Over the past few days, my Mum, Dad, Brother, Son and I  went on a bit of a road trip, crossing over the border into South Australia, on an adventure to discover the burial place of our first Australian ancestor, a German chap, a refugee, escaping religious persecution in the mid 1800’s.

Prior to our trip, we had researched where he was buried, a small, no longer used Lutheran cemetery, hidden in the bush in the Adelaide Hills, near a little town called Birdwood. In the day of my ancestor, this place was called Blumberg, but due to the ill will created by Germans wanting to fight everyone, it was re-named Birdwood, after some English General.

We had looked at satellite photo’s, and had GPS co-ordinates, as this graveyard is no longer marked on the nearby road. After about 45 minutes traipsing through stands of native trees and paddocks of long grass, we discovered the cemetery, fence mostly still standing, and quite a few headstones and monuments still visible. We didn’t find one with our ancestors name, but we know this is where he rests, and now, we have made a pilgrimage that has been planned for several years. It’s quite a thing to stand in the company of your first ancestor to come to the country you call home. I now have a blue parrot feather that I found in the graveyard, in the hat band of my Akubra, something for me to remember him by.

Our adventures weren’t confined to this pilgrimage, as we also experienced a visit to the National Motor Museum in Birdwood as well, and spent a couple of days staying at Murray Bridge, a town on the banks of Australia’s longest river, The Murray. On the way to, and from our destination, we crossed from Victoria to South Australia, going through Mt Gambier, on-wards through the Coonawarra Wine Region, into the Murraylands, and skirting the desert to the north of Keith, South Australia. All in all, just over 1000kms of driving.


Along the road, we kept seeing these signs, this one is just west of Keith, South Australia. A brilliant piece of driver safety awareness.


Ruins near Palmer, Eastern side of the Adelaide Hills, South Australia.


Looking out over the Murraylands, from the back of the Adelaide Hills, just west of Palmer, South Australia.


Waterhole near the cemetery where my first Australian ancestor is buried.


The Murray River at Tailem Bend, South Australia.


The railway bridge, and road bridge to lower left, across the Murray River at Murray Bridge, South Australia.


Leyland Badger of Tom Kruse, the real Tom Kruse, who was for many years the mailman along the remote Oodnadatta Track. National Motor Museum, Birdwood, South Australia.


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