Every now and then in my travels, I come across a place that has a touch of magic about it. Coffin Bay National Park on the Eyre Peninsular in South Australia is one such place.
In October 2016 I took a trip to the Eyre Peninsular and chanced upon Coffin Bay National Park which is as peaceful as it is pristine.
With my Toyota Landcruiser fully laden with camping equipment and supplies I left my home at Lennox Head in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales in mid-October 2016. Traveling through far western New South Wales I took just over a week to reach my destination.
The township of Coffin Bay is situated 45 kilometres west of Port Lincoln on the Great Australian Bight and is famous for its oysters.
From the entrance of Coffin Bay National Park, it was a further 28 kilometers of sandy track to reach Black Springs Camping Area. It was a welcome relief as the sun was shining, the water was calm and the wind was minimal. It was a welcome relief compared to the conditions I had experienced between Port Augusta and Port Lincoln. The Eyre peninsular is quite aptly named by the locals as “Blowvember” at this time of year, as the southerly wind howls off the Southern Ocean making it cold and difficult for camping. For someone like myself who is used to the warmer climate of the Northern Rivers, the late spring conditions took me by surprise.
At Black Springs Camping Area I was mesmerized by the sheer beauty of the landscape with its vast beaches and pristine blue water. It was mid-afternoon and after preparing my campsite I had worked up quite a sweat. The afternoon was hot so I decided a dip in the water was called for which was fresh, to say the least, but which cooled me down sufficiently. I was dressed in a tee-shirt and shorts when I decided to take a one-kilometer walk to check out a fishing spot. No sooner had I reached my destination than the wind kicked in and the temperature dropped. After I reached my campsite, I got dressed in a flannel shirt polar fleece and long trousers. That night I sat around a roaring fire and observed the crystal clear night sky with its vast array of stars.
Over the next few days, I explored the surrounding area including a trip up to Point Sir Issac which is the northernmost tip of the park. This section included an extra 27 kilometers of 4WD terrain through some rough bush and sandy tracks and a traverse up Seven Mile Beach.
It was in this part of the park I saw many emus which inhabit the park. In fact, I have never seen so many emus in all of my life than what I saw in Coffin Bay National Park.
I found a spot named “The Pool” which was protected by the wind so decided to try a spot of whiting fishing. I threw some frozen yabbies at them and all though they weren’t the legendary King George Whiting which is caught in South Australia I still managed 5 which I cooked on the hot coals.
After three days in Coffin Bay National Park, I headed west towards Streaky Bay secure in the knowledge that I had found a gem of a place.