Five Favourite Beaches
In a further effort to put a little bit more of me into this blog, I thought I would make a late submission to two blog meetups with a little photography. Both require posting five things on Friday, so I thought I would post Five Favourite Things of mine. Of course, one of my favourite things is beaches, so here be my five favourite beaches…in no particular order 😀
This beach gave me some lovely photography, so I have to say that I love it simply for that reason – memories and inspiration. The beach is just over the sand hills from Piccaninnie Ponds, a world class diving site in some freshwater ponds streaming out from the vast bed of Mount Gambier Limestone in the south east of South Australia. Well worth checking out just for eye candy. I have two photos for this Favourite as there were hundreds in the original shoot.
The Red Beach
To the average person, this place is called Ardrossan, but my children have christened it the Red Beach (we also have a Secret Beach, just up the road, otherwise known as Tiddy Widdy Beach, a Black Beach, generally known as the deserted Port Arthur at the head of St Vincent’s Gulf – the kids loved walking in the squishy mangrove sand, and a White Beach, which will likely be mentioned further down this list). Ardrossan, is not its namesake in Scotland, but a small port on the east coast of the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. The reason I love this beach is a combination of tradition, children and geology.
Tradition – for every holiday at Edithburgh (a favourite holiday destination further south on the Yorke Peninsula), we have stopped for lunch at Ardrossan – about 150km from Adelaide. They have a fantastic bakery that I can highly recommend – I follow them on Instagram just to look at their food.
Children – we have been holidaying in Edithburgh regularly for four years now. The kids know we stop there every time. We have had so many family moments with the kids and extended family that it has become a familiar and cherished place – the kids have requested on multiple occasions to go there even when we are not on holiday and we have done multiple day trips – 300kms there and back is no small trip. Also, when the tide is out the wildlife exposed on the beach is of endless fascination to us and the kids. I have books on South Australian marine life and I love identifying finds (with respect, we don’t harm any living creatures). It is a great educational and inspirational opportunity (as is most of the Yorke Peninsula).
Geology – I’ve developed a fascination for local geology over the last few years and have been an avid reader of many Australian and South Australian publications, one of which is the A Field Guide to the Geology of the Yorke Peninsula. It has some interesting things to say about Ardrossan. The cliffs, which you can see below, are the source of the name ‘Red Beach’ as they deposit vast amounts of red Ardrossan clay onto the beach. Reading the book, you can identify the layers in the cliffs and their origins. Most of it is recent, but amongst it all there are some Cambrian deposits that apparently contain some trilobite fossils. There are more recent fossils abounding also, and you can track the swath of red clay right across the peninsula to the other side where it can be seen meeting Spencer Gulf somewhere around Moonta. Also this part of the Yorke Peninsula is right on the edge of the Gawler Craton, a chunk of Earth’s crust that has been solid since the earliest of times of Earth’s existence (Australia has three of these, South Australia has only the one, spanning from the edge of the Yorke Peninsula right across the Eyre Peninsula). It is this craton that all the minerals are found in and why that part of the Yorke Peninsula has been targeted for mining interests. So, for the amateur like me, interesting stuff 😀
And some of the birdlife we encountered on our last visit.
To the south of Adelaide you will find the first of the three SA peninsulas, the Fleurieu Peninsula (the other two, heading west, are Yorke and Eyre). the southern beaches of the Fleurieu are battered by the Southern Ocean – you know, that ocean that created Antartica. Along the great southern stretch of South Australia we have many of our greatest surf beaches, and Waitpinga is one of them – though you will never catch me in the water, not with my cymophobia and all, and then there are the surfers who have been eaten by sharks off this beach or drowned by surf forces. But this is a truly beautiful beach.
Daly Head – The White Beach
This one is a recent discovery for me. I have been staring at it on Google maps for some time, interested by the swath of sand dunes that can been seen on the map, but early this year we finally made it there to have a look at this deserted beach on the other side of Yorke Peninsula and it is stunningly gorgeous. The kids had a fantastic time and we have christened this beach, The White Beach.
Edithburgh and Sultana Point
I could not have list of beaches without including the one beach we have returned to for extended stays over the last four years. We found a beachhouse that we hire every year to return to this place. It has been good because it is beachfront and the beach is ever so child friendly as when we started going my youngest was only three. It is also a good staging point for accessing all the lower Yorke Peninsula. We also spend a great deal of time just sitting around. This is the beach I visit when I need to relax. I have set up my easel and played with my beads many times on this beach and the memories attached to it are many.
The house is on the shores of a sheltered bay, a sand flat where the tide doesn’t just go out, but disappears almost completely, leaving crabs and tiny starfish for the kids to explore. When it comes back in in the evening, usually just in time for an evening swim, it is shallow, warm (sometimes) and waveless, perfect for kids learning to swim (or sinking like their parents).
If you walk to the end of the point, Sultana Point, you find yourself walking around the heel of the Yorke Peninsula and you can see where many of the currents feed and drain St Vincent’s Gulf. At night, the lights from Adelaide can be seen across the water 50kms (230kms by road) and by day you can see the Mount Lofty Ranges in the distance.
We’ve seen an abundance of wildlife on this beach over the years – crabs, starfish, stingrays, seals, dolphins, octopuses, sea urchins, large shellfish, birdlife (we even found a plover’s egg on the beach once, thank goodness we didn’t step on it) – it is all there if you look hard enough. Because we spend time there, often not doing much at all, we are given the opportunity to observe the environment in detail, something that often can’t be done in our busy lives.
Hmm, this post is longer than I expected and took hours to put together. so much for a quick one 😀 There are many other beaches I adore, these are just the ones that came to mind today. I have no doubt that I will be adding another post at some point titled ‘More favourite beaches’. I love my beaches and I’m lucky to live in a place where there are plenty of them 😀
Anyways, there should be art now.