The Mako Lap, West Eyre Peninsula, SA
The southern tip of the Eyre Peninsula has national parks on both its eastern and western sides. We had spent almost 2 weeks exploring the eastern park, ‘Lincoln National Park’, and were now heading to Coffin Bay National Park on the peninsulas western side.
The township of Coffin Bay is only 30 minutes drive from Port Lincoln. It’s much smaller than Port Lincoln and more of a picturesque small coastal town. Most well known for its Pacific Oysters, Coffin Bay, has an estuary like inlet of large sand flats and cold crystal clear southern ocean water.
Being Oyster lovers we took the opportunity to tour a local oyster farm. Interestingly the area originally harvested native ‘Angasi’ oysters but after many decades these became fished out and Pacific Oysters were introduced. The farm we toured has started to grow the native oysters commercially alongside the Pacific’s so we slugged back several of each type. Honestly there wasn’t a big difference in taste but this is probably because they were both only just coming into the good season to eat them.
The Coffin Bay National Park is huge and starts very close to the town ship. Most of the access to the park is 4wd only with long sandy beaches and rough rock tracks. Its at least 40km to get all the way to the tip of the park at Point Sir Isaac. There are several amazing camping areas along the 3 hour trip as you make your way out towards the point. The camping areas are all on the calm water of greater coffin bay with clear water and large sand flats. Apparently the fishing is usually great but for whatever reason we had a very tough couple of days fishing. It looked fantastic but we could not find the much sought after KG whiting. Luckily we managed to find delicious seafood none the less. Growing on dead logs on the sand flats were large black mussels and in the sand near weed beds you could find local cockles.
Coffin Bay’s lack of KG whiting or more importantly our complete lack of catching any spurred us on to a camping area at Farm Beach, a well known whiting hotspot. The beach is perfect for beach driving and one of those fantastic spots that you can pull up in the car, set-up the awning and have all your creature comforts while you fish. Finally after much soul searching, I caught myself some KG whiting, and as usual Em trumped me with a large flathead which are not so common in SA.
"as usual Em trumped me with a large flathead"