The Eyre Peninsula odyssey continues and we settle in Elliston for a couple of nights to see some cliff top sculptures that I’d been dying to see and continue our quest for salmon fishing.
Feeling good about the prospects of catching more, Harry decided to enter the competition, at worst it would be a $10 donation and at best there was prize money to win.
The Elliston Salmon Fishing Competition runs from the 1st of July through to the 31st of August and the rules include, that the salmon must be caught on hook and line from shore between certain points along this coastline, from Mount Camel Beach to Sheringa Beach. We were still in range so why not give it a go. But first, time to set up camp in the caravan park and then take a scenic drive to see art and sculptures in unique settings.
In the town of Elliston which has a population of around 400, made up of farmers, abalone fishers and businesses catering to tourism, you’ll find some incredible large scale art, completely covering the Hall. This building also houses the local Tourism Info Centre, Op shop, library and other community services.
The mural was painted in 1992 over three weeks and involved two professional artists and a heap of community support. The mural depicts the life of Elliston from historical to current times including a mural on the toilet block which depicts people from the 1920s era.
Parts of the hall painting include local farm stations and workers, typical homesteads and pioneers, as well as the current agricultural work, aboriginal heritage and the fishing industry and the sea life found in the area. It is a magnificent art work which continues around to the back of the building where it shows local sportsmen and women at play.
There are other arty sculptures and paintings in the town itself but the most spectacular pieces can be found on the cliff top scenic drive where the sculptures enhance the wild ocean views. A brochure can be picked up from the info centre which will explain the details of the sculptures including The Salmon Pole, Mara – the Latvian mother of the earth, Headland that have a very Easter Island feel, and many more to look for.
On another trail to Little Bay, there are yet more, big breathtaking cliff views and a recognition monument for the Wirangu people, traditional owners of the land. The monument commemorates an incident known as the Massacre of Waterloo Bay in which many aboriginal people were killed by a party of settlers. The monument recognizes and acknowledges this horrific time in history and aims to educate and assist in the reconciliation of all people living there today.
With the cultural aspects of our visit ticked, the next day would be devoted to salmon fishing and a visit to another picturesque beach, known as Locks Well. Locks Well has a very steep descent first by road and then via a staircase and landings of some 283 steps, before you reach a sandy beach below these massive cliffs. The stairway was only built in 1998 and before that, keen or crazy fishermen would get to the beach via a rough track and chain line.
Today it is much easier but still involves quite a workout to get down and all the way back up again. It is however well known as a salmon beach so with entry in the competition it was worth a shot. There were plenty of other fishers already there or making their way down as well and this was a spot for the serious ones. Huge surf rods, waders, big tackle and one goal in mind.
For us though, it seemed the quickest way to end your chances of catching fish, was to enter a competition! No luck today but a stunning setting anyway and there is always another beach – the chase continues.