Saturday, 17 May 2014

Pardoo Station

So after our interesting time at De Grey campsite the next stop was Pardoo Station. We had heard from other travellers it was worth doing, so when we got some phone reception we did a quick google search on it & it sounded pretty good, but expensive at $35 a night for a powered site, they do not offer unpowered. It wasn't very far up the highway to the turn off & the dirt road in was pretty well maintained. We turned up to a large area with various buildings & lots of green grass. We booked for 3 nights initially & made our way out to the campground, which was surrounding the homestead. It was a find your own spot, which we prefer instead of being allocated & it was maybe 20% full at most, even better! We found some nice shady sites with lots of green grass which was a nice change. We found one that was pretty good a few sites away from anyone else on each side which was good. We set up camp & decided it was time to finally put up the big awning as well. It had been a while, but we must be getting used to working with each other, cause it went up pretty easily! We are sure glad we put it up as we were getting lots of 35-36 degree days. There are also lots of new campsites where they are expanding the size of the campground, these all have lovely green grass, but the trees are still small so not much shade. There are heaps of amenity blocks, laundry, shop, restaurant, car wash down pad (we finally got to give the trailer a wash), air compressor for tyres, a filtered water point to fill up with drinking water & the pool. They have thought of everything, a cracker of a campsite for a station stay. 

After some lunch we went for a drive to check out the fishing spots, there are 3 creeks & a fair bit of beach that you can fish at. The first creek, Pardoo creek had a boat ramp & looked good, but at the time we went the tide was out & we could see how steep the banks were & how deep it was, looked great for a fish. We then made our way to the beach to a spot called Red Point, we couldn't believe how far out the tide was, we could barely see the water at all, and all that confronted us was mud flat, we weren't sure we would be able to fish the beach, we would have to see how the tides went. 
Red point at low tide the water a long way off in the distance

 We made our way further along the track and came across a natural spring that was surrounded by bird life & even at Jaibaru, that quickly exited before I could get a decent photo.  We found the track to Bake Bean creek & started on it across the mud flat, but it soon turned to being a bit to wet underneath and we turned around. The station has a $1000 call out fee if you get bogged. We came back to the main track and made our way towards Banningara creek, we found another awesome creek, with lots of water flow, again it was pretty low, but looked promising.  So we made our way back to camp, made use of the awesome showers, had some dinner and called it a night, ready for a day of fishing the next day.

Banningara creek with about half tide

On the second day we went straight to Banningara creek for a fish. Wow what a difference the tide makes, it was now filled with beautiful blue green water. We chucked in the lines & got bites straight away, it wasn't long & Mat had caught a handy sized Bream, by the end of the morning Mat had another and I had one too, so plenty for tea (see the Bream & Noodles post). We made our way back to camp about lunchtime as it was getting hot & the tide was going out. We spent the afternoon swimming in the pool (a bit of a novelty for us, & it was lovely), & read a book & drank a few beers. We also had a chat to one of the guys that was fishing near us & he was leaving the next day & found out we didn't have any crab pots & offered for Mat to buy one off him for $10, bargain!! He also gave us his left over bait for free. One of the really nice people we have met on our trip. 

Banningara creek at high tide

The next day we tried the creek near the boat ramp, again what a difference the tide makes! It was about an hour before high & looked promising, we chucked in the lines & also our newly acquired crab pot. We got some bites, but mostly just little stuff, some cod & catfish. Mat kept getting a constant weight on his line & reeled it in with a mud crab about 4 times but each time they let go as they saw me with the bucket at the waters edge, damn! We checked the crab pot & managed to get a legal crab but it wasn't huge, we chucked him in the bucket to see if we could get some more. I also got one on my fishing line & reeled it in & it was the biggest crab I have ever seen, but again we couldn't get him in the bucket. By the end of the morning we didn't get any decent fish, but got 3 crabs, so we had caught enough for dinner (see the Chilli Mud Crab post). Back to camp for lunch & it was more of the same, swimming & drinking & then the awesome crab cook up. We also talked to some of the locals who stay for 3-4 months at a time & they told us the tides would start to get good for beach fishing in the next few days. We extended our stay for another 2 nights. 

Pardoo creek at the boat ramp at high tide

The next day we started at the boat ramp creek & not much was happening, so we thought we would head up to Banningara creek, by the time we got to it, the tide had come in enough to cut off the track in, so we were pretty lucky we didn't decide to start there or we would of got stuck waiting for the tide to go out & then would of had to drive through the salty mud. We went back along the beach to one of the other beach access tracks & out into the beach. The water was up further than we had previously seen but was still out a fair way, so we had to walk out a fair way & it was pretty shallow, we got a few bites but didn't hook up.  Fairly soon the tide was going out to far, making trying to fish pointless so we headed back to camp. Apparently the tides would be perfect for a beach fish the next day. 

Mat beach fishing (zoomed in on the camera)

Mat beach fishing (zoomed out on the camera, he is just a speck in the middle)

When we returned to camp we found we had neighbours, camped right beside us on either side, despite there being plenty of room in the campground, great. We don't really understand why campers want to camp all over the top of each other, they turn up in their caravans in huge set ups, with TVs blaring & think they own the place. We would confirm our thoughts that people are really inconsiderate both here & at our next campsite & reiterates our tendency to stay away from caravan parks when possible. We have also reached the point where a lot of people seem to have lost their inhibitions. We had one older female neighbour that seemed to have no problem wearing her one piece bathing suit only around the campsite all day long. Yes she went swimming, but also did her washing, watered the lawn, went fishing, made numerous trips to the toilet block all whilst only wearing her swimmers. Now I don't know about you, but I can't really see this being acceptable for anyone past about the age of 10 or so. I still remember the days when board shorts were invited, what a glorious day no more worries & you could cover up a bit. Well it seems not all the population embraces them or even may be a sarong, or even better just wearing clothes when you aren't swimming??? Anyway........

So the next day we got ready for beach fishing along with half the campground, and headed back out to Red Point. Red Point has some rocks that allow you to fish off them & this is where the other fishers had set up, we went down in front of the rocks as the tide was still coming in & had a fish there. We saw the people on the rocks catch a decent blue salmon, so we knew we had a chance. Well I barely got a bite & was getting bored, but Mat had an awesome morning fishing with a big thread fin salmon & 2 blue salmon. The best fishing day he has had for ages he reckons, me on the the hand not so much! We then had our last night at Pardoo station, tucking into our freshly caught fish, before hitting the road to 80 Mile Beach the next morning. 

Red point above & below

Good sized thread fin salmon

The days catch. 

We really enjoyed our stay at Pardoo Station & had a great time. I really can't imagine owning a property like it.  To own that stretch of coastline must feel pretty amazing.  So thanks to the owners of Pardoo for opening up you're little piece of paradise to us.

Jaibaru at the natural spring, the closest I could get to him

No comments:

Post a Comment