Eyre Peninsula: The Search for Emu (Van around Australia Part One)

Torquay VIC to Ceduna SA (20th April – 27th April)

Introduction

We’ve decided to resurrect this blog to use as a diary of our big trip that we can look back on, and to let people know what we’re up to if they’re interested. This post will be a bit brief but we’ve decided to take better notes as we go along now so that writing a post isn’t so much effort, so future posts might be more frequent and more detailed.

Looking back at some of the blog posts from our previous trip it looks like a lot of the images are now broken links, I’ll slowly fix that when I have a chance, we still have the photos, it’s just a matter of fixing the links.

West Victoria

On the way out of Victoria we stopped at Tower Hill, an island of green in the surrounding pastures, to look for emus. We didn’t see them in the nature reserve, but found them scrounging for snacks in the carpark.

We also found a great free campsite near Portland called “Sawpit Campsite” that had a built in mountain bike track!

The next day, before we left Victoria we had to stop in at Swan Lake, the sand dunes are still as massive as ever. We attempted to use a skim board to slide down the dunes. We had partial success.

We spent a bit too long at the dunes and had to make a mad dash for Robe Brewery. We made it with five minutes to spare. Luckily they stayed open after closing time and we got a great tasting paddle.

Overnight we stayed at Kingston S.E. RV park which was quite nice. We were awoken with a foul stench that turned out to be the sprinklers that seem to use sewerage water. The town was nice too but it was a shame that we were up so early so nothing was open. We headed onwards to Adelaide via the Coorong.

Coorong

Rode replica ostrich to pay respects to the “Birdman of the Coorong” a tiny man who robbed people on ostrich back.

Also learned about a naturally occurring substance that was found in the Coorongs called “coorongite” that can be turned into crude oil and sparked an oil rush that went nowhere.

Both these things would make great podcasts if they aren’t already.

Google tried to kill us on the way to Prancing Pony by taking us up a 4WD only fire track that it somehow found in middle of some Adelaide suburb. We had to turn off Google and navigate the “ye olde” way, turns out that we had passed Prancing Pony a half hour ago. Then Prancing Pony tried to kill us by feeding us too many chicken wings.

Port Augusta and Eyre Peninsula

We had too much fun in Adelaide so there aren’t any photos. We did a tour of the Adelaide breweries on bike. Adelaide tried to kill us by having subpar bike infrastructure and making us ride on main roads without shoulders (don’t worry, we used footpaths). Shout out to Bowden Brewery which had the best food we had ever tasted at a brewery. 👌🤤

Went to bontanic gardens at port Augusta. Had ice cream with native bush food (quandong and native lime).

Camped at a campground on a very wide and shallow bay that Sean named ‘Port Pongus’ because it smelled like seaweed.

Stopped in at Whyalla. Coming in it looks like dystopian wasteland but once you get into the town its really nice! Highlight was the circular pier that was “once in a generation” according to the brochure.

We were on a mission to find oysters as we were heading closer to Coffin Bay, but all the oysters were on holiday for the long weekend.

Whalers Way

Whalers way is a scenic drive around the bottom of the Eyre Peninsula with lots of lookouts over the rocky cliffs. Highlight was probably seeing the fur seal colony, but we were at such a distance we could only really see what they were doing through the camera lens.

Coffin Bay and the Western coast of Eyre Peninsula

Heading up the west side of the Eyre Peninsula we camped at Coffin Bay. We didn’t have very high hopes for oysters, given it was Anzac Day and the oysters were probably still on holiday. However, we managed to find some oysters at the petrol station!

We went to our campsite at Coffin Bay national park and started shucking them. We kept getting a waft of a terrible smell but we put it down to just being downwind of the toilets. Then we cracked open a rotten oyster. The smell was like nothing we had ever smelled before and we ran down to the water in a panic and banished it to the depths, before disposing of anything that went anywhere near it and scrubbing our hands for hours.

We named the demon oyster “everpong” after the Foo Fighter’s song “Everlong” that someone was playing badly on an acoustic guitar a few campsites down.

The next day we camped at Tractor Beach which had one of the nicest sunsets we had ever seen.

At some point we also visited Murphy’s Haystacks. They are a strange rock formation, named by someone who apparently needed glasses.

Onwards to Ceduna to the start of the Nullarbor Plains (next blog post!)

Bonus: Sea Lions!

We actually saw the sea lion colony near Talia Caves but thought they deserved their own section!

Bonus: Plants of South Australia

Athena looks some really nice photos of plants in South Australia that we thought deserved their own section.

Bonus: Video

We also made a video (it was more fun than writing a blog post so we did it first).

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