This is the travel blog and website for our 2020 Bailey Caravan Adventure through the outback of NSW and South Australia, with 16 other vans (Tagalong20 group).

The Tagalong20 trip was put together by our fantastic organisers – Ian & Jane and Liam & Jackie. It takes a huge effort to pull this sort of thing together and it worked brilliantly until the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic interfered with it. Activities, caravan parks and even state borders were closing toward the end of the trip and the group started to head home before the trip finished.

There are other pages you can view using the navigation links above to pages…

Broken Hill NSW

About Broken Hill

Broken Hill, or ‘The Silver City’ as it is sometimes called, is a city forged out of a hill that was almost pure silver, lead and zinc. It is a mining town on the edge of the desert at the central-western edge of New South Wales which is worth visiting because both the city and the surrounding area have so many attractions that it would be easy to spend a week exploring the area and not exhaust the unique mixture of ancient Aboriginal culture, vast desert vistas, famous movie locations, mining experiences, contemporary art galleries and desert sculpture parks while learning about one of the most unionised towns in the world.

Perhaps the most memorable feature of Broken Hill is that it is only a few minutes from the desert no matter which direction you travel. It is a city surrounded by red soils, grey scrub, impossible flatness and intensely blue skies that make the world seem larger and more dramatic.

To add to the experience, many of the streets are named after metals, minerals and compounds, or after mine managers, leading citizens and civic leaders. The town is now the centre of the 16-million hectare West Darling pastoral industry and the city is literally an oasis in the desert which can get blisteringly hot in summer and drop below freezing at night time in the winter months. (sourced from the Aussie Towns website – click for more).

Broken Hill Outback Resort

Our Tagalong20 trip began with a 2 day road trip from our home in Melbourne traveling up the Calder Highway (869km – maplink). We stopped overnight at a free camp behind the Royal Hotel in Sea Lake (Vic), as long as we dined in the pub. After a great feed and very quiet night (only van in the carpark) we continued on to Broken Hill the next day.

Happy hour gathering

Arriving at the Broken Hill Outback Resort along with 16 other Bailey caravans it’s time to re-connect with friends from previous trips and meet new friends at the first happy hour. We gathered around and had a few drinks while the organising team provided the group with a briefing.

We then all participated in the welcoming dinner prepared by the team at the Outback Resort – nice tucker. We just had to battle the bloody flies!!!

The evening rounded out with a short, sharp dust storm and a splattering of rain; welcome to the unpredictable outback.

Here’s a YouTube video, which Liam took on his drone, of the resort and surrounding landscape…

Would we return?

This caravan park is fairly new and well set-out BUT its 16.6kms from town. The primary reason it was chosen was because it was pet friendly. If we were to return to Broken Hill we would look for a caravan park closer to town. Check out TripAdvisor for more information about things to do in Broken Hill.

Broken Hill Sculptures & Living Desert Sanctuary

We took the 28km drive (maplink) out from the Outback Resort to view the sculptures created in the Living Desert State Park. These sculptures range from plain (with a story) to rather exceptional. The visit is definitely one which should be undertaken when in Broken Hill.

The Sculptures comprise 12 sandstone artworks which highlight the skyline, all with a story to tell. Located on a majestic hilltop within the centre of the reserve, the sculptures were completed in 1993 by artists from around the world.

Albert Kersten Mining & Minerals Museum

Behind the stone facade of the restored former Bond Store is another of Broken Hill’s must-see mining museums.

The Albert Kersten Mining & Minerals Museum displays information on how the world’s largest deposit of silver lead and zinc was formed here in Broken Hill.

It also houses a renowned collection of Broken Hill minerals.

The Museum is also home to the Silver Tree once owned by Charles Rasp, the boundary rider who pegged out the first Broken Hill mining lease with his partners. The 8.5 kilos of silver is an exquisite example of the renowned Adelaide silversmith, Henry Steiner.

Pro Hart Museum

The Pro Hart Museum is based in Broken Hill (maplink). This is a gallery and tribute to the artist Pro Hart, boasting three floors of his colourful artworks. He was one of the outback artists who came from around Broken Hill and painted Australian scenes in the brilliant hues of the outback. This gallery is in the studio and home where Pro brought up his five children.

