We passed through Sheringa, with a quaint little roadhouse and camped behind the sand dunes finding a little grassy nook. In the evening we had a fire, cooking a camp oven roast with a fellow camper- Stewart. We then made our way to Elliston, which is a very sweet country town with a great bakery and a cliff top sculpture loop drive. We drove past interesting sculptures, surf breaks and amazing vistas of the limestone cliffs of the Australian Bight.
Our next port of call was Venus Bay. Venus Bay was a beautiful small town looking out to a glassy calm bay. The jetty was great for fishing for squid and king george whiting. There was also a resident sealion who lived under the jetty and you could here him breathing and huffing and puffing beneath you. Venus Bay also had a wonderful rugged cliff walk. During our walk along the cliff edge we spotted dolphins, sealions and Dan spotted a large school of salmon balled up in the deeper water off the cliffs. He very excitedly tied a lure onto his fishing rod, casting at the school and caught two large salmon hauling them up the jagged cliff edge. After our walk we went to the fish cleaning table at the jetty to clean the salmon and we fed the healthy, fat and cheeky pelicans. In the evening we made a Penang Fish Curry, which was a lovely way to finish off the day.
Moving on from Venus Bay we went to Streaky Bay, driving past the famous surf break ‘Granites’ where the surf was pumping. The township of Streaky Bay is pretty big for the area boasting 2 different supermarkets! It doesn’t sound that exciting but when you have been in the middle of nowhere for a while with not much choice it is a luxury. The pub overlooking the jetty is perfect, you can set a few blue swimmers pots, wander up to the pub for a beer then come back and check the pots. Repeat the process several times and you should have a big feed of crabs and be very chatty too.
There is a great restaurant/ café called Mocean overlooking the jetty, which had fantastic food, drinks and coffee. We had a lovely abalone salad and a few bloody mary’s which were bliss after not going out for a meal or a drink for a while.
Inside Streaky Bay is a small beach called Perlubie. Its 10km from the township and costs only $5 a night to camp at. The beach has 4-5 charming shade shelters, which you can camp under. There is also a string of smaller shelters, which we discovered were old stables. The story goes that in the 1890s two farming families had a argument whose horse was the faster. To sort it out they proposed a horse race on the beach. This grew into an annual event, which only just recently stopped unfortunately due to public liability concerns.
After camping for months, a roof over your head, even when made of thatched saltbush, is quite the luxury. A majestic sunset on our first night, and finding large blue swimmer crabs wandering the sandflats in the morning, we decided Perlubie deserved a long stay and the hammock was erected. Plenty of campers enjoyed the other shelters and stayed for quite a while too which made for an almost small community feel. We went over to our new friend Russ’s caravan to have a wonderful Laksa one night and then we had people over for dinner other nights.
One warm balmy evening we had a ‘blue swimmer crab dinner fiesta’ with everyone contributing different crab dishes. It was such a fun evening, the adults chatting away and the kids running around, playing cricket on the beach. As night fell the local scorpion population came out to see what all the noise was about. The first few scorpions were exciting and something different but by the time we had seen number 30 it became a bit of a concern.
CORN FRITTAS WITH CRAB SALSA
Served at the blue swimmer crab dinner fiesta.
With an abundance of blue swimmer crabs we caught we cooked up the crab and shelled them all which was quite a messy task but well worth it!
To clean crab, pull off back flap and top shell of crab, cleaning away the guts and break crab in half cleaning away any guts.
Boil salt water from the ocean in a large pot or add a good amount of salt to a boiling pot of fresh water.
Place crab into boiling water and cook for 7-10 mins
Take out, cool the crab and then crack open the shell of the legs, nippers and body and place in a bowl and refrigerate.
420g can of corn kernels
1 ½ cups of flour
¼ a cup of milk (or keep adding to get a desired consistency)
pinch of salt and peper
Combine all ingredients in bowl to create batter
Heat a dash of olive oil in a frying pan
Spoon out small scoops of corn batter into frying pan in batches (corn frittas to be snack size)
Combine crab meat, tomato, avocado, coriander, lime juice and salt and pepper
And spoon out onto corn frittas, and serve on platter.
It was headed towards Ceduna for a night after Perlubie to have a hot shower, restock and wash the car. Ceduna is the last big town before you hit the Nullabor to cross the boarder into WA. After finishing our jobs in Ceduna we drove to Cactus Beach on the coast and then found our way on a 4WD track out of Cactus to Chadinga Conservation Reserve. Dan had heard that this was the area to catch Mulloway during the day on these beaches, which is very exciting for a fisherman. Dan fished the beach at Chadinga from the morning to the afternoon as the tide was rising. Then something hit is line, as he was reeling it in he thought it was a salmon and then as he slid it out of the froth of the breaking waves and up the sand it was revealed. It was a Mulloway. He was ecstatic! For dinner that night we had soy and honey marinated Mulloway cutlets, which we slow cooked over the fire coals. The fish was tender and succulent.
Our last stop in South Australia was Fowlers Bay. We heard wonderful things about Fowlers while traveling and knew that a lot of the beaches would be protected from the big swell and wind that was hammering the open beaches. Fowlers lived up to its reputation. An amazing little town that is adjacent to an enormous sand dune, the contrast between the old heritage buildings and the sand dune is bazaar. Apparently the dune is moving towards the town at a considerable rate and within 20 years they may have to move the town!
Just outside the town there are fantastic 4wd tracks, through alien like salt flats, along beaches and rocky headlands at Fowlers Bay Conservation Reserve. Fringing reef protects plenty of the beaches from the full swell making it a perfect place to fish for King George Whiting.
We spent a few days at Scotts Point beach, which was protected from the wind and idyllic. Dan fished and was very successful in catching beautiful KG whiting for yummy dinners. We had a lovely couple from Melbourne, Julie and Bill and their friends Melanie and Andy who were camping neighbours. We had a great time together talking about food and sipping on warming Whiskey Macs (a mixture of Scotch Whiskey and Stones Green Ginger Wine) by the fire. At midnight after a few drinks we were a little hungry again so we pulled out the jaffle iron and created baked bean and blue cheese jaffles for supper, which Julie and Bill used to make when they first started camping- They were yummmmo.
What a perfect way to end our 3 ½ month coastal adventure in South Australia.
NOW TO THE NULLARBOR AND ULTIMATELY, WESTERN AUSTRALIA!