A Travellerspoint blog

Lincoln National Park

Unspoilt Coastline

semi-overcast 25 °C

After leaving Innes National Park we headed back to Parham for the night before the long journey to Lipson Cove which is close to Port Lincoln. We backtracked to Parham as we had to go back to Adelaide to get a new UHF radio because the old one was no longer transmitting. This time Parham was free of flies and mosquitoes due to the fact that the wind was gale force on shore and they would have been blown away. After a sleepless night with the camper trailer flapping and creaking under the absolute pounding of the relentless wind we didn’t even entertain the idea of making breakfast and hit the road early, stopping at the Port Wakefield roadhouse for breakfast.

We arrived at our overnight stop at Lipson Cove mid afternoon and pulled in to camp beside a nice couple in a caravan who were from NSW. Lipson Cove used to be a free camp but like a lot of these sites local councils can see a dollar to be made and they have installed toilets and provided rubbish bins and now it is $10 a night. It is worth the cost to stay here though as the cove is quite beautiful with a headland protecting a white sandy beach and the campsites are open with an elevated view of the cove.

Leaving Lipson Cove we stopped at Port Lincoln to restock food supplies and have a shower at the Boston Hotel for $5 as we were due for one. We also called in to the information centre to book into Memory Cove in the Lincoln National Park. Our first camp in Lincoln National Park was September Beach. After checking out all the campgrounds in the park (and there are quite a few) we chose September Beach for a number of reasons. The campsites are protected behind the dunes and on the ocean side of the park, with large sites surrounded by trees with picnic tables and a fire pit. There are toilets and tank water and the beach is white sand, clear water with a rocky headland at each end. We only had 2 nights here but could have stayed longer.

While at September Beach we drove to Mclaren Point down a rocky track and were rewarded with part of that night’s dinner with a couple of squid caught off the rocks in quick time. It was then on to Spalding Cove where we procured a good number of Razor Fish, a mollusc with a round flesh similar to a scallop. The fishing was less impressive with nothing to show for after an hour or so using the squid tentacles for bait.

After September Beach we had our booking at Memory Cove which has a 3 night maximum and you have to pick up the key for the locked gate at the Information Centre in Port Lincoln. The track out to Memory Cove is 4WD only not because you need to engage 4WD (as we didn’t need to) but because the track is rocky in places and you need the ground clearance to negotiate some rough sections. From the locked gate it takes about 1 hour to cover the further 19km to the camp ground. The campsites aren’t very big and bollarded off, only suitable for tents and camper trailers. We got lucky and were given site 5 which is the only site with ocean views and is a bit larger. Avoid site 4 if you can as it is small and requires a lot of backing and manoeuvering to get into due to a hairpin bend you have to negotiate.

Memory Cove is one of the most beautiful places we have ever been to. It is a protected cove with rocky headlands either side and a fine white sandy beach with crystal clear water. The whole area including the campsites is wooded and bird life is abundant. Dolphins and pelicans are common visitors. There are only 5 camp sites and it feels very secluded and untouched. There are toilets and tank water and it costs $20/night plus $11 entry fee to Lincoln National Park, worth every cent. The fishing here is good and we managed to catch squid, mullet, salmon, tommy ruff and some small flathead, so dinner was seafood every night.

On our third day here the weather was overcast and windy so we decided to do the Wanna to Sleaford 4WD track. This track takes you through and over huge sand dunes and rocky limestone clifftops with spectacular views of the ocean all the way. It took us 1.5 hours to navigate the track with marker posts to show you the way. You need to air down, use low range, and it helps to have a sand flag to alert other 4wds coming the other way (although we never saw anyone else) when cresting the dunes on the single lane track. This was lots of fun, with great ocean views all the way and highly recommended if you have the time.

During the sand dune fun we noticed a clunking noise coming from the driver side front wheel and on closer analysis on the way back to Memory Cove we thought the problem may be a front wheel bearing, so we are booked in to have it seen to tomorrow morning when we leave this paradise and head back to Port Lincoln on our way to Coffin Bay National Park.



Posted by OzJourney 15:16 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Innes National Park

Spectacular Coastline

sunny 25 °C

After a quick breakfast at Parham we left early and headed to Innes National Park. If we thought the flies were bad the previous night we were wrong, trying to have breakfast was horrendous. The drive through Innes National Park to our campsite in Pondalowie Bay was stunning, with scenic views of the coastline which varies from sweeping bays to rugged cliffs to sandy beaches and jutting headlands.

Pondalowie Bay is a beautiful circular bay with a sandy beach and clear, calm water. Nearby to the campground there is a small fishing village with beach shacks that must have been there before the area was declared a national park. It is also has a great surfing break which unfortunately did not break at all the whole time we were there. But the positive to come from no swell was very clear calm water to snorkel in and to search for crayfish. The first snorkelling trip into a protected bay near Pondalowie Bay resulted in sighting five good sized crays that were well protected in a deep ledge out of reach. The second trip to the same spot on the following day resulted in the successful capture of a small crayfish just over the legal size which became entree for that nights meal.

We had planned to stay 4 nights but changed that to 6 nights as there is so much to see and do here and there are very few people around. We arrived on a Sunday and there was only one other camper in the entire campground. The park was virtually empty all week until friday night when quite a few caravans and some camper trailers arrived. The cost of camping here was $12 night plus $10 entry fee for the park. The campsites vary in size with some just large enough for a camper trailer or caravan.

