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

Last Updated on March 3, 2017 by Red Nomad OZ

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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  1. 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 🙂

  2. @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!!

  3. 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

  4. 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!

  5. @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!!

  6. 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!

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. @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 …

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. @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??!!

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. @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!

  17. @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!!

  18. @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 …

  19. @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 …

  20. 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!

  21. 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

  22. 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.

  23. 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.