run by an enterprising German called Ernst something, clearly a local identity as there were newspaper clippings and references on display.

There are also daily tours and an exhibition. Who is that white guy looking like he had too much to drink?

Well done and worth $20 pp.


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