We’ve spent a lot of time exploring Victoria, since the Pandemic hit, which has been amazing but it was time to head interstate, so we went and spent a few days on the coast in the bottom south-east corner of South Australia.
South Australia is a huge place and instead of spending most of the time on the road and seeing as much as we could, we barely crossed the border and stayed in a beach house just out of Port MacDonnell (the most southern town in SA), about 20 minutes from Mount Gambier.
We rolled into South Australia a bit before midnight on the Friday. It was a bit of a surprise when we came across the border so late at night on a pretty remote road and were still stopped by the police to check for our border pass. Without a hassle, we made it threw and stayed in Mount Gambier for night.
Although Mount Gambier is stunning, we’ve thoroughly explored the area in the past and were super eager to get to our accommodation, the Pippi Shack, which right on the beach. Shortly after breakfast, we made the short drive to coast and went straight in for a surf, just out the front of the property.
You can book the Pippi Shack here, via AirBnB.
We already had our wetsuits on and with an incredible snorkelling spot, Ewens Ponds, being just a few minutes drive down the road, we went and took a quick dip and explored underwater.
From above the surface, there wasn’t a lot to see, then the whole world changed when we went under water.
We saw plenty of small fish, but after a half-an-hour in the freezing water and one snapped flipper, we took the short drive back to the shack for a hot shower.
Not long after getting dry, Tom from First4x4 joined us and we went out the other side (west) of Port Mac Donnell for a bit of 4 Wheel Drive action along the beach.
Without a hesitation, Tom drove straight past the “Caution: Soft Sand” sign and down onto the beach. The Pajero fish-tailed along the beach and seemed to do quite well, but on the way back to where we had entered, of course, we got bogged
Unable to move forward and backwards, the nerves started building as the tide was coming in and had almost reached the car.
There wasn’t another person in sight and slim chances of someone coming past, so we let some air out of each of the tyres, dug out some of the sand and made a short trail with some rocks that we found nearby. Tom jumped back in the car, Eva and I gave a big push, and we were out! We were pretty bloody happy about getting unstuck, the only problem was that Tom didn’t want to take the chance of stopping and getting bogged again, so he skidded along the beach and drove straight out, leaving Eva and I to make our own way back to harder ground.
We pumped up the tires and were on our way again.
On the drive back to the Pippi Shack, we stopped in town and bought some bait, in-fact they were Pipi’s, then our Mum joined us for a bit of Surf Fishing on the beach out the front of the property.
We didn’t do too well on the fishing front, so instead Mum cooked us up a feast, then we settled in for the night with a few board games and bottle of wine ..or two.
Sunday welcomed us with some nice sunny South Australian weather and we felt like getting wet.
We had already been to Ewens Ponds for some underwater exploration, so we headed back past Port Mac to a small town called Nene Valley and went snorkelling just off the beach.
It’s a decent spot for snorkelling as there’s a reef and rocks that creates protection from the waves.
The tide was out and it was a little murky in some places, but still a great way to kick off the day.
There were plenty of small fish, at times, we had full schools swim around us. Eva and Tom got up-close with a Sting Ray and although a five metre Great White Shark had been spotted in the area recently, we didn’t come across any and my sea snake was the only large monster in the bay.
After drying off, we jumped into Toms 4×4 and went to Port Douglas to go and see some places that our Forester couldn’t take us, last time that we were in the area. ..this time we let the tyres down before heading off-road.
We should have bought the surf boards along as we came across some pristine beaches with plenty of waves rolling in and not a person or foot print in sight.
My Mum has been over this way a few times and found some ancient tools made out of the rocks by Indigenous Australians. We stopped the 4WD a few times and explored by foot, but didn’t come across any old artefacts.
Late in the afternoon, the sun had started to wear us out a bit. We went back to the Shack, popped open some wine and retired for the day. Luckily for us, we didn’t have to lift another finger as Mum popped down again and treated us with some Fish and Chips.
It was a fun weekend away. South Australia is packed with rugged and remote places to explore and we had a really nice time the very bottom corner of the massive state. We hope to come back here a couple more times throughout 2021, then we’re planning on buying a Caravan and covering a lot more of this amazing state throughout winter 2022.
If you’ve been to some decent places in the South East of South Australia, be sure to let us know about it in the comments section below!