Friday 22nd May 2015, overcast, clearing and muggy 29 degrees @ 9:30
Pardoo Station to Eighty Mile Beach
Wow, we get 4 spots of rain before breakfast, can I call that a wet day?
We leave Pardoo station and follow the highway through flat scrubby grazing land. We turn left onto the red dirt road into Eighty Mile Beach undecided as to whether we will stay or continue on to Barn Hill. I get the feeling that my ‘Outback Jack’ is a little over red dirt as he is starting to grumble about the corrugations on the roads.
Eighty Mile Beach wins us over. It is a pretty park with lots of green lawn, shady trees and beautiful rock gardens of frangipani trees. Trucks water the roads constantly to keep the red dust down. We’re camped really close to the beach, just behind the dunes in fact. Before noon the beach is impossibly bright with the sun reflecting off trillions of shells. Fishermen abound, their cars parked on the sand beside them (a practice that is still foreign to us Victorians). Cars and quad bikes speed up and down the beach. Eighty Mile is actually a misnomer as it is 140 miles long.
There is a delightful war memorial with a white picket fence and hedges and a large cross. The Australian flag is flying for citizens of Eighty Mile who fought in Vietnam.
I spend the afternoon emu-ing along the beach, the fishermen have suddenly gone with the turning of the tide, filling my pockets with shells. Clouds roll in and the horizon turns pink, seriously pink. God it is beautiful. The tide retreats rapidly for half a kilometre or more and then the sun puts on a free show. People walk the beach just soaking up the atmosphere of tide and sunset and the fragrance of frangipani.
Then the sun dips into the sea in a ‘staircase’ of red on the tidal flats. Campers don’t know what to do, hold their glasses of wine, take photos or just gasp.
Accom: $41.00 Ok, that was steep but the sunset was priceless.
Travelling Kms: 128Kms
Note: Trillions? Yes, this is not an exaggeration. Emuing? Walking around with my head down bobbing for shells like an emu would. Sunset at 80 Mile? I’ve seen some sunsets in my day but this one and the one at Barn Hill with the film of water reflected on the sand were both lifetime highlights.