The 3-Car, 2-Beach, One Fine Day!

West Cape Lighthouse, Innes National Park, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia

West Cape Lighthouse, Innes National Park, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia

Sometimes, not planning turns out best. And sometimes the planets align and fabulous weather, bizarre experiences, brilliant destination and perfect moments all come together on one fine day …

Beach at West Cape

Beach at West Cape

Fine in every sense!

And the sky!  The glorious sky!!  Yes, Innes National Park at the very southern end of South Australia’s York Peninsula was already one of my favourite places.

But, on this fine day in December 2011, the air shimmering with the promise of summer, the breeze cool over the water, crazy patterned cloud painting the sky and new* Scenic Public Toilets on the verge of discovery, I wouldn’t have traded places with anyone! For ANYTHING!

Islands in Pondalowie Bay, Innes National Park, South Australia

Islands in Pondalowie Bay, Innes National Park, South Australia

The young surfies doing god knows what in the shelter shed overlooking Pondalowie made the West Cape Lighthouse circuit track the most attractive option. Whatever they were doing required the doof-doof-doof of music pounding from the open door of their car – parked as close as could be without actually hitting the barrier. Ah, sweet mystery of life …

Captain Kangaroo

Captain Kangaroo

But once heading for the lighthouse, the staggering view wiped all thoughts of sand, surf and various other ‘s’ words from our minds. Rock parrots grazed among the low vegetation, but Pilchard’s attempt at the perfect photo was thwarted by Captain Kangaroo!

Pondalowie Bay’s magnificent islands stretched out in front of us as we rounded the lighthouse and Helipad and the cliffs dropped away to the blue, blue sea meeting the sky in a dark band on the horizon. Who knew whether that meant bad weather coming? And who cared??!!

Down in the bay, the lighthouse we’d just visited was a small and distant speck on the headland. And who’d stay in the uninviting car park, ablaze with heat and bright light reflecting the road’s stark white gypsum?

Not us … but no one in the car closest to the track – towels over the windows shielding our view from god knows what inside – was admiring the view!

Pilchard, Pondalowie Bay and the West Cape Lighthouse!

Pilchard, Pondalowie Bay and the West Cape Lighthouse!

Alone at last, we reached the end of the line, and the perfect curve of Brown’s Beach far below the car park. A sign warned of the eroded track – another example of South Australia’s cunning plan to replace maintenance and repair with warning signs and reduced speed limits …

The road to Pondalowie

The road to Pondalowie

A car, unaccountably boxing us in, arrived as we set off down the steep track to the beach. Jesus may well be Lord (according to their windscreen sticker) but he didn’t stop them having a good old sticky-beak through the car windows when they thought we were otherwise occupied on the descent!

Browns Beach, Innes National Park, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia

Browns Beach, Innes National Park, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia

However, with all our valuables in my backpack, and our ageing car closing in on 250,000 km, the lord was not providing for his middle-aged believers today!

Pilchard on the rocks ...

Pilchard on the rocks …

But I didn’t care! With water so clear I could photograph the starfish and sea urchins through it, the cool sea lapping at my feet, the sand now thankfully too hot for the snakes that’d left their tracks behind and the glorious beach stretching out in front of me, our one fine day drew to a close.

Almost Tropical!  But WAAAAAAY too far south ...

Almost Tropical!  But WAAAAAAY too far south …

A day like this deserves to be recorded. Because who knows when – if – the planets will again align to give us another?

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65 comments

  • Glad you enjoyed your day at Innes…I was lucky enough to grow up just down the road, and love having the odd weekend back there…it’s not very often the weather is that perfect, but when it is, it’s just magnificent 🙂

  • @Dalene – Thanx for dropping by! Plenty of days like this down south downunder!!
    @FrankandMary – Thanx to you too!! On a good day, nothing beats the southern OZ coastline … go on, prove me wrong!!

  • I live by the ocean, but I have to admit, yours looks a touch more lovely than mine(though I am not complaining about mine). I stopped by at Linda’s suggestion. ~Mary

  • Gotta just love those days when everything comes together so perfectly! Really awesome pics! I have yet to make it to Oz, but I can see it is a must!

