Lipson Cove – Sun 29th & Mon 30th March
What a little gem this place was, 7km of dirt from the main road leading to fantastic waterfront views. It’s a council site on the coast north of Tumby Bay, $10 a night by honesty box. Arriving at the end of the weekend we thought it would be empty; how wrong could we be, we were lucky to get one of the two remaining spots – popular with the grey nomads it seems.
With a gently shelving beach into a sheltered bay this was a great spot for the girls to mess around in the water, with passing dolphins as a bonus. The only drawback if one was to be picky, was the onshore breeze wafting the smell of thousands of sea birds from the little island offshore,
As a side note, Cowell is a little town on the way from Whyalla, and served up the best steak pie so far on this trip. Worth a stop.
Coffin Bay – Tue 31st March
Heading down the Eyre Peninsular the countryside becomes much more arable compared to the north, whether wheat or some form of animal feed we couldn’t tell as nothing was left but stalks. Accompanying silos dotted the way, central collection points for the harvest.
At the end of the peninsular Port Lincoln is the main town, nestled in a north facing bay and providing all the usual facilities for restocking supplies.
The peninsular is blessed with two national parks, Lincoln to the West and Coffin Bay to the East. Coffin Bay was our destination. According to the park guide the track in is subject to flooding with the tide, and with low tide at 7.30am a night in the Coffin Bay Caravan Park just outside the park gave a chance to top up with water and grab a shower.
Coffin Bay NP – Wed 1st to Fri 3rd Apr
An early start to catch low tide. Being just before the clocks go back it was also dark, just to add to the fun and ensure everyone else around was fast asleep as we tiptoed around. Hats off to the girls who headed straight for the car and their ipods (electronic sedation, sometimes the only way….).
Heading into the park the first 8km is easy, bitumen, and leads to the Yangie campsite. At this point we lowered tyres to c.17psi in anticipation of the sand ahead. The sand was OK, the only challenge was a couple of places where people had spun holes; helpfully in one case at the base of a climb, not ideal when carrying momentum, shook things up a bit! However the track is not only sand, there are also very rough rocky sections, enough to warrant stopping and airing up given recent events in Arkaroola.
Black Springs is a site half way into the park. Set above a sheltered beach it only has c.8 pitches. To be honest we were worried it would be full with Easter approaching but were fortunate, there was a great spot free at the end of the site. Also fortunate to have great neighbours, who welcomed us with a cup of tea, pancakes for the girls.
Given a three night stay it was an opportunity to put up the fly sheet and one of the side walls, in the end a wise choice as some overnight rain and a southerly wind made the shelter very welcome
One of the great things about the site was that fires were allowed between high and low water. A great chance for some marshmallows, dinner over the flames and a good chat with fellow campers. Bizarrely one of the neighbours had also worked for RBS, but now runs a landscaping business, quite a career shift.
Another bonus was the stingray floating past up and down the crystal clear water’s edge and further out a pod of dolphins
Heading north from Black Springs the track passes along Seven Mile Beach to Morgans Landing, then Port Sir Isaac at the tip of the park. Taking a day trip, along the beach were some fantastic dunes, offering spectacular views. With the tides relatively small there was no issue with the beach, but its clear on a king tide it could be difficult.
Much to the girls delight the site also had some resident kangaroos, whilst not tame they were happy with human company and the bowl of water we provided.
Coffin Bay – Sat 4th Apr
Having seen the number of vehicles which had driven into Black Spring since Wednesday we were a little nervous as to what state the track would be in. Not helped by the nature of some of the visitors; dirt bikes have a place, just not in this park.
In reality nothing to really worry about. Sure the track was a little chewed up, but as with the way in the only tricky part was across where someone had spun out some deep holes – but even then a short reverse and change of gear saw us clear.
Back at the caravan park what a difference Easter made, the park was packed. Not a problem, to be expected over a public holiday, but reinforced our preference for more out of the way, quieter places. Nice showers though.