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Member Profile: Keith Oliver

Member Profile: Keith Oliver

Keith Oliver is a big fan of the trips he takes with his Probus Club, and he recounts one for us here.

I think taking trips is an important part of Probus. The significance is the social interaction and the strengthening of friendships that takes part on these trips. If you go to an interesting venue, that is a bonus.

Recently, 30 members of the Combined Probus Club of Monash Central toured the Silo Art Trail and Flinders Ranges. We all gathered at the car park of the Mountain View Hotel Glen Waverley in the early-morning cold gloom, all eager and ready to commence our trip.

The first day was a long one to Sea Lake and Lake Tyrrell via the 200-kilometre-long silo art trail. What a magnificent collection of massive art the trail is, and a wonderful positive for the surrounding towns.

We ended the day with the truly magnificent sight of the sun setting over Lake Tyrrell with obliging clouds augmenting the spectacle. A great first day.

The following day we viewed two more groups of silo art and also visited the Mallee Tourist and Heritage Centre, which is a superb collection of rural artefacts and historical documents. We were provided with a delicious morning tea to cap it off. We followed this with a lunchtime visit to the historic Pines House and 2,000 square metres of garden. From there it was on to Loxton and the Caudo Vineyard and cellar door for tastings on the sunny banks of the Murray, concluding the day at Waikerie.

Day three took us to Wilpena Pound via Burra and Hawker – two interesting and historic towns where we enjoyed sights and displays.

The next day we traversed over dry creek beds in Brachina Gorge with our guide, Ian from Wilpena, who showed us views over the ranges, the famous Cazneaux Tree, yellow-footed rock-wallabies and Aboriginal rock art.

We then travelled via Leigh Creek township to Arkaroola for a two-night stop. Without doubt the highlight was the four-wheel drive on the Ridge Top Tour. Magnificent vistas and terrifyingly precarious steep situations – an event not to be missed. In the afternoon, some members flew over the ranges and Lake Frome in the beautiful sunshine, and many viewed the wonders of the clear night sky through the astronomical observatory.

On our way back towards Port Augusta we enjoyed a sumptuous outback platter at the famous Prairie Hotel, Parachilna, a ride on the Pichi Richi train to Quorn and a visit to the outstanding Wadlata Outback Centre, where we could have spent considerably more time at this informative and excellently presented collection of displays.

Our last day, and our first that was not warm and sunny, saw us at the historic Bungaree Station, which is still in the hands of the family that established it in 1841! We followed this by visiting Martindale Hall, a Georgian-style mansion complete with original art, decoration and contents.

And finally, on to the fascinating Magpie & Stump hotel for lunch in the resurrected 1850 building and a superbly catered lunch, which was in keeping with the fabulous country hospitality at all of our morning tea and lunch stops.

Many thanks to Trade Travel and Sue Kennedy for her organisation and tour leading.


Name: Keith Oliver

Probus Club: Monash Combined Central

Age: 81

Time in Probus: 4 years