April 5-7 – Cliff Head

Waking up in a foggy peaceful spot with no one around for many many miles, we took it slow on packing up and eventually got on the track which continued past the caves and out to the north. Heading north and exploring new country was preferable to back-tracking out the way we came. The track was similar in roughness and sandy-ness to the way we’d come in but with full tyre pressures we were noticing some struggling in the boggier sections so it was a quick stop to knock out half the air – down to 20psi – apparently (in addition to the obvious traction in sand) this is better for rocky driving as well as the flatter tyres are softer around sharp rocks and less likely to puncture. We cruised through now – only being slowed by the limestone rock outcrops – and got back to bitumen.

Stockyard Lach in the mist

boys having fun caves

We decided to head east having a stop at the Lake Indoon campground where we used the showers (cold but take what you can get) and spent some time in the shade doing school work and having lunch.

Then onto Eneabba which is a small town mostly based on mining and through traffic of tourists and travelers on the Brand Highway. Not much to see and we did a splash and dash fuel stop. Back towards the coast and we turned south onto Indian Ocean Drive to check the free camping sites at Cliff Head. Good on the shire council for spending money on maintaining and upgrading the access, toilets and providing bins – what an awesome spot. Maximum 72hour camping which gave us plenty of time to kick back right on the beach. The wind seemed to get going in the early afternoon but then died down on dusk. In the mornings the air was still and the water a glassy bay with no waves.

Cliff Head glassy water

The first day we were there we spent probably 5 hours on the beach – the boys dug sandcastles, sandholes, sand tunnels and were just off in their own imagination with what they were doing. The people around us – mostly in caravans, were nice and mostly quiet – a few were on NSW time cracking beverages pretty early on.

Cliff Head -hours spent on the sand

We managed to adopt our neighbours dog  “Bella” who was waiting for us as we climbed out of the tent every morning- she spent all day every day with us and the boys loved it! We spent three days here – swimming, snorkeling, so much sand-play that the beach was like an open-cut mine by the time we’d left. We could head off in the early morning for walks and have kilometers of beach and tracks to wander along with hardly anyone else out and about. The turquoise water against rugged broken limestone cliffs that protruded out into the water was a spectacular backdrop.

Cliff Head - off for a swim with Bella

The fishing was very ordinary – we could leave a line out for an hour and the bait would still be on the hook – not even the usual pesky small fish were around to peck at the bait! Our neighbours took a small boat out but came back with nothing so we decided we were on a dud (but Josh kept a line out just in case). The only sea life we saw was a large stingray which came right in close to shore and regurgitated a pile of pilchards which Lach grabbed a handful of – very pleased with himself that he acquired fresh bait for fishing!

Cliff Head osprey annoyed at sunrise

The weekend got a bit busier with groups camping, a few more boats being launched on the beach, people 4WDing along the beach and a few quad bikes and trail bikes passing through.

Cliff Head sunset

 

 

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