We had breakfast and packed up the tent in Hahndorf and headed towards our next destination of Mount Gambier. On the way we were planning to go via the beach for part of the way.
The big 4 caravan park at Hahndorf has got great facilities. They monitor visitors to the park, you have a code to access the toilet/shower facilities. There is a great camp kitchen and plenty of tables with a lovely outlook to eat at.
Drive through Talem bend to Salt Creek
More driving and a stop for a stretch of the legs.
To make the long drive bearable we had plenty of breaks to stretch the legs, and swapped from being a passenger to being the driver.
Coffee and advice at Salt Creek
We stopped at Salt Creek general store for some petrol and then went in for a coffee and some local advice on the current driving conditions along the beach. Explaining we were new to four wheel driving and wanted to know the easiest/safest beach entry and beach exit. After a bit of discussion we were told to go to the 42 mile crossing entry, let our tyres down and then exit at “The Granites”.
For $1 we got a map of the beach with the details on it. Local knowledge is priceless!
4WD beach drive for 2 hours?
It was a bit of a drive from where David deflated the tyres to the actual beach. Once we got to the beach entrance and could see the ocean we stopped and got out and read the signs (and warnings). Then we were off. We kept to the wheel tracks left behind from other 4wd’s and David got used to the sensation of driving in and on uneven soft, then hard sand. The beach was fairly isolated and in the 2 hours we were driving along this stretch we came across 4 groups of people(fishermen).We didn’t ask (and nobody told us) it was going to take so long! (2 hours continuous driving).We also had no idea what the tide was doing.
As you can see from the video below the scenery doesn’t change that much as we are driving along. I had the map with the exit markings and felt that once we had been driving for about 1 1/2 hours that maybe we had missed “the granites” turnoff. I started to freak out, and panic. ( in my head I saw visions of a big wave coming in along with the tide and us getting stuck in the middle of nowhere and having no way of getting out. ) We didn’t know what was happening with the tide or how much longer we were going to have to drive. David was getting tired .
We could see a group of fishermen ahead and decided to stop and find out how much further “the granites” were. I wound down the window and said hello and explained we were newbies driving on the beach for the first time. As I looked out I saw a group of faces that were happy to help. They were extremely understanding and said it was about 8 km to “the granites” and that’s where you could access the beach exit and car park. One of the guys said he was heading that way shortly and would check up on us.
I was so much happier knowing we were nearly there ( as opposed to have missing the turn off). We drove along until we came to some massive boulders coming out of the sand and ocean and saw the turnoff. It was the best feeling driving out from the beach to the car park!
We parked the car and David pumped the tyres back up, and we snacked on some tinned tuna and dry biscuits ( it was about 2 in the afternoon and we were starving).
The car park is quite big at the granites and we noticed a man walking towards us from the distance. It was the same man we had talked to on the beach. He came up to us and was happy to see us safe and asked if we were ok. One of the things he said to me earlier on was that you just need to be calm ( that’s generally not how I work in unusual situations) and that getting bogged is part of 4w driving.
What we have noticed that there are so many nice people out there willing to give advice and help if you need it. If we are ever able to help anyone else we will.
Drove through Robe and somehow missed the beach. I am really annoyed about this. What we came across in Robe was like the front beach in Sorrento, Victoria. We were tired and hungry and couldn’t find anywhere in this part of Robe to eat, or the pretty beaches I had heard about. We kept on driving and ended up at Beachport.
There are a lot of photos you take on holiday that are not flattering. Clearly I should have had sunglasses on.
What a beautiful place. Made up for missing Robe.
We had lunch overlooking the jetty at Beachport. Dave had a lobster roll and I had a chocolate milkshake and some of his chips ( he hates it when I say ” I’m not really hungry” and nibble at his plate ). I am not a Lobster fan however Dave said the Lobster roll was fantastic!.
We went for a stroll along the jetty. The color of the water was just beautiful. We want to come back Beachport one day and spend some more time. Looks like a great place to have a relaxing beach holiday.
Best lobster roll and chocolate milkshake.
Mount Gambier Caravan Park
We checked in to the Mount Gambier Caravan Park and were told we could camp anywhere marked on the map for powered sites. As newbies to the camping scene this seemed ok until we realised after driving around the park a few times that there were plenty of sites with sprinklers on full speed, or a choice of 2 sites in between some big caravans.
We set up the tent and then went in to town to do some hunting for dinner. We found a pizza place and ordered a takeaway pizza.
As we sat waiting for the pizza we were both on our phones checking emails and the owner made a comment like” you are sitting next to each other”. I get what he was saying however he doesn’t understand that part of us being able to go on holidays involves keeping up to date with work commitments.
We hopped in the car with our pizza and ended up at Leg of Mutton lake lookout. It was quite cool and David got out his jacket for me, and a plastic wine glass and wine, and we sat and enjoyed our dinner overlooking the lake.
Big sleep after a long day…..