Let me start this with, the reason to go to Baird Bay is to swim with dolphins and sealions! Normally that is, but not during winter while we are here. The tours to see and swim with them starts again in September.
But even without that, it’s also a lovely spot to visit and stay in a well maintained free camp, ($10 per night) and go fishing off the beach or in a boat.
The road into Baird Bay is an excellent dirt road and so much better than others we took to get to the road in. Baird Bay is a tiny fishing village with no facilities or town really, except for the sealion tours. It is however a lovely relaxing spot and the free camp has a lookout to see over the bay, a structure with gas BBQs inside, a picnic table and benches and a book exchange. It also has very clean public toilets.
While we were there we happened to meet the current caretaker ‘Finchy’, a true Aussie character with stories that you could sit down for days and listen to. You can find out about Finchy and follows his travels on finchysaustralia.com where you’ll find a whole lot of stories to read.
After a night at Baird Bay we journeyed off again early in the morning to our next stop, Murphy’s Haystacks, where we would try to find the right light to see these amazing natural rock formations. We certainly have some weird and wonderful ones here in South Australia.
Murphy’s Haystacks are on private farming property but luckily for visitors, they welcome people to come and view them and just ask a small fee of $2 per person to maintain toilet and picnic facilities there. It is a working sheep property and they gave us a look over as we wandered around the rocks on defined paths. As you enter the property you can even purchase some local Haystacks honey and leave your money in an honesty box.
It’s an easy walk to the rocks or Inselbergs as these rock formations are known. The term comes from the German language for Island Mountains, which describes these weathered boulders well. They seem to just pop out of the surrounding land and over time they have eroded to their present forms. They got their name as they were mistakenly taken for haystacks by a visitor to the region and as they were located on Murphy’s property, the name stuck.
They are worth the trip out to see and can be easily reached by the bitumen Calca Road, off the Flinders Highway. You can also free camp at the haystacks for $10 per night which wouldn’t be a bad idea to see them at the best times of day, in the morning or late afternoon.