The Wandering Tops

The Wandering Tops

29 January, 2017

Eyre Peninsula and Tunarama

On the Australia Day weekend Port Lincoln hold the annual Tunarama, a festival over 4 days to celebrate the tuna industry in Port Lincoln. The weekend has a lot of activities which include a street parade, a local produce market, art, music and cultural entertainment and the famous tuna tossing event. Approx 25,000 people enjoyed the experience this year.

Rosie and Bill took us in for the Saturday parade and we stayed for the Tuna tossing. We caught up with Rosie and Bill's daughter who had a prime spot under a shady tree to watch the parade which consisted of mainly local clubs and businesses floats, all of which entertained us and the younger generation with lollies thrown their way.

One of the many floats in the street parade, this was a Variety Bash float called Runaway Brides

This may look like a large tea pot, but was actually a caravan. 

This was one bad boy John Deer tractor

The female winner of the tuna throwing competition

The Tuna tossing was a first for me and quite a different event - in short you throw a tuna weighing approximately 20 lbs as far as possible (quite a few different throwing techniques to achieve the longest distance).  In the past a few Hammer Throwers have won the event. There were 2 divisions, male and female with the winners being presented their trophy by the Prime Minister, Malcom Turnbull. This year, both winners had come from out of town and did an amazing job of throwing the tuna. The female winner throwing greater than 12m and the male throwing more than 18m.

From Port Lincoln we said our goodbyes to Rosie and Bill and headed along the west coast of Eyre Peninsula. Our first stop wasn't that far along, we stopped at Coffin Bay for a couple of days with Jenny and Frank. As we had visited Coffin Bay previously didn't feel the need to look around  but just enjoyed catching up with Frank and Jenny and being a 40 degree day, enjoyed being inside with airconditioning! They have built a lovely home and I enjoyed participating in tasting Fank's home brew Whisky, which was really good. Was lucky enough to be given a bottle to take with us and with Helen not being a fan of Whisky, I had it made!! We also enjoyed another feed of whiting and I was able to do a couple of early morning bike rides into the Coffin Bay National Park. We had a great catch up and thanks to Frank & Jenny for their wonderful hospitality.

Leaving Coffin Bay we travelled on Flinders Highway en route to Elliston. Called into Cummins Lookout where there is a memorial to Leo Cummins, Cray fisherman, who lost his life when a boat was wrecked. Had the sea on one side and Lake Hamilton on the other.  Stopped at Lake Hamilton Eating House which was used as a stopping place for coaches & travellers passing through until 1880s (built 1851-1857). Also stopped in at Locks Well but didn't stay long as caravans had to park in top carpark and it was a long way down to the beach.

View along coast from Cummins Lookout

Lake Hamilton Eating House, was used as a stopping place for coaches and travellers built in 1851-57

Little Bay Elliston

 Arriving in Elliston we HAD to stop at the Bakery for lunch (great bakery), then called into the local pharmacy to introduce ourselves to Helen's 2nd cousin, the pharmacy is known for its opening hours being from 12.30pm to 5.30 pm because he allows the morning for a surf. We then settled into the Elliston Waterloo Bay tourist park where we will stay for a couple of nights.

In the mornings I went for a bike ride around the coast - great bike track, then later we went for a drive around the area. First drove down Esplanade and around Little Bay Clifftop drive - fantastic scenery. Back into town drove to the jetty (one of the few screw-pylon structures), however it was closed due to storm damage then walked up the lookout, drove out to golf club (bit neglected) then back to donate more money to the bakery!  Drove the Anxious Bay Clifftop drive which was great - a few sculptures, great cliffs, nice bays. Ate our bakery delights on top of a cliff overlooking the surfing area (Black Fellows) then back to town again. What a good drive with spectacular scenery.

Waterloo Bay, Elliston is on the southern side of the bay.

Elliston Jetty, damaged by the storms

Elliston lookout overlooking Waterloo Bay, showing the damaged jetty.
Thong sculptures took my fancy. ...... tooo big though.

After Elliston we headed east stopping at Lock where Helen put some flowers on her paternal grandparent's grave which the family had recently restored. Had lunch at Cleve then camped at Yeldulknie Weir approx 5km east of Cleve.  Really nice camp area and well maintained by Lions Club who planted over 3,000 trees when originally setting up area for the locals to enjoy. Now opened to campers - donations appreciated.

Locks Big Thing - Wheat Lumping Scene. Lock Centenary Monument

Yeldulknie Recreation Area and reservoir 
Continued on Birdseye Highway to Cowell, then onto Whyalla for stocking up and refuelling. Stopped for a night at Fitzgerald Bay only to find Lyn and Graham still in "our" camp spot so camped down the track a little, was ok for one night before we continued on our way to Adelaide.

Resident lizard sunning on the timber rail.

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