  • @Betty – You got that right, girlfriend!
    @Diane – Well, if this doesn’t warm you, NOTHING will!!
    @Jen – It is! But you have to be there …
    @My Journey with Candida – Never say never! And thanx for your kind words!!
    @Raphael & Yvonne – Glad you liked the kangaroo – they’re not pests everywhere!! You have a good weekend too!!

  • Wow!!! Beautiful day out! I miss the blue ocean!
    And I can see a kangaroo! Love them! (I know they are annoying in australia, but they are just to sweet!)

    Greetings from Switzerland and have a nice weekend!
    Yvonne & Raphael

  • Holy Cow!! You always take the best photos. You should be entering them in photo contests. I get to see a part of the world that I will probably never see, but I see it through your eyes. Thanks!

  • wow! the water just looks amazing!!!

  • Your post has warmed my frozen Canadian toes just a trifle. Thank you!

  • great views!

    fantastic skies! south austaralia is so beautiful!

    xx

  • @Nikki – Some deprivation will make the real thing that much more amazing when you’re out & about again!

  • Oh how I miss days such as this.
    I am temporarily cooped up inside writing and planning my next adventure. This brings back such good memories. If I can’t be there just now, at least I can read about it. Thanks Red

  • @Jan Ross – Aha! Regular readers know all about my scenic public toilets … snakes aren’t my fave thing either, but I can ignore them if they’re not visible!
    @David Jr – Welcome and thanx! When it’s blue it’s VERY blue!
    @Sallie – it’d be like voting between apples, fish and gift wrap – there’s no fair comparison, each is what it is!!
    @Eccentricess – Everything that happened contributed to the day’s perfection – weird as that may sound! But I live for bizarre experiences …

  • Gorgeous photos and the images are so serene.
    It’s great that you managed to stay in the “serenity” even when mundane realities were trying to be distracting.

  • You had a wonderful day and wonderful skies (and thank god that we don’t have to VOTE for the best skies.) I love the variety. And it’s a great bonus to share the story of your day as well as the beautiful pictures.

  • Love the pictures of South Australia. Especially the beautiful blue skies.

    David @ MalaysiaAsia

  • I love that you mention the scenic toilets at the very beginning! Wonderful photos, although I don’t care for the fact that snakes have just been there…

  • @Miss Footloose – I can’t imagine life without a beach … even in Central Australia there are beaches at the waterholes! All the same, I think I’ll join you in that drink …
    @HansHB – Welcome back! I look forward to your pictures of Aussie skies next week!!
    @Cathy – I guess the kangaroo is the giveaway as to what country this coastline is in!!
    @FruitCake – You’re SOOOOOO good for my ego, girlfriend! Wanna write me a reference??!!

  • South Australia’s coastline provides such a contrast to some of it’s NW nothingness.
    As for testimonials and a new career, if only ‘professional’ travel writing was interesting as yours. Time to start swamping international airline mags with your witty and human stories and stunning photos.

  • Your coastline is spectacular! I always take it as a special gift when the sky is blue, there isn’t a lot of wind, and we can walk along the water’s edge. Love the photo with the kangaroo.

  • Great pictures! I love the sky-colour!

    Next SkyWatch I will post a skypicture from my stay in Australia in 2008!

  • What fabulous photos . . . I wish I were there. Here I am in a landlocked country without a beach (Moldova, Eastern Europe) and winter is here.

    I’d be right over for a little mid-winter vacation in sunny Australia, but it’s a bit far!

    Fortunately there is good wine here, so I may just have to pour me glass and cheer up!

  • @SaucyKod – There doesn’t seem to be any standard design to our lighthouses, so you never know if you’re going to get brick, stone, metal, white, red, silver! That little element of uncertainty that makes life so interesting …
    @PDP – Oh, you’re SO good for my ego … maybe I’ll start collecting testimonials to kickstart a new career??!!
    @Kath – (wipes away a tear of empathy) Virtual is the next best thing … no, REALLY! Look above at my reply to Elisabeth … I was right!
    @Al – Thanx! but I bet I had even more fun being there than you did looking! Plenty more to come!
    @Spare Parts & Pics – Why let a little thing like half a world stand in your way??!!
    @Mary – it really is ALWAYS a pleasure to hear from you! I’m honoured that you spend so much time with me downunder!
    @NJAMB – Plenty more virtual holidays to come … ALMOST as good as the real thing, huh?
    @jenny – Yes, I’m SOOOOO lucky!