Some of his car collection and sculptures are at the entrance to the gallery. His hand-painted Rolls Royce is a must see. We picked up a great jigsaw puzzle called Home Brew Party and (yet another) gecko for our collection at home.

Line of Lode Miners Memorial

There’s a building which sits atop the large Broken Hill mullock heap that we could see from most places in town so we took the short trip up to check it out. It is called the Line of Lode Miners Memorial (maplink).

The Memorial is an icon for Broken Hill and the mining industry. It is also a symbolic and spiritual representation of the human tragedy of more than 800 deaths since mining commenced in Broken Hill in 1883. The Line of Lode is the ore body that bisects the town.

The actual memorial building is the rusted looking structure who internal panels list the names of miners who have lost their lives working in the local mines. These are represented by a red rose next to the miners names.


Silverton is an interesting little dot on the NSW map, founded in 1883, population of around 40 and is situated 25kms north-west of Broken Hill. Even if you’ve have never been here before you will recognise Silverton, as it has starred in countless films, television shows and commercials in all mediums.

Our group had lunch in the historic pub then fanned out to check the surrounding area.

Mad Max 2 Museum

We took the tour of the ramshackled museum which is a tribute to the 2nd Mad Max movie filmed in 1981. Lots of photos pay tribute to the filming locations (no photography was allowed), but the best part of visiting the museum is having a chat to the guy who runs it – fantastic knowledge of the movie and people involved in it.

Mundi Mundi Lookout

Located about 5.5kms from Silverton the view from the lookout (just the top of a hill) is one of the expansively flat Mundi Mundi plains. We understand that it’s spectacular at sunrise or sunset but I must say not all that enthralling in the middle of the day (when we were there). Checked out some of the old (beautiful) buildings on our return trip.

Peterborough SA

About Peterborough

Peterborough is a rare railway town where, because state governments could not agree on a standarised railway gauge, three railway gauges (broad – 5’3″, standard 4’8 1/2″ and narrow 3’6”) once met. The town became hugely important as a railway link between the mines at Broken Hill and the iron and steel processing at Port Pirie. At its height over one hundred trains a day were passing through the town. It is therefore hardly surprising that it has a museum in a railway carriage and its prime tourist attraction is the “Steamtown” Heritage Rail Centre. (sourced from the Aussie Towns website – click for more).

After a 300km trip from Broken Hill we pulled into Peterborough (maplink) for an overnight stop at Peterborough Caravan Park. After doing a very quick set-up in the caravan park we took a short tour of the town.

Peterborough is a rare railway town where, because state governments could not agree on a standardised railway gauge, three railway gauges (broad – 5’3″, standard 4’8 1/2″ and narrow 3’6”) once met. The town became hugely important as a railway link between the iron ore mines at Broken Hill and the iron and steel processing at Port Pirie. At its height over one hundred trains a day were passing through the town. It is therefore hardly surprising that it has a museum in a railway carriage and its prime tourist attraction is the “Steamtown” Heritage Rail Centre & that’s about it.

We came across a cute monument to “Bob the Railway Dog” who was among 200 other dogs taken to the far north of South Australia to be used for exterminating rabbits. He ended up being taken in by a train guard and then travelled the rails for the rest of his life getting as far as Sydney & Melbourne.

The town rail museum has a carriage with a video running through the windows depicting what train travel would have been like for those travelling in the early 20th century.

Following a glorious sunrise on the next day, we all headed off to Rawnsley Station in Wilpena Pound passing some old pubs, railway stations and plenty of emus along the way.

Would we return?

Not really, as it’s another one of those places that once you’ve been there you would not return unless passing through. Check out TripAdvisor for more information about things to do in Peterborough.

Flinders Ranges (Wilpena Pound) SA

About Wilpena Pound

Wilpena Pound lies in the heart of the north Flinders Ranges and is a remarkable natural bowl-like amphitheatre which is 17 km long, 8 km wide and contains 8960 hectares. The centre of the bowl is a flat plain covered in scrub and trees and surrounded by a low lying ridge of hills which form a rim. From the ground it looks like a rugged low mountain range which can easily be traversed. When you reach the top of the ridge it is possible to look across the plain and to see the hills that form the edge of the bowl. From the air it is an oval-shaped ridge line, at the very western edge of the Flinders Ranges.

