At Murphy's Haystacks, it is very easy to view the ones you come to first, and then miss the rest.
We just happened to look around and saw them, so we then went for a look.
Here was another large group of these geological wonders made of Hiltaba granite, so named after a sheep station situated some way north-east. More wonderful shapes and sizes, I was glad we saw them. Some reminded me of Mushrooms!
"Murphys Haystacks" were named after Denis Murphy, who was born at Inchor, Ballyagran, Country Limerick, Ireland on March 25, 1858. He named the property "Oakfront" after his mother's home in Ireland, then he and his brothers set about clearing the land using a log attached to two teams of bullocks. Both he and his wife have passed away.
The Haystacks still live on and should do for quite a long time yet!
You can have a picnic here. There is a shelter shed with table and chairs, Toilets and a parking area.
On the same day we did the Westall Loop and Point Labatt, we finished the day be going to Murphy's Haystacks.
The name is misleading as Murphy's Haystacks are not haystacks at all but a clump of pink granite boulders that give the appearance of haystacks. Rising out of the hillside, these are known as granite inselbergs dating back 1,500 million years. [The name inselberg comes from German insel, meaning island and berg, mountain.]
It's believed the ones I saw only date 100,000 years and have been formed by the uneven weathering of crystalline rock as densely fractured compartments break down through weathering.
The haystacks were buried by calcareous dune sand about 30,000 years ago. Subsequent erosion of the surrounding land surface has gradually revealed the forms we see today.
They are located on a private farm, so entry is by DONATION. I was more than happy to donate after viewing the unusual shapes, their colours and sizes, WELL WORTH VISITING.
POINT LABATT IN THE GREAT AUSTRALIAN BIGHT, IS ANOTHER MUST SEE!
We continued onto here after finishing the Westall loop. Still travelling on dirt road, this one became a little rough. Once there though, it was worth the drive, for from the cliff top we looked down upon dozens of Sea Lions basking in the sun. Perhaps it was the time of day, I don't know, but quite a few were waking and heading into the Ocean
They are Australia's only mainland sea-lion colony, found only in Australia and are one of the rarest seals and Australia's most endangered marine mammals.
Interpretive signs explain about the Sea Lions. The sea-lion colony at Point Labatt is the only permanent breeding colony on the mainland, with all other colonies on offshore islands.
BRING BINOCULARS FOR A BETTER VIEW!
Just a word of caution, as the weather warms, the Lizards and Snakes come out.
We saw several "Stumpy Tailed" lizards crossing the road. They move very slowly, SO DO NOT RUN OVER THEM as they are not dangerous to humans and do no harm.
If you tease them, and they latch onto your fingers, expect pain!!
The Lizard has a short, wide stumpy tail that resembles its head, this is to confuse predators. The tail also contains fat reserves, which are drawn upon during hibernation in winter. It is known as a skink, and eats snails and plants and spends much of its time browsing through vegetation for food. It is often seen sunning itself on roadsides or other paved areas.
Another common name for this Lizard, is "Sleepy Lizard."
I wouldn't mind one in my garden as they do a good job cleaning the area of pests.
The Beaches along here go for miles and miles with not another person in sight.
We did see a fisherman and that was all. They are great for fishing and swimming.
Surfers Beach is a very popular safe swimming beach with no rips and it's quite shallow, a great place for kids to swim, surf and play safely.
There are more bays in the area, such as Heart Bay ( resemblance to a heart shape), another secluded beach great for fishing, snorkeling and just relaxing.
It's located 32kms south of Streaky Bay.
This concluded our drive along Westall Loop, another MUST DO!
Leaving the smooth pools behind and travelling on the dirt road again, we drove over a hill and greeting us on the other side was the sight of colossal sand hills in the distance. Closer we came to these huge pure white virgin sandhills, so clean and pristine!
These are the Yanerbie sandhills, and plenty of fun can be had sandboarding on them.
Driving along, it wasn't far when we found another Brown tourist sign, this was to "Smooth Pool"
As we drove down to the carpark, we had a marvellous view of the rocks and savage ocean, for me it was one of those "wow, this is beautiful" moments, it certainly was a favorite spot of mine.
Other than a couple sitting on the rocks eating lunch, we were the only other people here.
