Sorry you haven’t heard from us for a while, we have been enjoying ourselves a little too much……….Continuing on from the last post………..
We waved goodbye to Ossie and Maria at Black Point and drove towards Port Augusta past Port Germein once an important transport hub for the surrounding districts following the opening of its jetty in 1881 – at the time known as the longest jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. When we arrived at Port Germein the heat was oppressive, we could see the heat rising off the road like a mirage. We got out of the car for a few minutes and had to return back to the car’s air-conditioning.
Slightly South of Cowell about half way down the eastern Eyre Peninsula we camped one night at Iron knob, a free camping spot on a small headland. Dan was in his element and caught Snapper off the rocks although as dusk the mozzies joined forces and began to attack savagely. We decided we couldn’t possibly stay for another night.
The following day was still very hot and we dropped into Port Neil to break up our drive and went snorkeling at the jetty and cooked up whiting for lunch under the shade of the foreshore park trees across the road from the old corner pub. We stopped in at Tumby Bay to have a real ice coffee, which cooled us down and fuelled us up to continue along dirt roads and 4wd tracks, which led us to Louth Bay. A spectacular sunset was all we got to see of Louth Bay from our exposed headland campsite. In the early morning a raging southerly wind hit accompanied by rain, which almost picked up our tent with us in it. We were forced to pack up before dawn as the weather was becoming fiercer and we drove to Eyre Peninsula’s largest town of Port Lincoln for a well deserve coffee and hot breakfast.
Port Lincoln is on the southern tip of the peninsula and is famous for diving with great whites and bluefin tuna farms. It’s a surprising large place boasting the largest fishing fleet in the southern hemisphere. Its also home to Lincoln National Park which was high on our list and is a must if your in the area.
The National Park is huge and offers coastal camping on both the southern ocean side and the more protected waters of the Port. For those that love to hunt and gather their own seafood there are few places as rich as this. Lobsters, scallops, abalone are all on offer for those that will brave the chilly waters.
We visited the Fresh Fish Place which have tours of the processing of fish as well as being a great fish shop. They had beautifully presented fresh fish as well as other seafood delicacies. We tried their smoked squid and snapper wings, which were very tasty. They also had pretty yummy looking fish and chips and fish wraps at their café.
The highlight of Port Lincoln National Park is almost certainly Memory Cove Protection Area. On the Ocean side of the park peninsula this small cove is virtually facing north making it protected from the dominant wind and swell. It’s a 1.5 hour 4wd track in and there are only 5 camping spots. It’s so popular that you are only allowed to stay 3 nights. You need to book ahead and get a key in Port Lincoln to open the gates to get there but its all well worth it.
As soon as you enter the Protection area you can tell it is very special. Emus grazing on the grassy planes, beautifully colourful Port Lincoln parrots flying infront of the car along the 4WD track and blue wrens zooming around. The beach was beautiful for swimming and it was lovely practicing yoga here in the morning. We snorkeled around the rocks and collected Abalone and tried sea urchin roe which is a Japanese delicacy and so sweet.
We walked out to the headland with fishing rods in hand and were greeted by an extremely friendly sealion who was very curious. He swam into have another good look at us with his whiskers and ears alert and then proceeded to show off by jumping and flipping. We caught many varieties of fish off the beautiful lichen covered granite boulders- King George Whiting, Flathead, Blue Throat Wrasse, Leather Jacket, which we kept to cook up a beer battered fish feast for a late lunch.
BEER BATTERED FISH WITH AVOCADO, TOMATO & CORRIANDER SALSA
BEER BATTERED FISH
filleted medallions of fresh fish
½ can of beer
½ – 1 cup of flour (slowly added to achieve desired consistency)
good pinch of salt and pepper
rice bran oil
– whip up beer, egg, salt and pepper and slowly add and whip up flour in a bowl until you achieve your preferred batter consistency
(a thin cold batter will create a light coating on fish similar to tempura, thick batter will create a thicker coating of batter)
– Heat up the rice bran oil either in a frying pan or wok. Ensure that the level of oil comes half way up the thickness of the fish medallions (shallow frying)
– Test the oil is hot enough by dropping a little batter in the pan, it is important that the batter sizzles vigorously. HOT oil is important.
– Once the oil is hot enough coat the fish medallions in batter dunking them into the batter bowl and then carefully lower them into the hot oil.