The primary appeal of Wilpena Pound, apart from the intense beauty of the area, is bushwalking. The hills and countryside have been an inspiration for artists. Wilpena Pound was where the famous South Australian landscape artist, Hans Heysen, found the inspiration for his most famous gum tree paintings and it is where photographers have found unforgettable images of the Australian bush. (sourced from the Aussie Towns website – click for more).

Rawnsley Park Station

Our accommodation in Wilpena Pound was called Rawnsley Park Station. It was a dusty drive in but we ended up with a real outback style caravan park which looked out onto the Flinders Ranges with some really stunning views. (maplink)

We had 2 nights here and on the 2nd night the group booked into the Woolshed Restaurant located on the station. The food was spectacular with the main menu item being lamb which is sourced from the station itself.

Wilpena Pound Day Trip

From Rawnsley Station we took a day trip out to Wilpena Pound stopping off at Arkaroo Rock and then onto Wangarra lookout at Wilpena Pound (maplink).

Arkaroo Rock

It’s about an easy 2 hour return walk from the carpark to Arkaroo Rock through dusty scrub-land. This is a significant cultural site for the Adnyamathana (pronounced Ad-na-mut-ta) people. The art at Arkaroo Rock (Akurra Adnya) tells the story of the creation of Wilpena Pound. It’s a story from the Adnyamathana Dreamtime and is believed to be 5,000 years old.

Wangara Lookout

Back into the car for the next historic location. Leaving the car (and Merrisa) at the Wilpena Pound visitors centre I undertook a 7.8km round trip to check out historic Hills Homestead and 2 of the Wangara Lookouts over the Pound. It’s a pretty easy walk to the homestead but a pretty grueling uphill walk to the 1st and 2nd lookouts.

Having walked around the base of Uluru and Kings Canyon Rim Walk on our Half Lap trip in 2018, I must say that this walk was pretty disappointing for the effort put in to get there. The views from the 2 lookouts are basically the inside of the crater and I reckon the best views would probably be of the outsides of the crater.

Would we return?

Probably not BUT if you are travelling to the Flinders Ranges/Wilpena Pound area we would totally recommend staying at Rawnsley Park Station as it’s really great location and the restaurant is brilliant.

Port Augusta SA

About Port Augusta

There was a time when Port Augusta was primarily a port. Lying at the top of the Spencer Gulf it was vital to all the properties in the Flinders Ranges and beyond. The port was the point where wheat and wool were loaded on clipper ships and transported around the world. By the 1970s that had stopped and the town, exploiting its unique position, became the starting point for tourism for the Nullarbor Plain, the Flinders Ranges and all journeys north to Central Australia and the Northern Territory. If you head north from Port Augusta you won’t stop until you get to Darwin.

The Stuart Highway heads north and 2,722 km later you will be driving into Darwin. Head west on the Eyre Highway and 2,390 km (after you have crossed the Nullarbor Plain) you will reach Perth. Head east, via Broken Hill, and 1,561 km later you’ll be in Sydney and, almost as an afterthought, you can head south and in a mere 310 km you’ll reach Adelaide. Port Augusta really does sit at a crossroads and, by strange serendipity, the roads really do head to the primary points of the compass – north, south, east and west.

Not surprisingly everyone who passes through Port Augusta needs to stop at the Wadlata Outback Centre. It provides valuable travel advice and is a wonderful introduction to the lives and history of the Aboriginal desert people who, for over 40,000 years, have lived in the lands that surround this strange city. (sourced from the Aussie Towns website – click for more).

We’ve only ever driven straight through Port Augusta so it was good to finally have the opportunity to have a couple of nights stay at Discovery Park Port Augusta for a chance to stop and check it out.

We will continue to just drive through it in the future as it was fairly underwhelming.

We did drive out to Matthew Flinders Red Cliff Lookout to check out the view and then onto the Water Tower Lookout for view over Spencer Gulf and Flinders Ranges.

