We left Woodcutters and did a slow drive out but knowing what to expect along the track it seemed less intense and not as long. We made it out and headed into Port Lincoln where our new tent had arrived. We picked up the tent from the visitor infomation centre and also gathered other useful information and brochures. We decided on a day trip tomorrow into Memory Cove which always gets a mention on “best beaches” lists and, due to subsequent popularity has a locked gate and limited visitors allowed at a time. They let us have to key a day early so we didn’t have to back-track into town to get it in the morning which was much appreciated as we could head off early and not be in a rush.
We got some “in-town” tasks done (including some nice fish and chips and some salt and pepper squid) and headed back out to the National park to set up camp in a new site. We drove in and out of campgrounds all the way out to the end of the peninsular but most of the sites were ordinary to say the least – very exposed and mostly suitable for caravans who wanted big bare dirt areas where they could turn around and have a flatish area to park. We chose Fishermans Point and found a great shady spot protected from any wind. The new tent went up well.
The next day we left early and headed out to Memory Cove. The track is only 19kms but takes at least an hour – particularly if you deviate off on side tracks to the spectacular lookouts along the way. It’s pretty rough and slow going. But the result was a fantastic cove with a beautiful beach and crystal clear water. Great swimming. A pod of dolphins swam through quickly while we were walking on the track up above them looking down. The history of the place is interesting considering it is such a peaceful spot but in 1802 Matthew Flinders lost about 10 of his crew when their small boat capsized near here and the place and all the islands are named after them.
We headed into town on Friday to get a gas refill, dealt with a telco over their billing bungle, even went into bunnings for a few bits and pieces. We headed back to Fisherman’s Point and swam down at the western beach which was small and private – lots of fun for the boys.
On the eastern main beach, we noticed that the sheltered bay where maybe six yachts had been pulling up each evening was rapidly filling with luxury cruisers. As it turned out, once a year the Riviera owners club has a beach dinner and the caterers were setting up one long table for 200 people along the beach. There were around 30 cruisers (maybe $10m worth? +?) plus a big fishing trawler moored in the middle with it’s spotlights pointed at the beach for lighting. The boat owners were ferried to shore in an amphibious machine that drove up the beach as it reached the shoreline. All very flash.
The next day we spent hours down at our (mostly) private beach and started finding scallop shells and Amy decided that she wouldn’t stop until we had fresh scallops for lunch. Soon enough we had a good collection and what a feast they were just cooked quickly in olive oil. A byproduct of our shellfish collecting was oysters – only two which were small but very very tasty.
Overall a great spot to camp. We thought we might stay a night and ended up staying for five – just such a great spot for kids. It was a long weekend for the Adelaide race day so it was busy but somehow we kept plenty of space around us and our nearest neighbours, Nigel and Donna were great people – really interested in our trip and Nigel had to come over as they were leaving and gave the boys a chocolate each.