Eyre Peninsula I – Adelaide to Whyalla via Snowtown

Adelaide to Whyalla, South AustraliaThis is my first time in the state of South Australia. When I think of South Australia an automatic association is made with Adelaide (capital city) and as such, when I think of Adelaide, I think of the handful of friends I have living there that want so badly to get out and move to a more colourful, larger and cultured city. I had once thought of South Australia as being nothing more than the single, boring city of Adelaide; I let a simple stereotype get the better of a naive me – Oh, how wrong I was.

Despite the long drive ahead, we don’t set off until late afternoon. Being Good Friday, this works to our advantage as there are many holiday-goers on the road keen to escape Adelaide in celebration of Australia’s five-day Easter long weekend. By car the 383 km (238 mile) stretch from Adelaide to Whyalla is typically a 4.5-5 hour drive.

Whyalla marks the beginning of South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula; a coastal paradise stretching across 2,000 kms and for the next four days, it is our playground.

We are no more than a couple of hours into our road trip when we are greeted by a large tin man in a field on the side of the road heading towards Snowtown… Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas Adelaide anymore… What a strange thing to plonk on the side of the road. I quickly snap a photo and we carry on as the sun begins to set. I am taken aback by the beauty of the evening sky. In a matter of minutes it has displayed a breathtaking array of colours ranging from orange, pink, magenta and yellow; absolutely stunning!

Tin Man & Sunset before Snowtown

We plan on stopping at the next available rest-stop to use the public bathrooms only these conveniently just so happen to be in Snowtown – great. I can think of 1000 places I’d rather pee at than in Snowtown only if I hold any longer, I may explode. Snowtown it is then.

SnowtownThere is not a single other car insight as we pull up curb-side to use the bathroom. The area looks like a deserted ghost town and an eerie, uneasy feeling lingers in the evening air. I do not like being here one bit.

Snowtown sets the scene of the bodies in barrels murders. Between August of 1992 and May of 1999, 11 people were murdered in South Australia and the crimes were uncovered when the remains of eight of the victims were founds in six barrels of hydrochloric acid located in a rented former bank building in Snowtown (image to the right). The bodies in barrels were variously stored in several places over the years before finally being moved to the bank vault in the early half of 1999.

The murders garnered Snowtown much unwanted attention and a town name change was suggested to avoid the stigma. Despite desperate efforts, the town is now best known for the bodies in barrels murders.

I run to the bathroom, pee as fast as my little bladder will allow me to and then swiftly make my way back to the car. Get me out of here!

The sun has completely set now. We are literally out in woop woop. There are no street lights, it is pitch black outside and every food stall we drive by (which are few and far between) are closed although who can blame them? After all, it is Good Friday. You can imagine how excited we are when we find a BP Roadhouse on Port Wakefield Rd that serves a hot dinner and is still open! The Roadhouse is mainly used by truck drivers stopping off in between long distance routes so I would imagine the fella behind the bar be quite surprised to see four young ladies roll on in for dinner. We place our orders and take a seat. Let me set the scene for you…

Our dinner table view at the BP Roadhouse

Romantic, isn’t it? I would definitely love a setting like this for a first date to help break the ice a little. This may have been one of the most unusual places I have eaten dinner but let me tell you, they serve some of the most delicious fries I’ve ever had the pleasure of putting in my mouth – pleasantly surprising.

We hit the road for another couple of hours until we reach Whyalla and then it’s straight to bed, well, at least that’s what I thought until we were greeted with a loud BOOM and a shriek for help. Nicole has just broken the shower; superb! Lisa jumps in to save the day (only after Nicole makes herself decent, of course) – crisis averted. The alarm is now set for 5:00am. Got a pretty special morning ahead of us.

Whyalla

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