20130922_RCH_2655 20130922_RCH_2664 20130922_RCH_2668On the way out of Streaky Bay towards Murphys Haystacks, we saw a signpost for Point Labatt Sea-Lion Colony. We didn’t have a lot of driving to cover today, so we took a gamble on the 22km unsealed road detour. There is a large viewing platform on the side of a cliff that looks down onto a permanent colony (which is supposed to be rare in Australia). When we arrived, they were still sleeping (it was still before 8AM, and they were still in the shade). We had breakfast and waited for them to be a little more active/entertaining. Sure enough, as the sun shifted them out of the shade, they started waking up. The babies were hyperactive, the males were prancing around, and the women… were still sleeping. It wasn’t that easy to see them from the platform (it says 50m away, but I think it’s probably a little more than that…).

20130922_RCH_2665 20130922_RCH_2675The sea lions were situated in a beautiful little cape, with the rugged rocky bluffs that we’ve become used to here in South Australia. The water looked amazing, well, the colour did anyway.

20130922_RCH_2677The story behind Murphys Haystacks is a little odd… Way back during the time of settlers, it was suggested that harrowing (tilling/ploughing) fields would improve the quality and quantity of hay a field could produce. Proponents of the harrowing (I learnt a new word) would tell passers by that these rocks were actually the result of a farmer who harrowed their land, hence the name.

20130922_RCH_2682 20130922_RCH_2686 20130922_RCH_2690They were pretty cool to walk around and see, kind of like Devils Marbles, only more extreme shapes. Also, the flies have been unbelievably bad so far in South Australia. We’d forgotten how annoying they can become. I do wonder where they go at night time though…

20130922_RCH_2692 20130922_RCH_2693 20130922_RCH_2696 20130922_RCH_2700 20130922_RCH_2703We quickly did a lap of the Elliston cliffs, again, because we thought that we had a fair bit of time up our sleeve today. They had the strangest sculptures lining the cliffs. Not sure why, but they certainly added a little charm to the rugged coastline.

20130922_RCH_2706Just before Port Lincoln (our planned stop for the evening) is Coffin Bay (named after a Mr. Coffin, not after the container for the deceased). The name sounded familiar to me, and it was because of the oysters from this region. If the tourist brochures are to be believed, they are exported worldwide… It was another nice seaside tourist town. The most surprising thing to see in town was the number of emus just wandering around. We were quick to pull over and take photos, but I’m sure the locals were thinking condescending thoughts about bloody tourists as by the end of the day we’d seen so many of them that they stopped being interesting and started being annoying.

20130922_RCH_2707Coffin Bay National Park has more towering cliffs that have been worn down by millennia of the Southern Ocean battering against it. The national park also has some absolutely phenomenal beaches, such as Almonta Beach (at least phenomenal to look at, not sure they are the best swimming beaches). The water looked amazing, and the sand was like powder – every bit as beautiful as Cape Le Grand in Esperance, but probably not as good to swim in. We waded in to our knees, and surprisingly the water wasn’t that cold.

20130922_RCH_2723 20130922_RCH_2722 20130922_RCH_2726 20130922_RCH_2728 20130922_RCH_2732 20130922_RCH_2738There was a trail to access the beach via the sand dunes that we could see in the distance. The last few kilometres is incredibly soft sand, and after a few aborted attempts due to oncoming traffic, we realised that we probably weren’t going to make it any further – luckily we were never in any real risk of getting stuck. I was too lazy to drop the pressure out of the tyres for another attempt, so we backed up until we could find a spot to park, then explored on foot. It would have been fun to have driven amongst the dunes, but being on foot we were able to see so many more fine details, like the intricate patterns in the dunes from the wind, or the tracks of lizards and emus. It also gave us plenty of opportunities to jump and flip off some of the steeper dunes. Every time we crossed over one dune, there seemed to be another behind it. It reminded me more of snow-shoeing than of sand/beaches. It was a fun bonus and unexpected treat.

We had to leave Coffin Bay (and, without purchasing any oysters – I’m not that fussed, and Risa had some last night anyway) to get to Port Lincoln as we’ve booked on to a Great White Shark cage dive tour tomorrow that leaves at 6:30AM… Hopefully this isn’t our last blog post…

131日目  9月22日(日) Eyre Peninsula  エアー半島 探検!


今日は、Eyre Peninsula  エアー半島 といわれる半島を制覇してきます。

まずは、Streaky Bayといわれるエリアから。

ここでは、あしかちゃんの集落があるらしいPoinLabatt岬へ! 岸壁の上には、プラットフォームがあって、そこから50mほど下の平らな岩場にいるアシカちゃん達をみることができました。

岩と同じ様な色をしているので一瞬どこだ?? と思ったけど、30匹ほどがだいたい5、6匹づつ位のグループにくっついておまんじゅうのように固まって寝ています。
到着した時は、まだ8時前でアシカちゃん達がいる場所には、太陽がさしていなかったせいか、まだ皆さんお休み中でした。  (それかもう朝ご飯食べ終わってリラックスしてるのかな??)




その後は、牧草地にあるMuphys Haystacksと呼ばれる奇石を見てきました。 元は、角のある大きな岩だったらしいのですが、長い年月をかけてデブルズマーブルのように色々な形に雨風によって浸食されたようです。 それよかハエがうるさすぎて全然集中できなかった笑

しばらく牧草地が広がるFlinders highwayをドライブし、Elliston という町に
到着。 ここもキレイな海岸線が有名なので、いくつかの岬と岩壁めぐり。 途中なんとも不思議な味のある彫刻がいくつかありました。

また牧草地が広がるFlinders highwayに戻り、ひたすらドライブ。

次はCoffin Bayと呼ばれる湾があるエリアに到着。 なぜか町の中心の空き地にたくさんのエミューがたむろしている。。

この辺りは、サーフィンの名所でもあるらしいです。 そして牡蠣! でも牡蠣は、昨日も食べたので、明日まで我慢!

Coffin Bay国立公園へ向かい、またいくつかの岩壁めぐり。
そしてAlmont Beachというビーチへ。


その後は、大きな砂丘に行ってきました!  パワフルな4WDがあればく車でドライブできるけど、デリちゃんは入り口付近の小さな坂でリタイア。





とっても静かで、生命がほぼない場所。 でも何か不思議なエナジーに覆われている様ななんとも言葉では表せない不思議な感覚。


砂の山を登るのは、粉雪のバックカントリーの登山と同じ感覚。 大きく一歩を踏み入れても、その半分はずるっと下に落ちる感覚。 けっこうエナジー消費します。

これは、トカゲ?? これは、カンガルー、これはウサギ? これはキツネ?? とそれぞれの歩き方(跳ね方)の特徴を考えながら、色々な足跡をみつけ歩き(跳ね?)のは、なんだかワクワクしました。

その後は、今晩の目的地このエアー半島の南端の街、Port Lincolnへ。

Port Lincolnは、あの凶暴なサメの映画、ジョーズが撮影された場所でサメの名所!

なんとなんと! 明日は、そのサメと泳いできます!!!  ていっても私たちが檻の中に入って、サメに見られに行く? らしいのです。