  • @Joan Elizabeth – I’ve rarely seen it so clear – I took a pic of a sea urchin above the water but you’d never guess it’s underwater!
    @Francesca – forget Trapani, just head downunder! Yes, email address is in my profile!
    @JourneyJottings – Nothing beats a deserted beach when it’s THIS good!
    @diane b – Ah … hate to admit, but we drove from the lighthouse!!
    @Mary HC – It surprised us too! But seeing an emu on another beach one day was the weirdest sighting!
    @Manzanita – Oh my friend, it’s so wonderful to get your comments! You make the effort I put into my posts worthwhile!! And while the dancing is tempting, I think I’ll stick to being a nomad awhile longer! Glad I made you laugh!!

  • @NixBlog – On a day like this, nothing beats it!
    @Elisabeth – Pleased to meet you too! I bet Kath will be jealous as hell when she sees these photos! But yes, it really DOES look like this!
    @WildBlack – Thank you!
    @River – Thank you, my work is done! Didn’t know if I’d captured the essence of the day, the place, the experience – now I know I have!
    @Stewart M – The SA beaches are underrated … and I wasn’t casting aspersions on your photography, which is marvellous!
    @TGFN – Thought of you when I saw Finnish licorice in the shops! With that kind of snow it sucks to be you, I’ll stay downunder in the sun thank you very much!!
    @Pearl Maple – SO alluring I’ll have to make several visits …

  • @Andrew – I’ve never experienced a northern winter … but that’s OK!
    @Lorac – Many more moments like these downunder here in OZ! Come back anytime to enjoy!
    @Kel – Thank you! But you really had to be there …
    @Ken G – I love red, but on a clear day, nothing is better than blue!!
    @Windsmoke – it’s a stainless steel tower built in 1980 so quite different to others in SA made of brick & stone! But it makes a good photo!!
    @Beach Bum – Can’t swing a snake by the tail without hitting a secluded beach in southern OZ!
    @EG Wow – Virtual is nice, actual is better!
    @NatureFootstep – I ran out of superlatives – it’s all good!
    @Leovi – Almost too good to be true! Lucky I have the photos to prove it …

  • What a perfect day. To be in such a stunning spot with amazing weather….heaven! Loved your photos,Red

  • Whoa! The planets truly did align for you–those are some truly gorgeous pictures. I even sat here imagining myself walking on the sand. A nice respite for me!

  • Wonderful! Your photos are spectacular and you have a grand spirit of adventure. I love to visit here. I’m never bored. Have a great weekend. Blessings…Mary

  • A great post, thank you! If it wasn’t half a world away, I would pack my bags immediately for a visit.

  • What an incredible day, I love these photos. I love seeing the sea since I live so far from it!

  • (rendered temporarily speechless and more than a little homesick): That South Aussie SKY…! *sniff*

  • Oh I agree totally Red, our great wide blue skies are the best we are so lucky, and SPACE there’s just so much of it to explore, mostly alone! Such a great post showing the beauty of the Australian outback at it’s best Red, honestly I really think you should write for the tourist office.

  • HiYa
    I was MOST impressed with the lighthouse – never saw one quite like that, as ours are painted white with Red Roofs and red borders. That lighthouse looks like it WOULD stand the test of time. Loved the white beaches and beautiful clear water and skies. Great Post Red.

  • Dear Red, I like the way you’ve settled into “postdom” and the subtle changes that made your beautiful Oz a much sought after blog. I was on a little sentimental journey and re-read your early posts. (Geez I comment dumb things)
    I especially like the way your emotion flows along with the photos and words.

    So you wouldn’t trade places with anyone? Not even the early Eleanor Powell so you could tap dance your way into the hearts of millions? (just teasing you about dancing)

    You put us right there with the doof, doof sound. I hear that all the time when I drive. When these kids are my age they’ll have to learn signing or lip reading.

