Our family vacation review of Beachport, Robe and the Limestone Coast in South Australia.
Beachport's coastal tracks & trails
Having already planned to get across the Great Ocean Road outside of the school holidays the burning question for us was where we were to spend the school holidays. We knew little of South Australia but had gleaned somehow what a terrific destination the Robe area was. Staying here is affordable during the peak holiday season, but it was a good thing we booked early.
We stopped of at Mount Gambier to see what was on offer for families. We had heard of the famous blue hole but instead headed for an amazing garden formed inside a crater.
Apparently we scored the last available camping spot which was barely big enough for our tent and kitchen set up. But we were happy to have found an answer to one of the big challenges you have when you plan any round Australia camping trip - “ what happens when the holidays star and everyone else wants to go camping as well.
Fortunately in Australia there are lots of camping spots for everyone, but apparently not enough of the really desirable ones. Beach locations along the east coast and along the Great ocean road are prohibit-ably expensive when you are trying to camp long term. Our usual habit of the summer school holidays was to head into the mountains. This works especially well along the East Coast of Australia where the cool mountains make for a pleasant change anyway, but down in Southern Australia everyone has to jostle for the quality beach camp-sites, and we were not any exception. We had to jostle and booking early was the only option we had and it secured for us a pretty nice little holiday spot at an affordable price. But that wasn't the end of it.
We also got to see how the South Australians like to to the Easter Holiday. There were more kids here at the Beachport tourist Park than I can remember seeing anywhere – all zooming part our camp-site on their bikes and scooters. Many times we had to get out of the camp site to get away from the noise. I like the sound of kids playing happily but some families live to noisily and publicly in my opinion. And while I do like that our little one gets to meet nice kids and play with them, I don't like it when you get to find out too much from families who seem to think it necessary to broadcast their every family movement and interaction. There was a bit of that going on, but it was interesting to see what South Australians do when the have to make the most of the short vacation times regular jobs, and school holidays offer.
The big attraction it seemed was taking four wheel drives out onto the sand. The empty park quickly filled with all sorts of camp-sites to luxury vans but mostly all sporting a four wheel drive vehicle with the mandatory red flag hanging off the front for others to see as an important safety feature when driving over sand hills. Beachport itself was quiet even during this most busy time of the year for it. April as talking to one of the artisan vendors at a weekend market who told here “ were not sure how they were going to make a living here and make a living, but we like it”. The place is also known as the shipwreck coast and literally hundreds of shops have crashed upon the shores here where the winter winds blow. You can walk the steps of the monument in Robe to see them listed along with the years in which they run ashore on some stormy night. Thankfully our tourist park was set close into the dunes and cliffs by the lighthouse in Beachport.