I finish work at mid day on Fridays so I packed the car ready to go on Thursday night and went straight from work. Had a quick lunch and picked up some bait on the way, got to camp about 3 O'clock at Gleesons landing camp ground. Fully self contained here except for the very nasty long drop toilets. Took me about an hour to get set up, I'm still learning the right order to do things quickly
Got one of the last few spots to camp and from when I got there till about 11 at night there were cars turning up every 10 minutes looking for somewhere to camp and being disappointed. After dark they all had their $10k worth of LED light bars and spotties turned on lighting up the entire coast and every poor soul in their way. Yorkes on a long weekend is famously busy and the traffic jam at Pt Wakefield on the way home is legendary.
This was the view from the top of the dune right behind my tent, not bad!
Still had plenty of time after I setup before dark so went to explore the beach north of Gleesons landing, see if I would be able to drive to my fishing spot. Aired down in the car park before the beach and went for an exploratory drive. Have to say I was pretty amazed at what the old girl could do. The sand was dry and SOFT! so soft, and the tracks at the top of the beach were so so deep I was scraping the belly for a lot of the time. Because of this I was right down the other side of the beach before I could safely turn around
Made it all the way there and back again without getting stuck once, to many cheers and astounded looks from other 4WD'ers. One group stopped me and asked if they could take a photo Happy I could do the beach safely the next day, I headed back to camp and tried to catch some more bait from the reef behind camp. Only cought a couple of massive puffer fish with huge teeth before I lost my hook on a rock. Retired to camp and enjoyed the sunset.
When I got back another familly/car load had set up their camp trailer in the same bay as me It was council camp site after all, no alotted spots or max capacity like there is in national parks, free for all basically if there is space and you're pushy enough you can set up anywhere. And they did, by Saturday there were dozens more camps set up in every nook. Long weekends
Saw a flying male inch ant for the first time that night, some type of Myrmecia I believe
Next day a quick breakfast and back out to the beach 8AM to claim the fishing spot. This time was completely different to the night before, got stuck numerous times. Either the sand changed over night or I forgot how to drive Nothing I couldn't get myself out of with just a small shovel though. Learned the 4WD almost seems to work better in reverse which came in handly a lot.
Did get this shot with the sund behind (not stuck in this photo)
Spent a good 6 hours fishing until high tide at 2, caught countless undersized salmon trout on the small rod. One or two were not going to survive re-release so I used them as a whole bait on the big rod hoping for something bigger (everyone was talking about mulloway) which never eventuated except one bait came back in with a big bite taken out of it, missed the hook of course Still it was fantastic to just be there. Saw dolphins in the waves and a big shark tail flick out of the water at one point, I think the dolphins and the shark were fighting over something, food maybe?
Eventually the salmon even went off the bite so I got restless and decided to change spots...this was a mistake. Packed up and headed back south and got stuck even more times and worse than the morning! For some reason the car would occasionally pop out of the tracks at the top of the beach and then and just sink into the soft stuff, couldn't make my own tracks. The steering seemingly made no difference, I aired down again as much as I dared (less than 8 psi!) Sometimes if I was moving at all the car was just crabbing sideways down the beach towards the water. Did a lot of reversing to get myself out only to not be able to go forward again. Lots of digging. Eventually I pointed it down towards the water onto some more solid ground, gunned it, got as much speed up as I could in 2nd gear low range and just barreled up the beach back onto the tracks at the top. Once there I wasn't game to stop again so just went straight for the exit. Still, never used the max tracks, just a small shovel.
This photo was in between getting stuck, kinda shows the lean angle going on which I think was pushing me off the tracks, steering made no difference. You can sort of see how deep and soft the stuff is to the right of the track, If I got into that I was stuck immediately.
Was getting a bit agro from this so went back to camp for lunch and to cool off. Ended up driving to corny point after to check it out (lovely spot, glad I went) then decided to go the opposite way again down to Stenhouse bay jetty to use up the last of my cockles. Another lovely spot. Nobody was catching anything here, I got 2 leather jackets. As I was leaving 3 blokes turned up with two trolleys, a dozen rods each and their swags! They were going to spend the night fishing on the jetty. Fair play to them I say, wish I had that dedication!
Got back to camp at 8PM to find ANOTHER tent had sprung up in between me and the other trailer in our bay Was glad to leave this morning before anybody else had even got out of bed, albeit with everything being wet from copious amounts of dew and a morning rain shower. Was on the road again by 9:30. Stopped once or twice for sight seeing and to fuel up. Came off the northern expressway into Adelaide and straight into lunchtime gridlock behind a 3 car pile up on South road Got home just before 1:30. Time to unpack everything again to dry it out properly, and the poor car needs a wash!
In all I'm glad I went. It's been so easy to get caught up in doing nothing but work and veging out at home all weekend in recent years. It takes effort to get out and about, but it is worth it. I'd forgotten how nice it is on Yorkes, defenitely have to put the effort in to go back more regularly (not on long weekends next time!) Already looking forward to the next weekend away.
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Make sure you give the underside of your wagon a thorough wash to remove any salt residue from being on the sand
You’re better than me with the tent city arrangements. I probably would’ve left with that many ppl - or even just ppl setting up close as if they’re replicating their suburban living setup.