I’m not sure what exactly I needed to recover from, but Coffin Bay has been the ideal place for it! As darkness descended on my drive down the Eyre Peninsula west coast, I realised I would be pushing it to get to Port Lincoln before dark. I figured I’d swing into Coffin Bay instead and stay a night or two to have a look around before continuing on. Three days later I’m still here!
It’s a small tourism and fishing town, most famous for the fresh oysters farmed most days by a number of local operators. I’m not a fan of oysters, or of fishing but I can see why this is a popular holiday destination. It’s such a relaxing and pleasant place to be. The scenery is spectacular, though not as varied as Denmark in WA for me, and there really isn’t much to do so it’s an ideal spot to do a bit of catching up with things.
The one thing for which I have been incredibly thankful is the Oyster Walk, created by the local tourism association. A series of three walking paths that all intersect and interlink, these provide a welcome opportunity to get out of the caravan park and explore a cost-free attraction. Interpretive signage features heavily along the coastal section reaching south around towards the Coffin Bay National Park, which I tackled the first morning before breakfast. I’ve never been a great map interpreter, and it took me further and much longer than I’d intended so that it was midday before I got my breakfast! But the gorgeous flowering native bushes and shrubs and beautiful views across the water kept enticing me to go further and I wasn’t sorry they did. There is also a circular route that leads up to a lookout on the hill behind the town and the cemetery (nice!) and another that leads north and east away from the town centre to the Old Oyster Town, the original wild oyster harvesting district which was abandoned after it was overfished.
Sunday night I enjoyed dinner and some drinks at the Yacht Club – a gorgeous venue right on the water with spectacular views, reasonably priced fare and my steak was perfectly cooked. Yum! What a credit to the club volunteers who make it all happen. I celebrated with my first bottle of bubbly since I started out in Augusta over seven weeks ago. Not sure what I was celebrating exactly – life, the view, being in South Australia, still being unemployed? It didn’t matter. 🙂
Like many small tourism towns, there are hundreds (it seems) of holiday houses dotted throughout, making it feel like a rattly old place with only it’s permanent population of 600 and a handful of travellers such as myself to take up the space. It seems most of the houses that the Oyster Walk cuts off from the shore are short term lets, with some terrible corny names like Rest-a-shore or Searenity or Baywatch giving them away. But there are also some incredibly well-named homes too – such as Jetty View (no argument there – the main town jetty and ugly fishing shed are about all you can see!), Duz Us (a gorgeous small stone cottage) and Four Winds: today it is so windy that I gave up on my plan of exploring Coffin Bay NP for fear of being blown away, and have retreated instead to the cosy campers kitchen at the excellent caravan park to watch television and write and admire the view across the bay. Oh and get distracted by the resident kangaroos grazing the park and even a group of emus that passed through this morning. It’s not a bad life! 🙂