“I had a farm in Africa”




I spent the weekend in Millicent, in the southeast region of South Australia. A friend of mine works in Millicent and manages the herd of cows located at the farm there. His work is pretty much cut out for the whole year, from calving and mating that goes throughout the year, as well as monitoring the quality of milk that is produced everyday. The farm complex is located by Lake Bonney so waking up to see the lake in the distance with cows lazily grazing on the grass made me feel like humming the theme song of Out of Africa. 🙂 Well, if you had seen the panorama that I saw, you would’ve agreed – two gnarly trees near the house, with the cows in the distance, and the lake in the far horizon and the sand dunes behind the lake. If you imagine that the cows were a herd of zebras, you would’ve thought that you were somewhere in Africa. Well, I do have vivid imagination. 🙂

The wind farm near Lake Bonney, Millicent, South Australia
The wind farm near Lake Bonney, Millicent, South Australia

Millicent feels like Mount Gambier‘s half-sister, feeling envious for the popularity and the buzz that she has. Millicent is pretty, but I can’t imagine what teenagers can do for entertainment because it feels so sleepy and lethargic – my friend mentioned that as soon as they finished highschool, they left the town to Adelaide or Melbourne. As I had my lunch before heading back to Adelaide, I could feel people peering out of their cars, curious and suspicious of my presence there. Millicent’s claim to fame is that it’s the site of South Australia’s wind turbine farm, which is located near Lake Bonney. Interestingly, apparently the power that is generated by the farm is transported all the way to Sydney? Hmmm.

Church Street, Penola, South Australia
Church Street, Penola, South Australia

During my stay, we also travelled to Mount Gambier, to see the Blue Lake – my second time to visit Mount Gambier’s main attraction after my visit in December 2003. On the way back, we also stopped by in Penola, a little town made famous by Mary McKillop (1842-1909), Australia’s first person to be beatified and is in the process to be canonised. Penola is also pretty and sleepy – typical of a country town during the weekend. Most of the shops were already closed after midday and the girls manning the café that we visited for lunch looked as if they wished they had been elsewhere. I ordered Breakfast Combo 5 (which was basically the stuff that you shouldn’t eat due to the grease content!) and when it didn’t come, the girl looked at me blankly when I said that I ordered Combo 5 and it hadn’t arrived. “Combo 5?” “Yes, Combo 5 – it hasn’t arrived yet.” I think my English was pretty understandable but she looked at me as if I had spoken Swahili.

So all in all, it had been a relaxing weekend – the bus from Adelaide took about 6 hours to reach Millicent so it was quite a long trip over there. I would love to return to the Limestone Coast (the Southeast is also known as the Limestone Coast) and explore other areas, spend a weekend near the Coorong, or just soak in the beauty of South Australia – maybe after I learn how to drive. 🙂 I would love to visit the small towns, and the wineries and just to relax and escape. I have come to appreciate South Australia more – even though the hills are not green and the creeks are dry, there is a certain beauty when you see bleached golden grass swaying to the wind, or when you look at the native shrub covering the sun-baked land. I must admit that I listened to mainly Norwegian music: Bukkene Bruse and Odd Nordstoga on the bus that took me back to Adelaide today. As it carried me through rolling hills with golden grass, I could imagine myself travelling across Hardangervidda (if you replace the native shrubs with some northern European shrubs!). :sigh:

I love being on the road, just soaking in all the nooks and crannies, the rolling hills, the trees – it’s nice to escape. John Eldredge’s book Wild at Heart has the following statements in the first chapter:

Eve was created within the lush beauty of Eden’s garden. But Adam, if you’ll remember, was created outside the Garden, in the wilderness. In the record of our beginnings, the second chapter of Genesis makes it clear: Man was born in the outback, from the untamed part of creation. Only afterward is he brought to Eden. And ever since then boys have never been at home indoors, and men have had an insatiable longing to explore.

How true! 🙂

Published by fuzz

I've finally relented to the lures of blogging - and for those who care, well, I'm a self-confessed geek who's a wanderer at heart, who thinks and analyses too much, and who's trying hard to hold on to his 7-year old inner persona.

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  1. Hi Arry,

    Nice Blog. I was wondering if you would be willing to let us use your photo of the wind farm at Lake Bonney in a publication we are doing. We are a not-for-profit organisation – a union. And we are doing a factsheet on renewable energy for members. We would credit the photo ‘Courtesy Arry Tanusondjaja’ or however you would like to be credited. Please get in touch and let me know…


  2. Jeremy,

    Thank you for the kind words. As I didn’t take the image myself, I’ve sent you an email of who you may want to contact regarding the image.

    All the best with your publication!


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