A RUGGED, ROCKY LAND ON THE OCEAN
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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JOURNEY: Mambray Creek to Lincoln NP 440kms
WEATHER: Tuesday 30+ and sunny. Week- sunny, overcast, wet, cool, warm and all other varieties.
We reached Surfleet campground around 6pm on Tuesday, and were surprised to see that of the 20 sites only one other was occupied. We picked site 6 but later wondered if the "camper trailer only" sign would be enforced; Kath contacted the ranger on the following morning re the signage and he with some amusement announced that the signs were just guides rather than “orders”- oh well, better to make sure!!
We were thrilled with site 6 which had a perfect view of the ocean and opposite headland, with vegetation on both sides for privacy and wind breaks.
We set ourselves up with an outdoor kitchen and sitting area, (the dunny was nearby and a quite acceptable drop type) but there were a couple of days when it was inside the van for most of the time. We did have mostly warm, sunny days when we walked, checked out the birds and chatted with our neighbours- a lovely couple from the Victorian Alps who thought that road travelling in Australia was a bit too busy for them and they mostly preferred the quiet isolation of their farm.
There were never more than 3 others camped here for the duration of our stay and that included the October long weekend; it was so quiet that the silence was remarkable and made you take notice! Bird songs cheered us during the day but the nights were silent. With daylight saving, first light peeks through at around 6am and because we are preparing for a 12 hour time difference in Argentina next month we are getting up at this time for the next 2 weeks and then it is 5am rising and then 4am but by this time we will be back in Adelaide which will make this process a bit easier.
Why all this you ask? Well it's about preventing jet lag -google "jet lag" for further information!
We had full TV coverage and there were areas in the grounds we could access internet and phone.
Lincoln National Park is situated at the tip of the eastern Eyre Peninsula and is itself, a rugged little peninsula covered in spindly coastal mallee with areas of rocky headlands and some beautiful sandy beaches. Surfleet Cove is a protected bay which is great because we experience some pretty wild weather a few times, including a storm that brought tiny hail.
Matthew Flinders surveyed this coast in 1802 and there is a monument at the top of Stamford Hill, a couple of kms from our camp ground, commemorating his coming onshore here. There are spectacular 360 degree views of Boston Bay and Port Lincoln town from the summit and it was a scenic hike to the top on a sunny day.
The Investigator Trail hugs the coast for 90 kms and takes its name from “The Investigator”, Matthew Finder's ship. We enjoyed walking this trail in sections to admire the beauty of the ocean, rocky outcrops and interesting flora and vegetation.
The camp ground was home to a large number of emues and kangaroos, both with young, and we were thrilled to catch a family of emus marching along the beach one afternoon. A couple of magpies adopted us and visited daily and the wattle birds, galahs, superb fairy wrens and New Holland honey eaters zipped around us constantly.
We stayed encamped for 7 days venturing out in the van only once, to explore the solid, though in some places corrugated gravel road to the Cape Donington Lighthouse. From there we trekked to the pretty September Beach, a popular camp site, which is accessible to 2WD vehicles and we also checked out Fisherman’s Point, another camping spot but access was a bit rough for us. We were happy to return to our Surfleet campground and felt this was the best spot for us.
We loved the silence here and at night the starry skies were amazing. Sunrises were worth getting up early for and Kath got some good pictures of these events. We ate well, slept well and appreciated the rugged wilderness.
All in all we had a fabulous week here, but it was time to replenish supplies and avoid the forecasted “very wet weather”. We said goodbye to our Victorian neighbours, who were leaving today as well and I guess the camp ground would be left to the resident birds and animals, once more.