    The low budget repair signs sound like rural Montana.

    Sticky-beak through the window. Oh, I love it, although I spent a moment filtering through the words and getting a vivid picture and then LMAO.
    A glorious travel day.

  • Never considered a roo at the beach…these are sunny and bright~

  • You sure did have a fine day. The scenery is magic and wild. You walked a long way from the lighthouse. Enjoyed your story too.

  • Australia has so many deserted, yet stunning beaches – Stunning 🙂

  • Fabulous scenere, so impressive. You made me nostalgic for the beabutiful sea in Trapani. I will send you RED pictures…to your email address?

  • The water looks wonderful … so clear.

  • Fabulous find, oh the lure of the sea and a road to the beach ! thanks for your kind comments on my rainbow post.

  • GORGEOUS! How pretty is that. Ok, since it is soooo dark here, I am just going to turn up my brightness on the screen and stare at your pictures. Maybe have a little tropical drink with umbrella too 🙂

  • Now that is a good looking place – it does have that tropical look to it.

    No Photoshop tricks with my skies – just a touch of deliberate under-exposure!

    Cheers – Stewart M – Melbourne

  • I know you’ve done some amazing posts with beautiful photos, but right now I love this one the best. I don’t know what it is about that beach, but I want to be there.
    (Laughed at Pilchard on the Rocks)

  • Love the first shot! Brilliant 🙂

  • Kath sent me here. So this is Australia, or the part or parts of Australia I’ve yet to visit. I travel in my mind and travel the world through the blogosphere. I’m pleased to meet you Red.

  • Fantastic photos of a very beautiful part of our country! Lovely skies and seas.

  • Beautiful sea, delicious photos a beautiful place.

  • such gorgeous beaches. I wish I was there. 🙂

  • One fine day indeed! I definitely wish I were THERE!

  • Just want you to know several of your photos are now part of my screen saver. The one of the Beach at West Cape is especially nice, I have this thing about secluded beaches.

  • Very spectacular views and even a roo posing for a photo. Just wondering if the lighthouse is constructed with steel or stainless steel its definitely not the usual brick or bluestone construction, do you know? :-).

  • Blue, blue, blue! :))) So nice to my eyes! :)))

  • Thanks for theses photos! You gave me a moment of warmth and sunshine.

  • Wow! Wonderful images to see…
    I am sat by the fire trying to keep warm as storm force gales blow outside..
    Thanks for warming me up with these lovely images…

  • @JBar – Even better live!!
    @ladyfi – That’s OZ for you!!
    @Andrew – Haha! Yes, it gives you pause, doesn’t it?! The roo was bounding along a rock ledge, high on the cliff – surreal!!
    @Jayne & Lance – It’s impossible to imagine the depths of a northern winter on a day like this!
    @Wendy – My pleasure!
    @Magsx2 – Hard to believe how few people were around, given the day’s perfection!
    @SFlaGuy – and yet, the wonders of the internet make it instantaneous! Virtual is the next best thing …

  • Such an enjoyable posting. I felt like I was right there with you. If only I could climb through this screen rather than spend all day on a plane to get there.

  • Hi,
    It certainly does look like a beautiful place, the beach is so pristine, and the water looks gorgeous.

    Very unusual rock formations in the water which just ads to the effect. Great photos.

  • Gorgeous!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Hello Red:
    As you say, serendipity is a marvellous thing, especially when it brings together such riches as you share with us here.

    What wonderful scenery and the sea so crystal clear. Of course, here in wintry Budapest, your summery images seem almost unbelievable. But, how we have enjoyed travelling with you.

  • Just one perfect day. And what a day. Snake trails, I don’t like. God Botherers casing your car! Wow. Old man roo on the dunes. Unusual I would have thought. Eroded track is on the list for repair, as the budget allows. I don’t know why that get out clause has not been used in decades past. But I can’t get much past ‘The young surfies doing god knows what in the shelter shed overlooking..’.

  • wow wow wow! So beautiful!

  • Great scenery. Amazing skies.

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