Ceduna is an important township situated on the western side of the Eyre Peninsula approx 780 km from Adelaide. It is a busy sea port exporting grain, salt, mineral sand and gypsum. Aquaculture is also a major industry with pacific oyster growing a key activity, along with deep sea and tuna fishing also being important. Ceduna is also popular as a holiday destination, with beach activities and fishing the main attractions.
We had come to Ceduna from Googs Track and had arrived in town a day early due to the poor weather report and set up our base at one of the caravan parks. Our plan had been to explore and camp at the nearby Davenport Creek area, but the stormy weather had also brought in huge high tides right across the Eyre Peninsula and also over to Adelaide. That day, the furious winds blew any rain away, so the group ventured out to Davenport Creek for a look.
Davenport Creek is the most westerly site in South Australia for mangroves. They grow in thick profusion here right along the creek. Birds such as the Pied Cormorant nest in the mangroves. The usual road to the beach was under water, so we found another way through the dunes, which took us along the beach. Here we had to be careful as some sections were under water, but most of the beach was firm. There was some fun driving on the dunes, again mostly firm with our lowered tyre pressures, although here we found the full force of the wind and blowing sand – and some difficulty standing upright. The convoy followed a track through the dunes and right out to the end of the peninsula at Point Peter, where we had a fine view of Ceduna across the bay.
Next day the weather was worse, so we headed down to Streaky Bay to see if it was better there. It wasn’t, with the wind still at gale force plus some short, sharp, heavy showers. The tide was still high with seas foaming angrily whipped up by the strong winds. After lunch and dodging more rain, we went out to Cape Bauer. We have been to Streaky Bay a couple of times and stood on the beach wondering where the road across the bay went to and today we found out.
Cape Bauer has many interesting features, and Whistling Rocks and the Blow Holes were at their best. These are unique geological formations created when vertical cracks in the limestone become enlarged over thousands of years. With the high tide and storm conditions there was plenty of action to be seen and photographed.
Finally the wind dropped next day and the rain disappeared so we moved on further west towards Fowlers Bay. Our first stop was at the windmill town of Penong, where an outdoor museum displays an array of different windmills.
From Penong we turned off the main road and headed for Point Sinclair. This was an interesting drive, that crossed a causeway where the water was pink from the algae growing there. At the Point a long jetty poked out into a bay protected by the headland. We retraced our steps a short distance to Cactus Beach, home of surfing along this coast.
Now it was back to Penong and onto Fowlers Bay, where we booked into the caravan park, let out tyres down again and headed for the nearby giant sand dunes. Once again the sand was firm underneath as we headed over the dunes and followed the track along the narrow peninsula out to Point Fowler where are the stone remains of what once was a whaling station.
The weather had been stormy, but luckily we were able to take some advantage of the conditions, enjoying the sand dune driving and seeing the ocean waves at their spectacular best.
Contributed by Anne.