Time to Reminisce 14 – South Australia Expedition Part 2

As we finished up our Yorke Peninsula checking it was time to check off a few more sites in the Mid North Region of the state before hitting the Eyre Peninsula. Predominantly an agricultural region there a still campsites here that are well worth considering for their scenic beauty and relaxation if the coast becomes that bit too crowded for you. White Cliffs Reserve is located near the rural hamlet of Koolunga where you may even spot the mythical Bunyip. Sightings here have been recorded since the 1800s.

Morning tea break at White Cliffs Reserve

Appila Springs

Our final night on the Mid North before heading for the open expanse of the Eyre Peninsula was in Mount Remarkable National Park. Mambray Creek Campground is located in the south of the park and we have camped here on several occasions over the years. It is easily accessible off the Princes Highway and even includes hot showers, so is the perfect for an overnight stop. Keep an eye out for the resident emus that are often spotted wandering the campground.

Camping at Mambray Creek

We were soon motoring down the Eyre Peninsula heading for the main town in these parts, Port Lincoln where you will find all of your modern day conveniences. Along the way of course we had to check out a number of camping areas along the beautiful shores of Spencer Gulf.

Fitzgerald Bay, just outside Whyalla
Time for a cuppa at The Knob near the village of Cowell
Lipson Cove along the Lower Eyre

After restocking in Port Lincoln and due to the deteriorating weather conditions we decided to get accomodation in town whilst we field checked the surrounding camping areas in nearby Lincoln National Park and one of our favourites, Coffin Bay National Park. This area has so much to offer those seeking some peace and solitude along our often crowded coastal areas, this maybe one reason why we love this region.

The stormy coast in Lincoln National Park
Cape Donnington Lighthouse
Donnington Cottage, where you can stay in the park.We had previously stayed in this beautiful cottage which we can highly recommend.

Along the way to Coffin Bay National Park we called into the privately owned Whalers Way, a simply stunning southern coastal location that for a fee you are allowed access to this incredible oceanfront property along with a nights camping included with your permit.

The entrance to the privately owned Whalers Way

The picturesque coast of Coffin Bay

Following the coast along the southern Eyre Peninsula there are just beautiful coastal vistas one after the other and you are spoilt for choice of where you want to stop and explore.

The aptly named Farm Beach along the Lower Eyre

The lonely monument to sister DB Millard

The coastline of Greenly Beach

Awe inspiring sand hills along the Lower Eyre

Just out from the seaside village of Elliston The Great Ocean Tourist Drive can be found with its intriguing Sculptures on the Cliffs. We have visited here on a number of occasions over the years and it never fails to impress. Initially established in 2002 to commemorate the meeting of Matthew Flinders and the french explorer Nicolas Baudin in 1802 off these South Australian waters there has been many and varied sculptures displayed along these cliff tops. Some of these come and go whilst others are permanent fixtures so you never quite know what you may come across.

Talia Caves was the next stop on our whirlwind tour of the Southern Eyre Peninsula, a breathtaking spot on the shores of Waterloo Bay.

More stunning coastal vistas were on hand to keep us on track of our job at hand. We could think of a worse office setting to be in. As we made our way further west towards the town of Ceduna we came across one stunning oceanfront campsite after the next, most being deserted.

Baird Bay Campground
Exploring Sceale Bay Conservation Park between Sceale Bay and Streaky Bay

The captivating waters of Speeds Point. We have since camped here on the return from longer jaunts and found it to be a peaceful, relaxing spot to recharge the batteries.

The aptly named Tractor Beach

Stunning Perlubie Beach
The impressive Haslam Jetty

Just shy of Ceduna we were treated to a stunning sunset whilst camped in Wittelbee Conservation Park

After restocking in Ceduna we pointed the bonnet of the Rodeo west once again in search of more amazing scenery and deserted campgrounds. About 40km west of Ceduna Davenport Creek is yet another picturesque spot to throw down the swag.

Beautiful Davenport Creek

Moving further west it was time to explore the little known Chadinga Conservation Park.

Next on the agenda, more white sandy beaches and deep blue ocean at Fowlers Bay heading deeper into the Eyre Peninsula.

More isolated coast and stunning vistas can be found in Wahgunya Conservation Park at Cape Adieu

Further west we hit the edge of the vast Nullarbor Plain with the sprawling Nullarbor National Park next to be ticked off our list. At least a night camped out here is a must and if you are lucky enough you may even have the place to yourself. We pulled up at the historic Gilgerabbie Hut for the night. It is also possible to rent the hut for the night from National Parks, however our trusty Shippshape Tent would do for the night.

A stunning Nullarbor sunset at Gilgerabbie Hut

Further west and still within Nullarbor National Park are the historic remains of Koonalda Homestead. Once a sheep grazing property Koonalda is located on the original Eyre Highway, an array of old abandoned cars adjacent to the historic homestead complex is testament to this. There is an historic shearing shed to explore along with other outbuildings including a petrol station. If you head past the buildings and follow a track north you will find the Koonalda Cave, an impressive sight along this otherwise flat expanse.

Before heading inland on our return journey it was time to take one final look at the beautiful coastline along the Nullarbor vowing that we would return to this magical place.

Heading back east more camping areas needed to be checked off our list as out time was all too soon coming to an end. Just outside the farming hamlet of Minnipa are a couple incredible rock formations that should be on your to visit list along the Eyre. Large intriguing rock formations can be found at Tcharkuldu Rock as well as an historic stone built shepherds hut whilst at Pildappa Rock has an impressive wave formation. Camping is available at both sites at the base of the rocks and we opt for a night at the former.

Next morning back on the road early once again we headed into Gawler Ranges National Park. Unfortunately due to time constraints as well as storms that had lashed the region, a large section of the park was closed so we were only able to visit a few sites in the far South West of the park. This is another spot we vowed to return to, this one still being on that list.

One of our final stops along the Eyre on this journey was Lake Gillies Conservation Park for some lunch and a cuppa before starting the long journey home. We had previously camped here on the shores of the the then dry salt lake and see it this time with some water was a complete contrast. These places just continue to amaze us.

Our final night in South Australia was to be back at Mambray Creek in Mount Remarkable National Park where we were treated to a farewell sunset, what better way to cap off this whirlwind trip.

Along our long journey home we still managed to check off a few more top camping spots both in South Australia and back in New South Wales.

A cuppa stop in Morgan Conservation Park along the bank of the mighty Murray River
Taking a break in Murray River Reserves at Ramco Point
More of the beautiful Murray in Maize Island Conservation Park

Lunch in Loch Luna Game Reserve, South Australia

Even more sights along the mighty Murray River within the Murray River National Park we explore multiple sections before pulling up to camp beside the river at Lyrup Flat for our final night of this incredible albeit whirlwind trip of some of the finest camp spots to be found in South Australia. It certainly left us, as South Australia always does, wanting for more.

However our trip was not quite over just yet. The final leg saw us taking in more riverside camping spots in New South Wales, this time along the beautiful Murrumbidgee River in the outback around the Hay region. A top way to finish this epic journey.

Thank you for joining us on this South Australian expedition and make sure you join us next time as we journey through the years on our Time to Reminisce series.

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