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Birthday Celebrations – Adelaide to Wilpena Pound

We bid farewell to Zizi at a caravan park in Adelaide and headed home to catch up with family and friends. Still scorched from a few hot days in Adelaide, Sydney greeted us with rain, rain and more rain. The torrential rain and wind that engulfed the Illawarra for our time back home didn’t dampen our spirits and we had a great time catching up with family and friends.

Sienna had been counting down the days to her birthday since early February and so, in the tradition of the Italian carnivale, we progressed from celebrating her birthday with the Adelaide Bohm’s to a family dinner back home. Also keeping with family tradition, we celebrated Sienna’s birthday at the local Chinese restaurant before heading back to Great Nan and Great Pop’s house for birthday cake. Sienna and Thomas had a ball catching up with their cousins, Aiden and Alyssa, and some friends from school.

After a few days we headed back to Adelaide to pick up Zizi. After a day in Adelaide, we headed to the town of Peterborough, a couple of hours north of Adelaide. After over 3,500 kms on the coast, it was nice to be heading inland and a little off the major tourist routes.

It was on our drive to Peterborough that we stopped at the tiny town of Mt Bryan for lunch. There is not much to Mt Bryan – a general store and a pub and the remains of a once bustling train station. Not far out of town was a sign to a memorial to Sir Hubert Wilkins. Intrigued, we learned more about the life of Sir Hubert. This guy was incredible – the last of 13 children in a poor sheep farming family near Mt Bryan, he went on to become a cinematographer, pioneered aviation photography, was the official Australian war photography in WWI, earned a Military Cross for saving lives on the battlefield, became a world leading ornithologist, joined an expedition to Antarctica, was the co-pilot on the first ever landing of a plane on drift ice in Antarctica… There are now huge parts of Antarctica that are named after him. Old Hubert certainly redefines ‘high achiever’!

Our tour of Peterborough was made complete by a trip to Peterborough Hospital (the only medical centre in town) to get Thomas checked out after complaining of a sore ear for a couple of days. With a watching brief from the doctor, we headed off to Wilpena Pound. On the way we passed Orroroo (which led Thomas to ask “Where is the big rock?”) and Hawker. Rolling hills gave way to vast open plains and, shortly after Hawker, the mighty Flinders Ranges and Wilpena Pound came into view.

During our trip planning last year, Sienna asked (repeatedly): “Where will I be for my birthday”. To which we replied, “Wilpena Pound”. Understandably Sienna became quite fixated with making it to Wilpena Pound. She couldn't contain her excitement when we finally arrived!

Finally, the 24th March arrived. Sienna had a brilliant day – opening presents (which had been ingeniously smuggled into the van by Karen), doing art and craft, birthday cake, eating lollies, playing with her new toys, swimming in the pool and exploring some of the Flinders Ranges. That afternoon, the day was topped off when a family arrived next to us with two boys (aged 4 and 6) creating an instant posse. Sienna declared it “the best day ever’. Job done.

Here is what Sienna wrote about her birthday for this blog:

“Thank you for making my birthday the best Mum, Dad, Nan, Pa, Thomas. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ME!!! Sienna".

Back Home: Coledale

Adelaide & Peterborough

Hawker & Wilpena: The Birthday

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