Day 12 Walking the streets of Hawker

Hawker has a little book which you can buy for $2.50 which is a self guided tour of the historical points of the Hawker Township so Gaz, Shaz, Di and I headed off on the walkabout. Peter and Rob had other plans for the morning. It was a fair sort of walk with a number of interesting sites and information about the history of the Hawker Township and its surroundings. We, of course needed to be suitably fed and watered before we headed off, so we tried the local general store who served breakfast which we had been told was a beauty. We were not disappointed – nothing flash but very nice and plenty of it and didn’t cost the earth. Followed by a very nice coffee and we were ready to tackle the trek. A couple of the stand out points for us were the old Hawker rail station (now a gallery and bistro), the old Hawker Hotel, a couple of old guest houses and churches. The buildings all have a rich history with some in need of some TLC. One house of interest was built using compressed straw, chicken wire and plaster for Dalgety’s, story has it that they had a lot of difficulty building it because the cattle would come and eat it!

Hawke Rail Station

There is an interesting anomaly in this region and it centres on maps. It seems to us that they struggle to actually get them right. On the tour at one of the sites the map was half a block and a street out, this was not an isolated incident we have had the problem our whole time up here and on the occasions we tried to proof them using the topo maps, well that did our head in. (editors note; on this occasion the problem did not appear to be the map but someone who is geographically challenged)  On our travels we picked up the Paj all fixed now with all its wheel studs in place and not too big a hole in the pocket. I must say the people have been very friendly, down to earth and helpfully. Chris from Chris’s Automotive was easy to deal with and given the amount of work in and out of the shop provided a pretty prompt service. He seems to attract RV’s in trouble like bees to pollen.

Compressed straw house

After lunch (well not really as after breakfast no one was all that hungry) we headed back into town for a look at the emporium and the art gallery to see Jeff Morgan’s panorama of the Wilpena Pound. Jeff’s gallery, and particular, his panorama and “Outback on Canvas” are phenomenal. Words are really not capable of describing the images you see. The panorama is 30 mtrs in circumference and 4 mtrs high. It took 4000 hrs (or about 13 months) to complete. It is housed in a circular building and you view it from a raised platform in the centre, not unlike going up to a lookout. It is a fantastic assault on your senses and the visual impact stunning. From there we went into the “Outback on Canvas” paintings. These are 3 large individual paintings of various locations in the Flinders Ranges. One in particular titled “Ron’s Creek” took 3000 hrs to complete and is 15mts x 5mtrs, but the most astounding part is the way the landscape changes as you walk along in front of it. These words do not in any way do justice to the works if you come here then you must have a look at it.

Part of Jeff Morgan’s Panorama

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