Would we return?

Not if we could help it BUT that’s our opinion. It would only ever be an overnight stop-over only for us in the future. Check out TripAdvisor for more information about things to do in Port Augusta.

Port Germein SA – stop-over

About Port Germein

Port Germein is a quiet, peaceful and popular holiday destination. Located near the top of the Spencer Gulf it is an ideal place to relax by the sea and take in the holiday ambience of a port which was once famous for the fact that it boasted the longest jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. The water was so low that a jetty which was originally 1,676 metres long was built to cater for the ships which came to the port to collect the wheat harvest. It is an attractive holiday town which is nestled below the southern Flinders Ranges. It has a large number of child-friendly parks and activities and is famous for its blue swimmer crabs. It is ideal for those wanting to access to the lower Flinders Ranges. (sourced from the Aussie Towns website – click for more).

On our way from Port Augusta to Crystal Brook we stopped over in the seaside town of Port Germain (maplink).

The attraction here is the jetty, opened in 1881, which is now 1,532 metres long. The jetty was the longest in Australia, and one of the longest in the Southern Hemisphere. A walk out to the end of the jetty surprised us with some dolphins playing in the shallows.

Would we return?

Probably not, BUT we recommended this stop-over to the Tagalong group as we visited it on our Half Lap trip with our Bailey friends Neil & Sharon and really liked it. We’d recommend it to anyone else travelling between Adelaide & Port Augusta. Find out more on TripAdvisor.

Crystal Brook SA

About Crystal Brook

Crystal Brook is a quiet rural service centre in the heart of some of South Australia’s most productive sheep and wheat country. It describes itself as the town “Where the Flinders Begin”. The charm of this quiet town lies with its shady peppercorn trees and its feeling that time has stood still. (sourced from the Aussie Towns website – click for more).

Crystal Brook is a nice little town on the Goyder Highway in South Australia (maplink) and the Crystal Brook Caravan Park was a great one night stop-over. The park is set on the Crystal Brook Creek with beautiful shade trees to sit under and wile away the day, while the birds make a racket above you.

We took a quick trip around the town to check it out, but the Covid-19 Corona virus shutdown meant most things were shut, which was really sad (but understandable).

Happy hour that afternoon had 3 of the ladies entertaining us with their ukuleles. A sing along ensured with lots of laughter and smiles.

Would we return?

Not really, but it’s a lovely spot and would recommend it if you are travelling through the area and would like to stay in a really nice caravan park and take a stroll through town. Check out TripAdvisor for more details.

Worlds End Freecamp SA

Just the name “Worlds End” at Burra Gorge conjures up in the mind an intriguing location to camp for the night. Well, it’s just another campsite with nothing special but the company we were keeping.

Along the way (maplink) we caught a glimpse of new wind farms being built and then a stop-over in Burra for coffee was great; even though the Covid-19 Corona virus pandemic had shut much of the town down.

Happy hour on this stop saw a bush poetry session with various members having a crack (even me). The poems were brilliant and many laughs were had. The Bob Magor poems were a hoot, but the flies (oh the flies!) were terrible resulting in the fly-nets coming out. Jeez it’s had to drink your beer thru a fly-net!

Here’s a YouTube video, which Liam took on his drone, of the campground at Worlds End…

Would we return?

No, been there and done that.

Loxton SA

About Loxton

Loxton is a pleasant service town with wide streets which lies above the Murray River. The town is well known because its “The Village”, an historic recreation of the early town, is a popular tourist attraction. The town’s primary appeal is its location on the Murray River and the parks on the banks are grassy and ideal for picnics. (sourced from the Aussie Towns website – click for more).

Located on the mighty Murray River Loxton is a decent sized town. We stayed at BIG4 Loxton Riverfront Holiday Park located on the banks of the Murray (maplink).

This is where the Covid-19 Coronas virus pandemic really began to impact the group. To date we had been keeping our required social distancing (well, most of the time) but now the group was starting to split-up as many were required to return to their home states due to upcoming border closures.

All attractions were closed and at the end of our 2 day stay in Loxton there were only 4 of the original 17 caravans remaining for the trip to Border Town. It was really sad.

