Yesterday,, we spent our day travelling south of Edithburgh to the very southerly end of the York Peninsula.
Just after leaving Edithburgh,we came across the Wattle Park Wind Farm. It has been operating since April 2005. When it was officially opened in June of that year it was Australia’s largest wind farm at 91 megawatts.. Its 55 turbines produces enough electricity to provide 2% of South Australia’s electricity needs.
We continued along an unmade scenic road for almost 80 kilometres. It gave us some good coastal views and some places reminded us of our previous drive around Whalers Way on the Eyre Peninsula The other one where Cockle Bay is located)..
At Troubridge Hill we found the Troubridge Hill Lighthouse. It is unique because it is built from special wedge shaped bricks and has never been rendered or painted, creating a very distinctive appearance. There are only a handful of brick lighthouses in Australia. The tower is designed to resist earthquakes and high winds. Troubridge Hill suffered from several earthquakes in the early 20th century.
The road continued through Foul Bay, appropriately named for the mountain of rotting seaweed that is washed up on the beach. I sank deeper than my ankles as I walked across it to see if there was any sand on the beach. No sand, just sea grass.
Near the foot of the peninsula, we arrived at Dhilba Guuran da-Innes National Park. It offers an abundance of beach views and bird life.
Just near the entrance to the park is a 200 metre long jetty at Stenhouse Bay. It was built in 1913 to support the then gypsum mining industry at Marion and Inneston Lakes. In its early days, 14 one-tonne horse drawn wagons ran along a wooden railway from Inneston Lake to the Stenhouse Bay Jetty, which was eventually replaced with steel tracks and trains.
Nearby are the remains of the old town of Inneston. This development of a mining town by Inneston Lake grew into a settlement which by the early 1900s had a population of about 150 people and included facilities such as a public hall, butcher, baker, bank and post office. Later developments included a plaster factory built in 1916, a chalk factory opened in 1922 and as of 1927, the town had “tennis court, cricket and other recreational facilities.
There is a walk by the lake to some historic cottages that remain from this settlement but they were too far away in the time that we had. Instead, I walked around the old cricket ground to the lake where gypsum mining was undertaken.
Chinamans Hat Island is located about 350 metres from the shoreline and about 2.4 kilometres south-west of Stenhouse Bay. The islet is a remnant piece of cliff line which rises to a height of 11 metres and sits on an intertidal rock platform that joins the mainland at the west and extends past the island to the east. The islet is named due to the similarity of its shape to a conical Asian hat.
True to form, we found many emus in this National Park. Much of its land is ideal grazing terrain for these birds with big open spaces that they can run on when threatened. I read somewhere that some American organisations regard the kangaroo as a threatened species. The only thing that they threaten is to overrun everything. In this area, it’s the same for Emu. We saw dozens of them without even going out of our way to look for them.
Not all the coastline around the national park is rocky and rugged. There are many long stretches of sandy beach – good places to walk and collect your thoughts if you are in the doldrums.