North Kimberley Day 26 - Honeymoon Bay Adventure

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2001 at 00:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Day 26 - Tuesday 17/7/01
Start - Honeymoon Bay
Stop - Honeymoon Bay

When we arrived last night we asked about fishing tours and was told that there were 2 places left on Wednesday’s boat. The boat takes 5, with the other 3 having booked in about 10minutes before us. I wasn’t planning on taking Leah on the boat of course and was happy to spend a few hours on shore and I think we all assumed Sandy would do the same meaning the 2 fishermen would be Colin and David… an ensuing debate between Colin and Sandy resulted in Sandy being the one who was going however!

Anyway, we had today to get a feel for the area and look around. The facilities at the campground were rather light on, which doesn’t normally bother us but for $10 per person you may expect more.

From our camps at the top of the hill a short dirt track leads down to “the shed”.

The shed is a favourite with regulars and suits those who have a boat and a big group. There is a makeshift bush shower, a roof and 4 walls, but open on all sides. It provides good shelter on hot days and would help keep fridges cool. It’s obviously long been a landmark of a Honeymoon Bay and holds an interesting anthology of past visitors who have signed their name or created a bit of “shed art” – similar to the shed at Captain Billy’s Landing on Cape York.

A little further on is the beach proper where we found about 5 more camps. These are also pretty rough with little shade but at least you are right on the beachfront. About the only complaint is that it has been a little “camped out” and the black ash from previous camp fires has ruined the white sand, turning it black right where you’d like to walk around camp.

We realised that Honeymoon Bay is probably the true “fishos” camp and best suited to travellers who have their own boat and know exactly what to expect – as many others obviously did. We saw people arrive in groups of 2-3 cars, sharing a boat, all carrying fuel, supplies etc. We even saw one group arrange for a hired fridge to be carted up from Kalumburu!

The amenities (one dirty communal block of 2 cold showers and 2 toilets – flushing but without toilet paper) aren’t much but you do have access to power – bring a few 30m leads and you can even run your power all the way down the hill to the shed!

The place is run a big, very jovial Aboriginal bloke called Les. His entire family – and there’s loads of them, live there and you’ll get to meet them all without a few minutes of arriving. My blonde haired, blue-eyed white skinned baby was a real drawcard to Les’s grandchildren who were constantly wanting to hold, kiss and play with her. Sandy was very happy at the opportunity to get some lovely natural photos.

Unfortunately there is no kiosk or shop to buy bait for beach fishing but Les and his family are constantly fishing and are happy to share a bit of mackerel or queen fish for bait! The kids spent their days either playing UNO, basketball or spear fishing – and they always seemed to find the biggest fish of the day.

Dave and I went for a drive around mid-morning to see what the other camping area was like at McGowan Island. We found it to be probably a little more scenic for camping and sunsets, slightly cheaper for both fishing tours and camping and run by whites. Here, the camping area is all in one place, which is flat and opens right out onto the beach. There is little shade, with the best site being under a small grove of pandanus palms. From all the camps there was a clear view of the fishing action from the nearby rocks where queen fish, trevally and mackerel were being caught.

We decided to drive back and get Colin and Sandy to consider lifting camp to here instead but we found them filleting an enormous queen fish that Les had given them to share with the other 3 campers that were also waiting out the day before the fishing tour tomorrow. I think we all felt a bit sheepish and couldn’t very well leave when he’d just been so generous.

Anyway, with a mackerel as well we had a bit of bait and some dinner but not quite enough to feed 4 so we spent the remainder of the day beach fishing until David caught a big cod – in fact he caught 5 fish in 5 casts but only kept the best.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Always working not enough travelling!
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