Large Boulders, worn smooth from the ocean, and covered in the brilliant orange Lichen. Smooth Pool itself is an eroding granite shelf that faces the full force of local westerly weather systems. The outcrop extends for several hundreds of meters and at low tide the area is studded with rock pools, some perhaps 2 metres deep. Magnificent blue water and breaking waves make the area a seascape photographer's paradise. I loved looking into the trapped water to see if I could find crabs, small fish, seaweeds or starfish, no luck this time!
Standing on the boulders and looking at the angry ocean with big waves breaking, it looked like I should be washed away, but I wasn't, just an illusion.
We spent quite a bit of time here wandering around, looking in the pools to see if I could find any sea life.
I wished we had brought lunch and sat and ate it here too, what a perfect spot to sit and enjoy, and let the time slide by!
A must see!
The town jetty is a good place to try fishing from. If you are lucky, you may catch one of South Australias best fish, the "King George" Whiting.
I just went for a walk along the jetty, at that time, there wasn't any fish being caught. I noticed a fenced of swimming area, a good idea as the White Pointer sharks are known to frequent the Streaky Bay area.
It was nice to be able to look back and to view Streaky Bay from the water.
The Jetty was built between the years 1891-1896, and is on the Historical walk.
Another day, and another scenic drive is planned, this one is the Westall Way Loop.
It is a 31km scenic loop located just 10kms South of Streaky Bay.
This drive is also along another dirt road which takes us to a series of rocky granite outcrops known as the Westall Granites. These boulders are covered by quite a bright orange algae and are quite attractive to look at.
There a quite a few Churches in Streaky Bay, and you will come across them on the town historical walk.
My 1st photo is of the Anglican, St. Augustine's, a nice looking Church built in 1912. Doors were closed!
In the same street, is a smaller Church, this one is the Uniting Church which opened in 1911, it has a Manse next door. This Church was not open either.
The Catholic Church I was able to go into and see the nice stained glass windows.
I only saw this Museum from the outside, but I thought I would mention it, as it records the life of Streaky Bay, which has long been a fishing port. This Museum has information on shark hunters, about when it was acceptable to hunt sharks and you can read about these hunters in the museums gallery of local characters.
Also on display are large blue swimmer crabs and the 1936 Straight Eight Nash car, which carried the first overland mail service from Adelaide to Streaky Bay in 1938.
The museum is in a former primary school. In its backyard, there is a collection of agricultural machinery and transport items, a relocated 1886 mud and timber farm cottage, a doctor’s surgery and printing machines from the local newspaper, the “West Coast Sentinel."
ADMISSION IN 2012....Adult - $5.00....Child - $1.00
OPEN...Tue...1.30pm to 4pm ...Fri 1.30pm to 4pm
Sat 9am to 12pm (Daylight savings hours)
Car park and Toilets on site.
This is located at Stewart's Roadhouse and is FREE TO VIEW.
It is a life size replica of the world's largest white pointer shark caught on a rod and reel in April 1990
It took 5 hours of struggle to land the 1520kg female shark on a 24kg line. The Shark was estimated to be between 16 - 18 years old.
The White Pointer is now a protected species of Shark. They are often seen at Streaky Bay, so it's best to swim in the cordonned off area beside the jetty.
Also in the display room, is other Streaky Bay sea life including some very large Crabs and Lobsters, I wouldn't want my finger caught in one of their claws.
This was FREE and well worth a look at!
Hitting the dirt road again, this time our view was of a beautiful Beach and not Cliffs.
The Beach was completely deserted! Beautiful white sand and turquoise blue water, I wondered why? Perhaps it was too cold, who knows. You are allowed to walk your dog on the beach.
This concluded the Cape Bauer Loop.
All I can say is "DON'T MISS IT!"
Standing on top of the Cape Bauer cliffs, we noticed the sea rushing in, and as it receded, a flat shelf was in view.
This is known as the Continental Shelf, a shallow extension of the land mass that is only tens of metres deep, compared to a thousand metres deep a little further out in the deep ocean. It is on these shelves where most of the plants and animals live.
These shelves were created millions of years ago during the glacial age.
Olive Island, we could see quite easily off the shore of Cape Bauer.
This Island has a large breeding colony of Australian Sea Lions and is also a known nesting location for Osprey, White-Bellied Sea Eagle and Cormorants. Olive Island is also an important refuge for Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Fairy Terns, Ruddy Turnstone, Rock Parrot and Cape Barren Goose.
Then, surrounding the island, are reefs where there is a good variety of reef fish.
We looked through our binoculars, but couldn't make out any Sea Lions.
Explorer, Matthew Flinders named the Island after the Investigator's clerk John Olive.