12.02.2017 - 17.02.2017 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.