This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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2000 Travels December 1


After packing up, which did not take long, we went for a little walk around the camping area, and managed to give away our surplus fruit and veg.

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Famous in surfing circles – the Caves Break at Cactus Beach

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The Cactus Beach camp area from the track to the beach

Had to retrace our route of yesterday, back to the highway. Again we passed the vivid pink lake. There is water both sides of a causeway. On one side it is pink, on the other side it is an ordinary coloured lake!


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Contrast each side of the causeway

After that, it was a straightforward run to Ceduna, through low scrub and mallee country.

We had to stop, of course, at the quarantine checkpoint on the outskirts of Ceduna. Here, I had to hand over cucumbers and onions – I hadn’t been sure about these, so had kept them to check. No – not allowed!

Then of course, we had to do a shop in Ceduna, to stock up on fruit and vegies. And bread, which we’d run out of.

Refuelled Truck there – $1.03cpl.

We continued on to today’s destination of Coffin Bay, travelling down the western side of the Eyre Peninsula. It was a pretty drive, passing through several townships and hamlets that would have been interesting to stay at and explore, had we the time. It certainly looked as if there was interesting coastal scenery along that stretch. Maybe another time?

We booked into the Coffin Bay Caravan Park for a week. $17 a night, with the seventh one free. This is our final treat for ourselves – the time to relax here and explore, because we really liked what we saw on the few days we stayed here in ’93. It is a village by an extensive lake and bay – very much reminded me of the Gippsland Lakes in Victoria, except not as developed.

In the six days since we have left Perth, we have travelled 2,539kms! Not our preferred rate of covering country…..

This year, we have been in every Australian State and Territory, except the ACT. Six States and one Territory.

We set up on a good grassy site. It did not have much shade, though. Although it is high up, there are not views of the bay. However, the TV is great – John was pleased!

There seemed to be some noisy and rather feral, other campers around.

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Visitors at our Coffin Bay camp

There was also another Trakmaster van – a Nullarbor one. We spoke briefly with the owners – they have only had it since October and this was their first trip of any length.

There was a phone message from T at Wonga Beach – reminding us not to forget to send them one of our Xmas letters!

Tea was potato soup and fishcakes made using the potato I’d cooked yesterday.

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2000 Travels November 30


John slept in a little in the morning. He has had some pretty tiring days, one way and another. Also, his body time and that of the outside world are not yet in synch.

Today’s was a beautifully scenic day’s driving. We called in at all the wonderful coastal lookout points. For roughly 100kms, the highway hugs the coast. Here, the Nullarbor plain just falls into the ocean in steep cliffs. It makes for some very spectacular cliff views. It is also an area where one should be wary of driving – or walking – too close to the edge, which can be quite undercut.

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The flat surface of the Nullarbor Plain is evident

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The Nullarbor cliffs stretch away to the east

Some 40kms west of Nullarbor Roadhouse, the Highway turns a bit inland, but from near the roadhouse, there is a track to the coast again, at Head of the Bight – the most northerly point of the Great Australian Bight. We had missed the Head of the Bight lookout in ’93.

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At the Head of the Bight

We had lunch at Head of the Bight.

After this, the highway traversed a treeless section of the Nullarbor – from which it derives its name.

Just before we got to Nundroo Roadhouse, we stopped to help a couple of German backpacker girls, who’d had a blowout on their old station wagon. They’d made big black skid marks on the road – they were lucky not to have rolled it! They were a bit shaken. They did the labour of changing their own wheel, with John telling them how to do it. It was a retread that peeled off. They did not have matching tyres, either.

That stop took about an hour out of our day.

Refuelled at Nundroo RH – $1.15cpl.

At Penong, the little town with lots of windmills – which always seems rather surreal to me – we turned south on the unsealed 21km track to Cactus Beach.

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Some of the windmills of Penong

I’d forgotten that, on the way to Cactus beach, there are vivid pink lakes and large white sand dunes. It is really beautiful.

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Pink lake and white sand dunes

Cactus Beach is well known in surfing circles for having some of the best wave breaks in Australia. We came here in ’93 at the behest of one of the offspring, and loved the “different” nature of the place. We do not surf, but the beach, views and sunsets were superb.

It is also periodically frequented by great white sharks, but this does not seem to deter the keen surfers who congregate here.

It was getting quite late when we reached there. Fortunately, we knew the layout from camping here in ’93. There are little camping bays in the low scrub, and every so often there is a toilet – a circular wall made of chunks of local  limestone rocks, about shoulder high, and with quite a few gaps.  Inside is a seat on a half drum, containing a heavy duty garbage bag! These are collected and replaced with clean ones, each day. It ensures there is no pollution of the fragile environment here, from toilet waste – though I am not sure where all the used garbags go!

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Cactus Beach toilet

We could not find anyone in charge of the place, so set up in a little camping bay, where there was ample room for the  van. It was all unpowered, of course.

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Camp site at Cactus Beach

It was almost sunset time when we went for a walk on the beach. I collected some shells.

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Sun going down at Cactus Beach

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Back at the van, while a was getting tea, a man came round to collect our fees of $6.60 each.

Tea was gazpacho, coleslaw, mashed potato. John had a tin of tuna as well.

Afterwards, I had to have a cook up. I made potato soup, mashed potato, a tomato and onion pasta sauce. I couldn’t cook all the vegetable matter we have left, so decided to try to give some away, or else just forfeit it at the checkpoint.

Unfortunately, the night was too chilly for us to sit outside and watch for the little marsupial critters that we saw here in ’93.

The stars were really bright. I saw a falling star!

It would have been great to have stayed a few days here.

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