Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The Coorong

We left Bordertown after hiding away from the rain, but unfortunately it followed us down towards the coast. We headed down to Kingston first & stopped at the bakery to grab a loaf of bread. The wind was blowing furiously so the light rain was coming in sideways & it was freezing, which of course meant we needed a sausage roll as well to warm up. We headed north along the coast, we planned to camp in the national park. We ventured into one of the camps just south of Salt Creek, it was a great camping area, but the whole area was under water from the rain. It had a picnic shelter that we tried to hide under while we discussed if we should stay, but even it was completely drenched & the rain was still coming in. We decided to try elsewhere. We kept going North & looked at a few other national park camps. All good camps but they were either flooded or so shaded by trees that our solar panels wouldn't work, although the weather wasn't going to help with that either. One of the camps was right on the waters of the Coorong, but the wind was so strong it was covered in white capped waves, not good. 

Our first view of the Coorong

In the end we made the call to go up to Meningie to the caravan park. Not what we wanted but the weather was just terrible. Turns out the caravan park was right on Lake Albert, it was also getting pummelled by the wind. We had to run into the reception office through the rain & by the time we found our site it was still pouring. We unhooked the trailer without setting up & went down the street to find some lunch. Meningie is a really nice little town. We ended up having lunch at the old cheese factory cafe & Mat had some local Coorong Mullet. After lunch the rain stopped so we rushed back to camp to get everything set up before it started again. Just as we finished it started raining again, this time with even more wind. A hot shower was in order & we then spent the afternoon hiding in the tent out of the weather. By dinner time not much had changed, so we thought stuff it, we will just go to the pub for dinner. The restaurant at the pub was supposed to do lots of Coorong mullet dishes, but when we arrived we were told they had no mullet that night. We felt a bit ripped off, but had an okay meal there, but not as good as the reviews on TripAdvisor stated. Just our luck. Back to camp to bed, wishing for some better weather the next day. 

The weather gods sort of answered & it wasnt raining, but still very overcast & windy. Well it wasn't going to stop us, so we set off to explore. We made our way up towards Tailem Bend but turned off into Narrung where we had to get the ferry across Lake Alexandria. On the other side of the ferry we found what we think is one of the best free camps in Australia. It is right on the water, covered in beautiful lawn grass, has a new set of toilets being built (they look almost done, the old ones are okay as well), bins & even a water tap. We can imagine how fantastic it would be in good weather. If you are in the area definitely check it out. 

Free camp at Narrung ferry

Lighthouse on Lake Alexandrina

All of the roads in the area skim the edges of the lakes, & it's quite hilly in places & with the farming country, you get some wonderful views. 

Looking over Lake Alexandrina

We then continued around the dirt tracks to Mark Point where we saw some professional mullet fisherman coming in with their catch, only to be intercepted by fishery officers who seemed to find a lot of undersized fish in their catch. 
Mark Point above & below

We then went up to Pelican Point & this is as far as the road goes. 
Pelican Point

There is no through road for the public to Goolwa on the other side but there is a road across, it looked like there were water barrages further up the road. The bird life was amazing with hundreds of Pelicans, black swans & others we have never seen before. We then came down the other side of Lake Albert & back to Meningie.

At one of the parks & wildlife camps above & below

 It was a good day out & if the weather was better you could definitely spend a week exploring the area further & fishing. They also do boat trips on the Coorong that sounded fantastic but the weather was to rough on our visit. 

Back to camp & we managed to get a few hours of sunshine, well a bit of blue sky anyway & the wind dropped. We decided to get moving the next day to camp somewhere on the Murray river again but this time in Victoria. As it meant crossing the border we weren't sure if we would have to give up our fresh fruit & veggies. So I made up a big batch of savoury mince for dinner & leftovers for the next night. My grandmas neighbour also gave us a huge box of plums so I stewed down what was left with some apples for a delicious breakfast topping. That night we got no further rain & woke to a lovely calm but still somewhat overcast morning overlooking the lake. I snapped a few photos & after breakfast we packed up camp. 
A few clouds still, but at least the wind was gone

Just to give us something to remember SA by, we got another shower of rain before we had finished. Oh well. It was then a big day in the car to cross over into VIC, so this is our last SA post for the trip. SA has some fantastic camping & there is still so much for us to explore, can't wait to get back down that way. It was the 15th of January 2015 when we left SA & into VIC. More on that to come. 

Leaving SA

Map courtesy of HEMA 

Image courtesy of Google Earth

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