From Innes National Park to Edithburgh

Our parkup at Pondalowie Bay, Innes National Park

Our parkup at Pondalowie Bay in the Innes National Park

The Innes National Park was the perfect place to spend the long weekend relaxing and not having to travel. While we don’t mind the ‘roady’ journey, it is good just once in a while to stay put for a few days. Interesting though, by Monday morning we both had itchy feet and were very happy to be on the road again.

We undertook some stunning walks while at ‘the Innes’.

Dearne on Cape Spencer, Innes National Park

Dearne on our Cape Spencer walk in the Innes National Park

We visited Inneston which, in the early 1900’s, was home to some 200 gypsum miners. Rock gypsum, the type found here, is a soft white mineral and when crushed, refined and dried, sets into hard permanent cement or plaster – an innovative building product of that day. Although the site has been abandoned for decades, considerable effort has been made to provide an attraction where visitors can learn about this special part of South Australia’s history.

Around the perimeter of the Park a walking track highlights the tragic marine history of this dangerous coastline. No less than 40 shipwrecks are found on the coast – some of these quite visible from the tracks. We climbed down the cliff at Ethel Beach where the barque ‘Ethel’ came to rest. On 2 January 1904 she was blown off course and struck a reef off Cape Spencer. With a damaged rudder and battling strong winds, she was blown ashore. The wreck is still very visible in the sand.

Rod returning from fishing

Rod still cannot resist throwing a line in the water when we are anywhere around the coast

While the coastline itself is mostly bare rock, the hills away from the coast are covered with low scrub – very similar to our tea-tree. As we discovered, it is the perfect habitat for possums, the grey kangaroo, emu and a huge variety of other birds. The Park’s reptiles love sunning themselves on the roadsides so one had to be ‘animal’ aware when driving. There is a 40km speed limit throughout the park.

On Monday morning it was back on the road and on to Yorketown. Yorketown is a 100km drive from the National Park and is surrounded by some 200 salt lakes. The town originally had a history of harvesting the lakes but nowadays the salt formations are a boon for photography tourism.

A Yorketown Salt Lake

A typical Yorketown salt lake – the pink is real and looks stunning

We were hoping to stock up on a few essential items at Yorketown however we came unstuck as Monday was the public holiday and in Australia a ‘public holiday’ means a ‘public holiday’. Nobody works and Yorketown was shut down. We were down to our last 25 percent of fresh water, we needed an LPG top up, the captain had run out of Coruba (the wine cellar was still looked good) and the fridge/freezer was rather bare.

We decided to carry on to Edithburgh hoping that something would be open however we found the same situation. Our only success, to the captain’s delight, was the local hotel was open and they stocked Coruba.  Luckily we had enough food onboard to get us through another night. We made Edithburgh our overnight stop on Monday.

We made the decision to stay at Edithburgh until Wednesday and this morning (Tuesday) drove the jeep back to Yorketown to stock up on our supplies. We spent a pleasant day looking around the area and we are now back at the motorhome just in time for ‘happy hour’. We managed to achieve everything we set out to do today.

We have just received a weather bomb warning for this part of the Yorke Peninsuala. We were advised to expect 80kt winds, heavy rains and thunderstorms in the next few hours. We are battened down and have moved well away from any trees.

Tomorrow morning we will continue up the east coast of the Yorke Peninsula and back into the Gulf St Vincent. We have been reliably informed that there are a number of crabbing opportunities along the coast so it was a brilliant decision to keep the crab rake from our last adventure.

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