Tuesday 4 October – Innes National Park and Corny Point

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October 4th 2016
Published: October 4th 2016
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Tuesday 4 October – Innes National Park and Corny Point

Today was the day to visit Innes National Park. We were planning to get away early, however, Dough knocked on our van door, only to find we were still asleep!!!! Oh dear! But within an hour we had showered, had breakfast, hitched the van and away within the hour. What a well-oiled machine we are now!!!

Innes National Park, at the south-western extremity of the Yorke Peninsula, comprises a coastal environment of saline lakes, salt flats, mallee woodlands, drooping she-oak groves and dense heathlands. Innes borders Marion Bay and is one of the most visited National Parks in South Australia. High cliffs rise from stretches of sandy beach, which are fringed by rocky headlands of ancient granite. There are great places to surf, swim, dive, fish, take a walk or explore a historic site….. but it continued to be windy although the sun was out and sky was blue. The over-night rain had gone.

With vans in toe we headed back to Stenhouse Bay to do the Lookout Loop. We soon discovered that this showcases some of the most spectacular coastal scenery that Australia has to offer. The coast line was three dimensional, and offered some amazing views that have been carved by the Southern Ocean over past years.

Along the path were an abundance of interpretive signs telling us of the history of the gypsum industry, the vegetation and birds and animals that were could expect to see on the walk. We saw 3 massive big red kangaroos as well as several emus. We also saw numerous scats that looked like they were from wombats. One section of the path which skirted around a point, the wind was so strong, I was watching Leura walk in front of me and I thought she was going to blow over. I ran up to her and grabbed her arm. We made it around the bend and was very pleased that the wind was blowing onto the land rather than out to sea.!!!! Every time we got back into our cars, we were relieved to be out of the wind.

Further along the coast we saw various offshore islands including Chinaman's Hat, Althorpes and Kangaroo Island. The sea was so blue and the cliffs so rugged. It was beautiful. There of course were many white-caps out at sea which added to the beauty.

Next we walked out to the Cape Spencer Lighthouse. Leura decided not to go due to the wind. It was incredibly windy. We met a Queensland couple who had just got back from the lighthouse and they said they didn’t quite make it as the wind was so strong. So Doug, Tom and I, decided to walk the track to the lighthouse….. arm in arm. We figured that 200kg together was harder for the wind to pick up that 3 separate people!!! We laughed all the way out. Once at the lighthouse, we sheltered on the leeward side to take our photos, before walking back holding each other again.

On approaching our vans, we saw Leura pushing against her van and we were wondering why. It looked so funny but it also wasn’t as she was holding the awning so that it wouldn’t flap in the strong wind. They checked that everything was secured and we quickly got in our cars and drove down the hill where there was less wind.

Next we explored the remains of the historic heritage-listed Inneston village where gypsum used to be mined. From the village, gypsum was transported along a railway line to the jetty at Stenhouse Bay which is now called the Thomson/Pfitzner Plaster Trail. This trail offers coastal and salt lake views with sign posted information along the way detailing the areas mining history. On walking through the village, we noticed 6-7 buildings had been completely restored and are now accommodation for tourists. The old Post Office, Plaster Factory, Engineers Lodge and Stable were all still to be seen in various states of ruins.

Further up the coast was the Ethel wreck at Ethel beach. We saw the rusted remnants of the frame of the ship lying on the sand. This was yet another spot that we could hardly walk due to the very strong wind.

Next was Pondalowie Beach which lies between Royston Head at its northern extremity and an unnamed point at its southern extremity. The west side of the bay is guarded by three islands (from north to south) – Royston, Middle and South.

North of the foreland the beach continued for about 900 m and becomes increasingly exposed to the southwesterly waves, resulting in a wider surf zone and the formation of 2 to 3 beach rips, together with a permanent rip against the northern boundary rocks which was clear to our trained eye. Dunes extending up to 1.5 km inland back both beaches with a large sand blow immediately north of the foreland.

This is a very popular surfing beach. There are two recognised surfing areas at Pondalowie accessible on foot from the Casuarina and Surfers campgrounds, with Richards break a few hundred metres further up the beach. Waves were anything up to 2m as we watched them pound the beach. It was another beautiful view.

We then decided to turn around after lunch and retrace our steps along the sealed road. The dirt roads we had travelled along were all fantastic and there were no problems towing our vans.

Once back at Marion beach, we headed north across the ‘foot’ of the Peninsula to Corny Point. Sitting on the north west tip of Yorke Peninsula, Corny Point is a delightful seaside town offers great surfing and boat fishing, beautiful north-facing swimming beaches and bays. Surfers are within 15 minutes’ drive of some of the best surfing spots including Rock Pool, Salmon Hole, Daly Head and Berry Bay.

We visited the Corny Point Lighthouse which was completed in 1882 and made of limestone, quarried from a nearby farm. It was de-manned in 1920 and is continuing to operate.

What a magnificent day of sight-seeing we had. We felt more than satisfied. As we were staying at Edithburgh that night, we headed east towards Warooka. The road was very straight and we had a tail-wind which was fantastic. We stopped at Yorketown for some food shopping. The whole town was out a bread at the 4.00pm when we arrived. At Edithburgh, we checked into the van park which was right on the beach. By the time we were settling in for the evening, we noticed the wind had dropped considerably and there was a new moon. We were hoping this was a good omen for the next day’s travel and sightseeing.

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