After a short drive we stopped in at Wilmington to look for a Puppet museum (apparently the only one in Australia) whose pamphlet I picked up in Quorn. We found it only after stumbling on a toy museum first. The boys loved both of them, though I think they found the fellow running the puppet museum a little creepy.
Wilmington toy museum – 40 years of collecting by dad (still going strong), now begrudgingly co-run by his son.
Wilmington puppet museum – ‘the only museum of its kind in Australia’ – weird!
We found our way to Melrose showground, a budget campground at the foot of Mount Remarkable. We set up ahead of forecast rain, which we were quite excited about as we hadn’t seen rain since the Pilbara way back in May. It was a novelty after so much dust (at least for the first hour or so). What we got was 24 hours of storms. Lightning, thunder, winds, forecasted large hail stones (luckily these didn’t arrive), horizontal rain and power outages. Then constant drizzle for the next two days till it finally cleared.
With walks in the NP postponed I set the boys up in one of the showground sheds with their Lego to see out the rain whilst Julian set himself up in the van to catch up on blog posts. We managed to wander into to Melrose and found a quaint little town complete with giant trees and hand-painted Stobie poles.
A drive into the north end of Mt Remarkable NP got us to Alligator Gorge where we attempted the loop walk. It was a gorge very reminiscent of Karijini in WA but with taller gums lining the waterway. Unfortunately the recent rain meant rising river levels, which forced us to turn back. James added some excitement by falling in, twice.
We had planned to climb the summit of Mt Remarkable on our last day, but low cloud made the attempt a bit pointless, so we pottered around the camp site, with the boys playing in the local creek.
The boys added their ‘dead’ pairs of shoes to a shoe tree. James was upset because his crocs had ‘taken him to so many places’.