A Coastal Break at Innes
Continuing our theme of coastal landscape photography, Dylan and I decided to take a short trip over the Easter weekend to Innes National Park, located at the tip of Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. I hadn’t heard of this park before, but apparently many other people have (popular fishing and surfing destination as we discovered). Dylan did some research into it and came home and told me of all the places we could visit, and I nodded sagely and said, “Okay, let’s go.”
So off we went on Friday morning, ready for 3-or-so hours of driving. It was a little busy on the roads as expected but overall it was a nice pleasant drive. I had a sore back (my physio tells me something to do with the L4-5 disc if that means anything to anyone?) so I made Dylan stop off in Ardrossan for a quick walkabout and lunch. The weather was just gorgeous and seascapes really do look at their best with the midday sun hanging overhead, blue skies reflected in the water. A short walk down to the jetty eased some of the pain from my back and we managed to capture a few images before our SPAM sandwich lunch (don’t laugh! It’s the best camping food ever!).
When we finally arrived at Innes NP we dropped by the Visitor Centre to buy a Park pass and pay for our campsite. With the biggest campground at Pondalowie closed for renovations, sites were in short supply and we were lucky to be able to share one with a couple of surfers at Stenhouse Bay Campground, not far from the Visitor Centre. We pitched our tent and then headed off again to scout for some locations. Several shipwrecks dot the coast of Innes, a testament to the forces of nature. We thought these might provide a subject of interest and drove to Ethel Beach to see the wreck of “Ethel”. I didn’t really find much inspiration in the rusted remains of the ship, and leaving Dylan to see if he could come up with something, I wandered a bit further down the beach.
Since we arrived quite late, we only had time that day to visit West Cape as our second location, and ended up spending the evening shoot at that location. After finishing up at 7pm we went back to have dinner and fell asleep to the drones of the generator of the campsite next to us.
Having not had time to check out more locations on Friday, we got up early at dawn on Saturday and picked a place at random. At 5.45am it’s a little difficult to imagine what images you can capture, but we drove to Cape Spencer and spent about 15 minutes there in the dark before deciding that we weren’t enthused about the location. So back we went to Ethel Beach, where I tried unsuccessfully to catch the roiling waves, and Dylan got drenched by a particularly boisterous one.
The remainder of the day was used to explore the rest of the park to the northwest. There are some lovely coastal views over Pondalowie Bay looking out over the very originally-named South, Middle and North Islands.
Further north along a dirt track there is a stretch of coast where one can find three sheltered beaches in a row. We visited each of these but neither of us felt like more beach images, so instead we went on a short two hour walk along the Royston Head trail. The views are simply amazing, looking down on the weathered rocks below and the blue seas beyond. There are no shipwrecks on this side of the park – but I still wouldn’t want to be close to those rocks in a storm!
Late in the afternoon we presided back in our campsite for a granny nap (I don’t handle those early mornings very well remember?). The evening shoot was to be back at Cape Spencer Lighthouse, to see if we could make something of it that we couldn’t at dawn that morning. I’m glad we went back there because I think I just about captured my favourite image of the trip that evening. The skies were clear once again, which allowed for the usual gorgeous pastel hues that one eventually becomes obsessed with. Dylan slid down the steep path to the beach, but I remained at the top as I didn’t think I would make it back up again – even if I didn’t have a sore back!
We stayed out late that night, about an hour after sunset. The moon rose red and bloody over the east horizon as the sun sank in the west. With such a bright moon I didn’t think any startrail shoots would work, but I tried anyway.
As we went back to camp at 7.30pm, we were well pleased with ourselves, and for me, it ended our photographic trip to Innes very nicely. Dylan arose at dawn once again the next day, but I decided I needed my sleep more.
All in all a lovely short break away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and we might even have a few more portfolio images!