South Australia is well known for it’s fishing and sealife so we are always seeking for a great spot for a catch. One of the lads at our last campsite told us about his favourite camp in the Yorke peninsula so we head off there for a look. A lovely rocky beach but with no good feel for fishing, we chill, stay the night and head off early in the morning.
Camp Location: The Gap, Wallaroo
Cost = FREE
Travelled From: Port Parham Campground
Distance Travelled: 94 kilometres
We then hear from our mate Shane that Ardrosson is awesome to catch crabs, telling us that the last time he was there, within half an hour they had caught about 50, our ears pricked up and we set off. We had high hopes but soon came to realise that maybe we are just too late in the season as we had no luck again!
We had been told to check out further south of the Yorke Peninsula, which both the above places are in, but we are now weary about time and feel we would spend more of it around coffin bay etc. So we decide to skip the travel south of the Yorke Peninsula and head into the Eyre Peninsula. On the way we have tagged on our google maps ‘Bumbunga Lake’ which is a Pink Lake. I have been so excited to see this, maybe too excited because when we arrived it was mostly dried up and not pink. Apparently with more water and time of year it can change its appearance, and again, we have bad timing. Zac doesn’t even get out of the car, haha, so we move on towards Port Augusta. We have covered a lot of ground today which is awesome, stopping in at a free camp before we make it to Port Augusta for some sleep.
Camp Location: Chinaman Creek, Winninowie Conservation Park
Cost = FREE
Travelled From: The Gap Campground – Ardrossan – Lake bumbunga
Distance Travelled: 314 kilometres
We briefly stop into Port Augusta for some fuel and head down the east coast of the Eyre Peninsula. We spontaneously head to Point Lowly as we hear there is good fishing at the lighthouse there, I don’t know who thought it was good fishing because it wasn’t but we are so lucky we stopped in hear because we found our 1st of 3 amazing secluded beachside campsites along the Eyre Peninsula.
Camp Location: Port Bonython Pull off campsite
Cost = FREE
Travelled From: Chinaman Creek, Winninowie Conservation Park
Distance Travelled: 125 kilometres
As we came into this area we saw a sign that said Giant Cuttlefish diving, so our task for the morning on our way to Wyhalla was to have a snorkel around here to find some. The signs said the season was from May to August but nearing the end of April we thought for sure there would be some. Well we thought wrong, we did see some fish and some pink jellyfish but that was about it.
Into Whyalla for a look around but soon we are out of there to find some more peace and serenity, further south we find free camps just south of Port Gibbon, drive around until we find a free spot to ourselves and fall in love. The perfect flat campsite, on one side it feels like you’re in the desert, the other the ocean. From what was only meant to be a short night stay we had to make it 2 nights, it was simply stunning. We sat on top of the troopy for afternoon beers and to watch the sunset, and then again to watch the sunrise. Now our challenge is to find more of these camps.
Camp Location: Port Gibbon Beach Camp, Port Gibbon
Cost = FREE
Travelled From: Point Lowly
Distance Travelled: 163 kilometres
We zoom up in google maps and check in with Wiki Camps to suss out our next secluded campsite, we continue to travel along the east coast of the Eyre Peninsula. We decide on a free campsite south of Tumby Bay called Moonlight Bay, and again we hit the jackpot. This spot is within the sand dunes but still right by the flat dry desert land on one side and ocean the other. Zac has another go at fishing and realise there are quite a few scallop and abalone shells along the beach so we decide the next day to go snorkelling to try and collect some. Weren’t we glad we did because we found the most amazing coral reef right there off the beach we were staying. We ended up finding 2 giant cuttlefish, an array of fish, and beautiful corals. Again we are in LOVE, and stay another day to lap up the fishing, coral reef and great weather.
Camp Location: Moonlight Bay, Whites River
Cost = FREE
Travelled From: Port Gibbon
Distance Travelled: 117 kilometres
We make it into Port Lincoln which is known for swimming with the Seals, I was hopeful that you may be able to do this from a few places but you had to book a tour and it cost an arm and a leg so unfortunately we declined on that activity but found the town was having a 2 week event called the Salt Fest. After a bike ride around the town we stumble across the Beer Brewing Bar that had live music from local children under 18 years, the afternoon was of course spent here. We park up at the Boat ramp that the council allows campers to stop over for a short stay.
