NOW: YORKE PENINSULA WEST COAST
Windy days are good for sightseeing in the car. Our sightseeing took us from Marion Bay to Gym Beach, the Daly Head Surf Reserve, Corny Point Lighthouse and the small fishing village of Corny Point. The lighthouses on the southern Yorke Peninsula were of vital importance as all supplies came by sea. We found this to be a wild, exposed coastline and can’t really understand why settlers came here and battled such extreme conditions. Life sure was tough!
Our travels took us from Marion Bay through Point Turton and on to Minlaton. On the way we had a second tyre blowout on the driver’s rear wheel of the Pajero. The first one was on the same wheel about 5 months ago south of Perth and on the tar as well. Maybe the tyres have had enough of the black top! David, a Tvanner we’d met in Marion Bay saw us by the roadside and lent a hand following us into Minlaton just in case. We gave him a wave as we stopped in town for morning tea.
We’d also rung ahead for a fishing charter in our next stop at Moonta Bay but the charter operator rang just after we changed the tyre to cancel because of a high wind warning. Two disappointments in one day!
Moonta started as a copper mine where Cornish miners came to Australia to work in an industry with which they were familiar. They built huge structures to house the boilers that supplied power to the mines. On the Moonta Mine Tourist Train we travelled through the mine area past ruins of boiler houses, chimneys, settling ponds, channels and houses.
A pipeline was even built from Moonta Bay to the mine 7 kilometres inland as seawater was mixed with sulphuric acid to separate the copper from the from the other minerals. The sulphuric acid was a by product of the smelting process but it has also contaminated large areas of land where nothing grows. From the top of the old tailings hill you can see the extent of the mine workings.
Kadina, Wallaroo and Moonta formed the Copper Triangle. These three towns worked together to mine, smelt and export copper. The Cornish miners provided the experienced labour and introduced the Cornish Pasty which they heated in the mine on their shovels at meal breaks. Now we had our pasty baked and heated in the bakery and the jetties are now used by fisher folk.
Moonta Bay is a popular holiday destination. Some people were raking for crabs at low tide while others were using the swimming enclosure at the side of the jetty. A splash pad water park was very popular with the both the local and visiting kids.
On our departure from the Yorke Peninsula we stopped at Wallaroo to try the cold pressed coffee over ice. We’d tried cold press coffee last year at the Perth Food and Wine Expo and really liked it. The Wallaroo version was really good too. Having rung ahead to Port Augusta for a new tyre we had the tyre fitted before our journey down The Eyre.
NEXT: EYRE PENINSULA – WHYALLA TO PORT LINCOLN
See you on the Emu Track
Cheryl and David