Day 15-19 Yorke Peninsula
Trip Start Dec 01, 2008
91Trip End Nov 08, 2009
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Where I stayed
Marion Bay Caravan Park
Ardrossan Dec 15-16
The drive to Yorke Peninsula began late- 3.30pm, it was punctuated with road works that made the journey even more boring... The Adelaide - Port Wakefield Road thus far has been the worst; its only saving grace was that we managed to buy petrol at 88cents a litre - B.N Hi 5'ing himself.
Greg was quite tired and a little grumpy having looked after the kids on his own (not much sympathy there from me) and packed up the van (sympathy noted, as its hard enough with two people), so we decided not to try and drive the entire way to Marion Bay. Ardrossan looked interesting so driving there instead reduced the trip by half. We arrived at 6.30pm to an easy drive thru site and an ensuite which was welcomed. We quickly pulled off bikes, pulled out beds and rode to the pub for a meal
In the morning Greg returned excited, the jetty and surrounding cliff top walks were beautiful and he was keen for us to go for a walk before having breakfast. The cliffs were indeed as Greg described, they were like hundreds of red bluffs at Sandy all in a row. We met some local fishermen who were throwing out nets for crabs and had caught puffer fish (poisonous and with such sharp teeth that they eat metal hooks) and lined them up on the jetty. Max very keen for all info we could glean. He was referring to pippi's whose shells were left over on jetty and the blokes chuckled before asking us if were from NSW or Victoria, as they called them cockles. Max quickly adapted for future conversations... The jetty was very tranquil, no breeze that morn so the water was calm and the sun set off the cliffs for a special landscape.
We did not rush out of the park as we did not have too long drive ahead and we were keen to check out all the sights of the east coast of the Yorke Peninsula
Stansbury was to be our coffee stop, there was a playground by the bay and a pub also, Greg dropped in for a chat (he returned saying it was full of Modras). We made a point of checking out Coobowie, Cougar had recommended the pub and cheap caravan park. The advertised 'heads down' Bingo at the local hall nearly had us pulling over, but we had not made enough ground the previous day and we were due back in Adelaide to meet the Haskards on the Dec 20th so we had to move onwards...
Off to Edithburgh for a swim in the lauded tidal pool set in the cliff, we were keen for a swim as it was a warm day. Unfortunately we arrived to find it drained and in the process of being cleaned by the local council - Bummer! Anyway not to be discouraged we left for Yorketown and Warooka still yet to have lunch. I read in the local rag about Flaherty's Beach 9km north of Warooka on the West side (Gulf Spencer) that would be our lunch stop. The sealed road changed to dirt for the last 3km, it was heavily graded and we were shaking along a 30km a little worried about our ability to turn around at the end, Greg and I exchanged more than a few concerned looks! He would have easily have been able to reverse for 3km!!!!
Once there, we discovered a fair turning circle, phew! A high dune shielded the beach, so the kids and Greg ran over whilst I organised lunchboxes. Over the dune, the sight of the long secluded white sandy beach took my breath away. The kids were out 200m or so, as again it was tidal - they all ran back when they saw me laden with food. After lunch I decided to have a quick swim, didn't have my bathers on, but not to be outdone by Greg, I too nuded up! Maegs was a little concerned when our paradise was ruined with a navy t shirt coming over the dune some 100m away as I walked through the shallows trying to find a deep section to swim - I just ducked in the calf deep water (just enough to provide some modesty). I asked Greg if he locked the car as I had locked the van before I left, not checking the car (I didn't have those keys anyway) - he starting jogging back, then running, when I reminded him both phones, the kids DVD players, our wallets and the Engel fridge would have been proudly on display!
Luckily the navy t-shirt had left (he was probably overwhelmed by my large white body) and the car was soon secured, with nothing missing. We resumed our swim albeit (me) with clothes back on. As we finally left some 30 mins later another car turned up, some Poms with a child, so I felt much better about being fully clothed...
It was only 51km further to Marion Bay- arriving at 4.30pm.
