How can you not fall in love with a campsite when you are welcomed by dolphins swimming by, directly in front of you on arrival? This is what we were met with when we rolled in to Barkers Rocks Bush Camp just south of Port Rickaby on the western side of Yorke Peninsula.
We had heard there were two areas where you could camp here. When you drive in along the dirt road leading to the camping area you come to a fork in the road.
Turn left and you arrive at a sheltered area behind sand dunes where you can choose a site and set up. This area also has a long drop toilet and drive on access to the beach.
The other option is to turn right which we did, to camp on a more exposed cliff top area with only enough sites for about three vans and a sheltered picnic table and benches. This part of the bush camp is perfect in the right weather conditions and you have a sweeping view of the coastline, rocks, reef and beach in the distance.
What a little paradise this is, with dolphins cruising past throughout the day and at times stopping to fish in the bay. You can find places to fish anywhere off the rocks below, depending on the tide and they are easy to get to and walk on, not sharp or unstable.
If you keep walking you’ll find a gorgeous white sand beach in between the rocky outcrops, where the beach slopes gradually into the aquamarine coloured, crystal clear water.
Just past this sandy beach is a rocky reef which is exposed in low tide and is also easy to walk on. This is a top fishing spot with the water deep at the side and end of the reef and big squid and whiting there for the taking, that is if you can beat the dolphins and one seal that we saw.
You do have to keep an eye on the tide because the water creeps in and the reef disappears, sometimes completely underwater.
Camping on the clifftop here does give you unbeatable views of the sunsets and sunrises too.
Camping here, and at the other 19 bush campgrounds on Yorke Peninsula, costs $10 per vehicle, per night. Payment for a permit doesn’t reserve a particular site as they are all first in basis, but there are always enough sites for permit holders and if one camping area is crowded you can use the permit at any of the neighbouring sites.
Permits can be purchased online from the Yorke Peninsula Visitor Information site, or in person at the centre in Maitland, where you can pick up a brochure on the campgrounds.
What a blissful way this was to spend a couple of days and nights.