Eyre Peninsula aka When Bad Bees Go Badder
Trip Start Nov 08, 2009
31Trip End Mar 09, 2010
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Where I stayed
Little Yangie Bay
Fitzgerald Bay Bush Camp
Distance Traveled: 6549Kms
The drive out of the Barossa and to our next stop was one of the best examples of the changing landscape. We got TomTom'd again, as he tried to take us down a freeway still being built. From there everything was smooth sailing as we traveled north towards Port Augusta. The country changed from rolling hills to sparse scrub and we started seeing road trains. Salt lakes also became more common and every town seemed to have a massive grain silo or a smelter. We stopped in Port Augusta for lunch then turned south toward Whyalla. From here it was dessert. Flat and red with only scrub and rocky hills around.
We pulled in for the night north of Whyalla at our first free bush camp in Fitzgerald Bay. It was a bit off the main track but was very peaceful and scenic. It had great crabbing for Blue Swimmers apparently, a couple of other campers told us they had caught 40 that day by just with a swoop net and a bucket. They offered to teach me the crab dance (dodging crab bites) the next day but it was forecast 40degC and Jo would have been stuck at camp. Nearby at Point Lowly there was a big LPG plant with detour roads nearby encase something bad went down. The whole area was also bordered by an army training reserve with many signs warning us of explosive doom should we cross the wrong fence.
We packed up early and headed south, without coffee as it was a total fire ban and so we couldn't use the kettle. From there we drove to Port Lincoln, stopping not far from there for lunch in a nice little seaside town called Tumby Bay. We checked out the local parks in Lincoln and finding none suitable we drove an extra 60kms to Coffin Bay. We camped in the national park at Little Yangie Bay which had nice, basic campground with big sites with alot of privacy. There was a warning for bees that would be seeking water but we only saw one or two at camp, and one of the four pit toilets was overrun with them.
In the morning we drove around the national park which offered spectacular scenery of huge sand dunes, long beaches and limestone cliffs. Almonta beach was one of the prettiest we have ever seen, unfortunately swimming was not advised and so we only paddled. We then headed into Port Lincoln to book the car in for a service, get some groceries and have a better look around. Back at camp we were bothered by bees that were interested in our sink (even though it was dry). Wes took refuge in the tent as he is allergic while Jo gathered some essentials and then joined him. It was actually cooler in the tent so we stayed for a bottle of wine until the sun set and the bees left.
The next day as Wes was making coffee the bees returned. But there were more and they were calling their friends. By the time we figured we couldn't do anything it was time to take the car into town for its service so we left our undrunk coffee and ran for it.
The servicing of the car went great, and we spent most of the day lazing about at the Port Lincoln foreshore, which was very pleasant. We returned late to camp in the hope that the bees would have gone. No such luck. There were still up to 6 bees buzzing around. Wes ran into the tent with the grocery's while none where around and Jo soon followed but realised the groceries had to be put away. Thinking it was safe to go out and pack the essentials into the fridge including the dozen coffin bay oysters Jo picked up on the way back to camp (cause you can't go to coffin bay and not have the local oysters). while out there Jo was wary of bees, but the camp was free for now. After getting everything in the fridge, Jo heard the loudest buzz she had ever heard and turned to see a GIANT black thing, the size of 15 bees flying at her! Letting off a scream (and some expletives) that would put any B-movie actor to shame, Jo ran inside and there we stayed until night fell and we were sure it was safe to go out. After we finally ventured from the tent we packed up the kitchen, car and annex, being watched the whole time by a curious wallaby, we even hitched the trailer so as we could get away early. Finally, at about 10pm, Jo was able to enjoy the delicious coffin bay oysters before we went to bed for an early start and quick get away the next day
The quick getaway ended up being at 6am as we could hear the bees in the trees even then, luckily there were none around and we were out of there by 620am. Although this was not the greatest time to drive as the sun was low making it hard at time to see, we drove carefully and slowly and got to see some wildlife, including an emu and her 5 babies crossing the road in front of us.
The lower Eyre Peninsula was a lovely spot, and definitely one we would like to revisit, particularly after we have some further 4 wheel drive experience and can get to the more remote areas of the National park. The bees may have put a slight dampener on the trip, but it did not turn us of the area altogether at all.
Bug of trip: Bloody bastard bugger bees
Things lost or broken: -Rusted hitch pin lock, on purpose, the mechanic cut it off with an oxy torch so we could turn the ball mount upside
Things Fixed: -Ball mount, turned it upside down, now trailer is level.
-The car, serviced, was given a clean bill of health thank goodness
Lessons learnt: when there is a warning sign about bees - we shouldn't camp there!