Meningie-Coorong – 24-27 January 2020

Meningie/Coorong, 24-27 January 2020

Our first trip with the Overland Club and was much enjoyed by us with 11 sites booked at the Lake Albert Caravan Park, Meningie. An excellent park on the lakeside of Lake Albert, less than two hours from Adelaide, and amazingly quiet.

Most came down on the Friday afternoon, and were all ready to depart for our guided tour of the area the following morning at 10am. My expectation (the same as others in our group) was that this would be a pretty full on day, and that to expediate our journey we would be communicating points of interest via UHF radios as we moved. We were expecting to be enriched more on the culture of the area, with access to those gems off the beaten track, that a local guide could bring to our weekend. Even though we were all assembled on time, Coorong Tours, who were to be our guide, seemed to me to be working on a version of Bali Time, and we departed around 10.30am.

Headed North through Meningie, past the Pink Lake on the right, then turned left to Narrung. Went past the Poltalloch Pastoral Property, and then stopped at the POINT MALCOLM LIGHTHOUSE that had been operating between 1878 and 1931 to mark the passage between Lake Alexandrina and Lake Albert. From this point you could clearly see Mt. Barker. With the clear weather, the views from the lighthouse were exceptional. We then crossed the ferry to stop at a free camping site with toilets on the right. Some felt it was time for morning tea break and a “coldie”.

Moved on then to the town of RAUKKAN (renamed in 1982 from the name of Port McLeay) to view the church building that appears on the $50 note. I found the town, considering the lack of water, quite a tidy town, however it was somewhat eerie in the absence of inhabitants to be seen. Only two adults from a distance were watching us as we took photos of the building. Moved on then past the cemetery to a coastal lookout over the Coorong and the wetlands. Another place for some good photos. We then detoured back to pick up the tracks through National Park Reserve land. We stopped at the MARK POINT WELL (which is assisted by a windmill).

The highlight, I feel, was when we arrived at the CAMPBELL HOUSE (Fischer Family) Dairy complex. An intensive 600 herd dairy complex, undercover and self-sustaining, with the comfort and well being of the animals a major concern. I wish them all the best in their venture. Totally impressive. Then back to camp.

The huge shed at Fischer Dairy that houses 600 dairy cows, all under cover
Frantic efforts to get un-bogged, as the tide was coming in – 42 Mile Crossing

SUNDAY. Our intent was to head south, and to cross over at TEA TREE CROSSING and then do a short beach run. After consideration at this crossing, it was decided to then leave it and try further along at 42 MILE CROSSING. A couple of vehicles turned left at the crossing and commenced a beach run. However, it was decided, before the whole convoy had commenced, to abort the run and return back to camp. Whilst consideration had been given to the tides, at that time, the seas were what I would call “looking angry” and were being driven from off the water by strong winds. The decision to turn around, given the conditions, was the right call.

In summary it was a relaxing weekend, in good company. Thank you Julie and fellow trippers.

Trip report by Bob P