Brisbane, QLD

Thursday, December 2, 2010

PT AUGUSTA TO THE DOG FENCE, (South Australia-Part 2)

We were up early for breakfast, which was better than our awful dinner the night before. The rooms were very comfortable but we were excited to be on our way to Lake Eyre.

 We  started to get closer to the desert areas, although they were quite green as there has been more rain than usual this year. We passed many ruins of old settlements that were started in the 1870's when  settlers came from Europe, especially Germany, to this area. They were encouraged to grow grain crops by the government as previous scouts had said the land was suitable for crops. However, the scouts had been there during a wet year, which doesn't happen very often. After crops failed year after year the settlements were deserted. These are the Kanyaka ruins.

Yippee! The driver drove into the old settlement for us to have a closer look. There was a huge homestead and many smaller buildings.

 We stopped for morning tea at Parachilna and once again we had to stand unless we perched ourselves on a fence. It was a long drive through desert country. It was flat all the way to the horizon and quite awe inspiring. We whizzed passed some interesting sculptures that an artist had placed along the roadside but no stop, so no photos.

We pulled into a rest stop in the town of Copley for another picnic lunch, nice wraps this time and whoo hoo we had a covered area with tables and trestles for all of us. While we were there a caravan  pulled in. "Thats my blog!"
After lunch we drove through more fascinating red, outback, desert to Marree for a pit stop and then on towards the lake. 

We were very happy when the driver stopped for us to get photos of the Dog Fence, sometimes called the Dingo Fence,  or the Vermin Fence.

The Dog Fence was built between 1880-1885 to keep dingos out of the fertile SE Australia and protect the sheep flocks. Thousands of sheep were being lost each year. 
It is 180cm/5.9ft high and extends into the ground for 30cm/1ft. It is maintained by 23 employees checking it every week.
It is the longest fence in the world stretching 5,614km/3,488m across the continent.

Birthday Bear didn't have a seat on the bus so she sat on the bench between the driver and passengers. She was wishing we would hurry up and get to the lake, she wasn't interested in boring old fences and she doesn't want to meet a dingo, a wild native dog.


  1. Diane there must have breen craftsmen in those early settlers. Ruins show just how clever they were.
    Smiling at the fence as our neighbour did something similar to prevent wallabies and kangaroos getting into her 'warm bloods' They just go over, under or through.

  2. Great reporting Diane - congratulations again. I think the driver might have been giving you all a "real" look at the outback - dinning tables and chairs are a novelty out there. Just try to imagine what the early settlers must have had to go through - I don't think these days we have a clue.

  3. Ooo you are zoooming along. Looking forward to what you see next.

  4. It is a funny story so far, I am looking forward to the following days. I fear a lack of photo's or a reflection through the bus window while fast driving by..
    The camper with your blog name is amazing, could be yours.
    The story of the birthday bear is very funny too, you have a good sense of humor.

  5. Ah, this brings back so many memories of my own trip in 2007, except not in an A/C van like yours! Isn't that incredible, finding a van with the same name as your blog!

    The thing that I remember quite starkly is the sky and the clouds, which continue on forever, and seem to be just there, just above you.

  6. Hi Diane, Interesting to see the Kanyaka Ruins... Made me wonder about the people who used to live there --and how they couldn't make it. Kinda sad....

    Wish we had that Dingo fence here --on the USA/Mexican border --to keep the illegals out and the drug runners....

    Loved seeing your blog title on that RV.... Did you meet the people????


  7. Hi diane; your posts are so interesting. I just love seeing Australia through your eyes. Glad you could see the ruins and WOW on the Dog Fence. I was open-mouthed with amazement. Called Grant who stood behind me and said, Yes, he has heard about the Dingo Fence.I love your desert photos. Reminds me of the African desert although your sand seems "redder" So uncanny to see a caravan with your blog name on it. Did you speak to the owners? Have a great weekend. I look forward to tomorrow's sights with you! Greetings, Jo

  8. I love that you take us all along on your adventures. xxxxxx

  9. This is the first time I've heard of the dingo fence! That's quite a fence...I was amazed when I saw the map.

    It's fun getting to see more of your homeland...I'm so glad you are sharing it with us.

  10. I've never heard of that fence before either - can't the dingoes jump over it? We have cattle grids to keep sheep in, up on the moors - some sheep have learned to roll over them!

  11. How sad it must have been for the early settlers to put all that back breaking work into building a home and trying to grow crops, only to abandon it all a few years later.

  12. Very interesting post! I would imagine being out there near the habitat of dingos was a little near racking for Birthday Bear (being a city dweller, and all).

  13. Australia is so big, you need years to travel if we did a thorough trip like you are doing.

    You done Alaska, will you coem to New Zealand?

  14. Diane, I can't believe that caravan was really called the same thing as your blog. Is it a phrase that's used in Australia? I thought it was totally original when I first started reading you.

    I love your continuing stories -- it reminds me of what my kids would call "Chapter Books", the ones we read to them before bed at night.

    I feel like each evening I'm getting another chapter of "Adventures of the Birthday Bear" ! And what a great story it is. I've heard of dingoes of course, but had no idea about the fence.

  15. Glad you were allowed to stop and look at the Kanyaka ruins - quite a story to that place wasn't it.
    They certainly made their buildings to last in those days ... your photo shows clearly the thickness of the stone walls.

    Interesting map of the dog fence Diane.

    Just reading your post, I've worked out why your driver is hell-bent on getting to the lake with as few stops as poss. It's BB's fault! She's sitting right behind him and urging him on ;-)

  16. Ann, We have done NZ a few times.

  17. Another wonderful adventure. I feel like I'm right there with you, although I really would rather be right there with you. Australia is on my 'short' list of wonderful places in this world I want to visit!!! P.S. I'm now 'following' you. I don't know how I missed this before!

  18. Another great trip report, Diane! Couldn't the dingos just jump the fence, it doesn't look that high. I wonder who came up your blog name first. That is so funny, what are the odds of the RV having the same name. Great photos.

  19. I'm glad the driver stopped more often this day so you could get some pictures to share with us. It's pretty neat that you encountered a van with the same name as your blog! Small world, isn't it?

  20. that's funny, someone else is using yr blog name!