Since we weren't looking for a resort experience in the first instance, we enjoyed our two nights at South Australia's relatively remote North Blinman Hotel.
We appreciated the historic fabric of the original hotel, the appropriate decor of our room and the fact that we could keep it cool by day (blinds down etc) without having to leave the air conditioning on, despite the mid 40s temperatures.
Thus said, we agree with earlier reviewers that the nightly rate for a couple was pricey compared to say a basic hotel room in downtown Adelaide, or Peterborough even. However, it must be kept in mind that Blinman is a long way north, as in pretty 'far out' as they say in Australia, and keeping up supplies is costly and time consuming, especially in the recent heat wave. Certainly our experience compared well with what was on offer at the more southerly town of Hawker, for example, where it was hard to purchase fresh food, let alone a decent meal.
To us, the attraction of Blinman was its authenticity as an old mining town and the sense that townsfolk were keen to avoid turning it into some kind of 'faux' touristy experience. On on!
Yes, we saw evidence of the said mouse and commented to ourselves about the long life milk but these were minor concerns.
The old style outback bar atmosphere was great and the wine and beer list good, as were the meals we had at night, the steaks especially (apart from one overdone always tricky dish). Our friendly host Lindsay was a real asset to the tiny town. Long may she stay!
Leaving aside the hotel, Blinman is surrounded by scenic rangeland country, including the Parachilna and Chambers gorges. In particular we wanted to get a bit closer to Mount Partawarta, an unusually shaped mountain that fascinated legendary South Australian artist Hans Heysen whose family had emigrated from Germany in his childhood.
We'd caught tantalising glimpses of its rough-shaped conical form while driving to Blinman from the Angorichina village in Parachilna Gorge. And it's a relatively short uphill walk to the cairned lookout just east of Blinman (visible from the hotel) where sunrise and sunset views of this iconic mountain convey a sense of what attracted Heysen to this district in the 1930s and 40s.
As we were behind the wheel of a 2WD Holden Commodore sedan for our two week 'short hot summer', we jumped at the chance to hire a 4WD from the hotel, and set off along a local track into what would be 47 degrees plus celsius heat, towards Mount Partawarta. While the scenic drive was well worth it, on our next visit, we'd make time to visit the town's extensive historic mining complex, an added attraction.