Thursday, 22 May 2014

80 Mile Beach

We left Pardoo station & continued further north up the Great Northern Highway to 80 Mile Beach caravan park. Unfortunately there is no free camping along this stretch so the caravan parks & stations have the monopoly. Unless you go into one of these places, you barely sight the ocean except for a few tiny glimpses as you head along the coast. 

It was only just over a 100km away so we arrived just after 10am. The price here per night is $41 for a powered site, the most expensive we have encountered so far. In hindsight we should of asked for unpowered although it was still $35. We booked in for 4 nights & made our way to our spot. It was okay, a reasonable size, dead grass, excellent amenities, but not fantastic. We set up camp including the big awning again, we managed to not have to detach it after Pardoo, so it was a bit quicker & once completed we hastily made our way down to the beach to check it out. The park is set back on a large flat section behind a sand dune, but a quick walk over the dune & again we were confronted by the bluest water & white sandy beaches, it was spectacular. 

We walked down along the beach to an older couple fishing (who turned out to be our lovely neighbours) they had caught a couple of blue salmon, but a huge shark had come along & was swimming in the shallows right at their feet, we watched the shark swim around for a few minutes, his body half out of the water at times, he was in so shallow, there went any ideas of a swim! The tide had just started to go back out again & all the locals left the beach so we figured there wasn't much point fishing that afternoon. 

Over the next 3 days we spent the days fishing, collecting shells, walking on the beach & watching the sunset over the water each afternoon. We had a good time, but it was too caravan parky for us (it even had its own markets twice a week & impromptu sing alongs for charity).  It was full of grey nomads that stay for 1-4 months at a time, who bring their own fully decked out fishing quad bikes. It also had its own version of coast watch (a posy of old men that are concerned about illegal immigrants landing on this stretch of beach, so they monitor the beaches all while doing a fair bit of fishing)!

If you love fishing, 80 Mile Beach is definitely worth a visit. About an hour & a half either side of high tide & the beach is packed with anglers with no real fishing etiquette. One minute you are nicely spaced out between yourself & the next fisherman & a second later another 3 people have pushed in to throw in their line, this is all on a 400-500m stretch of beach. This once again proved to us that our fellow humans have no real common sense or care for others around them. This was confirmed again each day at sunset. Lots of people would go down to the beach for a drink to watch the sunset & take photos. On day 1 it was a quad bike, day 2 a lady collecting shells & day 3 a pram that were centre stage in everyone's photos! Again how inconsiderate people are has really annoyed us on this trip. 

80 Mile Beach is a beautiful stretch of coastline & worth seeing. In hindsight 2-3 nights would of been enough for us. It is expensive to camp, but does have good facilities. Worth a look. 

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