Southern Coastline Day 192 - Esperance to Adelaide

Sunday, Jan 31, 1999 at 01:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Finally, today the weather was perfect! The weather forecast was correct and we had a day of about 36 degrees and no wind. We had planned to go exploring in the Coffin Bay National Park and because we are now in South Australia our Annual WA Parks Pass is no longer valid. The South Australian National Parks are somewhat dearer than those in WA with a scale of camping rates varying from $5 to $15 per night. We figure we might as well have a powered site at a caravan park for $15. Anyway, this National Park is quite difficult to explore fully as it takes at least 10 hours to travel to the penninsula and back by 4WD. The access roads for the first 10kms are formed and suitable for 2WD vehicles but even so a 2WD cannot get down to the best beach in the area - Gunyah Beach. We drove out to Point Avoid and watched for fish from a magnificent lookout. David thought he could see a huge school of salmon and had been told by the locals that this was the hot spot. We got out the binnoculars and although I couldn't make out any salmon I did see two dolphins surfing the waves just off the shoreline. The beach below the cliff was just beautiful and so we rigged up our fishing gear, put on our cossies and walked down a steep staircase to the beach. David cast a lure only 5 times and pulled in an enormous salmon that brought lots of people running down the beach to have a look. We later recognised one of these people to be the fishing inspector! The minimum legal size for salmon here is 21cm and this one was about 80cm so we had nothing to worry about. We didn't catch anything more there and so moved on to Gunyah beach, which involved some interesting sand driving techniques. The sand dunes were so high it looked like we were in the desert and then the track opened up onto many kilometres of deserted beach except for one or two other fishermen. It was just one of those magic places. After some persistence, David managed to catch another good sized salmon, which satisfied our need for food for the next few days so we gave the remainder of our bait to one of the other fishermen.

We prepared the fish in a sweet and sour sauce with snow peas, carrot and capsicum and ate it as we watched a movie on our tiny television. The fisherman to whom we'd given the bait didn't come back until after midnight but he had done extremely well with our bait so he gave us one in return.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Always working not enough travelling!
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