Would we return?

Most probably. Since all attractions were closed we’d like to check it out again, but more than likely if it was on our way to somewhere else. Check out TripAdvisor for more information about things to do in Loxton.

Bordertown SA

About Border Town

Bordertown, as its name suggests, is the symbolic “border town” between Victoria and South Australia. The fact that it is actually 20 km west of the border causing some typically Australian humour. There was a time, for example, when it became a talking point for Victorians when they would declare there was an imminent invasion from South Australia and the locals were massing at Bordertown. In reality it is a quiet town which was created during the goldrush era which is now both a service centre for the surrounding district and a place made famous by the fact that Bob Hawke, the country’s longest serving Labor Prime Minister, was born in the town. (sourced from the Aussie Towns website – click for more).

Our now group of 4 Bailey’s pulled into Bordertown for an overnight stay at the Bordertown Caravan Park and there was basically nothing to do here so it was a case of set-up and wait for “happy hour”. We didn’t even go to check out the town’s major attraction of the White Kangaroo.

Bordertown, as its name suggests, is the symbolic “border town” between Victoria and South Australia. The fact that it is actually 20 km west of the border causing some typically Australian humour. There was a time, for example, when it became a talking point for Victorians when they would declare there was an imminent invasion from South Australia and the locals were massing at Bordertown.

In reality it is a quiet town which was created during the gold-rush era which is now both a service centre for the surrounding district and a place made famous by the fact that Bob Hawke, the country’s longest serving Labor Prime Minister, was born in the town.

Would we return?

Not likely. For us it’s really just an overnight stop on the way to somewhere else. But you may discover something to your liking on TripAdvisor about things to do in Border Town.

Naracoorte SA

About Naracoorte

Naracoorte is a substantial rural service centre located midway between Adelaide and Melbourne. It has achieved considerable fame because of the importance of the impressive Naracoorte Caves. It lies inland from the state’s Limestone Coast. In recent times the area to the south of the town has seen the development of a significant wine industry with extensive vineyards being planted at Koppamurra. (sourced from the Aussie Towns website – click for more).

Our original itinerary had an overnight stop at the Cockatoo Lake Free Camp but we agreed, due to there now only being 4 caravans, we’d skip it and go straight to Naracoorte.

The original itinerary also had us booked into the Naracoorte Showgrounds but it was closed, thanks to the Covid-19 Corona virus pandemic. We were fortunate to get into the Naracoorte Big4 Caravan Park for 2 nights (maplink).

We all agreed that we must return to this lovely town once the world has gotten over the Corona pandemic.

Naracoorte Caves

We headed out to the Naracoorte Caves National Park in the slight chance that something may be open and we were fortunate enough to meet some park rangers who allowed us to access to two attractions.

Wonambi Fossil Centre

The fossil centre is pretty cool. It incorporates fossils and displays of prehistoric beasts which roamed our great land. Well worth the trip. The entry ticket also allows you to visit the Stick-Tomato Cave (see below).

Stick-Tomato Cave

The only cave open for public access was the Stick-Tomato Cave. A self-guided easy-access walk trough the caves was not too bad and not too claustrophobic.

Would we return?

We’d definitely return to Naracoorte, even if it is just to explore the caves in the national park. This is truly a great spot and you would probably need more than a week here to take in the places Naracoorte has to offer. Check out TripAdvisor for more information about things to do in Naracoorte.

Mount Gambier SA

About Mount Gambier

Mount Gambier, the second largest city in South Australia, is recognised as the jewel of the state’s south-eastern region. It is an important rural centre which is characterised by a large number of attractive, historic buildings and the major attraction of the Blue Lake. The city’s primary appeal lies in exploring the lakes and sinkholes – unique and remarkable formations – as well as admiring the impressive number of significant historic buildings. (sourced from the Aussie Towns website – click for more).

Mt Gambier is well known for it’s volcanic and limestone features. We spent 2 nights at the Big4 Blue Lake Caravan Park and were the only 4 caravans there.

We still had the ability to travel around the town as the Covid-19 Corona virus pandemic had yet to restrict people moving around except in groups no more than 4. We chose outdoor activities to isolate us from people as much as possible.

