Into Smoky Bay for Easter Weekend

Murphys Haystacks

Murphy’s Haystacks at sunset

Our journey on Monday took us through Elliston, past Port Kenny and to one of the Peninsula’s tourist attractions – Murphy’s Haystacks. The haystacks are formed from ancient granite rocks dating back some 1,500 million years. The pillars and boulders in their present day form only go back as far as 100,000 years!!

Local legend has it that the formation acquired its name when a Scottish agricultural expert first saw the landmark from a distance and likened them to a ‘haystack’. A Denis Murphy then owned the land surrounding the ‘haystacks’, so ‘Murphy’s Haystacks’ they became. An additional attraction for us was that the site offered an overnight stop opportunity. For $4.00, we had a park for the night.

On Tuesday morning we were back on the Flinders Highway and heading north.  As we said in the last blog update we were hoping to find an Easter Weekend stopover somewhere between Elliston and Streaky Bay but in reality there is not too much around. Ninety percent of the roads from the Flinders Highway to the west coast of the Peninsula are dirt roads and many are not suitable for the motorhome to travel on.

Haslam Waterfront

Haslam waterfront from the pier

We spent an hour or so having lunch and a wander around Streaky Bay then continued a further 30km north to the coastal village of Haslam. Haslam has the reputation of providing low cost camping to motorhomers and caravaners who have just completed, or are embarking on the Nullabor or who are heading across to Port Augusta to start on a journey up the middle. We gladly took full advantage of the village’s hospitality. For $5.00 per night, we were about 50 metres from the water and on good hard ground. We ended up staying for two nights.

We awoke Wednesday morning to a brilliant day and after a ‘late start’ it was out fishing gear and crab pot and onto the Haslam jetty to try our luck. We are still struggling with the size of fish people are keeping over here – 8cm to 10cm is a keeper with some species!! To the Captains credit, all his catch was returned to the ocean. The crab pot produced half a dozen good-sized sand crabs but again, it was the big blue crab he was after so the catch went back into the sea.

Rod crab hunting

Rod emptying his crab pot – only sand crabs unfortunately

While at Haslam we managed to secure ourselves a four-night parkover during Easter weekend at Smoky Bay, another seaside village a further 40km up the coast. So this morning it was back on the road and into Smoky Bay.

Smoky Bay has a population of 200 and is the regions producer of Pacific Oysters. The Smoky Bay oyster farmers supply 50% of the local, interstate and international markets. The plan is to stay here until Easter Monday then head east again towards Port Augusta where we will pause for a few days before heading up the middle.

Have a great Easter break everyone and if you are travelling, drive safe.


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