After our time on the Spencer Gulf finished up in August we headed South to get supplies in Adelaide and then carried on our way to the Murray River. Well things don’t always go to plan and it just so happened that I had to get the van serviced on our way. Nothing major but it did bring us to the little town of Tanunda, about 70km from Adelaide and in the heart of the Barossa Valley wine growing region.
Tanunda is a great town, big enough to be well serviced with laundromat, supermarket, and cafes/pubs, but small enough to have that country town vibe with quaint cottages and smiling faces on the streets. We had to stay put for a few days as we were waiting on parts but the guy in the service department kindly recommended we check out Mount Crawford Forest for a place to camp. Well what can I say. Any notion of us continuing to the Murray River disappeared as I realised that this would happily be our home for the next 2 months.
Mount Crawford is a working forest of over 12,000 hectares all available for the public to enjoy hiking, horse riding, or just lying under a tree! There are a few campgrounds to choose from where you can stay for a nominal fee. Our favourite was Rocky Paddock whose nomenclature was clear upon our arriving. There were so many photo opportunities to capture Willow happily posing on the boulders that scattered the forest floor.
Now you would be right in saying that this does not look like Australia as the forest is a plantation of Radiata Pine which is native to North America. To top it off if you are really lucky you will even see deer roaming around – I was fortunate enough to see two as I went for a walk but they quickly frolicked away when they heard me! The deer are very shy as the photo below which contains no deer proves.
In September we finally caught up with Willow’s favourite TV weatherman, Sam Mac. It was great talking to Sam about cats and you can check out the video they took here.
We soon settled into our new forest life and every day woke to the smell of pine needles filling the air as the sun hit them. Once a week we would travel back to Tanunda to go to the shop, do laundry, post out our calendars, and maybe get a takeaway as a treat. Every week we would see the grape vines slowly come into leaf. The view from up at the Barossa Sculpture Park was incredible at sunset!
On Saturdays we would sometimes go to the farmer’s market at Mount Pleasant – a beautiful market with lots of produce but the cakes and dried fruit were a winner for me. On warm afternoons I would set the hammock up – I would also set up the camera and was lucky enough to snap these pics of Willow posing like the queen of the forest she is.
People often ask me if I get lonely camped out by myself. Well firstly you are never alone with a cat, and secondly it’s not like living in the city where everyone has their own agendas – when you’re camping there’s always people to talk to and share a story with. One afternoon I even got to meet a travelling family and their cat Sumi, and a lovely couple who lived nearby would come up and say hi every weekend and bring us treats! I found out that they loved the forest as much as Willow and I did and had been coming here for years!
In October I posted this photo of Willow and I enjoying an afternoon together. I arranged some stumps so we had a little table setting and set up the camera ready to go. Now Willow knows a few tricks and one of them is to sit which is very handy when I want to get a snap of her – to the point that whenever she sees the bag of treats she will sit straight away!
I was lucky to get this one shot and not long after I posted it, it was discovered and reposted by news websites around the world! I would like to say thanks to those of you who have just discovered our adventures and we welcome you along on our journey from whatever country you may be from!
Confession: I am actually drinking a mug of wine.
So long Barossa Valley! We have had such a pleasant couple of months here and we are truly sad to leave, but I know we will return! But one announcement first..
Today we start our next adventure. Today we start making our way past the spectacular beaches of South Australia towards Victoria and the Great Ocean Road before arriving in Melbourne. We will then board the ferry to our beautiful home state of Tasmania where we will spend a summer showing you some of the most incredible places on my island home. I hope you can join us!
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