Saturday, February 20, 2010

- The Eyre Penninsula -

Awaking in Port Pirie we made plans to tour around the Eyre Peninsula, having myself been there before and loved it, i really wanted to show Bren around the area. Best known for its remoteness, oysters and alternate route to parts of the Nullabor drive, it is well worth a look.

We began the journey passing through Port Augusta, the gateway to the centre, the west and the east. But apart from all this opportunity when you get there, there really isn't much else to Port Augusta other than being outback, and a mining port. we continued onto Whyalla, a windy mining town on the eastern coast of the Peninsula. here we caught up with an old friend of mine, Belinda, who i met on my travels 5ish years ago. It was great catching up and eventually became a BBQ and Beers evening.

(View from Whyalla lookout.)

The next day we said our goodbyes and continued down the coast calling into the little seaside towns. We eventually pulled into Tumby Bay which is quite a contrast to Whyalla, with a sweeping bay, beautiful white sandy beach, and a excellent jetty for fishing. We set up camp earlier than most days and set off for a fish when the tide was right... few hours later, with a few nibbles and unfortunately no fish to speak of, we called it quits. Bugger guess, I'll have to change the menu for tonight!

All packed up the following morning, we called into the biggest town on the peninsula, Port Lincoln. Known as a fishing port there was plenty to look at, we fishing vessels returning with their catch. We enjoyed a coffee and picked up some more information before heading out to the fish market to pick up a couple of fillets.... seeing as though we could catch a thing the night before! While in Port Lincoln many of the adventurous also pluck up the courage to go Great White Shark cage diving of the near by islands, which i would love to do someday, however it is quite expensive... so i wasn't going to be on this trip!

The road from Port Lincoln to Coffin Bay links the east to the west of the Peninsula. We pulled up in Coffin Bay for lunch while overlooking the beautiful bay. As you call into the town you can see how the Oysters are farmed, encased in baskets and hung on racks in the shallow water. We also bought some local Coffin Bay oysters, which was hard not to over indulge as they're are so cheap here compared to back home! Our plan was to camp the night in Coffin Bay National Park, however it was getting later in the day and the trip out would involve a mission of 4wding etc. We decided to push on to Elliston, further up the west coast. Coffin Bay also marked where the car clicked over to 400,000km on the clock!! My god, what an effort and still going strong!!

Once all step up for the evening in Elliston, i cooked up a glorious local feed, with the fish fillets and oysters we have purchased during the days travels! Yummooo!

(Bren having fun on the Elliston Coastal Sculptures.)

This stretch of coast would have to be my favourite of the Eyre Peninsula. The rugged coastline has claimed many ships, and then the sheltered bays provide quaint little fishing villages and the tourists love it! We spent the next day exploring, doing scenic drives. Talia caves were impressive with the force of the southern ocean carving out hollows in the limestone. Another highlight was the Murphy's Haystacks. Where a series of Rocks have been moulded over millions of years of wind erosion, making for some impressive photo's! Not far from the Haystacks we pulled up for lunch at a beautiful beach called Sceale Bay. The colour of the water was just breath taking!

(Murphy's Haystacks.)

That afternoon we completed the scenic drive on the headland near Streaky Bay. Which offered further glimpses of spectacular coastline. We we planning on staying in Streaky however we found out about this perfect little spot, not much further north and it was free. Free only due to a current land dispute with neighbouring landowners, but brilliant for us... when we arrived we were a little unsure as most of the parking area was taken up by motor homes... was there room for us??We spoke to one of the "local" travellers and found out we could camp under the beach shelters on the Beach!! Fantastic! It was like a dream, we set up camp under a huge shaded shelter only meters from the waters edge... it was amazing! Then and there we decided on another night.. after all is was FREE!

(Lookout near Streaky Bay!)

(Our camp and view under the beach hut, Perlubie Beach.)

The whole next day was spent walking along the long white sandy beach, swimming when we got a little hot, reading in the shade when we got too burnt and enjoying a beer as the sun went down over the ocean! What a way to end our trip around the Eyre Peninsula as the following day we were into Ceduna for supplies and embark on the journey across the Nullabor back to the west!

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