The highlights of Innes National Park (and there were lots of them) were the Stenhouse Bay Clifftop Trail – great coastal views, Dolphin Bay – beautiful protected bay with crystal clear water and white sand, Pondalowie Bay – pristine, picturesque bay and a pod of around twenty dolphins playing in the clear shallow water very close to the waters edge. The wildlife here was plentiful with kangaroos coming right in close to our campsite, emus wandering down the middle of the road and through the scrub, a pair of young magpies who visited frequently that were very friendly, and a wide variety of birds. West Cape – has a 360 degree lookout which overlooks Pondalowie Bay and all the other bays , headlands and islands.

The weather during our stay was quite windy on 4 of the 6 days but not cold. The daytime temperatures varied between 25C and 32C with humid conditions on most days. Innes National Park was a fantastic place to visit and we would highly recommend it for its diversity and pristine landscape.


Posted by OzJourney 15:26 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Southend (S.A)

First border crossing

sunny 24 °C

Well we finally hit the road on Thursday 2nd Feb after a stressful couple of weeks leading up to the beginning of our journey. This was 3 days later than planned due to not getting the car back until Friday 27th Jan. Anyway the car is running like a dream with the rebuilt engine and we drove 5.5 hours to our first destination over the border in South Australia at a small seaside town called Southend, which is situated about 70km north west of Mount Gambier not far south of Beachport.

We are camping in the Bushland Camping Reserve which is managed by the Southend Caravan Park. This is a great spot with large grassy campsites situated behind the sand dunes adjacent to the beach giving protection from the wind. The cost is $8 per person/night and there are toilets and drinking water. If you want a shower it will cost you $4 at the caravan park.

Southend is at the northern end of Canunda National Park which has some great 4wd tracks winding through the dunes leading to cliff top lookouts and sandy beaches. We had fun driving some of these tracks. Low range and airing down was required. We had heard about the Seaview Walking Trail in Canunda National Park which follows the cliffs around the coast. This was a great walk with spectacular views of the rugged coastline, cliffs, coves and sandy beaches. We spent 2 nights here but could have stayed longer, it was very peaceful with very few people around. We never saw another person on the Seaview Trail walk and the campground had very few campers.

Our next stop was Parham on the coast north of Adelaide for one night before heading to Innes National Park. We got away from Southend by 9am and stopped in Kingston for morning tea. Kingston has a great RV Park which is beside the beach and jetty. It has grass, toilets, water and best of all it is free. After negotiating our way through Adelaide we arrived in Parham around 3:30pm, another 5.5 hour drive, and were very lucky to secure the last available space in the small free camping area beside the beach. The place was wall to wall with caravans packed into a small gravelled area which was quite wet after rain that afternoon. There are toilets, drinking water and free barbeques under cover. It rained lightly, on and off till around 7:30pm and the flies and then mosquito's were quite bad.

Posted by OzJourney 13:38 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Big Lap Planning

2 weeks till lift off

overcast 31 °C

Follow us (Garry & Deb) as we set out on an 11 month big lap around Australia commencing on 30.01.2017. We will be setting off from our home on Victoria's Surf Coast and travelling in a clockwise direction through SA, WA, NT, QLD and NSW. We won't be visiting our home state or Tasmania on this trip due to time constraints and won't be visiting Central Australia as we did that in 2015.

When we reach Darwin in mid July we will be taking a short break from camping and flying to Bali for 2 weeks to catch up with some friends and take some time out to relax, surf and enjoy the luxury of having our own shower and toilet.

Our means of transport is a 2004 turbo diesel Nissan Patrol which is equipped with a 2" Old Man Emu suspension upgrade, 33" Cooper ST Maxx tyres, 9000 lb winch, steel bull bar, Snorkel, roof rack, 3" stainless exhaust, Unichip, front Harrop e-locker, dual batteries, Led light bar on roof rack, HID spotties, cargo barrier, rear drawer system, drop down fridge slide with 65 litre Waeco fridge/freezer and UHF radio. With just 2 weeks left till departure we still need to install a Waeco CDF 11 compressor fridge to replace the centre console, a dashcam, a set of shelves in the rear above the drawers and an inverter to charge a laptop, batteries etc.

Our home away from home for the next 11 months is a 2002 Kakadu Kimberely Kamper which is a full offroad camper trailer. I have replaced the shock absorbers and wheel bearings for this trip just to be on the safe side. I have upgraded the wheels from 15" to 16" to match the patrol and also put on new Cooper ST Maxx tyres. This gives us 2 spares which are interchangeable between car and camper. For power in the camper we have a single battery which is charged via the car when travelling and via 140W solar panels when camped.

A couple of years of planning have gone into this trip, with recent short trips in 2015 and 2016 to Central Australia, Fraser Island and South coast NSW good shake down trips to fine tune our setup. With less than 2 weeks till departure the stress levels are high and the list of jobs to complete before leaving keeps multiplying as fast as others get ticked off. We had a major setback 2 weeks before christmas when the patrol cracked a head and holed a piston. Of course no one could repair it till the new year and we are hoping it will be ready with a rebuilt engine by the end of this week, which only leaves a week to do the final mods, fit new tyres, get the unichip retuned etc. The one good thing about it is that the failure happened before the trip and not during it, but it wasn't an extra cost we needed right now.

So its head down and bum up for the next 2 weeks and hopefully we will get away on time and start the winding down process as we switch over to the travelling lifestyle.


Posted by OzJourney 13:16 Archived in Australia Comments (3)

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