We met a lovely couple of grey nomads at Dry Creek who gave us the first piece of excellent advice we could have hoped for – Purchase the Camps Australia camping book. This bountiful resource lists all the campsites around, their facilities and features, and whether you need to pay money to stay at the sites.
As we headed out of Mount Gambier, our first stop was Tantanoola because the Camps bible said so. Apparently there was a free camping site with toilet facilities across the road from the pub.
We pulled in, did a few chap laps of the small town and picked a spot to spend the night. We explored the Tantanoola railway station, the surrounding playground and BBQ facilities before heading to the Tantanoola Tiger Hotel for a cold beer. This historic pub is the home of Tant the Tiger, which has a funny story behind it.
Word got out that a Bengal tiger had escaped from a nearby circus and a search for the animal was unsuccessful. Over the next few weeks, sheep began to disappear and it was assumed that they were becoming tiger food.
Eleven years later, a local man saw a ‘tiger’ leaving his property with a sheep in it’s jaws, so he lifted his gun and shot, hitting the animal in its side. The ‘tiger’ turned out to be an Eurasian wolf, thought to have arrived to our shores on a shipwrecked boat. It was promptly stuffed and is on display in the Tantanoola Tiger Hotel. Despite the death of the ‘sheep killer’, sheep were still disappearing for a further 15 years until an Adelaide man was finally arrested for theft.
In the morning, we did a barefoot run around town before having a quick playground workout at the Ange Fensom Memorial Playground. It was built a few years ago to commemorate a young local woman who played a big role in the community before dying suddenly.