26th March to 1st April
After having lunch at Tailem Bend we headed off to our next camp, Stringybark Campsite, located within the Deep Creek Conservation Park about 40km west of Victor Harbour. Luckily this park is included in our Multi parks and camping pass so it was another freebie, and it had hot showers and flushing toilets, yay, quite upmarket for us!!!!!! We have decided to stay here for a week as this weekend is Easter and fortunly this campground is first in first served, so we are bunkering down for the influx of campers by Thursday night. Already we have had people come in and set their tents up only to drive back to where they came from and return on Thursday/ Friday!!!! Anyway after we set up we had a quick wander and explore around the campground and the ranger’s station collecting info about walks and 4WD tracks, then settled in for an early night.
The next day we headed back to Victor Harbour to drop the car off for its 110,000km service. After we were kindly dropped back down into main-street we had a wander around the shops and headed down to the foreshore. We headed into the information centre first and had a look around, grabbed a coffee then waited at the terminal for the horse drawn tram to take us over to Granite Island. This original tram service actually began back in 1894 to take passengers across to the island and is the main attraction in Victor Harbour, with many of the horses being the grandchildren and children of the original Clydesdales. We decided to only travel one way and walk back across the causeway on our return. We had a great view sitting up on the roof of the tram on the 30 minute ride across.
Once over on the island we decided to look for a ‘geocache’ before heading around the island. ‘The Leeds’ had introduced us to ‘Geocaching’, which for those that don’t know, is a treasure hunt using GPS and an app on your phone. Whilst we had heard of it before we had never looked further into it, but after chatting with Simon about it, we thought it would be a great lesson in map reading and orienteering for the kids. Our first find was actually at the park where we had lunch in Tailem Bend the day before, but ‘The Leeds’ helped us a lot with that one, so this was the first one we had found by ourselves. We found our ‘proper’ first one just after we got off the tram, whilst we found another one with goodies in it further around the island track. The last cache we found on the causeway on the way back. Once we found them, we sign the log book in the cache then log on to the app and mark them as found with a little comment. After lunch we picked up the car and spent the rest of the day doing grocery shopping, then unpacking and trying to find a spot for all the groceries. We did manage to find another geocache just near our campsite, there are about a dozen located within Deep Creek Conservation Park which we will endeavour to find during our stay here.
On Thursday we headed to a little town called Normanville, about 25 minutes away. Nik has a mate who many years ago was the superintendant during the construction phase at a golf course called ‘Links at Lay Bay’ and so it was on Nik’s to do list to play a round of golf there. As the girls take it in turns being caddies for him, it was Bec and Jess’s go this time and much to Zoe’s utter disgust Nik had hired a golf buggy!!!! After we had dropped them off we headed into Normanville and then Yankalilla to find a laundromat as our wash basket was full. Unfortunly there is isn’t one in either town so I did what any normal person would do, went and had a coffee and lemon tart at a local boutique café with a very grumpy Zoe and Abby. We then went to a playground and waited for Nik and the girls to finish their game of golf.
After we picked them up and Nik recapped the story of how Bec nearly rolled the golf buggy on top of her and Jess and they in turn told us how Nik played most of his game in the sand in the bunkers, we headed on down to a place called Rapid Bay. Rapid Bay foreshore campground was a place we had read and heard a lot of in the last couple of years, it sounded fantastic and we were nearly going to stay there instead of our current camp but after some recent unfavourable reviews and comments about how busy it got during long weekends we decided to just call in for lunch. Given it was Thursday before Easter, the campground was getting busier and busier, particularly with lots of V8’s turning up playing doof doof music. The weather wasn’t too nice either and was quite cool with a chilly strong breeze coming off the bay making it a quicker than normal lunch stop. A quick trip to the loos before we left confirmed that we were, infact wise in not staying there, it was cold, too busy, pricey and only had toilets which were very old and in need of a good clean. However we could see the potential and how nice it would have been if the weather was good and it was mid-week, apparently the fishing and crabbing are good there as well, we even saw quite a few people scuba diving off the new jetty.
After our lunch stop at Rapid Bay we headed on down to Jervis Bay where the ferry for Kangaroo Island launches from. We stopped and found a geocache and bought a coffee from the café in the ferry terminal, which cost us a pretty penny, keeping in line with the whole cost of getting over to Kangaroo Island. We had planned to take the car and van over to KI but in the end could not justify the cost of $750 for a 40 minute ferry return ride for us all. It really annoyed and upset us as we were looking forward to going, but we weren’t the only ones, as we had met and spoken to many travellers who have bypassed it as well because of the $$$$.
Over the next couple of days we did a few walks around the park, checked out the other packed campgrounds, did a 4WD track down to Blowhole Beach, which was gorgeous and went back to Victor Harbour to finally tackle our laundry basket which was absolutely bursting at the seams. While we waited for the washing we tackled the ridiculous Easter Saturday traffic and crowds and found a playground on the outskirts of town to have lunch at.
Our last few days were spent just relaxing around camp, the girls had a ball running around the place with other kids (it seemed a bit ‘Lord of the Fly’s with the amount of kids….). We then bunkered down in the van while we were pelted with rain, Nik and the kids watched a movie and I managed to read another book. As we were organised prior to Easter and had told the kangaroos to put the word out and let the Easter Bunny or perhaps Bilby know where we were, thankfully he managed to track us down and the kids were lucky enough to receive a few eggs. So with the Easter long weekend over we were able to continue on without the stress of full campgrounds/ caravan parks, onto out next destination on our OZLAP……………