We arrived in Melrose just on dusk and were immediately enchanted with the beautiful old town set against the mountainous edge of the national park.
Though desolate at that hour, it had an old-world charm illustrated by quaint heritage cottages, beautiful grand buildings like the North Star Inn and wide, open streets.
After making camp at the Melrose Caravan Park, we headed back to the North Star Inn for dinner – arriving at 7.58pm, a mere two minutes before they were due to close but, in true country style, the staff were happy to seat, feed and water four very hungry travellers!
Melrose Caravan Park is the only caravan park in Melrose and is situated in the heart of the town, a quick stroll from the main street. It is a quiet, leafy park running along the edge of a dry creekbed and backing on to the hills of Mt Remarkable NP. There are many trails for mountain bike riding and bushwalking directly out of the park.
The following morning we rose early to find Melrose bathed in beautiful light, not yet shaded by the towering hills overlooking the town. We wandered through the town, still quiet apart from the occasional child making their way to school. Buildings like the Mount Remarkable Hotel, the Melrose Institute, the North Star, the old blacksmith’s and the various bric-a-brac cottages give this town a warm, historic charm.
Melrose, SA, is 274km north of Adelaide, 65km south-east of Port Augusta and 528km north-west of Murray Sunset NP, Vic.