Camp Location: Billy Lights Boat ramp camp
Cost = $10/night
Travelled From: Moonlight Bay, Whites River
Distance Travelled: 33 kilometres
Just around the corner from the campsite was a massive aquatic centre that I read on wiki you could have a spa, sauna and hot shower for $11. My eyes lit up and I had to take this up, so Zac went into town to buy stuff from Supercheap to do the next Troopy service and I sat in the Spa and Sauna for an hour or so and had the time of my life. Topped off by a hot shower, I was a happy girl, and ready for our trip to Coffin Bay.
Coffin Bay! Time to lap up the fresh oysters, our mate Derek told us a great tip, to head behind the main town into the industrial estate and we would find sheds of Oyster farmers bringing in their daily catches. We choose one, hit them up and walk away with 24 oysters for $24. These ones had JUST come off the boat, they had not been sorted yet so we got a range of normal to humongous sized oyster, so fresh and so yummy.
We decide we want to explore the Coffin Bay National Park, but find out it is only for 4wd, so we find a camp to stay and leave our caravan.
Camp Location: Ricky Bates Reserve, Mount Dutton Bay
Cost = FREE
Travelled From: Port Lincoln
Distance Travelled: 51 kilometres
The Coffin Bay National Park is about 45m from camp, so we set off early in the morning to make the most of the day, drive in, let our tyres down and are ready to explore. The 4wd track was heaps of fun, winding our way over dunes and rocks, with tracks that take you out to beaches and campsites. We occasionally get out taking photos or going for a fish, and soon finding ourselves driving along the most pristine beach with massive sand dunes to one side. Time for some more sand boarding, we find a tall steep dune, climbing up it was one hell of a leg workout.
We continue to the point for an awesome lookout and another fish, in where we catch a few undersized fish and one keeper, however we are unsure on what it is, but cook it up for a snack later anyway. Our plan was to slowly make our way back down near the entrance to stay the night in the Troopy so in the morning it wasn’t far to go to the Anzac Day Dawn Service, but we end up taking the wrong track, the sun is starting to go down and we won’t make it back. We find a spot behind sand dunes at the beach we accidentally made it to, stay the night and sadly have to skip the Dawn service.
We absolutely loved the coffin Bay National Park, the scenery was stunning, at one moment we were driving along the beach with Emu’s walking right next to us and Dolphins swimming along in the water. Just imagine that!
Camp Location: Sensation Beach, Coffin Bay National Park
Cost = Park pass for $12, plus a sneaky stay at the beach.
Travelled From: Mount Dutton Bay
Distance Travelled: 50 kilometres
Its Anzac day and even though we missed the dawn service we knew there was another midday service so we were content in making that one, which after the long bumpy drive back we only JUST make it. It was at Gallipoli Beach, where the very first Gallipoli movie was made, so that was cool. After, we went on the search for 2 up and came up empty, no 2 up anywhere and no busy pub to spend our yearly Anzac day celebrations so back to camp we go a little sad and defeated. This was the first day we really missed our family, friends and our life back home but the taste of a dozen fresh coffin bay oysters helps sooth the pain.
Now it is time to make a real beeline west, the next few days we do a lot of driving, stopping in each afternoon at camp to have a fish, sleep and move on. Along the way we stop in at Elliston, Baird Bay, Streaky Bay, Ceduna and then Fowlers Bay. We meet a family of 5 at Fowlers Bay, The Chapmans, hit it off and spend another day than planned exploring the area with them. Fowlers Bay is meant to be a major fishing capital, and the potential is high when we can see schools of salmon in front of us but still can’t manage to catch one. Aside from the fishing there are masses of sand dunes that you can actually drive on which is heaps of fun, and now we have new friends to do this with we explore the dunes a little more than we would by ourselves.
Camp Location: Fowlers Bay Conservation Park
Cost = FREE
Travelled From: Coffin Bay – Elliston – Baird Bay – Streaky Bay – Ceduna – Fowlers Bay
Distance Travelled: 559 kilometres
We were planning to post this before hitting the big Nullabor drive but with no service anywhere for around 4 days, we have now just Crossed the Nullabor and you will have to wait to hear all about that soon!