Trip Start Jul 26, 2006
90Trip End May 25, 2009
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Where I stayed
Coffin Bay Caravan Park
(15-17 January 2009)
We called into Elliston after we left Walkers Rock camp ground to get some bread at the hot bread shop and a few supplies at the IGA in town. It was a small country town with a big hotel.
After leaving Elliston we took a turn to the right off the highway towards Locks Well, a popular salmon fishing spot for the locals. We had to park our 4wd and caravan approx 1km from the beach as there was no access for caravans, it was really steep. Just over 300 stairs from the road gave you access to the beach. Toilets, a picnic table and the stairs all looked relatively new. The views were great and there were good deep holes for fishing. You would not want to swim here as you could see a lot of rips in the water and apparently there are a lot of sharks
We called into Mount Dutton Bay, which had a badly corrugated and dusty dirt road to get into it. We thought that this was strange as it was a reasonable size town. We got a lot of fine white dust on and in the 4wd and caravan. It had the standard jetty and the woolshed museum which gave a history of farming sheep/wool industry in the region.
We tried to get into Sheringa Beach, camping spot about 5.45pm but we were too late to get a spot.
We then headed to Coffin Bay Caravan Park on the Esplanade and just made it in time to get in before their closing time of 6pm.
Coffin Bay was discovered by Lieutenant Matthew Flinders and his crew in the Investigator in 1802. Flinders after his return to England in 1810, named the bay after Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin, who as Resident Commissioner of Sheerness Naval Dockyards in England had been responsible for the outfitting of the ship for the voyage to Australia
It is a tourist town with the general population of approx 600 swelling to more than 4000 in the summer months. There are a lot of different types of holiday accommodation available.
Coffin Bay has an active commercial wharf in town. You can see the fishing boats unload their catches including crayfish, pilchards, ocean jackets, sharks, abalone, King George Whiting, Scallops and Octopus. It has some of the finest oysters with many oyster leases in the area. Almost all are sold interstate, with Sydney and Melbourne being the most popular markets. We purchased from the local shop two dozen whole oysters in shell whilst here for $8.20 a dozen. We tried to purchase oysters at the oyster shed and perhaps do a tour but it was closed.
The open ocean lies 25 nautical miles from the main wharf, so there are some great protected bays for fishing and recreation in and around this area.
Great old houses dating back to 1910 and 1915 as well as churches are in the area.
The first morning we set out to Coffin Bay National Park. We were treated to great coastal scenery, ranging from sheltered bays and powerful surf to huge sand dunes sculpted by the wind. A sealed road leads into the 31,000 hectare National Park to Yangie Bay, the main camping area for tents, caravans or motor homes. Facilities include toilets, but no showers. Yangie Bay is ideal for canoeing, if you had one. I personally would not swim here, it does not look that inviting, more like a shallow estuary for birdlife. Also by sealed road you can access Point Avoid and Avoid Bay. All other areas have to be accessed by 4wd only and the road is either dirt, sand or rocks.
We drove onto Gunyah Beach which had quite soft sand. It was a nice surf beach which would also be good for fishing. We headed to Black Springs for lunch and a swim in the quiet and peaceful bay. It had beautiful shallow water for the kids and rocky platforms to explore and climb. We drove up to Seven Mile Beach on sand tracks through beach scrub and stopped here, as did others. The kids climbed the huge sand hills, which were whipping us with and the 4wd with sand. Locals who were in the know, were set up with their table, chairs and shade and were having a fish. We travelled as far as Morgans Landing at the National Park. We tried to find some old ruins which we found on the GPS to no avail. It was a full nine hour day trip and we were bugged at the end of it.