Had an easy pack up with just the side tent to stow away and the awning to roll up. Two other groups had used the camp last night – one rooftop tent which must have been a blustery, rocky old night up so high; and another couple who were just sleeping in their car. We spoke to a couple from Kurri who were checking the site out to stay a night or two before they did a big push back home to the Hunter Valley. As always, they had lots of ideas on camps they had liked and ones they hadn’t. Interesting to hear how many people take WikiCamps and these other apps with a grain of salt – very easy for people to leave false reports or have a whinge about something when it’s not as bad as they are making out.
We headed back to Port Neill and then back out to the highway. A stop to check out Tumby bay was worthwhile – we loved the beachfront hospital with rooms that looked out across the water – we could see people sitting up in their hospital beds as we drove past – if you’ve got to get sick then this is the place to recuperate! We checked out a few campsites just south of Tumby but they weren’t much chop and the $10 camping in Louth Bay was a gravel carpark which we steered clear of. A very nice little part of the world though and we did stop and have some lunch and the boys released energy on the playground.
We decided we’d done our time in this part of the world and gunned it down the highway to Port Lincoln. We did some shopping and then headed for the Lincoln National Park deciding to check the various campgrounds out before booking. We saw a sign to Woodcutters Beach and the map suggested it would be somewhat protected from the wind. So we started down the track – it was four-wheel drive only and we drove through some soft sand which we decided was the reason for excluding 2WDs. Then we got onto the track – the roughest, rockiest, narrowest track on the Eyre Peninsular. Once we got started we couldn’t help but keep going in the hope we’d arrive somewhere nice. We engaged 4WD, then decided on low-range to reduce the brake and clutch use, then considered letting the tyres down because of the extreme terrain. Finally we saw water again and popped out at Woodcutters Beach – a fantastic spot, no one there and we chose one of the two marked campsites. Beautiful views across the bay with Port Lincoln in the distance.
The only other cars that came in were people who most likely got started on the track and decided to keep going once they’d spent so much time driving already. One ute pulled up, didn’t get out to look at the bay, turned around and drove out. Rosh and his family showed up late in the afternoon and decided that now they were here they’d stay for a while but weren’t camping. They’d just caught a big squid and we got a bag full of half a squid and some pilchards they were done with. Their two boys were about the same age as our boys and they were quickly having lots of fun in the water. Having come down the WA coast on their way around to Queensland, they had great ideas on spots to spend time on our way up the WA coast and we ended up with maps and brochures with handwritten notes – a fortunate encounter.
Monday was a school day and with some good phone reception from Port Lincoln across the bay, we used Google Hangouts to have a face-to-face lesson with Miss Swan. We then walked out the sand flats at low tide and fished into the deeper water that had a lot of seagrass. It was a fun time fishing and we all caught fish – all pretty small trumpeter type fish and Cammy probably took the prize with a flathead.
We did a walk through the sand dunes to the Woodcutters ruins which had not much more than the footings of a building and some below-ground open water holding pits. From there we cut down to the rocks and found a small sheltered beach to have a swim in crystal clear water. On the walk back we ran into yet another bewildered 4WDer from the Woodcutters Track – this time the couple from Newcastle had even driven past our camp and down onto the beach – they were sure that the track must loop around along the beach and onto another track out – we had to break the bad news that they were turning around and heading back the way they came.
Having such a beautiful spot to ourselves, we decided on a rest day and took it easy. Imagine having to go to work!