Monday, December 11, 2017

DAY 157 – ON THE MOVE AGAIN – COWELL



What a magnificent start to the day… I was up to see the sunrise up over the ocean this morning.  Definitely one to make you want to go back inside and grab your camera…

We had a little longer drive today.  We actually had to travel 112kms to get to Cowell. 
Sunrise at Tumby Bay
Tumby Bay sunrise...
 On our way to Cowell, we stopped off at a little fishing spot called Arno Bay.  Once a major port servicing the local farming area - with superphosphate shipped in and cereal crops shipped out - today Arno Bay is renowned as home to South Australia’s kingfish and provides excellent fishing all year round. 
Massive amounts of sea grass washed up on the beaches
Steve and I at Arno Bay
Proclaimed Bligh in 1883 but renamed Arno Bay in 1940, the town’s jetty, beacon and original ‘Super Shed’ stand as testament to its history.  We drove out to the Arno Bay Boat Ramp and climbed up to take a look at the area from the Observation Tower, before heading back into Arno Bay to have morning tea at the Jetty.  Such a pretty spot.. A walk out along the jetty stretched our legs before hopping back into the car and continuing our journey to Cowell.
Arno Bay Jetty
Morning tea at Arno Bay
Kathy walking out onto the Jetty
Out on the Jetty at Arno Bay
Cowell is another lovely little fishing town ideally located on the shores of Franklin Harbour, which is a 48sq km natural harbour with calm, fish filled waters.  It is considered to be one of the best fishing destinations in South Australia, hence why it was on our list of places to visit.  

The harbour was named after the famed 19th century explorer and former Tasmanian Governor John Franklin, (as a young man he was also a midshipman on Matthew Flinders’ ship “Investigator”) the harbour’s popularity has been backed by many foreshore developments including the deepening of the boating channel, an enclosed tidal aquatic area, sheltered barbecue facilities and a large adventure playground.


Cowell is also famous for its Jade and boasts one of the largest jade deposits in the world.    The history of jade in the Cowell dates from 1965 when a local farmer, Harry Schiller, discovered significant deposits of nephrite jade near Cowell. It wasn't until 1974, when the South Australian government became involved, that the potential of the area was realised. A geological assessment found more than 100 separate jade outcrops in a 9 sq km area which is now known as the Cowell Jade Province. The deposit is recognised as containing about 80 000 tonnes which means that it represents about 90 per cent of the world's known jade reserves. The Cowell jade deposit is recognised as one of the oldest and largest in the world. The majority of the jade from Cowell is green. A small portion is black in colour and this commands the highest price owing to its rarity and ability to take a high polish.  We were going to go and check it out but in the end we ran out of time and didn’t get there.  It was probably a good thing we didn’t otherwise we might have been tempted to spend a little more money…
The Black Stump - Cowell
 The other thing that Cowell is noted for is the “Black Stump”.  On the corner of Main Street and High Street, opposite the Commercial Hotel, is a huge 'black stump'. As a New Year prank in 1972, a large stump was placed between two hotels on which signs read 'Best pub this side of the black stump'. The original stump was stolen. Also paying tribute to the pioneer land clearing battles after several fires." The weight of the new stump is 2060 kg. This larger stump was erected in its place and moved up the street.


We arrived in Cowell just before lunch and booked  ended up staying in at the Harbourside Caravan Park which was situated a little out of town but had great views over Franklin Harbour and was just across from the water, so Steve was happy to go dig some worms out of the sea grass and fish in the shallows there.  He did managed to catch fish too which made him happy.

Once we were all set up out at the caravan park, we headed into town to check it out.  Cowell has some wonderful old buildings and it was a delight to photograph them. 
Lots of oysters around here....
RV Friendly camping ground overnight...
 On our drive around Cowell we came across a 24hours overnight free camp supplied by the Lions Club of Cowell.  It was well set up with picnic tables, water and fire pits but no toilets and showers so you would need to be self sufficient.  It is nice to see some of these small country towns providing RV friendly places to stay...

 After our drive around town we headed out along one of the scenic drive to see the May Gibbs Memorial Tree, which is just outside of Cowell, near where her first Australian home was situated.


From here, it was a quick drive out to Lucky Bay to check out this small fishing village and also see where the ferry goes across Spencer Gulf to the York Peninsula.  

Lucky Bay SA

Fishing shacks along the beach at Lucky Bay



Lucky Bay was not what we expected,  it is not really developed at all and has a  modest strip of coastal homes or 'shacks' extends along the coast to the north-east of the ferry terminal.   There is no boat ramp but boats are launched on the beach by the many holidaymakers and residents of this bay.  We actually drove out onto the beach and Steve climbed up onto the rock wall to do a spot of fishing. 
 
He had only planned to have a dozen casts or so but once he started catching whiting, he got a bit carried away and it was almost 7.30pm before he came back in.  We still had a good 20 minute drive to get home so tea was definitely going to be late tonight.  
Whilst we were having tea we got to witness the most amazing sunset… probably one of the best we have seen all holidays.  In fact it was so magnificent that we all ended up leaving our dinner on the table and going outside so we could photograph it and enjoy it. 

We started the day with a gorgeous sunrise and ended the day with a magnificent sunset….
 How blessed are we.

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