Although our trip up the south-east of South Australia was bit of a whirlwind tour, we visited some magical places before we received a warm welcome at the home of one of Willow’s top fans.
After we passed the border into South Australia from Nelson, we spent the night near Port MacDonnell. West of the township is the Old Lighthouse Lookout which is a nice little place to park the van for the night.
The next day, it was only a short drive to our next adventure.
Little Blue Lake
Between Port MacDonnell and Mount Gambier is the Little Blue Lake with its mesmerising water. This limestone sinkhole is popular with swimmers and cave divers. According to the information board, it retains a constant water temperature year round of 12c. Though, it didn’t feel quite that bad when Steph and I jumped in.
I tried not to think about it, but the water extends over 35 metres down!
We quickly passed through the town of Millicent where Willow and I got a photo next to a wind turbine blade that was on display near the visitor centre. All over South Australia you’ll see wind farms dotted over windblown hills. We got lunch at the local Vietnamese takeaway, Master Pho, which was a real treat.
We stayed the night at the free camp by the highway outside of Lucindale. At the campground there was this gorgeous old tractor on display which Willow had the time of her life exploring. I took a heap of photos of her and some video which I’ll be sharing soon.
We started the next day with a quick visit to the Big Lobster.
Salt Creek and The Coorong
Salt Creek is a great place to stop for a break along the Princes Highway. It also provides good access to the Coorong National Park, but sorry no pets! Willow was mortified when we told her she had to continue her 4 hour morning nap as we slogged it on one of the hiking trails.
The Ngrugie Ngoppun trail is 2.7km return and gave us great views of the lagoon, sand dunes, and of course the countless birdlife.
Willow meets Pandora
When we arrived at Meningie, we were very lucky to spend the evening with Pandora and Jim. Pandora has been following Willow’s adventures for many years so it was an honour to meet her. She was very excited to finally meet Willow in purrson.
We parked up at their lakeside home which they affectionately call the ‘Lake Shack, Baby’, in homage to the The B-52’s song.
Meningie was putting on a stellar sunset as we sat and enjoyed the company. It was great to hear Pandora and Jim’s story of how they swapped hectic city living in Adelaide for a simpler life in a small town – something I can really relate to having moved our lives into a campervan.
Can you see Willow sitting in the chair?
Pandora and Jim have two adorable cats of their own, Maxi and Bluey, who we got to meet. The pair were only just out of kittenhood and had boundless energy as we played with them around the house.
Jim cooked us the most delicious Spaghetti Bolognese, and just like any cat, Maxi stole his chair as he was getting ready to sit down at the table.
We spent the night in the campervan in their driveway with a view over the lake. Pandora offered us a room, but we are more comfortable in our little home on wheels, and of course it’s what Willow prefers.
The south-east of SA is a great place to visit if you love beach towns and swimming. For us, capping off our time in the area with some locals really was the highlight.
The next day, we said our goodbyes before continuing our journey up the coast.