Monday, 29 December 2014

Lincoln National Park & Port Lincoln for Christmas

We really didn't know how busy it was going to be on the Eyre Peninsula for Christmas & school holidays so we thought we should probably get down there early. So we left Walkers Rocks campground early & headed down towards Port Lincoln. The roads were really quiet, but it was only Wednesday the 17th of December so a week till Christmas Eve. We had done a bit of research into both Lincoln NP & Coffin Bay NP for our Christmas stay. They both sounded great, but in the end Lincoln won out as we hoped we would be able to get phone reception & also wanted to be a bit closer to town so we could pick up some Christmas goodies. We travelled straight into the park & pulled up at the entry station, it was $11 for vehicle access & $10 per night for camping so pretty cheap. We initially paid for 3 nights just in case it wasn't as good as we thougt it would be. As we drove in, the road ran along the water & it was spectacular. Not a puff of breeze, the water was glass calm, wow. We had a look at a few camps on the way in including Horse Rock, Surefleet Cove, Fishermans Point & September Beach. They were all okay, Fishermans point was lovely but really rocky & would of been a nightmare to put in tent pegs. We had see a sign for a camp called Richardsons Shack that we through we would try before we made a decision. As soon as we drove in we knew this was it. A large flat site, right on the water, easy beach access, trees & bush surrounding us for privacy & no rock. Fantastic. We knew we would be open to the weather & wind, but it was worth the risk for this great view. We could see right across to Port Lincoln, the town itself was only a few kilometres across the water, but by road it was about a 40 minute drive, so not to bad, it also had full phone reception.

Our beach above & below

We set up camp including the big awning as we planned to stay for a fair while & definitely till after Christmas, there was no way we were going to give up this spot! Once the big awning & solar panels were up, we set up our "Bush Dunny" as there was no toilets at this camp. By mid afternoon we couldn't believe our luck as we sat admiring the view in the afternoon, the weather was perfection, could it really be?

After a great nights sleep, we drove into Port Lincoln for a look. It's actually a really nice town, great views & all the shops you need including Coles, Woolies, Bunnings, a bakery, camping shops, even Kmart & Target. At least our Christmas shop would be a bit cheaper. We grabbed a few groceries as we hadn't had a big shop since Albany & went to the pub for a great lunch. 

Photo with the Makybe Diva statue in Port Lincoln

By the time we got back to camp the wind had started to blow, our lovely flat ocean in front of camp had turned into white caps. The wind has been our biggest enemy while camping, it makes cooking a nightmare, sleeping impossible when the tent flaps all night & you wonder if the canvas can possibly withstand the pressure. The rain & cold also suck, but we would take them any day over the damn wind. 

We prefer this weather!!

Luckily it had eased off during the night & we woke to another fantastic day. We stayed at camp for the day, went for a lovely walk on the beach & pretty much just soaked it all in. At night it didn't get dark till after 9pm but when it did, the town of Port Lincoln lit up across the bay & was lovely to look at. 

Some lovely sunsets 

The next day we had to go back to the park entrance station to extend our camping fees. We paid for another 7 nights. There are rubbish bins at the entrance station as well, so we dropped off our rubbish & grabbed some water from the rainwater tanks that come off the information shelter. They say the water should be treated, but we just ran it through our filter before filling the drums & had no problems. All of the camp sites with toilets also had rainwater tanks, so you should be able to get some water if they have had recent rain. After paying we headed back into the park & had a look at a few other spots. First we went to Woodcutter beach, a bumpy slow track in, it's only about 4km but very slow, it took us over a hour to get in & out. To be honest I wouldn't bother, it wasn't worth the effort as it wasn't any nicer than any of the other spots that are easy to get to, it does have camping out there but it's pretty average & if you have a trailer I wouldn't go out there, the 1 camping bay is tiny & there is no space to turn around. After that we headed out to Taylor's Landing, a great spot as well, on the eastern side so pretty exposed, but the camping area is set back amongst the dunes & bush. The beach is small, but lovely & there is a popular boat ramp. 

Taylor's Landing

That afternoon when we got back to camp we got some people camped behind us, 2 families in trailers with little kids. We were some what skeptical at first, but they turned out to be very entertaining. The kids who looked to be ranging from about 3-6 years kept sneaking into our camp & telling us about there adventures. Mainly that they got to spend the day at the beach & what Santa was going to bring. 

Camp when tide was out

The next day we stayed at camp & were entertained even more by them. The 2 boys came into camp early the next morning asking if we had any stubbies, we said yes we do (we thought they meant the empty bottles that they wanted to do something with) but the response was that their dads had drank all of theirs! We then found out that they had coco pops for breakfast, so Mat said he would trade them a stubby for a bowl of coco pops! It was hilarious, the next thing we hear is them back at camp yelling "they have stubbies", it was hilarious. Much to our dismay we found out they were going home & were only here for the weekend, we did find out that Santa was hopefully bringing dump trucks for Christmas presents before they left. Little characters!

The next day we headed back into town. We had to buy a new 12v shower as ours died & we also went to visit a farm butcher to fill up the freezer & get some Christmas ham. Back to camp for the afternoon & we went for another walk on the beach & found some razor fish/clams they are supposed to be tasty but when we opened them they only had a tiny little piece of meat so it wasn't worth it. 

Razor fish
Seaweed at the beach at camp that shows as the dark blue colour in the photos. 

The next day we went for a drive to Coffin Bay national park. We had a great day & I will write up a day trip report after this to fill you in. On the way back we decided to call into Port Lincoln again to get the last of our Christmas shopping done so we didn't have to go to town again before Christmas. 

So for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day & Boxing Day we stayed at camp. One Christmas Day we woke to a lovely morning. Cooked up some breaks wraps & had a slow morning. It felt weird to be by ourselves for Christmas. By about 11am the weather had completely changed. The wind got up & it was raining. It was so windy that it was blowing the rain in completely under the awning, so the only dry space we had was in the tent. It was so bad we couldn't even make our Christmas lunch, so we just had a few snacks & hid in the tent & talked to the families on the phone. By night time it was still terrible, but managed to heat up a bit of cooked chicken & made some roast chook & gravy rolls. Not the Christmas we envisioned. We imagined a warm day on the beach, drinking beers, eating seafood & relaxing. It was far from that. We went to bed that night a bit disappointed, it didn't feel like Christmas. 

Boxing Day was much better & nearly a perfect day weather wise. So that improved our spirits. We got to have our Christmas s lunch & enjoy the beach which was nice. 
Christmas lunch

We thought about staying longer, but both were ready for a move, although staying in the 1 spot for 10 days was pretty amazing, our longest stay of the trip. The cheap cost was also a bonus, $111 for the 10 days, not bad. Despite a couple of days of crappy weather, the other 8 were great & we loved our time at Lincoln NP. If you are self sufficient campers, definitely consider the camp at Richardsons Shack, it's just a bit further along from Fishermans point, especially if you can get the front campsite, like we scored. It was time for us to move north & see what else we could find. 

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