With my body clock primed from the previous day’s early start I awoke early, I had to check three different clocks to convince myself of the time, as even when it got to 0530 it was still totally pitch black. You forget how dark it can get in the bush. I caught the sun coming up over the sea.
I was sat on top of the cliff, and just taking shots with the camera handheld but resting on the camera bag. I couldn’t really see how the shots were coming out on the small screen, this was the first one where there was enough light/I held the camera still enough for a sharp image.
Soon it was light enough for me to scramble down the cliff and take some shots from the beach. The boat had been anchored in the bay over night, this area is renown as some of the best fishing in Australia, and we often saw recreational boats and heard and saw the guys at night, catching squid I would guess.
It was raining intermittently, so we quickly broke camp before our gear got too soaked and headed out to explore some of Coffin Bay NP. The terrain changed from the previous day’s sand and quite sparse vegetation to now more bedrock, dirt and more dense scrub.
We headed out to Mullalong Beach for more views of the stunning coast.
A good little step down here, luckily they give you a sign to remind you that it’s steep on the way back too...
You can see why fires are banned here most of the year, with so few tracks you would not want to be here while there was a bushfire.
More rain as we followed the Rangie splashing through the puddles.
We headed out to Sensation Bay, this was the last dune to get on to the beach. The Rangie had a couple of goes but was struggling to get through the soft section. This was probably do-able using the MaxTrax but we decided to have a look what we were up against the other side before going ahead.
The run back up from the beach wasn’t as steep but it was long and soft, coupled with the fact the side we were tackling fell away sharply on one side into a gully. “Just too risky” said The Accountant, I’m not sure I have ever heard those words out of his mouth before. Needless to say I agreed, risk versus reward, that’s always what you have to weigh up.
Of course we all know the Cruiser would have punched straight up there first time :).
It was time to make our way back to the main track and head out of the park, we were headed across to Lincoln NP on the other side of the peninsula for the next few nights.
Back on the beach, some more photos of the dunes and the moody sky.
Some dude in a kitted up Patrol passed us.
As we headed out of the park we passed an older couple heading in looking nervous in an early Toyota Kluger soft-reader, their tyres still at highway pressures. A few minutes later a chap passed us in a 70 series Land Cruiser with all the usual fruit on it. I guess his first job was going to be recovering the Kluger from the first soft patch of sand...
We drove slowly back to Coffin Bay township to refuel and air up. We grabbed some oysters and fried fish for lunch and then a dozen closed oysters to take with us.
The map showed a dirt road connecting the two parks, but it was closed with access by prior arrangement. Although it would have been good to stay on the dirt, the hour or so we saved came in handy that night.
The lads were having fun in the Rover. They make a lovely couple.
Onto to Lincoln NP. Again all dirt roads, many 4x4 only. We were staying at Memory Cove campsite (sorry, I couldn’t find a decent map on line of this one, we stayed at the end of the track that leads to the south east corner of the park).
This campsite was key access and you had to pay and book in advance, this should help keep the bogans out. The drive to Memory Cove has a number of off-shoots and points of interest along the way. These would wait though as I was keen to have a bit more camp set up time today.
Again the local welcoming party was out to greet us. These guys are fast...
The rain had held off for a while now but there were some dark clouds ominously looming, “I just want to set up while its dry, it can rain all it likes after that” I said to N.
More local dudes.
I got my wish, with the Oz Tent well pitched with extra rain cover fly sheet and the new side panels attached (thanks Captain) to close in the awning there was somewhere for us all to sit when the rain did come.
We ate and had a few drinkies, when the rain eased we wandered on the deserted beach.
It rained steadily for most of that night. The Oz Tent with the new extra fly sheet held up brilliantly, I was hoping for an opportunity to test this new gear. While I obviously love the driving and exploration aspect, I also just love camping. Being able to make your home in some pretty spot for a few days and just enjoy the basics of life, cooking, eating, reading, exploring on foot. Being comfortable is key to this, glamping, call it what you will. It’s not a bad way to spend time.
Here are some random shots from around Memory Cove.
We were here for the next two nights. What would tomorrow bring? (hint, sand, lots of sand...)
Photo credits: Everyone!