(You may need to do a few batches. Remember if you overload the frying pan the oil will cool down too much)
– Turn the fish medallions over carefully once they are golden brown and continue the process on the opposite side. Once golden on both sides take them out with a slotted spoon placing them on some paper towel.
– Serve on a platter and season with salt and cut up some lemon/ lime wedges to squeeze on before eaten.
2 tomatoes diced
1 large avocado diced
½ bunch of coriander chopped roughly
¼ spanish onion finely diced
juice of 1 lime
drizzle of olive oil
good pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients tossing the diced tomato, avocado, onion and coriander in the lime and olive oil and season
We made a few friends in Port Lincoln, Will and Jen and Jake and Symone who we shared tasty freshly caught snacks and evening drinks with. We even had lobster hand captured by Dan. Jake and Dan had many things in common, fishing, snorkeling and cooking. We had fire down at the beach at Fisherman’s Point one evening cooking skewers over hot coals under the evening sky. As darkness fell we noticed small shrimp sized prawns in the shallows. Jake and Dan very excited. They proceeded to chase the prawns around with torches and scoop nets and then wack them straight in the hot wok, coming out crispy and salted South East Asian style.
We had some pretty crazy weather at Port Lincoln National Park. One week was unbearably hot and one day was announced a Catastrophic Day and the National Park was closed. We were all set up and the ranger came around in the evening to notify us that the park would be closed the following day and they were expecting the temperature to rise to 45°C during the day, and a very extreme fire danger. We decided to keep our camp set up and went into town for the day and returned in the evening when the cool southerly change came through. The following days we had extremely heavy rain for 2 days straight and we could hardly leave the tent and just watched movies and read, we were camping in a huge muddy puddle. We woke up one morning delighted (NOT) that the water had soaked through the bottom of our tent and our sheets and sleep bag was dripping wet!! YUK! We packed up after the rain had subsided and decided to head to Coffin Bay, only a 30min drive away from Port Lincoln.
We stayed in cabin in Coffin Bay for 3 nights to dry out after the wet soggy days. Coffin Bay is a picturesque small coastal town most famous for its commercial Pacific Oyster industry. Coffin Bay, has an estuary like inlet of large sand flats and cold crystal clear southern ocean water.
In the morning I went for a long walk along the foreshore ‘The Oyster Walk’ which was beautiful walking past the old fishing shacks, coming across beautiful swimming beaches and little bays while watching the oyster farmer jet boats zoom by. We walked down to the jetty late one afternoon and had a dozen oysters with a bottle of champagne before dinner while we watched locals fishing off the jetty and the King George Whiting beneath us snacking on our oyster shells.
Being Oyster lovers we took the opportunity to tour a local oyster farm. Interestingly the area originally harvested native ‘Angasi’ oysters but after many decades these became fished out and Pacific Oysters were introduced. The farm we toured has started to grow the native oysters commercially alongside the Pacific’s so we slugged back several of each type. Honestly there wasn’t a big difference in taste but this is probably because they were both only just coming into the good season to eat them.
We then ventured into the National Park staying at Black Springs camping area where Dan swam with a seal in the morning and then we continued driving to Point Sir Issac through sand dunes, along the beach and through open grassy plains where we saw families of emus. It’s at least 40km to get all the way to the tip of the park at Point Sir Isaac and we set up camp and didn’t see anyone for 5 days. We fished off the rocks, went swimming and snorkeling in a beautiful protected rock pool where great white sharks weren’t of any concern. Driving out of the national park we spotted a large dead log along sand flats with large mussels growing. We collected the mussels and then found and collect cockles near the weed beds, which we cooked up for dinner with white wine.
Leaving Coffin Bay we came across a sweet local produce market in the community hall. The highlight stall was run by two greek Mummas who had a beautiful array of slices, marinated olives, artichokes, cakes, deep red perfectly ripe tomatoes, spinach and home grown garlic.
We were sad to leave Coffin Bay as it was such a beautiful town but we thought we should move on and we drove to Farm Beach which is meant to be King Geroge Whiting hot spot. The beach is perfect for beach driving and one of those fantastic spots that you can pull up in the car, set-up the awning and have all your creature comforts while you fish. Dan caught some KG whiting, and at the end of the day just before cooking dinner I caught a 600mm+ flathead which are not so common in SA. The camping/ council caravan park at Farm Beach was packed full of Grey Nomads in their caravans/ buses all meeting up for drink in the late afternoon talking about their fishing success of the day.
Next post to follow will continue along the West Coast of the Eyre Peninsula SA.