Memory Cove – Sun 5th to Tue 7th April
If I was to be shipwrecked and could choose where, this would be close to top of the list. In Lincoln National Park, it is the other side of the peninsular from Coffin Bay and is a designated wilderness area. Parks SA only allow 5 vehicles to camp at a time, and no more than 15 vehicles per day to access the area, so as far from the shouty crowd as you can get, and you need to book in advance. Access requires a key, picked up from the tourist office, with a $50 deposit; they really want that key back.
The drive in is surprisingly rough given the limited traffic, its less than 30km from the gate and it takes a good hour. Unlike Coffin Bay there’s no sand, it is all rocks. We saw 2 cars coming out; aside from that it was us, the wilderness and the southerly sweeping in from Antarctica.
Memory Cove was named by Mathew Flinders. Navigating the coast he sent a cutter ashore for water, however it was lost with all hands. He named the cove in memory of the men, and also various islands after them.
Historical links aside this is a great place to chill out. A gently shelving white sand beach between headlands. Just a shame about that southerly, even with the beach facing north the wind chill was enough in the evening to have us wearing more than we would skiing. It didn’t stop the girls building sandcastles though – actually the beach itself was warmer than the site, being protected by a small dune.
It seems every campsite has to have a resident kangaroo family, and this was no exception; although with the overnight rain this one sums up the weather on the first morning.
Actually it wasn’t all rain, the wind persisted but it was mainly dry. Certainly enough for a drive around the sights. The coastline here is a touch rugged, so the sights were mainly cliffs and bays, with a recurring theme of crashing waves. One of them was noted as a popular fishing spot, so far as I was game to investigate you hurl your bait over the cliff edge.
On a safer fishing note Memory Cove itself is a pretty good spot. At one end of the beach a chap was pulling out herring, the other end gave us a reasonable salmon for lunch.
Elliston – Wed 8th & Thur 9th April
Despite the weather it was a shame to leave, and given the opportunity we would go back.
However there was the minor matter of collecting the girl’s work for term 2, which we had arranged the school would post to Elliston.
Unfortunately when we got there only Bonnie’s had arrived, requiring a second night’s stay as the next mail delivery was Friday.
Very welcome to all was the hot shower and flush toilets, less so was the $54 a night fee. A pleasant enough place though, with a bouncy pillow for the girls and trikes for hire.
An interesting coastline around this area, with combinations of sandstone and limestone it makes for some dramatic cliffs. Elliston itself sits in a bay with a reef across the mouth, apparently there is a gap but not one I’d be keen to run in a boat. Great pier though, almost half a km long.
Also eat your heart out Bondi, you may have Sculptures by the Sea but Elliston has Statues on the Cliffs.
Tractor Beach – Fri 10th April
Hurray, packages for Pippa & Charlotte arrived, time to move on. Not much to say about the journey aside from the roads are very straight.
The coastline remained interesting though, with lunch along the way at Talia Caves, the first being “The Tub”, the second “The Woolshed”
A vexing question was where to stay. Comments on Wikicamps were reporting a mice plague north of Streaky Bay all the way to Fowlers Bay; it seems the field mouse population had been rendered starving by the harvest and was descending on campers devouring all before them (kind of).
Not game to face the mice Streaky Bay was our destination, which gave a choice of the caravan park or a bush camp with absolutely no facilities. Hmm, over $50 to cram in amongst the crowd opposite the fish cleaning bins, or $5 but dig your own loo; break out the shovel, time to go bush!
What a great decision. Tractor Bay only has 5 sites, and with SA school holidays starting we thought it may be full. Nope, just us and one other, just behind the dune with direct access to a deserted beach. Even better a north facing beach completely protected from the southerly (yes, it was still blowing).
Coorabie Farm Stay – Sat 11th April
A shame to leave, again a place we would be happy to stay longer. However, time to head west and gear up ahead of the Nullarbor.
Ceduna had been recommended as the last cheap place to pick up fuel, so it was time to fill up the jerry cans. First time we’ve spent $170 at the pumps, but hopefully worth it to minimise roadhouse pitstops.
Fowlers Bay had been our destination, but it was booked out for the annual Chasing the Sun golf event. The Nullarbor is the home to the longest course in the world, not in actual yards but in that there is a hole in each town on the way across.
The silver lining in this was we ended up at the farmstay rather than the caravan park. Complete with a couple of miniature ponies for Charlotte to get all excited about.
An interesting sight on the way, despite it being the fire ban period it seems farms are able to stubble burn, with this one kicking up its own twister
Turning off the tarmac towards the farm a couple of cars came flying past way too fast, complete with clouds of dust. Most amusing when they shortly took a wrong turn and ended up behind us for the next 5km to the farm – amazing how much dust a Defender and trailer kicks up…..