Melbourne to Pink Lakes and Pinnaroo

It was with great excitement David and I woke up had breakfast and did our final pack of the car for our first camping trip ( at a mature age) by ourselves. Our destination was Wilpena Pound, Flinders Ranges in South Australia and we planned on staying there a few nights then driving back via Hahndorf and Mount Gambier. First day of driving was going to be about 6 hours from Melbourne with some stops at Lake Tyrell, Pink Lakes and other places along the way.

We had packed the car the day before ready for a quick getaway. We left our driveway at 6.30am with everything in the back of the Jeep. We had our Coleman tent, a couple of chairs,  self inflating mattresses, bedding, tarp, food and utensil buckets, a waeco fridge ( new – and it turned out to be fantastic in the 43 degree heat!), tables, coleman hyperflame cooker, a backpack each with our clothes and toiletries, and not much room for anything else.

The weather conditions were great and the sky was so pretty with lots of white wispy clouds.

Lake Tyrrell and its abundant Flies

We could see a tiny bit of what looked like pink lakes. We saw the turn off to Lake Tyrrell and drove a bit closer to have a look. We stopped by the viewing platform and information board and had a look around.  It was very hot and lots of flies buzzing around us.

The views were amazing at Lake Tyrell.

The Pink Lakes are so named because of their colour during late summer. A red pigment, carotene, is secreted from the algae – best seen early or late in the day or when it is cloudy. The lakes evaporate over summer leaving concentrated salt crusts over black mud”

Murray- Sunset Pink Lakes

Murray-Sunset National Park is in northwest Victoria, between Ouyen and Mildura and the South Australian border. It is about 550kms from Melbourne and 400kms from Adelaide. Bit of unsealed road to get to the lake.

We drove around and found a spot to get out and have a closer look. The flies were buzzing around and the sun was sizzling hot!

The surface was really dry and crunchy to walk on. The heat bouncing back was quite extreme.

Too hot and isolated at Lake Crosbie to camp

Our original plans were to camp here however we arrived early afternoon and it was just too hot! We travelled to Pinneroo instead and stayed the night then kept on going to Wilpena Pound.

This would be really nice in cooler weather. It was over 40 degrees in Summer when this photo was taken.

Stop in Ouyen

Back on our way and about an hours drive we stopped at Ouyen and stretched our legs. There are some large historical murals in Ouyen.

More driving and more driving….

They took our veges at the border

When I was a kid going on long trips in the car I remember these border inspection points. This is the first one in recent years that we have come across that is serious about letting you through with seeded fruit and veges. We had bought some basic fruit and veges for our trip and it felt like they took it all.  They claimed a beautiful red capsicum, tomatoes, fresh chillies, pink lady apples and we were left with a bag of washed lettuce. I suppose it was annoying  as we didn’t know about it. They have random checks to stop the fruit fly from coming into South Australia.

Pinnaroo Caravan Park check in not til 5.30pm

We arrived earlier than the check-in time and drove around the Pinnaroo Caravan park to have a look. Couldn’t find any info so decided to find somewhere cool to fill in some time. We found a local pub and stayed there for a bit.

Pinnaroo Pub for relief from the heat

We sat at the bar and watched the cricket on the big tv and chatted to the local barman (there were just the 3 of us.)

It was nice and  cool in the pub.

Les with the 5 wheeler

We were the only ones in the pub until Les appeared. Les a large happy bloke placed a $50 dollar note on the bar and proudly said he had some “beer vouchers” to use.

He was also staying at Pinnaroo Caravan park  and told us about Sharon ….she was collecting the campsite fee and helping out with check-ins. We stayed for a bit of a chat and went back to the caravan park and found Sharon.

Set up Tent and Fresh Onions and Potatoes

We set up the tent for the first time on our trip! All went quite smoothly. It was a healthy,  green level patch of grass. We had told the lovely Sharon about our border experience and losing  our fruit and veges. Her husband was a worker on a Onion and Potato farm and  she offered us some freshly harvested potatoes and onions.

We ended up cooking them up for dinner with our burgers. The onions were delicious! Sweet and juicy.

Chat with Les and then Bed time

We sat around and had a few drinks and Les showed up as he was set up with the 5 wheeler next to us. He joined us for some interesting conversation and shared stories for a couple of hours.

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