24th to 25th November: Fitzgerald Bay to Arno Bay

The weather has turned cloudy and wet, we really shouldn’t complain we haven’t experienced very many bad weather days, but it was a bit like our mood – gloomy – at having to leave such a beautiful spot.  But hey, every day is a new adventure and today we were travelling south on the east coast of the Eyre Peninsula, our destination Arno Bay. 

Travelling back to the highway our only companions on the road were cyclists and emus, our surroundings salt bush plain with small flocks of sheep here and there. Past Whyalla and about 55 kilometres north of Cowell we could see what looked like a large hill but as we came closer we realised it was an iron ore dump for the Iron Duke mine.  We were looking for a safe spot to stop to take some photos when a large emu shot across the road in front of us.  Derick managed to slow down enough not to hit the emu, but it was close.  Not much further along the road the shoulder was wide enough for us to park and take some photos.

SA112IronDukeMineR     SA113IronDukeMineR

As we reached Cowell the entrance statement told us the town was the ‘Home of fresh Oysters’ and the population was 880.  From here to Arno Bay we were surrounded by acres of wheat and barley in the process of being harvested.  Arno Bay has a population of about 3000 and is very much a coastal holiday town with a mixture of small shacks and large impressive homes.  We booked onto the Arno Bay Tourist Park, were told of there Saturday night barbecue, fond our site and settle in.

SA118ArnoBayCPAtDuskR     SA117SunsetArnoBayR

The barbecue was amazing; for $12.00 per person the menu included local whole baked snapper and king prawns, as well as sausages, rump steak and coleslaw.  We both tried a bit of everything the food was delicious.  Derick also met up with some friends from his Dongara days, there kids used to play together, so there was a whole lot of reminiscing and catching up done during the evening.

The park also has an all you can eat pancake breakfast every Sunday morning for $3 per person, we passed on the pancakes:).  Instead we took an early morning walk along the Boardwalk and Mangrove Trail (before the heat of the day kicked in), the Super Shed which has a great display of historic photos form a bygone era of sailing ships and wheat bags loaded by hand.

SA123MangroveTrailArnoBayR SA121MangroveTrailArnoBayR

Arno Bay itself plays an integral part in the Clean Seas Project which has been in operation since January 1997.  During late 2000 Hagen Stehr, founder of the Stehr Group, a Port Lincoln based tuna farming company, bought the site for the propagation of Southern Blue Fin Tuna, Yellowtail Kingfish and Mulloway.

The weather forecast was for a storm during the night so we put all the outside stuff in the car, and rolled back the awning just to be on the safe side.  Just as well we did there was some fairly serious thunder and lightning during the night, although not much rain.

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