Spiny Ant Eaters are Not Harmful

Spiney Ant eater at Port Pirie S aoustralia

This is my day 3 of my ‘7 days of nature challenge’ We found this little guy hiding among the growth at a Caravan Park in South Australia. They eat ants, hence the name. Although, they will not hurt you, those spikes are there for a reason to protect them from predators.   They are really cute little guys, and yes, those spikes are sharp so be careful.

As hard as we tried we could not get a photo of his face, which was disappointing. He kept it hidden.

 

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Lace Monitor at Free Camp in Queensland

I heard a noise amongst the dead leaves at a free campsite at the Chimneys in Queensland. As I hate snakes, I took off and watched from a distance.  I was shocked at the size of the lizard that appeared before me.  At first, I was relieved to see it was not a snake, although this was six foot long and as I had never seen one before it was scary. This is my second entry for the 7 days of nature challenge.Lace Monitor

These are beautiful, especially as they eat snakes.  Their feet are huge too.  As my husband and I watched we saw more movement and another one appeared through the bushes. This one was slightly smaller and it was missing a piece of his tale. They both wandered around the area in between the campers without bothering anyone.

 

Free Wi-Fi -Travelling in the Pilbara in Australia

The worst thing about travelling throughout Australia is the lack of network communication in many areas. Telstra says they have 97% coverage- although I believe that refers to metropolitan areas not way out in the bush.  Optus also has a similar coverage.  Even Dodo has a bit of coverage although many places it does not matter who you are with – there is no coverage at all.

The problem is not having a lack of coverage to talk to friends on Facebook or similar, it is because you or a family member may have an emergency.  While away I had this problem, one of my relations needed a critical operation and they could not contact me.

I was so surprised and pleased while travelling through the Pilbara to find free Wi-Fi coverage at a free campsite. That Shire has used there head and initiative setting up coverage at many free camping sites.  If they can do it, why can’t the other networks and Shires do their bit.

This is the area that you have Wi-Fi coverage

The Orange dot on map shows areas for Wi-Fi coverage
Yellow dots show the locality
The Shire has set up shaded picnic tables for the travelers with the Wi-Fi antenna fitted on the roof.  The best part is that you do not have to sit right close to it either.  The worst thing for us was that we did not realize that we had free Wi-Fi until the second last stop on our trip.  Although it still allowed me to update my computer.  So it was great.
Lovely shaded picnic table with Wi-Fi antenna on top
Lovely shaded picnic table with Wi-Fi antenna on top
I understand that many towns supply free Wi-Fi at their libraries or similar places.  My problem is the Australian Outback without network coverage for emergencies.  If you have found similar places that offer free Wi-Fi please let me know in the comments below.
Beautiful Sunset at on way to Port Hedland
This is one of our beautiful sunsets that we saw while on our way up to Port Hedland

Free Camping – Western Australia – DeGrey River

This is a great place to camp for a few nights, especially for the birdwatcher and those looking to capture beautiful sunrises and sunsets under the bridge. Be cautious as to what time of year you travel up north. This area can be dusty in summer or you could risk becoming bogged during the wetter seasons.

Bridge crossing the DeGrey River
                        Bridge crossing the DeGrey River

Nice areas to enjoy a walk and see a variety of water and other birds.  Park responsibly, check the ground is firm to avoid having to be towed out if it rains.

Camping under the trees in DeGrey River
                                     Camping under the trees in DeGrey River

Facilities available

  • Good Toilet and Disabled toilets
  • Dump point
  • Big Rigs
  • Shade
  • Pet Friendly
  • No Barbecues
  • Satellite TV only

Free Camping – Western Australia – Mary Pool

Mary Pool is a great overnight camping spot to stay for one night or several.  Enjoy great walks and capture photos of some beautiful birds.  When visiting up North you have to be aware of the change in weather.  These areas can flood without much warning.  We were lucky on our last visit, as it flooded a couple of weeks before we arrived.  A helicopter flew in to warn people of an impending flood.

They had the choice of leaving or staying, many left and others stayed.  One particular motorbike rider decided to leave although he must have left it a bit late as he had to be rescued, although his bike was worse off.

When we left after a few nights stop, the water had almost disappeared. Just a trickle across the water crossing.

 

 

Crossing Mary Pool when flood had dropped
Our van Crossing Mary Pool when flood had dropped

 

One time when we stopped there were over one hundred caravans, tents, and mobile homes camped here.  It is a great place to relax and enjoy nice walks.

Free Camp Site at Mary Pool WA
Lovely campsite with loads of space to spread out

 

While enjoying your walk, don’t forget to take the camera and capture many photos of the beautiful birds.

We saw this Beautiful Great Bower bird eating a banana skin in the tree.
We saw this Beautiful Great Bower bird eating a banana skin in the tree.

Facilities 

  • Toilets/+Disabled Toilets
  • Free overnight stop
  • No Power
  • Water in River only
  • Bird watching.
  • Interesting Walks

Free Camping at Port Parham Foreshore in South Australia

This is another great place to stay where you can relax and enjoy walking along the beach picking up seashells. Although it is not your regular type of beach.  The water is very shallow and disappears each day.  One good thing is that if you love crabs and walking then this is a great place to camp and catch them.

Long way to tow boat out to find the water

This is what they call a jinker that is used to either tow boats out or catch crabs or fish from without getting feet wet. This also gives you an idea of how far out the water is.

So many variations of these.

This is another example of jinker. They drive these by sitting up the top.

How to catch crabs

The downside is that to catch the crabs you need a rake or a pole with a hook on the end. Oh and do not forget to drag a cooler or something similar behind you to put your catch in.  Then all you need is some solid shoes and start walking way out to where the water begins which can be a couple of kilometers or more.  Great to get you in shape after all that Christmas indulging. It is very shallow usually up to about your knees, where you can catch the crabs.

Many of the locals have what they call jinkers, like in the picture above, which they either tow their boats out to go fishing. Some use these to fish from or catch crabs.  The beauty of them is that you do not get your feet wet like the ones using a rake to catch crabs.

fishing and crabbing

Here you can see people fishing on the left and also a couple of other jinkers in the water

Facilities Available at Port Parham

  • Flushing Toilets
  • Free Barbecue, tables and undercover
  • Sporting Club which provide great meals
  • Fresh running tap water

Barbecue area with free barbecueUse of free barbecue facilities

Seafood basket at Pot Parham Sport Centre

Great meals at the Sports centre

Budget camping at Port Julia in South Australia

Port Julia South Australia

Budget camping at Port Julia

Port Julia is on the East side of the Yorke Peninsular with a great budget priced camp spot.  Fees of $10 p/night or $60 per week apply.  They have flushing toilet with fresh drinkable water with no dump point and a nice barbecue area.  Minimum of sites approximately 30.


Port julia Barbecue area

Barbecue Area

The added bonus is there is a good jetty where if you are lucky and the weather is permissible you can try your luck at catching a feed of fish or squid.

The towns people are friendly and helpful. We met a couple that even shared some of their fresh home grown vegetables with us.

Anyone can stop for up to two weeks at any time, in a tent, caravan or RV motorhome.  There is a complete fire ban during the summer months.

The nearest shopping center is at Port Vincent which is fifteen kilometers away. The cafe on the beach has the best fish and chips that I have tasted for years.