Author: Mrs A
From: Barn Hill Station
To: Eighty Mile Beach
Distance driven: 256km
Time: 3 hours
Distance hiked: 10km
We started the day with an early walk along the beach at Barn Hill Station to make up for arriving so late yesterday. The beach continued to enthrall us in the other direction, giving more views and interesting rock formations.
After a hot shower we hitched up and set off back on the road south.
They call this part of Australia ‘The Big Empty’. There are no towns, and the one main road (National Highway 1) runs about 10-20km inland away from the coast, offering a view of nothing more than a dead straight road, bordered by flat, hot, featureless scrubland. It makes for a boring drive, and the podcasts got another workout on the way.
We arrived at the Eighty Mile Beach caravan park at around 2pm. We were originally hoping to bushcamp for the next two nights, but alas, there is no bushcamping along here – the land bordering the coast either privately owned cattle stations or Aboriginal country. So it was back into a campground for us. This camp is much nicer than last night’s – large campspots with grass, clean toilets and showers, and we are a short walk from the beach.
And wow, what a beach – we were immediately enthralled.
We walked up the beach, paddling our feet in the champagne-like water’s edge, the extremely fine sand feeling like velvet underfoot. One of the things this beach is famous for is its shells. Beautiful shells of every colour, size and shape deposited with every wave – just stunning. The other main claim to fame is its attraction to migratory shore birds – hundreds of thousands flock here to feed, and turtles which lay their eggs here (later on in the year – from October onwards).
We finished our walk as the sun set, before returning to our mobile apartment to shower, cook dinner and relax. We’re here for at least another night, if not two, so we can slow down a bit now!