Published: November 1st 2011October 25th 2011
Part of fishing fleet
This blog entry covers 25th to the 28th October.
We arrivve in Coffin Bay and both go WOW, WOW !!!! We are truly talking 'picture postcard here, the town and the caravan park overlooks the pristine waters of Port Douglas. Part of an extensive bay system that includes Little Douglas, Mount Dutton, Kellide, Yangi and Coffin Bays. Being surrounded by seas and National Parks this town is fantastic .....new postcode (Neil) 5607.
Coffin Bay was discovered by Matthew Flinders in 1802, today it is a beautiful thriving town with an active commercial wharf in the town centre where you can watch the fishing boats unloading their catches. There are also professional fisherman and abalone divers operating from the amazing boat ramps and we also saw oyster boats returning with racks of the famous Coffin Bay oysters from the many oyster leases within the Bays system. At $9/ doz they were bloody good and even the budget stretched to a couple of dozen. As the 'open ocean' lies 25 nautical miles from the main wharf, the many protected bays, channels and inlets that we saw and the fish etc that we heard were being caught, (by 60 odd guys from
more fishing boats
Mildura on a fishing trip), we are vetoing all other council and SA tourist info and declaring this the ultimate EP fishing destination.
Looking forward to the next 3 nights here we set off to Port Lincoln for our first day in the big smoke. Port Lincoln, what Global Financial Crisis !!!! this place is humming and smacks of $$$. boasting the title 'The Seafood Capital of Australia" Port Lincoln is home to the largest fishing fleet in the southern hemisphere. The selection of seafood harvested from its waters and the greater Southern Ocean is testament to that, snapper, tuna, oysters, abalone, prawns, mussels, rock lobster and countless other cold water fish are either caught or farmed here.
The Sthn Blue Fin Tuna industry started from a small cannery in 1938 and it was not until the early 1950's that improvements in fishing techniques enabled SAFCOL to establish a large cannery. By 1982 over 20,000 tonnes of tuna were landed with over fishing during this time quotas were introduced and the fishery was in question. However in the early 1990's live fish were caught and brought in to Boston Bay (not the tea party one!) and were farmed
Boat leaving commercial area ... check out some of the houses
and fattened and sold to Japan. A multi billion dollar industry was borne and you should see the boats ! The prawn industry is worth $33m , and the Sthn Rock Lobster market $26m, oysters $22m ,,,money money money ! This kind of money allowed the likes of Tony Santic, Tuna Fisherman to purchase Maykybe Diva a famous racehorse that won the Melbourne Cup 3 years in a row. So famous is she there is a life size bronze statue standing on the foreshore in Pt Lincoln - look for the photo.
Pt Lincoln is a big city with all the facilities you would expect from a city servicing all the multi million dollar acquaculture industries, as well as an important and lucrative agricultural sector - cropping.
Any trip to Pt Lincoln would be remiss without visiting Austar Seafood Warehouse (as far as we are concerned anyway!), wherea wide range of E.P. seafood is available for purchase - and we did! We ere spoilt for choice but Bluefin Tuna steaks for $6.00 and Kingfish cutlets at $3 and Coffin Bay oysters and and ...what were we to do ?
Our next day started with a drizzle of
You can do some extreme activities here !
rain so we spent time catching up on the chores, housework ! The weather quickly cleared and at lunchtime we headed off to Farm Beach. which is another fisho holiday spot. To the north west of this beach is Gallipoli Beach, so named as it was a location where some of the famous Australian movie Gallipoli was filmed, Following a rocky dirt 4WD track for 4Klm we drove around a bend to see the most beautiful cove with turquoise waters below us, After actually visiting the real Gallipoli we could see the similarities and understand why the movie was made here. The waters were too tempting , so it was a slow scrabble down to the beach and with not a soul in sight we made our way around the cove, Jackie is loving all these beaches and this one was no different - straight into the water for her. Trish followed, but only for a paddle as the waters of the Southern Ocean are a bit on the chilly side and well known for you know whats!
Today is is the 27th of Oct, a day of highs and lows for Trish and I, The low being it
Fishermans Memorial - to those that have been lost at sea...there were alot of names !
was Matt's birthday and for the first time neither of us would be there to share it. Lots of presents and cards arriving on the day and lots of phone calls helped ease the pain. We also knew he had a busy day catching up for lunch with his "Grandies", as he calls them, and Penny later that day.
So, we headed off to Whalers Way , situated some 30 Klms south west of Pt Lincoln. Stopping at the tourist info centre to collect a gate key we also sneaked in a quick coffee.
With key and map in hand we set off, Whalers Way (WW) is privately owned land and is sighted at the right hand point of Fishery Bay, where there are 14 Klms of dirt roads and tracks which is completely sign posted so that Joe Blow tourist wont get lost. WW is a flora and fauna reserve and was so named because of the close association of the area with whaling operations carried out in Sleaford Bay. The shore based whaling station operated between 1837 and 1841 and in its time was only ever moderately successful.
The whale or whales would be sighted
from the prominent headlands in the area and boats would give chase from Fishery Bay beach. Hence the name of WW which follows the cliff tops around the most southerly tip of the EP. Some of the places we visited included Carlsons Cove, Pioneer Lookout, Top Gallant Cliffs, Baleen Blowhole, Mainsail Break and D'Anville Bay.
A couple that really took our interest were Cape Wiles, named by Matthew Flinders 19 Feb 1802 after his friend Wiles, A 106 metre high cliff and some fur seals down on the rocks from a colony based here below made this a memorable location.
Theakstone's Crevasse named by Frank Mort during the 1930's after the Theakstone Family who settled in this area in 1889. This is one of the unique features of the fabulous WW - a fault fracture occurring millions of years ago. Some 13 mtrs deep and with 9mtr high walls its ruggedness was awe inspiring - hope the attched pics do it justice!.
Cape Garnot the most South Westerly tip of the EP, named by Nicholas Baudin who followed Matthew Flinders to this area. The oldest rock in SA, approx 2643 million years old makes up the tip
They also have pleasure craft at the bottom of the garden !
of this cape. We sat here for ages watching the Southern Ocean hitting the rocks and cliff faces, sending sea spray into the air, It would have been great to sit here and see the famed Sthn Ocean's gigantic swells but then I would assume the weather would not have been as nice as when we were there.
After a great day it was back to the Info Centre to return the key and collect our deposit and home to Coffin Bay . We then opened a chilled bottle of Rowanston Blanc De Noir and toast Matt;s Birthday.
There are more photos below