Marion Bay Dec 16-18th
We all slept well that night, I was taking codral cold and flu, nothing to do with the nude swim, just a little run down. Greg as usual checked out the area on his morning ride, heaps of emu's around. We had no idea that they were in such large numbers in S.A. Greg has set an assignment for the kids on Emu's so we can all find out a little more about them. After brekkie we drove 6km into Innes National Park and completed a short walk around the Stenhouse Bay Jetty loop (2.5km). The kids were really great, enjoying the sights and lack of snakes (we had heard there were lots of snakes about) and asking pertinent questions. Greg led the way to ward off snakes with stick in hand. The closest we got to a harmful animal was when we were swooped by magpies in the first 50m!!
The historical displays of gypsum mining in this region were very interesting and the views to Investigator Strait and beyond to the Southern Ocean were majestic. The Park certainly lives up to its reputation as the best in S.A.
We had planned our next free camp stay at Pondalowie Bay in Innes on the 19th - unfortunately, however, it was shut due to the refurbishing of the toilet/shower amenities
We checked out the campsite on the way out of the park and Greg accidently drove over a lizard, much to Maegs horror - she wanted to look after it and nurse it back to health. Max pointed out that its head was smashed and there was blood everywhere, so there wasn't much hope for it.
We headed for the Tavern and had a quiet drink out of respect for the fallen lizard.... Watched a little cricket and went back to van to relax a little. The electricity went out and the cricket went off with the TV, so we sent Greg back to the Tavern and the kids and I went for a swim.
Off to be bed early tonight, after pancakes for dessert, in readiness for a big day of walking in Innes.
Innes National Park -Stenhouse Bay Dec 18-19th
Came into Innes at 10am, left the van at Stenhouse Bay campsite all locked up and drove a further 14km into the park to Royston Head for our walk, a 4km - 2hr return walk
The views from Royston Head out over Spencer Gulf were fantastic, you could see out to Dolphin Beach and Shell Beach- where we intended to go for a swim after our walk.
Shell beach is a lovely clear, crisp white beach with magical two toned water, turquoise and deep blue -you could see your feet easily. Greg dared to compare it to a West Indies beach he once visited. The water temperature was quite cool, but that didn't stop Greg and the kids. I took much longer to go in but couldn't resist it; peer group pressure was far too great.. Shell Beach campground (only 8 sites) does not allow caravans; we would love to one day return with camp gear for a long stay. We declared it our favourite campsite thus far.
We came back one bay to Dolphin Beach for lunch. There were large boulders beside this bay and it was almost identical beach to Shell, except it was a little larger, but equally as impressive.
Innes N.P to Adelaide Dec 19th
Woke early and left campsite around 9am we wanted to get into West Beach early to make good use of the $53 per night fee. We wanted to check out the western side of the Peninsula on the way through. Coffee at Minlaton was a good choice as Santa was out front of the IGA so kids were lucky to get a cuddle, a lolly and a free sausage. Moonta was to be our lunch stop and we happened upon Port Hughes, a hip area on the coast. It is a thriving area of newly built houses and lots of developments, a real surprise. The beach area where we sat down for sandwiches was pretty. A tavern and the caravan park are adjacent on the best slice of land beside the jetty. The kids and Greg had a quick dip and we were off again, setting ourselves a 1pm departure time. We accessed West Beach Adelaide via the express way through Port Adelaide, a much quicker route and a real eye opener in terms of the working class suburb it is.
West Beach or Adelaide Shores as it has been renamed is a BIG 4 park, nestled between Henley Beach and Glenelg a top spot. There are two pools and two parachute jumping castle things, games room, TV room, bike paths in both directions and its right on the beach - best park we have been to so far and surely kid heaven!
I ended up having a late night as I attempted some Xmas shopping at nearby West Lakes Westfield Shopping centre, arriving at 8.10pm. I expected late night shopping Friday night one week out from xmas. But no, they shut at 9pm, a complete waste of time!