Like Naracoorte; we will definitely return here one day to take in more of what this wonderful city and region have to offer. In the meantime, these are some of the places we visited…

Cave Gardens

The Cave Gardens are located right in the centre of town (maplink). It is a sinkhole surrounded by a beautiful park and rose gardens. It was interesting to find a couple of wild bee hives clinging onto the wall of the sinkhole.

Umpherston Sinkhole

The beauty of the Umpherston Sinkhole has to be seen to be believed. Appreciate its size and depth from the viewing platforms at the top of the sinkhole, then, walk down into the sinkhole, along the terraces and behind the hanging vines. There are wild bee hives in the roof of the cavern and the display of hydrangeas are truly magnificent.

Umpherston Sinkhole is also known as “The Sunken Garden”. The sinkhole was created when the top of the limestone chamber collapsed downwards. Now the topsoil down on the floor forms the perfect environment for the sunken garden.

Originally beautified by James Umpherston around 1886, the sinkhole is open at all times and from dusk each evening the area comes alive with possums as they venture into the floodlit gardens to feed.

The geological processes that have created the sinkholes in the region inspired the sculpture at Umpherston.

Blue Lake

One of the most notable places to visit is the famous Blue Lake (Waawor) of Mt Gambier (maplink).

The Blue Lake is a large, monomictic, crater lake located in a dormant volcanic maar associated with the Mount Gambier maar complex. It is thought to be of an average depth of 72m, but in places reaches 75m deep. The crater rim measures 1,200m by 824m, but the lake itself measures 1,087m by 657m. It also supplies the town with drinking water.

The lake was conveniently located over the road from our caravan park so we decided to take the 5km walk around it’s perimeter.

It was a beautiful day and as we progressed around the trail the wind totally died down which turned this beautiful lake into a very photogenic thing of beauty.

Cape Banks Lighthouse

Cape Banks Lighthouse is located on a headland in Carpenter Rocks. Constructed in 1883. There were some fascinating photos of the wreck of Pisces Star ship near to the lighthouse so we headed off to check it out. It’s a 35km drive out to the lighthouse from Mt Gambier (maplink).

The wreck was visible from the lighthouse viewing platform but the tide was too high for us to venture out to check on it.

Last Night Dinner

We got together for our last dinner together to share pizza’s (delivered to the CP gate) and took the now traditional group photo of our (now depleted) Tagalong20 group.

Would we return?

We’d definitely return to Mt Gambier. There is so much to do there and so many interesting places to visit in the region. Check out TripAdvisor for more. You would need more than a week to explore here.

Port Fairy VIC – the last stop

About Port Fairy

Port Fairy is a charming historic holiday town with an excess of attractions for visitors. There are museums, historic walks, charming stretches of coastline which are ideal for walking, a fascinating harbour, charming olde worlde cottages and the famous Port Fairy Folk Festival, which is held each March and is widely recognised as the best folk festival in the country. (sourced from the Aussie Towns website – click for more).

Due to the Covid-19 Corona virus pandemic closing everything down and the upcoming travel bans we could not get into our original accommodation at Surfside Holiday Park Warrnambool so we found a small caravan park in Port Fairy called Port Fairy Holiday Park. We were very fortunate as all other caravan parks in the district were closed and we were only allowed to stay as all 3 of us had caravans with their own toilet & shower; meaning we were totally self sufficient.

We went for a walk along the rock wall where the Moyne River runs out into Port Fairy Bay then took a drive around to check out the surf at Southcombe Beach and it was pumping.

We found a brilliant Thai restaurant in town called Lemongrass Thai whose takeaways (not allowed to dine-in due to Covid-19) was really tasty. Totally recommend it and will visit for a dine-in next time we stay in Port Fairy.

Here’s a short YouTube video Merrisa took of the surfers at Port Fairy…

Would we return?

We’ve been to the lovely town of Port Fairy several times now and totally love it. Yes, we would come back again but only if we were “passing by”. Check out TripAdvisor for more information about things to do in Port Fairy. Tip – Stay at the Gardens Caravan Park – it’s great and close to town as well.