We left Burra Gorge early 8am (early for us) on a cool morning with some low fog around the hills. We had considered heading up the Oodnadatta track however as we approached the ‘Decision’ turnoff decided instead to head across to Port Augusta and up the Stuart highway.
The Navara was working harder today pulling the van through the hills against a headwind. About 20lts of fuel per 100k.
Only a short drive today through several RV friendly towns. A great idea something akin to the Airs system in France where motorhomers are encouraged to stop at small villages that provide free or low cost RV parking to bring some business to the village. W hope it becomes a more popular idea in Australia.
We arrived at Melrose around lunchtime. Melrose is another RV friendly town and is the oldest town in the Flinders Ranges. It is at the foot of Mount Remarkable . Here we had the choice of parking at the showground at minimal cost or staying at the Melrose Caravan and Tourist Park in town and better facilities. We opted for the Caravan Park.
An exercise day today with the afternoon spent hiking up the hill to the monument then a hike along a nature trail with a hand drawn mud map. We took a side trip to the copper mining area. Copper was discovered here and mining started in 1846, but it was not economic, and ceased in 1851. The mine was opened again three more times, the latest closure was in 1917.
Today, Melrose is the base for visitors to the Mount Remarkable National Park and centre for the local farmers.
When it was opened in 1848, the police station in Melrose was the base of the largest police district in the world. A constable, two troopers and an Aboriginal tracker were responsible for an area extending to the Timor Sea (Darwin)
In June Melrose is home to the Fat Tyre Festival, an off road bike celebration exploring local bike trails and crowding parades of freak bikes. We walked a few of the bike tracks as we made our way back down to the caravan park.
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