Another long, straight road awaited us for the next leg of the road trip – this time to finish with the Oyster Trail and get on to the vineyards. A nice combination – oysters and wine!
Last stop on the Oyster road is Cowell – a pretty little town on the eastern side of the Eyre Peninsula and situated on Franklin Harbour. The waters are sheltered and are very popular for fishing – and oysters. We found a shack close to the jetty which supplies oysters to various outlets in the town. On entering we found the proprietor busy shucking the oysters which had just come in from the bay – so without further ado we purchased a couple of dozen and together with fresh lemons and in a cardboard box, we found a table in the park and indulged for lunch! The verdict? Excellent!
Our overnight stop on the way to the Clare Vallety Vineyards was the port town of Whyalla. Named Hummock Hill in 1802 by Matthew Flinders, the town’s name officially changed to Whyalla in 1902 which is an Aboriginal name possibly meaning “water place”. The steel industry here is over 100 years old but fishing is also of primary appeal. We were there just before sunset and went up to Hummocks Hill – a local lookout – to witness the change of colours.
The next day the road was clear and, for a lot of the way, was backed by the beautiful Flinders Ranges.
We drove through many little towns and villages but the one which captured us was Crystal Brook. This quiet rural service centre is in the heart of South Australia’s most productive sheep and wheat country and has retained its charming historical links.
Beautiful shady peppercorn trees line the main street and there are several art pieces in iron, reminders of the part the camels played in this part of the country in the early years.
The Clare Valley is one of Australia’s oldest wine regions where there are heritage towns, boutique wineries, galleries and beautiful scenery. We had booked lunch at the Skillogallee Winery where we had been before. The vineyards here are resting – grapes picked and wine made but the vineyards still looked beautiful.
The road to the boutique winery is shady and winding at the end of which is the restaurant which seats both indoors as well as in the garden.
The menu features local produce with wine suggestions matched with each dish. Unable to resist the sashimi, I had, yet again, fabulous South Australian Kingfish and tuna served in a very artistic way.
Then came the wine tasting and purchasing – thank goodness we had a large car !
Staying in a little apartment in the centre of the town, we were perfectly placed for a choice of restaurants in the evening. And that is what you do in these regions – eat great food and drink fabulous wine!